Oaxaca Taqueria
Credit: Oaxaca Taqueria

Tacos are genuinely on my mind and have been ever since I was a child, but when it comes to tacos (in my opinion) it usually has some sort of meat product in it.  Oaxaca Taqueria believes in that as well, except this time around, they have introduced a line of vegan-friendly options at their 15 locations spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn that will make you think twice about what a taco can truly be.

Oaxaca Taqueria is the brainchild of veteran restaurateur David Schneider, who has brought the idea of locally-sourced tacos, quesadillas, burritos and more to Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Any area of Manhattan you are in, chances are there is an Oaxaca Taqueria only a couple of blocks from where you are.  And rightfully so.

Credit: Oaxaca Taqueria

If you want the alternative to the run of the mill, conglomerate taco places that seem to be inhabiting Manhattan on a bigger basis every single year, then Oaxaca Taqueria is definitely a place you want to go to.   I stopped by their Murray Hill location late last week, and found that the space is fairly cozy but at the same time makes you feel that much more welcome.  That’s the point of a good restaurant here in NYC, to take you out of the craziness on a street level and into a big form of comfort on a restaurant level.

Outside of the vegan menu (which I’m getting to), their primary menu boasts a ton of fantastic taco options that I scarfed down in a matter of minutes.  Some of my favorites included their Al Pastor (Adobo marinated roasted pork, white onion, grilled pineapple, salsa verde & cilantro) and a classic like their Barbacoa (Pickled red onion, salsa roja, avocado lime salsa, cotija cheese & cilantro).

Let’s also not forget about their line of authentic Mexican street food, otherwise known as Comida Calle.  My favorite from this portion of the menu was their Esquites, which is sweet corn-on-the-cob with chipotle crema, cotija cheese and cilantro.  Delicious.

As for their vegan menu, they have taken what is seen on their traditional menu but made it vegan friendly while still packing a ton of flavor and taste in each bite that you took.  For instance, their Papas (potatoes) y Rajas with pickled red onion, salsa verde, avocado lime & cilantro was superb.  All of the right elements in it, with the red onion giving it a nice kick to make for a great meat-alternative.

Credit: Oaxaca Taqueria

Another great option was their “Pollo” Tirado Mole which featured a “vegan” chicken stewed in a Oaxacan mole negro with pico de gallo and cilantro.  You honestly can’t taste the difference between the vegan and the regular version of chicken, and the flavor they pack in that mole is superb.  Definitely a spot you are going to want to head to to get your taco fixings with a twist this year.

For more information on Oaxaca Taqueria, please check out their official website.