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The 17 Best New Mexican Restaurants Around DC - Source Washingtonian

Posted on May 22,2019
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

The bar at Urbano 116.
Source Washingtonian

Source Washingtonian


WASHINGTON, DC. - Washington has always had scattered pockets of good Mexican food, whether restorative bowls of morning menudo in Riverdale’s Little Mexico neighborhood or lengua-filled street tacos in Hyattsville. But those were the exceptions in a landscape blighted with sour-cream-soaked Tex Mex and chemical-green margaritas. “Hate to break it to you,” we’d shrug to new transplants from LA or Houston.

But in the last few years, even as political wars raged over just how welcoming our southern border should be, the Beltway’s culinary wall came down. With Mexico City having become the travel destination of the moment, restaurateurs seized on our love of all things swaddled in tortillas—and sided with a few bottom-line-boosting margs. Chefs began to see the masa rounds as the ultimate blank canvas. A new wave of Mexican dining in DC was born.

We now have traditional taquerias and almost comically outlandish ones. Upscale mezcalerias and a Latin-focused liquor store. Swank dining rooms and urban mom-and-pops. We even, kid you not, have a taco omakase experience.

Here, our 17 favorite newcomers.

Bandit Taco
Tons of restaurants sell tacos, but few make them as perfectly as these counter-order shops. You won’t find anything fussy, and drinks are limited to Mexican sodas and Topo Chico sparkling water. What shines is chef Mauricio Flores Turcios’s attention to detail. Corn or flour tortillas are warmed on a griddle and filled with succulent meats such as al pastor pork with charred pineapple, or braised carnitas. Each bundle is showered with minced cilantro, onion, or julienned radish. (Turcios honed his knife skills over 14 years with restaurateur Richard Sandoval). Not everything is traditional street-style—the superb crispy shrimp taco gets a hit of togarashi spice. Look for an Alexandria location next year. 1946 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 4629 41st St., NW.

Source Washingtonian

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