Food & Drink

Carnitas Craze: Discover NYC’s Top 12 Pork-tastic Spots!

Carnitas, or slow-cooked pork, is a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine. And lucky for us, New York City has a plethora of options for those looking to indulge in this flavorful dish.

From food trucks to sit-down restaurants, there's no shortage of places to try.

But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That's where this guide comes in. We've scoured the city to find the best places for carnitas, so you don't have to.

Whether you're a long-time fan of this dish or a newbie looking to try something new, we've got you covered.

So what makes a great carnitas spot? It's all about the quality of the pork. The meat should be tender and juicy, with a crispy exterior.

The seasoning should be just right, not overpowering the natural flavors of the pork. And of course, the accompaniments are important too – from fresh tortillas to tangy salsas.

In this guide, we'll be highlighting a variety of different places to try, from hole-in-the-wall spots to more upscale restaurants.

We'll also be sharing some tips and tricks for ordering the perfect plate of carnitas. So get ready to indulge in some of the best pork dishes in the city – your taste buds will thank you.

1. Los Tacos No.1

Los Tacos No.1
229 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036 (Google Maps)

Los Tacos No.1 is a bustling taqueria that serves up some of the best tacos and quesadillas in the city.

The flavors are phenomenal, and the meat is juicy and tender.

The tortillas are always fresh, and the toppings are a perfect balance of flavors.

While the line can be long during peak hours, the quick service makes up for it. This is the perfect spot for a quick and delicious meal on the go.

2. La Contenta

La Contenta
102 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

La Contenta is a small and cozy spot that serves up delicious carnitas. The drinks are fantastic and the birria tacos are a must-try.

The service is fast and friendly, making the overall experience enjoyable. The brunch menu is cheap and cheerful, making it a great spot for a casual meal.

The atmosphere is fun and lively, with bartenders singing and dancing. The off-menu Vegetarian Tacos are a great option as well.

While the venue is small, it adds to the intimate and authentic feel of the place.

3. Taqueria St. Marks Place

Taqueria St. Marks Place
79 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Looking for authentic Mexican food in a relaxed atmosphere in the East Village area of NYC, Taqueria St. Marks Place has got you covered.

They offer a wide selection of dishes, but the carnitas and lamb tacos are must-tries.

The decor is great, and the prices are reasonable. They can accommodate large groups too. Don't forget to try their margaritas!

4. Amigo by Nai

Amigo By Nai
29 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Looking for a trendy taqueria with high-concept fare and cocktails to match, Amigo by Nai is a great option.

This Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar offers a compact menu with unique and extremely tasty dishes, including the must-try pork belly tacos.

The mixologist is a local with an eclectic streak, and their mixed drinks are delicious. The staff is warm and welcoming, and the service is impeccable.

The ambiance is great, and the atmosphere is laid-back, making it a perfect spot for a night out with friends.

5. El Cabron Taqueria & Marisqueria

El Cabron Taqueria & Marisqueria
26 Essex St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

El Cabron Taqueria & Marisqueria is a must-visit for anyone in search of authentic Mexican food.

This small corner taco shop serves up some of the best carnitas in town. The burritos are big and flavorful, while the chips and salsa are a perfect appetizer.

The tacos are beautifully made and the late-night eats are a real treat.

If you're looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant, El Cabron Taqueria & Marisqueria is highly recommended.

6. Pinks Cantina

Pinks Cantina
203 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

Pinks Cantina is a fast-casual taqueria that offers a variety of fusion plates. Their neon-accented Mexican eatery is a hit among the locals.

The food is prepared quickly and is of high quality. They offer vegan and gluten-free options for their tacos and rice bowls.

The staff is friendly and the vibe is great, making it a perfect spot to grab food and hang out for a while.

They also offer delivery and catering services. Pinks Cantina is definitely a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious carnitas in the area.

7. Planet Taco

Planet Taco
141 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Planet Taco is a must-visit for anyone craving delicious carnitas. With an extensive menu and a fantastic selection of meats, customers can choose from a variety of corn tortillas and sauces to create their perfect taco.

The grilled steak and adobo chicken tacos are particularly noteworthy, bursting with flavor and perfectly seasoned.

The sauce selection is also diverse, with each one offering a unique and delicious taste.

While the seating may be limited and the operations could be streamlined, the friendly staff and excellent customer service more than make up for it. For anyone in search of the best tacos in town, Planet Taco is definitely worth a visit.

8. Mi Nidito

Mi Nidito
818 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Google Maps)

Mi Nidito is a Mexican restaurant that offers delicious carnitas. The meat is rich and flavorful, and the vegetables are cooked to perfection.

The tortillas are light and fresh, and the guacamole is fantastic. The service is friendly and attentive, and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu.

The restaurant is small and cozy, and the atmosphere is welcoming. The margaritas are also really good, and there are many flavors to choose from.

If you're looking for authentic Mexican food, Mi Nidito is definitely worth a visit.

9. Tacos Guey

Tacos Guey
37 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

Tacos Guey is a restaurant that serves up delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. Their carnitas tacos are a must-try, and the cocktails are top-notch.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends or a simple date night.

The menu offers a variety of dishes, including ceviche and potato/cheese flautas. The handmade chip and tortillas add an extra touch of quality to each dish.

Tacos Guey is a great spot for those looking for high-quality Mexican food and drinks in a stylish setting.

10. Casa Taqueria

Casa Taqueria
40 Gold St, New York, NY 10038 (Google Maps)

Casa Taqueria is a Mexican fast food restaurant that serves authentic and flavorful carnitas. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming design, and their service is friendly and quick.

Their menu offers a variety of meats, including brisket, steak, and chicken, but their carnitas are a standout dish. The tacos and quesadillas are also highly recommended.

The prices are fair for the amount and quality of food served. The interior is spacious, and there is plenty of seating available.

The restaurant also offers chips and salsa for a low price, and the guacamole is a must-try. All in all, Casa Taqueria is a great option for anyone looking for a quick, affordable, and delicious meal.

11. El Diablito Taqueria

El Diablito Taqueria
60 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

El Diablito Taqueria offers some of the best carnitas in town. Their meat is perfectly seasoned and tender, making every bite a delight.

The menu is also reasonably priced, offering a variety of dishes that won't break the bank.

The staff is friendly and provides excellent service, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.

The restaurant is small and cozy, providing a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy a meal with friends or family. If you're looking for authentic Mexican food, El Diablito Taqueria is definitely worth a visit.

12. Paquitos

143 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Looking for some delicious carnitas in the city but don't want to break the bank for it either, then look no further than Paquitos.

This cozy, down-to-earth Mexican eatery offers a broad menu of Mexican standards that won't disappoint.

While the staff may be a little slow, they are friendly and the food is delivered promptly. The portions are big, the prices are reasonable, and the margaritas are made to perfection.

With a take-out option available, Paquitos is the perfect spot for a quick and tasty meal on the go.