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Empellon Cocina in the East Village is still one of the most exciting Mexican restaurants in a city with very little excitement in that department.

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About Permanently Closed - Empellon Cocina

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Acknowledging that creativity must come from inspiration, Empellón Cocina sees the vast greatness of Mexican foodways as our portal. In our kitchen, we reach for ingredients like hoja santa leaf and Mexican chorizo both because they inspire us and, quite simply, because they are good. Born out of a heartfelt fascination with this country and its regional cuisines, Empellón Cocina strives not to imitate or replicate, but rather to draw upon with an appropriate amount of respect, humility, and awe.

Like so many chefs that have tinkered, tweaked, and challenged their chosen cooking discipline in New York City, we embrace that spirit of freedom as we think through and toil over dishes that interest and excite us. We believe a restaurant should be allowed to change its mind every step of the way, and as such our approach is continuously evolving and deeply personal.

105 First Ave
New York, NY 10003
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican

Hours of Operation:
Brunch:
Sat & Sun 11:45 AM-3 PM

Lunch:
Mon-Fri 11:45 AM-3 PM

Dinner:
Mon-Thurs 5:30 PM-11 PM
Fri 5:30 PM-12 AM
Sat 3 PM-12 AM
Sun 3 PM-11 PM

Cross Street:
6th and 7th Streets

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 780-0999

Website:
http://www.empellon.com/cocina

Executive Chef:
Alex Stupak

Private Party Contact:
Cheryl Goff: (212) 367-0999

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Empellon Cocina - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on all time ratingsThis restaurant has not received enough recent ratings to display a current ratings snapshot
food

4.1

service

4.0

ambience

3.8

value

3.7

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (1148)
Hot Spot (642)
Neighborhood Gem (641)
See All
Good for Groups (352)
Vibrant Bar Scene (318)
Special Occasion (294)
Romantic (204)
Late-night Find (108)
Great for Brunch (105)
Notable Wine List (55)
Great for Lunch (46)
Good for a Date (24)
Fun (22)
Creative Cuisine (19)
Handcrafted Cocktails (18)
Casual (13)
Kid-friendly (12)
Tapas (12)
Cozy (11)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Happy Hour (9)
Great for Outdoor Dining (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Tasting Menu (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Spicy (7)
Authentic (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Business Meals (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Healthy (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Great Beer (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Seasonal (3)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
People Watching (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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595 reviews
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 (Birmingham)·Dined on May 13, 2017

The food wasn't good all, the ceviche wasn't interesting and we had to add our own salt. Also no freshness and no crunch. Very small and dry oysters, fried eggs with bad mayonaise. The taco's where horrible, way too heavy on flavour and too intense.
Overall it was disappointing, we had better taco's on the street next to chelsea market for 3 dollars ( 16!!! At empellon)

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 12, 2017

From the time we ordered, it took 30 minutes to receive the appetizer and an hour ten minutes for the entree. 3 of the 5 items we ordered were good, the other 2 were very bad.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 6, 2017

This was our first time and we loved it! The guacamole was awesome and so were the drinks. We tried many different items on the menu and they were all great. You will not be disappointed.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 4, 2017

Very Limited, over priced menu.
The specialty tacos were just ok.
I live in NYC and dine out frequently; this was too pricey for something "just ok" and not much choice
Wont be bringing friends

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 29, 2017

The uni appetizer was really well done but the goat taco was dry and tasteless; the falafel taco was dry and ordinary; the gooseberry dessert was terrible. I've eaten at Empillon in the West Village which was delicious and was the reason we tried Empillon Cocina.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 28, 2017

Very disappointed after hearing great things. The drinks were great but everything off the menu lacked flavor. Service was great and waitstaff were nothing but friendly

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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 22, 2017

The food was extremely over-seasoned. The restaurant seemed over rated, nothing we had was exiting or delicious.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service4
value1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 20, 2017

Guacamole with 7sauces is s must!! The melted cheese and chicken tenders tacos was amazing. Ribs and pork belly tacos were ok. Gooseberries dessert had weird taste but other dessert was delicious! Definitely one of my top mexican restaurants.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 20, 2017

Fun place, great service, food was good: strane but tasy combinations

Tags: Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Food was absolutely amazing. Would absolutely dine here again.

Tags: Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 4, 2017

Waiter was pushy and inattentive at the wrong times.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 28, 2017

We ate at the bar. The bartender was very helpful in explaining and recommending the excellent small plates and dessert we ordered. Drinks and guacamole were very good!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Felt pretentious for no good reason. I like the other empellons but recommendations here were off, server didn't understand gluten but someone came over and clarified after. Came for tacos and nothing on taco menu sounded good...ceviche was great, meatballs were boring...they lost me when I walked in to see their guac and salsa costs $21 in East village.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on March 15, 2017

Pass on the gooseberry dessert-almost inedible
Everything else was fantastic & great service

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on March 14, 2017

great waitstaff, super friendly and delicious food. fun, hip and casual.

Tags: Spicy, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 14, 2017

Made reservation over open table but restaurant was actually closed. Bummer because we took transportation to the restaurant just to find it closed.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 10, 2017

Fun food but less fabulous than expected. Guacamole and seven salsas (especially cashew) set a very high bar that isn't met again. Enjoyed ourselves a lot despite allergy to noisy places.

Tags: Tapas, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 7, 2017

The food was excellent! It is very unique from any other place I have been to. I was in love with the guac and the jumbo prawns! The drinks did take a little while to come but everything else certainly made up for it. The service was impeccable as well.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 25, 2017

Was expecting something more refined, perhaps will try the tasting menu

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 25, 2017

We had an incredible meal. Lots of fun. Service was too notch.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 23, 2017

I loved dinner at Empellon, which had inventive dishes and great margaritas.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Seasonal, Tapas, Fun, Good for Groups, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 11, 2017

We are from NJ. We visited Empellon a few months ago and couldn't wait to bring our foodie 15 year old taco lover back. The 7 salsas and guac alone would have been enough for us but we ordered a bunch of tacos and the chicken meatballs. Everything was awesome. We were hoping to meet Chef Stupak but he wasn't working in this location. Hopefully next time. We'll def be back.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Lovely ambiance and very good food! Had a post-theater dinner with family that turned into 3.5 hours fun affair. Guacamole with fresh corn chips and mild and sweet smoked cashew and spicy arbol salsas and oysters, followed by uni on toast - wonderful interplay of creamy eggs, crunchy seeds and toast, and melt-in-your mouth uni, and then pork belly and mortadella-olive salsa tacos - charred just right tortillas, tender pork, and riSted to crisp mortadella - wonderful combo but more briny olives would be welcome! My son had a juicy bavette steak with the best creamed spinach I ever tried in my life: probably, using Mexican spinach was a key. My vegetarian brother opted for refreshing citrus-y red snapper ceviche and shishito peppers tacos - blusters but bit burnt and buttery peppers and smooth creamy sauce. Drinks - started with tangy Obregon fizz and shared a bottle of amazing Albemarle Sauvignon Blanc - floral aroma, slightly minerally taste, and lingering fruit aftertaste. Desserts - I had cape gooseberries that were a bit overpowered by mezcal and my bother had 2 (!) portions of incredible milk chocolate custard, goat milk ice-cream, and popped amaranth seeds concoction - licked both bowls clean! Overall - good service, nice vibe, memorable experience! Stupak did not disappoint!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Seasonal, Fun, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
·Dined on February 8, 2017

The appetizers were larger than the entree which was strange but overall great food and margaritas. Good Winter 2017 restaurant week choice

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 1, 2017

Saw it on a TV show and tried it. Nothing but great food , drinks and great service. If you like a creative Mexican food than this is for you.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 1, 2017

I was very disappointed to see that the Restaurant Week menu I was given at Empellon Cocina was missing a dish that was listed in the menu online. I was also surprised to find that the Restaurant Week deal was not a deal at all, but in fact it's standard on the menu -- the small plate/taco/dessert combo is always $42. There were also some mix ups in ordering. We ended up getting the six salsas for extra money even though I thought it was included, and I was served a second margarita that I didn't want. So, I went in for what I thought would be a cheap(ish) night, and ended up paying almost $100 for my meal. The food was okay, but overrated. I ended up being very happy that I paid extra for the salsa, because everything I ordered needed some extra sauce/flavor. I'm glad I tried something new, but next time I'll just go to my local spot and save my money.

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food1
ambience4
service2
value1

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 25, 2017

Looking forward to returning and enjoying the chef's tasting menu. Drinks are delicious

Tags: Tapas, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Excellent food!!

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 20, 2017

The place was easy to find, the staff was great, the food was great, I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Tags: Vegan, Cozy, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Chef Alex Stupak is certainly moving further away from the Mexican and Latin flavors that he so exceptionally riffed on from day one. It was the most exciting food experience I had anywhere when Empellon first opened, and I eat at all his restaurants often. But what I look forward to is the amazing new ways he used Latin ingredients. Lamb Schwarma, really? I'm not coming to Empellon to eat that, no matter how good. And, I miss the original masa chips, that were fabulous cornmeal crisps broken in lovely irregular shapes. The corn chips we had were just boring grilled broken tortillas, and not a great corn flavor either. Disappointing. And finally, $15 for guacamole plus $6 for salsa? I'm not sure any guac is worth that. Just sayin.' It may have always been that price point but it does seem kind of outrageous.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 19, 2017

This was my first visit to Empellon Cocina. We sampled several small plates and found all of them excellent, including guacamole with 7 sauces from mild to ferocious, goat taco, ceviche. The servings were on the small side and prices were on the large side, but the cake taker was the smallest margarita I have ever been served anywhere, made with house ingredients, and priced at $14. Next time I'll have a beer. The happy hour specials are very good deal, but only at the bar where the noise level was fairly high.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on January 18, 2017

The place was nice and the service friendly but the food was incredibly middle of the road, particularly given the price. Wouldn't recommend.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 11, 2017

We loved it. It was a rainy Wed night and we had 6 people but sadly we were almost the only people in the place. Food is awesome I don't know why. I can't wait to go back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2017

This restaurant exceeded my expectations. The atmosphere was great. The food was quite amazing, my only complaint would be the plating on goat taco. It was pretty lackluster and plain, flavor was on point though.

Tags: Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 6, 2017

This was a real surprise as I had been here when it first opened, but now it's a whole other, very cozy place, with both tapas and full plates. Everything was really outstanding, perfectly prepared and presented, and, at first when we saw there were only two desserts offered we were perplexed, but, these were two of the greatest desserts we've ever had and we are native NYrs and have been around the block several times!! Excellent service!

Tags: Spicy, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Tapas, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 5, 2017

Overall, great food and interesting dishes. Would recommend for a good group dinner.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 21, 2016

The food was very tasty. Some items were exceptional. The service was good to very good. The prices were just a little bit high relative to the portions, but appropriate for the quality.

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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (México)·Dined on December 21, 2016

De lo mejor en Manhattan.... si no hablas español bastante gente de el sttaf lo habla, la comida es increíble,los cocteles son únicos, hay Mezcales excelentes de Oaxaca,todo es buenísimo todo el sttaf es súper amable, si eres mexicano y encuentras a "nasario" es un súper mesero

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Wonderful atmosphere with a diverse selection of flavors borrowed from various cuisines / cultures. Great cocktails and margaritas that were well balanced. We will look forward to returning for the tasting menu.

Tags: Healthy, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 29, 2016

we keep going and Empellon keeps delivering. Latin fusion done right!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

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