Empellon Taqueria

4.6
1517 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Open Dinner & Brunch. We opened our doors on March 22nd, 2011 with the intention of treating tacos with a high level of respect and serving them in a fun environment.  Which is how I believe tacos should be enjoyed. We designed the menu with the idea that most ingredients worth eating can benefit further by being placed atop a well-made tortilla. We push our kitchen team to explore the ubiquitous flavors that we all love about Mexican cooking in this country as well as the less obvious ones that we all should love. Empellon's approach to cuisine is informed by authenticity but is not limited by it.
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Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Join us on Valentine's Day! We're offering a five course, $60pp prix-fixe. Nothing says I love you quite like tacos & tequila.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.4

As we’re all well aware, Mexican food in Manhattan generally blows. Empellon hasn’t come to save the day, but it isn’t adding to the problem either. While nothing blew us away, the food was solid with the good outweighing the bad.

Ratings 7.0-7.5:These are your neighborhood standbys - the places that you’ll happily hit for some pasta or a quick salad, but not a restaurant you are bringing your parents or (god forbid) a date to. The true embodiment of good but not great.
What 1517 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Sooooo loud and uncomfortable. I was there with my boyfriend for a mid week dinner. The table was very narrow (so we felt super close to our neighbors) but very long (so we felt far away from each other). So we could hardly hear each other. Luckily the food came out fast so we were in and out in 30 mins.

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LB
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was good, but not great. The service was fast and our waitress was attentive. The biggest issue was the drinks. The margaritas were tasty but very weak and way overpriced for the lack of alcohol.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food as usual! Was a bit disappointed that flour tortillas are no longer available but overall wonderful experience. Superior service & experience. Thank you!

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RF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Food and service were good, as expected, but the room is too dark and the noise level excruciating.

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LC
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been wanting to try this place. When you enter from the front, you get the impression that it might just be a bar/pub. But we were pleasantly surprised to see a very nice dining room. We were seated in the back room, which isnt as noisy since you are away from the bar, but quite honestly, the front room was totally fine.

If you want great, creative tacos, this is your place! They come 2 per serving and I would recommend people in your party all order something different. We had the flank stake, fish tempura and duck. All were very good.

While they have some great apps (we had the guac & chips and the shishito peppers, the tacos are more than enough food if you wanted to stick to them.

While the peppers were tasty in their cheese sauce, I actually thought they were a little starchy.

Overall, a great place.

BTW, that cucumber spicy margarita is DAMN GOOD!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service

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EK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I was so impressed by both the food and the drinks! My friends and I all loved it and will definitely come back again.

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PR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Would like to see a dish with green or red chili from New Mexico.

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RB
Miami
31 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Tasty tacos and excellent cocktails. Overpriced for the type of cuisine.

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MB
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, ambience, and food! Server did a great job.

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S
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super moment entre amis avec une grande table disponible et un service impeccable

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DP
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This takes tacos to a new level. A must try and for NY very reasonable. A lot of folks rave about the lobster taco, which each of us had and was the least favorite. So many great things to try. The pork carnitas are outstanding.. Absolutely the best I've ever eaten... Crab cake tacos are unbeatable and I don't ever like crab cakes..was truly impressed. Service was great! Cozy and beautiful place.

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CD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Not what it once was... which was an overly-loud, poor service restaurant but pretty great food. Now not good food anymore, plus all of the same. :(

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OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was delicious. Especially liked the Brussel sprout tacos and guacamole! The margaritas seemed skimpy on the tequila. Cute place and great ambience. Good for a date or dinner with friends.

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OT
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Food felt like it sat in the window too long. Expensive and did not deliver for the price or expectations. Bummed because I was excited to try them out.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Extremely slow service! The food took forever to come....and when it did it looked cold and unappetizing! No apology for delayed food!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Good ambiance and excellent service, but the food is overpriced and not that good as you expected to be.

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G
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A very pretty restaurant located in a extremely cool area of the village.
The menu was simple and delicious. Great drinks and even more delicious food.
A good value for the quality of food.
Excellent, attentive service.
I highly recommend!

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E
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 3

This place is SMALL, and can get pretty loud. We loved the food though. The gauc and chorizo queso is a must!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Good spot and good location, good vibe and not too loud, lots of seating options. Recommend making reservation was packed at 7 on a Tuesday. Only issue was price - a little toppy I felt, based on other spots similar

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YB
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Tacos five stars, especially the lobster taco. Appetizers and desserts are good, but could be better. Service was excellent, and it’s a lovely spot for a meal with friends. I would recommend it. Empellon didn’t disappointment but the food could be even better.

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OT
Tulsa
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic! We loved the assortment of salsas, which were a great value. Service was excellent!

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f
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Meal started with guacamole and "all 12 salsas," which were excellent, if a bit skimpy (a running theme). That was followed up by the halibut ceviche, which was not so excellent--the fish itself was fairly bland, despite being soaked in all that citrus juice, and there was not very much of it. Next came the goat tacos (a Friday special) and the sopes meatballs. Both quite good. Then came fish tacos, duck tacos, and barbacoa tacos--all mediocre to bad, and outrageous given the price. The cocktails were good if unspectacular.

I don't understand why this place is a hot reservation. Mexican food costs a lot in New York, we all have to accept that. I have adjusted to paying $3 for a street taco. If you're paying double or triple that, you would expect to get something significantly better than a street taco. These were far worse. The only good one was the goat special, which at $5 a pop, was also by far the cheapest and the best value. Maybe it was an off night, but given the price, I won't be back to find out.

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F
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always enjoy the food here. Everything is just so tasty-your taste buds will thank you! the ambiance is energetic and fun and the service is always great, too!

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s
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always wonderful. I’ve been here a number of times. Carlos, the manager, remembered us from the last time we dined at the restaurant. Everyone is extremely gracious and welcoming.

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R
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The place is nice, the tacos are very good and the service was outstanding! A good variety of tequila and mezcal, and the margaritas were really good! Maybe a little expensive for tacos, but overall a very good experience.

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F
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Waitress was very helpful. Brussel sprout tacos nailed it. They were delicious. The 7 salsas made for a fun start with the family. A little disappointed in the queso fundido with shishito peppers and the fish tacos.

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r
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Simple stuff, but they nail it. Lamb tacos are out of this world.

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RN
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was fantastic. The cocktails and food were all interesting and delicious. Would highly recommend

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SP
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Empellon Taqueria consistently performs at a very high level -- outstanding tacos and accompaniments, attentive service, in a friendly, casual atmosphere. The pastrami tacos are special, as is the shishito queso funded.

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F
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and atmosphere. Really impressed, everytime.

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SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We were a little late for our reservation, and once they got over the initial snit, the service was fab. I have been to al Pastor and have been wanting to drop in at Taqueria for some time, and it was worth the wait. Drinks were terrific, the food was really really tasty, and the service staff quite accommodating. We were in with a bunch of international folks in for a business meeting and they all (Portuguese, Peru, Brit, Columbian and American) really enjoyed the food...and the margaritas.

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R
Montreal
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

At this price for Mexican street food, it better be good. But it wasn’t. Except the pork tongue tacos, and the quality of the tortillas. Everything else was either “edible” or “ok” and one item, the plantain sopes fell into the “quite unpleasant to eat” category.

The cocktails we had tasted like juice with a splash of tequila.

Would not recommend.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for Sunday brunch. The service was great. The restaurant was quiet and the food was delicious!

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TR
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Soooo good. My friend and i had a girls weekend in NYC and my favorite mexican joint happened to be out of reservations but i found this gem and so glad i did. I will definitely be returning and will make a res here before even thinking of that other place. LOL Great space, staff, ambiance, FOOD!!! The tacos were incredible btw!

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W
New York Area
83 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always consistently good. Say no more. Try it.

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GS
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious and the menu is fun. Lots of opportunity to try different things with small plates.

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K
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Simple menu. The shishito peppers queso are a must. Start with chips & get all 7 salsas (they’re small & not what you expect from salsa- more like sauce).

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G
Tokyo
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

メキシコ料理でハズレは珍しいが、定番のタコスやチョリソも美味しくなかった。チョリソはチーズグラタンのようになっており、思い描いていたものとは違った料理だった。マルガリータは色々な種類があり、とても美味しかった。

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GC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant overall. Limited selection of Mexican dishes but what they have is very good. Taco portions were more kid sizes than adult, so plan to double your order to feed your hunger.

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