The Black Ant

4.3
427 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
In ancient Mexico, when Quetzalcoatl transformed into The Black Ant and journeyed into the mountain, he found corn and seeds and gave these to man. This generous gesture created the essence of Mexican cuisine. Now The Black Ant offers an invitation to you to forget what you know and come with him, to his Mexico, to his New York City… to his heart.

Jorge Guzman and Chef Mario Hernandez bring you, The Black Ant. A modern Mexican restaurant focusing on the traditional and uniquely sourced ingredients of Mexico in a contemporary, “Cocina de Autor” in Manhattan’s East Village. Chef Hernandez shares his vision of Contemporary Latin Cuisine, harmoniously paired with Jorge’s innovative handcrafted cocktails and together with their partner Cliff Fried; they bring you their passion and love and look forward to having you.

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.1

An excellent Mexican restaurant in the East Village that might serve you some of the most inventive plates you’ve seen in awhile.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 427 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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LA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

It was very slow service, i had to even ask for basic things like water and utensils. The food wasn’t worth the price. I don’t recommend at all.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!

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s
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Nice for a fast meal. Waitstaff was slow but the greeters were very friendly.

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C
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

They are very quick with refilling bottomless brunch drinks! Our glasses were never empty!

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CD
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Food Best Mexican food in the city ... great

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SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was not your ordinary Mexican fare but the food is EXCELLENT. Portions are small.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Was really excited for the meal after checking out the menu and pictures posted. They had a special Cinco De Mayo menu that day which I wasn’t impressed with. The food was nothing that blew me away. I found the dishes to be anticlimactic for what it stated the flavors and stuff would be on the menu. I am disappointed with the food.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was delicious

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MS
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was too loud and the service was not great. We waited for 10 mins while they got tables ready, and the back patio was closed for an event. As a result, all the Saturday brunch crowd was being squeezed into the remaining tables in the front bar and dining area. It was so loud in this area that we couldn't even hear one another from across the table. I had a voucher from Pulsd NYC which I indicated we were going to use, but service was frantic and we decided to leave and go to another spot.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brilliant and unexpected and unusual food combinations. Highly recommended

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l
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was SO delicious. Drinks were very good but the food was amazing. You must try the duck dumplings with mole - AMAZING. We also had the guac, ceviche and a side of shiseido peppers which were very good as well. I left stuffed and not even touching my cobia which was underwhelming in comparison to the other dishes.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

great place for brunch! The bottomless brunch option is a little pricey but the margaritas are great and the staff does a great job of making sure you always have a full drink!

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CP
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was unique and fresh. We really enjoyed every aspect of the meal.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was great. Waiting staff were very nice but service was a little slow.

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d
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant group. Food was fantastic always and they made a lovely occasion of our son’s birthday.

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JF
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The food was ok, but not the dessert (Churros) totally overcooked. No compensation, not even the coffe which was orded afterwards.

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OT
New England
10 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Fun to try. Drinks were great.

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CV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Everything was great and the servers are amazing! I’d recommend maybe better planning when it comes to the table selection. We were in between two big parties but one of the parties seemed crammed. It would have been ideal to have move us and give them our table and sit us somewhere else. Just a thought! But everyone was so nice and great - definitely will go back! THANK YOU for all of your hard work!

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A
London
12 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The food was very average, not what I expected considering this was recommended by Time Out magazine. The service was terrible! Our main course arrived before the starters and the drinks arrived half way through the main meal. The dessert of Churros was terrible, a hard fried wheel of fat. Please don’t waste your time or money by dining here when there are plenty of better Mexican places in the city!

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OT
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was phenomenal. Food fantastic. Wonderful Saturday night

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

Horrible experience. Had an 8:45pm reservation and were seated closer to 9:00pm. Once we sat down we ordered platanos 2 drinks and 2 orders of tacos. The platanos came out in 2 minutes and were cold and very mushy so we sent them back. Then we got our tacos, they were very good. The drinks never came so we said to cancel and paid for our tacos then left. Would not recommend or come back.

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l
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, cool space, second best ceviche I’ve ever eaten both inside and outside of peru.

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MM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great Cocktails! The duck dumplings with mole with AMAZING.

The only downside is how loud it was in the restaurant. It made it difficult to have a conversation with the person next to you.

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CB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Black Ant is always great for lunch or dinner. Came in with family members and enjoyed the happy hour drinks over the weekend (smoky-jalapeño margarita and classic margarita) and quesadilla, fish tacos, and octopus tacos. The food is outstanding and the drinks are awesome. We always come every week and it never fails to deliver! Really good Mexican-American food and they always have a high standard in both service and food quality and drink qualities.

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GF
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Weekend brunch

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b
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful place. Tasty food. Superlative service.

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NB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was literally soooo good. Very interesting evaluated food. However, it was quite expensive.

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OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am a Mexican from Southern California. I would say my standards for Mexican food are pretty high but this place impressed me. Food was extremely flavourlfull and was very authentic. The drinks were also amazing.

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G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Food wasn’t good

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m
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Portions were way too small for the price. I was very surprised it felt more like a French restaurant then a Mexican restaurant. Next time I will go to a French restaurant instead..

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K
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Our waitress Gimena was incredible and really made the experience great - would go back for her service alone!

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S
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it! Had a great meal. Wonderful service, delicious, interesting food.

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t
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We didn't get to Mexico this winter - but the food at the Black Ant far exceeds our gastronomical experiences there - and we eat well there - we eat phenomenally well at The Black Ant!

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a
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Black Ant is my absolute favorite place for brunch. The drinks are absolutely perfect, but the FOOD...omg. The food is so unbelievably tasty. Try the pulpo, because always so perfectly cooked. I get it every time I go, and I’ve been about 5 times now. This place is also very well decorated. Good vibes and a polite staff.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Worst Experience. Fish tacos were really fishy that I couldn't even finish one taco. Everything was really mediocre or worse. Their waiter even intentionally gave me changes minus a dollar because he didn't have any single bills!!! He didn't even say sorry that he didn't have any single bills!

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JB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great restaurant with a unique twist on some dishes would recommend

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This brunch was just fantastic, huge portions of scrumptious food. The staff was fantastic and the decor was just the right amount of funky. Fantastic!

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t
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW - just WOW - beautiful restaurant, which we would never have discovered had friends from out of town not been interested in the bugs on the menu - fear not - its not all bugs - but the handful of dishes with bugs makes it that much more interesting. The food was beautiful, flavorful, and even when with insects - just all delicious. The service was wonderful and helpful. The menu is Mexican with a touch of insects (grasshopper and ant). Go - try it - I'll bet you'll like it!

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AL
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

SUPER SLOW SERVICE ! MOST of the dish’s on line where off the menu ! I CAME for some dish’s that they took off the MENU was not happy ! BEST thing there ,was happy HOUR !

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AR
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

Not planning on going back. Service was poor and inattentive, and they're annoying about "substitutions" for example if you do bottomless brunch, you can't do a normal bloody mary, they only want to serve bloody marias with tequila in them. What difference does it make to them?? I tried ordering hueveos con frijoles and wanted the eggs sunny side up, but nope! So I had to order the chilaquiles which did have the eggs cooked sunny side up, and asked to add the frijoles, which they then charged $6 dollars to add on! Which is a bit ridiculous considering the whole dish was only $15 to begin with. 30% upcharge to add some beans? OK, cool.

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