Why Come Here? Dodge the tourists and have a solid Mexican meal in the Theater District

Right Amount for 2: an app and 2 tacos or quesadillas

tacos, Toloache, best restaurant theater district, times square

Assorted Tacos (courtesy of Yelp!)

As New Yorkers, we do our best to avoid the ten block stretch of Midtown West filled with bright eyed tourists staring at brighter lights without a semblance of the appropriate speed to walk on a Manhattan street. But at some point, probably before taking in a show, you will be forced to enter Times Square and will need to satiate yourself in the surround environs. For most, this means sucking it up and eating either at a chain like Applebees or Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or having an extremely mediocre pre-theater pre-fixe of the Italian of French variety. There are, however, a few legitimate options hidden in this culinary wasteland and Toloache is one of the best.

Toloache comes from the team behind Yerba Buena and occupies a bi-level space closer to Eighth Avenue and therefore offers a little reprieve from the hubbub to the east. The interior is sort of Irish Pub meets Mexican restaurant with dark wood and mosaic tiles. The first level draws a decent size crowd at happy hour, but the upstairs provides a quieter option. Overall, it’s nice enough for mom and dad but lively enough for a group a friends before a show.

The food is best described as approachable gourmet Mexican. Think sections of Ceviche, Quesadillas and Tacos with toppings like shrimp, brisket and even grasshopper. Don’t expect a massive helping, but with most smaller plates coming in at $15 it’s a moderately priced option for the area. From what I’ve seen on two visits, you can’t really go wrong on this menu or with any of their signature cocktails. And the tortilla chips are freshly made and among the city’s best. Below are my top picks:

Rojo Guacamole 2 Star Dish If you like Chipotle in your guac, you’ll be very happy you started your meal with this. Split if with a friend and order some tacos and you’ve got a solid meal for about $20 a head.

Costilla & Tuetano Tacos 3 Star Dish The unexpected combination of short ribs, bone marrow and thai basil produced a flavor thats rich and spicy but refreshing.

Quesadilla de Cameron 2 Star Dish A nice blend of sweet and spicy with the pineapple salsa balancing the chili de arbol.

Toloache
251 W. 50th Street (8th Ave & B’way)
New York, NY
Toloache on Urbanspoon