Guacamole is a deceptively difficult dish to master. You can try time and time again to make it at home with the most convincing online recipe you can find but it will never be the same. Instead, on National Guacamole Day, we can step into the rich company of some of New York City’s top restaurants. As this dish is a common staple in many Latino restaurants—whether you want it paired with plantain chips, pita chips, or doused in pomegranate seeds—your options are endless. In honor of this year’s National Guacamole Day, let’s take a look at some of New York City’s best guacamole dishes.
With two NYC locations, this avocado-based eatery is a fast-casual food spot that satiates your every craving. Their signature guac comes with baked pita chips, and gets raving reviews. There is avocado in everything they offer here, from breakfast toasts to smoothies.
With four locations to choose from in New York City, as well as more across the country, this Mexican restaurant maintains its classic and traditional appeal as a Latino company. They have been serving their signature guacamole dish since 1984. Always freshly prepared table-side for patrons, this fresh guacamole is the absolute real deal and jam-packed with the colliding flavors of jalapeño, tomato, cilantro, and onion. Staffed with their own Master Mezcalier, this also doubles as the perfect spot for a carefully curated drinks menu.
Named after a flowering plant that has famously been known for its use in love potions, Toloache is a contemporary Mexican bistro that offers a large menu of traditional dishes and a variety of guacamole dishes that fit any mood. The Tradicional guacamole dish is your milder option containing the run of the mill ingredients–avocado, tomato, onion cilantro, and a hint of serrano peppers. Their medium approach is even more unique–the Frutas guacamole is a fusion of pomegranate, Vidalia onion, apples, mangos, and avocado spiced with habanero sauce and Thai basil. If you’re not one to shy away from a bit of heat, the spicy guacamole entitled Rojo may be more up your alley. This red-hot dish contains avocado, tomato, chipotle, queso fresco, and red onion. If you can’t make up your mind like us, you can also just get el trio de guacamoles for $27, también!
For some great and flavorful guacamole, hit up this cozy neighborhood spot. Slightly hot with the addition of raw chiles, this vivid dish will easily strike you as some of the best in the city. This dish comes served with hand-pressed tortillas, chips, and some smoky pasilla de Oaxaca salsa. You can really see the care and tradition that goes into making the food.
This is a great comfort food spot for those who are big fans of traditional Mexican food with a delicious twist. Guacamole Taqueria also offers a variety of guacamole dishes, from the traditional serving to el fresco, with mango or pomegranate seeds, or el caribeño, with cheese and vibrant cilantro. Each guacamole dish also comes served with totopos, which is an alternative take on the tortilla.
As head chef Alex Stupak states, their guacamole functions as their “bread and butter.” At Empellón Cocina, they prefer to keep it simple with the basic, but strong, ingredients of avocados, cilantro, chiles, lime juice, and sea salt. Although guacamole is not necessarily a staple in everyday Mexican food culture, they recognize its role in how people enjoy Mexican restaurants now. As he states on the restaurant’s website, “More interestingly, I’ve learned that if you build trust through the comforting and familiar, you create an opportunity to lure people toward the more daring and exotic.”
The Black Ant
The Black Ant is a modern Mexican restaurant focusing on the traditional and uniquely sourced ingredients of Mexico in the East Village. Their guacamole is a bit more eccentric with its use of green apples, sesame seeds, and black ant salt. This eccentric restaurant even uses crispy grasshoppers, worms, and more. But there’s no need to order all of that–we can just stick to the guacamole for now.
As the infamous ABC Kitchen’s followup, their innovative guacamole is a great way to start off the colorful flavors available on the menu. Served with sprouts, sunflower seeds for some added crunch, and sungold tomato salsa to accompany a warm plate of chips. This unique recipe follows the iconic (but deeply controversial) pea-guacamole dish that ABC Cocina was serving upon its 2013 opening.