Dining Out: La Gringa Taqueria

May 16, 2014 Heather Chin
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There is no shortage of Brooklyn restaurants that include some form of taco on their menu, but too often, they take a back seat to the featured items available. At Williamsburg’s La Gringa Taqueria “We were on vacation in California, where the Mexican food was pretty amazing,” said co-owner and Williamsburg native Adalis Velez of their menu’s origins. “So we started testing things, but couldn’t figure out the flavors [until] we had an expert consultant come in.”

The grilled tilapia tacos (two for $7.50) are tender and stuffed to bursting with tender, meaty pieces of well-seasoned fish. The chicken tacos (two for $7) are surprisingly soft and delightfully chunky, balanced in flavor with all the amazing fillings. Try it as a burrito ($8.50) and rest easy knowing that it is the most-ordered item on La Gringa’s menu.

All tacos, burritos, naked burritos (aka burrito-salads) and quesadillas come with your choice of pulled pork, chicken, steak and meatless fillings, cooked to order and served with sweet plantains, fresh pico de gallo and Monterey jack cheese. Rice—cooked in vegetable stock—and your choice of pinto or black beans also come with burritos and meatless options.

Sauces available are chipotle (roasted garlic, cilantro and brown sugar), bright and tangy green tomatillo, hot red picante and cool sour cream.

You can also choose between regular and picante guacamole, and regular fresh corn tortillas and blue corn tortillas, which have a bit more personality and are a fun visual contrast against the bright tomatoes, sweet yellow plantains ($1.50 for a side order) and green lettuce.

La Gringa’s nachos ($6-$7.50)—blow-torched to crunchy, melty perfection—are another must. “This is an express restaurant so we wanted it healthy and fast,” explained Velez. “Normally nachos take 45 minutes [to prepare], so the blow torch is fun and helps people get in and out. It’s a normal butane, crème brulee torch. We also use it for the quesadillas.”

Finally, what is a trip to a taqueria without margaritas? At La Gringa, bigger is the better deal, at $5 for eight ounces and $7 for a tall 16-ounce glass. It’s just as well because the restaurant’s classic lime margarita is potent and refreshing without being overwhelmingly alcoholic.

Non-alcoholic beverages ($1 to $2.50) are also available, one of our favorites being Mexican Jarritos soda ($2.25) in tamarind, grapefruit, mandarin, fruit punch and pineapple flavors.

If you have time, grab your order and relax in the backyard garden, which has tables, a ping pong table, and local art adorning the walls as it does the restaurant’s interior.

A great neighborhood joint, La Gringa Taqueria offers a Caribbean twist on traditional Tex-Mex cuisine and is a healthy, fresh, eco-friendly, vegan-friendly and fast option for harried Brooklynites who don’t want to sacrifice flavor and quality for speed or convenience, and is a solid option for late night dinners and party catering alike.


800 Grand Avenue (between Bushwick Avenue and Humboldt Street)



Weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., to midnight on Fridays

Saturdays: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Sundays: 12 p.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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