Tacos are, typically a meaty affair.
An herbivore hitting up a Mexican joint might find themselves searching the menu for anything devoid of meat.
More often than not, the answer is a pile of peppers and onions on top of black beans.
Better fill up on guac, or you’ll go hungry.
We scoured the city for the most tantalizing options that veg heads will enjoy, from nopales to cauliflower get ready to take a bite.
Chavela’s (736 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn)
This Crown Heights staple is almost always packed to the gills with patrons washing down this restaurant’s Mexican fare with all manner of margaritas. Vegetarians can chase down their taco remnants just as much as their carnivore counterparts can because Chavela’s offers some delicious veggie options that include their amazing Nopales taco - that’s a taco filled with grilled cactus.
There are two other vegetarian tacos on the menu, the first being a mushroom taco and the second being a black bean and avocado one, and what’s even better is that you can make all three of these tacos vegan if you want.
Empellon Al Pastor (132 St Mark’s Place, Manhattan)
Empellon Al Pastor patron favorite is the titular al pastor taco of this tequila bar and taqueria’s namesake, in addition to its staggeringly long list of tequilas and mezcals, but vegetarians need not stick to a liquid diet when entering this East Village establishment, as there is a delicious cactus taco on the menu.
Order a few of these guys can wash them down with one of the fantastic margaritas on the menu.
Jajaja (162 East Broadway, Manhattan)
You needn’t scan the menu at Jajaja for the bare minimum vegetarian options, oh no - this place’s dishes are entirely plant-based.
Every single thing on this menu is vegetarian. There are seven tacos to choose from including a tasty Buffalo cauliflower taco, a chipotle sweet potato offering, and crispy fish taco that is 100% vegetarian.
Chela & Garnacha (33-09 36th Ave, Queens)
This Queens-based Mexican restaurant started life as a taco truck and has since planted its roots as a bricks-and-mortar establishment in Astoria, serving up a trio of delicious vegetarian tacos that include the all-important nopales taco.
The other two veggie options are a mushroom taco, Hongos al Ajillo, or a vegetable taco; both worth a tasty mention.
Salvation Taco (East 39th St, Manhattan)
Salvation Taco’s owners, April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, aren’t purporting to be serving authentic Mexican-cuisine by any means. That’s why the vegetarian taco on offer at this rooftop restaurant, sort-of-taqueria, has a filling that reads as if it’s come from an Indian restaurant and placed in a corn tortilla.
The taco in question is filled with a cauliflower coconut curry, farro piccolo, and fried mint - quite the deviation from this nopales filled list so far.
Dirt Candy (86 Allen St, Manhattan)
If Salvation Taco’s veggie option seemed like it was a world away from the Mexican fare on this list, then Dirt Candy’s taco is in a whole other galaxy.
There’s no corn tortilla here; this brussel sprout ‘taco’ is held in lettuce ‘shells.’ The dish is served on a sizzling stone slab and comes with lettuce wraps as well as fillings (including avocado, jalapenos, pickled red onion, and sliced radish.)
Los Tacos No 1 (75 9th Ave, Chelsea Market, Manhattan)
Deep in the heart of Chelsea Market, Los Tacos No 1 attracts tourists and natives alike with their amazing tacos, one of which is the nopales taco.
You can choose to have your grilled cactus served to you in either a corn or flour tortilla shell, but you can go one further and get yourself a taco shell made entirely with cheese by ordering their Quesa-taco. It’s a secret menu item, made by pouring Monterey Jack cheese onto the griddle and frying it until it crisps up into a golden brown shell.
VSpot (156 5th Ave, Brooklyn)