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El Maguey y La Tuna - 67 Reviews - 321 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002-1127, New York, NY - Romantic Dining Reviews - Phone (212) 473-3744

El Maguey y La Tuna

321 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002-1127 (at Between Attorney St and Ridge St)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 473-3744
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


El Maguey y La Tuna - New York, NY


( 52 )
( 9 )
( 5 )
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fresh food that does not seem slopped together


Poor service, no ambiance, below-average food, and over-priced. Granted it was busy due to Cinco de Mayo, but it was completely chaotic -- our order was messed up and on numerous...

Editorial review from GrubHub 2/23/2014

My order was simple, a jumbo chicken burrito with everything and a side of fries. First time ordering from there and loved it! The food tasted great and i was happy at the time it took to get there. Loved the free salsa and chips with a $15 order. Would order from there again! more

Editorial review from GrubHub 2/26/2013

fresh food that does not seem slopped together more

Editorial review from 3/5/2012

i accidentally rated less then i wanted to. steak sandwich was great, just wish they would slice avocado thinner. more

Very Good Choice for a Traditional Mexican Meal 2/7/2010

I have been to this interesting authentic mexican restaurant twice: once alone and once with friends. Both times the food lived up to the expectations raised by all the great reviews. The burritos are very delicate and melt in the mouth. A couple of moles I tried were very tasty too. The service in this family run restaurant is friendly, attentive, but unobtrusive. The ambience is nice and folksy. It may be a little chilly to sit by the huge windows on a cold day in winter, as the heat in the small dining room is not evenly distributed. They take reservations, but the place does not seem to be too crowded most of the time. Pros: food, service Cons: climate control, location in the city more

fro real mexican food lovers.. 10/15/2009

i used to live in new york and this was my favorite mexican restaurant (and i went all over the place looking for authentic mexican food) it's a must stop whenever i return to the city...the food is great, the pozole (hominy soup) is the best i've had ...their mole one of the best...try the fried banana desert, delicious...but what makes this place so special is the way the owner makes everybody feel at's small but's a no frills place where you go if you want real food and real people... Pros: excellent food, service, Cons: a little bit cramped (but cozy) more

u guys r fools 9/3/2009

to the ppl that r looking for tex-mex...go elsewhere! this is not tex-mex!! it is typical,authentic mexican food!!! i come from the same small town in mexico as the owners do, and let me tell u, this place is the real deal!! so to the guy looking for cheese && lettuce on his tacos, go to tacobell!!! and also, go back to texas, new york doesn't want you!! Pros: awesome food!! Cons: too far from me more

The waiter assured me the mole poblano was... 11/22/2008

The waiter assured me the mole poblano was "excellent", but it was only pretty good. At least you could... more

The waiter assured me the mole poblano was... 11/21/2008

susan Provided by Partner
The waiter assured me the mole poblano was "excellent", but it was only pretty good. At least you could taste the bitterness of chocolate (I've ha... more

Editorial review from GrubHub 7/23/2008

Great brunch. Love this place! more

It's Mexican food. Not Tex-Mex. 11/28/2007

This is not Tex-Mex (there is a difference), so don't come here expecting it. But if you want good, honest, downhome Mexican food like they make on the border (which is where I grew up), this is your place and it will not disappoint. The meat is pulled, not ground. The emphasis is on flavor and not heat index (and if you want your salsa spicier, they have hotter salsa in the back; just ask for it - I usually mix a spoonful or two of the hotter stuff into the milder stuff). I have always loved everything I've ordered, but my favorite thing is their posole, and they make it just like my mom does. When I can't get on a plane and I need a taste of home, I come here. It's well worth the trip to the LES. Pros: casual, good food, friendly service Cons: small, not much in the way of ambience more

Best in New York, Average in Texas. 9/12/2007

After reading all the positive reviews, I was very excited about trekking to the outer region known as lower very east side. I should have known reading the menu online that it might disappoint. To caveat, I've spent most of my adult life in Texas, and I like the basics tex mex/american - my favorite things are far from adventurous: beef tacos or fajitas - but I've had enchiladas, mole, etc. Alas, I never realized it could be so hard to get basics downs like chips and salsa - I like my chips very thin and crispy, and I like my salsa basic with kick - literally roasted roma tomatoes, Serrano peppers, salt and pepper. Unfortunately, this place was average on all this - hard thick chips that chipped my teeth, and a very mild/sweet salsa which had cilantro and onions, but no kick. They didn't even have ground beef tacos - and the only toppings they had on their tacos were onions, guacamole, and pico. 90% of tacos I've eaten in Texas come with lettuce and cheese. Server recommended the mole chicken - I went with the Steak Asada which was basically the steak fajita not chopped - oversalted and well done - I like my meat a little rare. The positives was the service was good and friendly, and the margaritas were tasty and strong - and cheap during happy hour $4 from 6-9pm. Unlike many here, my search will go on, and Chipotle will still sadly reign as the best tex mex, particularly for the value - next up though is Mexi Mama's. Pros: Tasty, strong, and reasonably priced (during happy hour) margaritas. Cons: Chips, Salsa, Tex/Mex American not good, location more

Great Food for Little Money 9/10/2007

We found this place to be really tasty and economical. Service was very friendly. Not the best looking place, but really felt like we were taken care of. I am not a big fan of Mexican food and they really won me over. Best of what the LES used to be. more

GREAT FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7/18/2007

Great food for a reasonable price, was not a big fan of Mexican food till someone brought me to this restaurant. Food is real good and there desserts left me licking my fingers, honestly I left saying I will definitely come back , very nice date spot. The customer service is real good everyone is friendly and make you feel at home, good date spot good food that wont wipe away your finances, nice atmosphere good food will recommend it to anyone!!!! Pros: FOOD more

Definitely NOT the best Mexican in NYC 5/6/2007

Poor service, no ambiance, below-average food, and over-priced. Granted it was busy due to Cinco de Mayo, but it was completely chaotic -- our order was messed up and on numerous occasions they put food on our table that was for someone else and just picked up the dishes w/o any apologies. The prices were raised for the special ""holiday"" menu which was similar the regular menu . Pros: Seemingly authentic atmosphere Cons: bad service, over-priced, below average photo more

As good as it gets in New York 2/27/2007

I give this restaurant a ten out of ten only because it is in New York, where it's way easier to get good anything than it is to get good Mexican food. The waitstaff is always extremely courteous and friendly, and the food is about as good as you are going to get in New York (Oh my god! Somebody actually grills their fajitas instead of sauteing them with 9,000 green bell peppers!). If you are from the southwest, it won't make you reminisce, but you're not gonna do better 'till you go home to visit the 'rents. Delivery is a crapshoot - sometimes fine - sometimes not so much - You're better off dining in. Pros: It ain't the southwest, but it's as good as it gets in NY more

Quality Mexican in Alphabet City 12/9/2006

This homey Mexican is cozy and unpretentious, serving all the classics and a few home-style specialties. We had the Enchiladas al Maguey and Mole Verde, both of which were very good. The green mole sauce was fresh, just spicy enough, and delicious. The rice 'n' beans were a bit on the stale side, but so it goes. Service was very good. The overall rating is porbably erring on the high side, but the quality and the authenticity are there. Pros: Food, service, drinks Cons: Too far on the LES more

Good food, Great dessert 11/21/2006

Good authentic mexican food. The location leaves a little to be desired, but the food and service make up for it. I would recommend definitely getting the hot chocolate. I felt as though I was in heaven when I drank it. No need to make reservations, it doesn't seem to get crowded. Pros: Inexpensive, dessert, service Cons: Location more

Unique Mexican Flavors 11/14/2006

El Maguey y La Tuna is long name I can barely remember , we always refer to it as Maria's place. more

El Sabor De La Raza! 11/13/2006

The first time I ate at this heavenly slice of Mexico I thought to myself, ""Finally, REAL Mexican food in NYC!"". Everything from the way the place is humbly decorated, to Vicente Fernandez singing through the speakers, the friendly staff of people who take real pride in the food they serve and the traditional recipes they love to share. This place oozes warmth, comfort and excellence. I am Mexican and let me tell you, I actually shed a tear the first time I tried their moble poblano. It brought a flood of memories of my grandmother to my mind, and to my tastebuds. They have it down, and I tend to be very critical of anything calling itself Mexican in NYC. Trust me, their beans and rice are authentic and this is telling of the real deal. The mole pipian, the sopes, the pozole and pancita soups, these are all wonderful! They used to serve lengua (tongue) tacos but too many people were afraid to order them so they took them off the menu. Too bad, they were the best. I have nothing but good things to say about this place. The margaritas use actual juice and my mango margarita had lovely mango nectar in it. MMMM. I keep taking my friends there and they all understand what real Mexican food is like now. Voy a volver, volver, volver!!! Pros: Best Mexican in NYC, bar none and what great people who work there Cons: No more lengua on the menu more

Only at the Maguey! 8/25/2006

I went to the maguey and I had a great time. more
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Menu for El Maguey y La Tuna

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Traditional Mexican Cuisine & Margaritas in NYC's Lower East Side!

Owner Message

  • Happy Hour:Tue-Fri 11am-7pm.
    Cocktails, Sangria & Margarita Specials

    Mexican Brunch:Tue-Sun 11am-4pm

    Since 1993, El Maguey Y La Tuna has been a family run business serving the general public a taste of traditional Mexican cuisine.For 10 years,El Maguey y La Tuna became the prime location in Williamsburg Brooklyn specializing in Regional cooking from Puebla, Mexico.In the midst of business flourishing,El Maguey Y La Tuna was temporarily shut down to an unexpected fire in the building.However, not even a fire could stop the longevity of this family run business.

    During the reconstruction stages,the family decided not only to rebuild but to relocate to the Lower East Side of NYC.Besides being home, the family moved El Maguey Y La Tuna to the Lower East Side because it observed a vacuum of traditional Mexican Cuisine.Years later, El Maguey Y La Tuna continues to serve residents.


  • The Scene
    It takes a few minutes to get used to the lighting--the red bulbs cast a pink veil onto the red-floral vinyl tablecloths. You'll have to go through the kitchen to use the...

  • 5/17/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Sun 11am-11pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, Lower East Side