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ALL THE BEST SPOTS FOR HEALTHY-ISH TACOS IN NEW YORK CITY

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MADDIE FLAGER

MAY 15, 2019

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IMAGE VIA @TACOMBI | INSTAGRAM

Who says Taco Tuesday has to be loaded with cheese, carbs, and grease? With vegan and gluten-free options, clean protein picks, and tons of veggies, these taco spots are what we call ‘healthyish’ at its best. Even better, you’ll feel better Wednesday morning without having to sacrifice the best day of the work week — though, no one will call you out if you want a margarita on the side. Taco Dumbo even makes ’em with cold-pressed juices and mint, hibiscus, and rose rims.

Is it Tuesday yet?

This spot is more upscale than your typical taco spot, but it’s worth a splurge for some great Mexican food in the heart of Greenwich Village. The daily taco specials are always interesting, with options like sweetbreads and brisket. Meanwhile, lighter staple tacos include Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds and Lobster with Sweet Corn and Epazote. Add more veggies to your plate with sides like the Green Goddess salad and squash blossom tomatoes.

Al Horno Lean Mexican Kitchen lives up to its name. The healthy Mexican spot offers whole wheat and gluten-free taco shells and protein options like grass-fed steak, turkey chorizo, and cactus. You don’t see that every day. There’s no frying or oil used at the restaurant, and they swapped margs for a juice bar. And with five locations throughout Manhattan, you’ve got easy access pretty much anywhere you go.

Southern California-style Mexican food is hard to come by in NYC, but Taco Dumbo gets it right. Inside, you’ll find surfer decor and servers who live by the phrase “you evoke what wins,” or ‘yeww’. As for the food, tacos come in either a corn tortilla or a lettuce jicama wrap, and there’s an Impossible Taco on the menu for vegetarians. The best part: the build-your-own cold-pressed juice margaritas. Find branches of this cool hippie spot in Midtown, near Penn Station, and, naturally, in DUMBO.

As the name might hint at, Tacombi’s menu is nearly all tacos. If you’re in the mood for eggs, they’ve got three delicious breakfast options served all day. Traditional options feature fresh-caught Carolina shrimp, free-range chicken thighs, and fresh-caught Pacific Cod. And rather than tons of cheese and sour cream, most are heavy on the fresh veggies. The restaurant also makes their own salsas, juices, and tortillas (corn, so they’re GF), and leaves out preservatives and added sugars. Find it in Flatiron, Nolita, on Bleeker St., and at the bottom of the Empire State Building.

If you steer clear of the all-you-can-eat Monday deal, Cascabel has some pretty healthy options. Plus, they’re all delicious. Win-win. We’re talking crispy yellowfin tuna belly, roasted shrimp, and a bangin’ veggie option with mushrooms, pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, queso fresco, and more. If you’re not feeling tacos, the kale quinoa salad is a solid bet, as is the quinoa breakfast bowl (they do brunch!).

For a healthy (and cheap) grab-and-go option, Otto’s is a solid pick. They’ve got four locations around Manhattan and a casual vibe that matches the real Otto’s SoCal roots. Tacos are $3 each and come with salsa, cilantro, and onion, plus chicken, carnitas, veggies, or shrimp. Fitt Tip: always add the guac. It never disappoints.

Leave it to Park Slope to have a vegan Spanish restaurant (there’s an East Village location too, Manhattanites). There are two tacos on the menu—the seitan carne molida or the portobello spinach—and both can come on GF rice tortillas for an extra $2. The menu has so much else to choose from. Beyond tacos, they’ve got vegan arepas, quesadillas, empanadas, and burritos. It’s hard to find that many cheesy vegan options elsewhere.

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