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“Favorite mexican in the city!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Cantinero

El Cantinero
86 University Pl, Frnt 1, New York City, NY 10003-4549 (Greenwich Village)
212-255-9378
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Ranked #4,919 of 11,777 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Favorite mexican in the city!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

I live in the city and probably go here once per month. Happy hour in the bar is a lot of fun. Many different flavors of margaritas. A few times I've seen them put out a free little buffet of chicken and rice, chicken wings, and taquitos. As the evening goes on, the place gets packed! Downstairs, the restaurant is quite kitschy but in a fun way. Their salsa is terrific. Chimichangas and chicken fajitas are excellent.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    16
    7
    5
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bronx, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“All-night happy hour anyone?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

Stumbled upon this restaurant just last week and had a great time. Wasn't expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised by how cheap, yet well made the margaritas were and how tasty the food was. Happy-hour is only valid in the bar area (which is loud and can get hot), but my friend and I got a couple of drinks there and then moved to the garden area for dinner. Just make sure you finish your drink at the bar b/c you can't go to a table for dinner with it. If it hadn't been for such a long day, we probably would have gone back to the bar for more drinks and dancing after dinner, but we opted to go home instead. Definitely enjoyed ourselves, service was good, waitstaff and bartenders were friendly, prices are reasonable and food and drinks overall good. We plan on going back...and this time maybe for their Saturday Happy Hour (unheard of around these areas!).

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Morristown, New Jersey
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Good Mexican food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

Mexican restaurants are going to serve up very heavy food no matter what - there is no escaping that. This place did not fail to disappoint on that regard. The food was pretty good, however, it left you feeling super-full and rather uncomfortable. I must say that the service was good and the location is superb, University Place is full of nice restaurants that I hope to try out one day!

We started with the "Plato Loco", their sampler appetizer. It came with flaunta, chimichangas, chicken wings, nachos with chorizo, and guac/sour cream. Everything was very oily, but good nonetheless. Great dish for a table full of people.

I do not remember what everyone else got, but I got the Chimichangas for $13.50. I thought they were delicious! Every time I go to a Mexican restaurant I usually end up getting quesadillas, however, I decided to change it up a bit. Great decision, I loved this dish. It was extremely good and extremely filling.

Overall, I had a good experience here. My only complaint was that it was a little pricey for Mexican food, but I guess everything is expensive in the city.

Definitely go for a night out!

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Really nice Mexican restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

This was our neighborhood Mexican restaurant for 21 years; we went there often and always enjoyed the food, the friendliness of the service, and the sort of kitchy Mexican decor. I never went upstairs to the bar for Happy Hour but did recently. The $5 Margaritas were good, the entire floor is considered the "bar" with tables and high top tables, and by the time we left, the place was jumping. It is a nice find, if you want to spend some time drinking and socializing. Not all $5 drinks are included in the Happy Hour deal, so if you are particular, you probably want to check out the drink list. Beers are also $5. And if you choose to stay and eat, it is good. It is spicy enough for this gringo, but I suppose if you wanted it spicier, you could ask them. They are very accommodating.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
228 reviews 228 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“pretty bad”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2011

This place is always busy with students and I've been here before only because friends like to meet there. It's not really a bargain and everything, from drinks to food to service to decor, is pretty bad. The bar upstairs gets a loud and lively crowd. Downstairs, if you don't care much about good food or having a nice experience dining, then it's fine. The waiters are not friendly at all and the food is bland. Why is it so difficult to find good Mexican food in NYC?

  • Visited August 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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