1. Rockaway Taco
Neighborhood: Rockaway Beach
Address: 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
Rockaway Taco doesn't sell tacos—they sell a taco experience, a delicious escape, particularly for locals still ensnared by the lingering after-effects of Sandy. It's clear co-owner Andrew Field knows this as he smiles, eyes squinting in the sun. His humble surf shack anchors a community, a fact that's undoubtedly motivated Field and his crew to get Rockaway up and running (despite great difficulties) in time for fish taco season. Yes, that's a thing.
Rockaway’s fish tacos are bliss. Seriously. The tilapia's browned coating is gluttonously full-flavored. It has a puffiness and subtle sweetness that's reminiscent of the richness of food found at fairs. The tortilla is crisp, almost crunchy, and covered with an amazingly messy mound of guacamole and apple cider vinegar marinated shreds of cabbage. You park your short-clad ass on a hot bench and dig in, and guacamole inevitably ends up on your warm cheeks. Yes, it's an undeniable fact: This is the happiest taco experience you've ever had.