Neighborhood: Upper East Side, Lincoln Center, and Union Square
Address: 1063 1st Ave.; 61 Columbus Circle; and 9 East 18th St.
Sometimes, we wake up in the middle of the night salivating at visions we've had of Rosa's chunky guacamole. Their freshly whipped-up guac can inspire addiction to the green stuff like no other.
Despite having evolved into a mini-chain, Rosa's slick treatment of Mexican fare is still undeniably awesome thanks to strict adherence to authentic ingredients and flavors, and, obviously, guacamole made at your table.
The enchiladas suizas, made with handmade corn tortillas, freshly shucked tomatillos and the ideal amount of cilantro (read: piles of it), and the chamorro, a mammoth, just-crispy-enough pork shank paired with chipotle creamed spinach are both home runs in our book. A recent revamping has utilized the tortillera's gems in a slew of inventive tacos that are lighter than Rosa's regular fare, but still retain the same big flavors. Our go-to, the Tacos De Panza con Callos (pictured) pair perfectly seared diver scallops with super-savory Kurobuta pork belly offset by a bright citrus-habanero salsa. Pair those with a frozen pomegranate margarita, and the splurge suddenly seems entirely warranted.