Rockaway Beach feels more like a tiny beach town then a part of the sprawling New York City landscape. Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the area is “Stronger Then The Storm,” completely rebuilt and attracting huge crowds. One of the most luring attractions in Queens is Rockaway Taco, a small shake serving ridiculously good tacos, fruit drinks and traditional sides.
Sunburnt crowds wrap around the block waiting to order at this cash only spot. The menu is straightforward, four different fillings with or without guacamole. A few sides are available without much description, and there’s no time to ask questions. Make decisions quickly, and head out back to grab a seat while you anxiously await your name to be called.
Grown men sip on bright pink or yellow drinks without any judgement since you do not want to miss the incredible fresh juices. Watermelon is a crowd favorite, while I opted for to try the equally refreshing pineapple-mint drink. The perfect refreshment on an insanely hot summer day.
One fish taco, and one carnita (without guacamole) were topped with radishes, cabbage slaw, and cilantro. Flaky, beer-battered tilapia taco is also topped with a spicy crema adding a creamy richness. On the side, I followed the advice of a fellow FourSquare user, ordering the cucumber salad which is way more exciting then that sounds. Cucumbers, jicama and mango sit in a spicy vinaigrette served in a Ziploc baggie. Spicy and sweet all at once, I opted to get a little less messy, asking for a fork to dig into the bag.
The fish taco was my favorite part of the meal, perfectly fried and light with the overflowing toppings bound to the fish and tortilla by the spicy crema. The ground meat in the carnitas taco doesn’t pack the same “wow” flavor, but is still pretty, damn good.
Take a trip all the way down the A train, learn about the other S train (no, this is not the one between Grand Central and Times Square) and experience all the hype. Rockaway Taco is the real deal, simple, fresh ingredients that are absolutely delicious. Spend a great day at the beach, the indulge in seriously awesome eats.
Rockaway Taco – 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd – Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY
Location: Rockaway Beach, Queens
Perfect For: Authentic Dining, Cheap Eats, Impressing Foodies, Borough Exploration
Reservations: Not Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Fish Taco, Cucumber Salad, Watermelon or Pineapple-Mint Juice