Every Tuesday, Bushwick Daily features one of the many beloved taco joints in our area, recounting why we love these places so much.
After making the move to New York following a two-year stint in San Francisco’s Mission District, I craved an authentic taco spot to call my own and fill the void of the Bay Area’s finest. Situated in the heart of Bushwick, the New Santa Ana Restaurant does just that, tying together flavor and freshness to deliver the perfect street taco experience!
Located on the corner of Irving Avenue and Stanhope Street, a mural adorning the side of the restaurant makes a bold claim of being home to the best al pastor in the area. It’s not wrong. Prepared fresh every day and roasted on a pineapple-topped spit, the al pastor is some of the best I’ve ever had (sorry SF!).
In spring and summertime, when Bushwick’s blocks are full of energy and life, the New Santa Ana Restaurant lures in the ravenous passersby by plying their trade outside. You can eat in or grab your tacos to go without having to leave the sidewalk.
An offshoot of the famous Santa Ana Deli a mere block away, the New Santa Ana Restaurant offers a wider array of menu options in a restaurant setting with a local feel. The walls are decked with colorful regalia and framed pictures that cast an eye back to the Mexican Revolution of 1910, while music and conversation provide the perfect backdrop to the home-grown dining experience. The friendliness and flavor of the Santa Ana Deli have been carried over under the watchful eye of Polo Teco.
Taking our seats inside on a recent visit (I typically order outside & eat on the move when the weather’s nice), we started with our usual plateful of al pastor tacos. Wrapped in a soft tortilla with the bare necessities of cilantro, diced onions & crunchy slivers of radish, the famous roasted pork ties it all together. A subtle, spicy warmth, punctuated with hints of sweetness from the pineapple needs nothing more than a squeeze of lime and dash of salsa verde to give you the perfect taco.
For $3 apiece, you’d be hard pressed to find a tastier bargain in the borough. We mixed things up and got a shrimp burrito as well ($13), which came with a healthy serving of homemade guac and a generous portion of salad. Eaten with voracious appetite, the tacos and burrito prove to be a hearty meal.
We finished the meal by tucking into a syrupy traditional flan ($3), which was the ideal sweet finish to the savory, spiced goodness of the tacos. Whether you sit in or take out, you’ll always yearn for your next visit to the New Santa Ana.
With such a vast array of restaurants springing up around Bushwick, it’s important to remember that some of the best genuine local fare is often simple and unadulterated. The New Santa Ana Restaurant packs crisp ingredients and deliciousness into every bite to deliver an authentic taco for those balmy summer evenings.
New Santa Ana Restaurant
Larger, newer offshoot of Santa Ana Deli, serving tacos, burritos, tortas, and tostadas.
189 Irving Ave (Dekalb L)
Mon, Tue, Thu: 2:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Fri-Sun: 2:00 pm – 12:00 am
Follow The New Santa Ana Restaurant on Facebook.
All images by Jonathan Barnes for Bushwick Daily.