Bethany Radcliff


Can a stomach smile? I think so, because I’m sure my stomach was positively beaming after the delicious meal I consumed at Guadalajara De Dia II Corp. on 566 Seneca Ave. in Ridgewood. These tacos are absolutely delicious, and I’m going to do my best to try and describe to you what make these some of the best tacos in our neighborhood.

Almost everyday, I walk past Guadalajara De Dia II after exiting the Seneca M Station on my way home from work. The fairly large space sits on a prime corner plot, where Seneca Ave and Menahan Street come together. The owner, Isabel Ponce, said he started the restaurant 12 years ago, and has been running it ever since.

Mr. Ponce behind the counter at his restaurant, Guadalajara De Dia II.

This wasn’t my first time to Guadalajara. In fact, it’s become my hands-down-favorite taco spot in all of Ridgewood. And you can trust me—I lived ten years of my life in Texas, where I survived on tacos. I know a good taco, and I give these tacos ten stars out of five! I like Guadalajara because it’s not trying to be glamorous or fancy—it’s completely genuine. What you see is what you get: fresh, simple, authentic food.

On my way inside I made a beeline straight for the refrigerator case on the right wall. In the center of the case sits a row of colorful Jarritos Mexican sodas. I grabbed my favorite, grapefruit. I walked up to the deli case, and I decided to order three different types of tacos: carnitas (fried pork), tinga de pollo (spicy chicken), and cecina (salty beef.)

Jarritos sodas are available in the refrigerator case, along with many other refreshing options.

The tacos arrived promptly, in double corn tortillas, topped with the perfect amount of fresh chopped cilantro and onion, and my absolute favorite topping—a very generous dollop of fresh guacamole. That in itself is enough for me to succumb to calling this my favorite taco joint, but there’s more.

Guadalajara De Dia II has perfected melt-in-your-mouth meat, especially with the tinga de pollo. Of all the meat options, the tinga de pollo is by far my favorite. If you love spicy foods, this is the taco you should get. It’s just spicy enough to where you don’t feel like you need a sip of water after every bite, and the slow-roasted flavor is exceptional—the perfect balance of juicy and tender. 

The carnitas were delicious without being too greasy. The cecina was brined just the right amount, and sliced to a perfect thinness. The red and green sauces that are served with every meal bring out the flavor, without being overpowering. I recommend both!

The beautiful tacos at Guadalajara De Dia. Chicken tinga on the right, carnitas in the center, and beef cecina on the left. 

My other favorite menu item is the nacho plate, which arrives loaded with tortilla chips, beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, guacamole, and whatever meat you like (there are many options!). The sprawling menu also offers tortas and cemitas, tostadas, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, sopas, and more. Mr. Ponce recommended I try the quesadilla next time.

So, head over to Guadalajara De Dia II, order some tacos, grab a Jarritos or Mexican Coke, do some light produce shopping, and walk out smiling. This is, without a doubt, my favorite taco shop in our neighborhood. Eat up! I know you’ll love it.

A street view of Guadalajara De Dia II in Ridgewood.