Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Restaurant Reviews: Dos Toros Taqueria

It's no secret that New York City isn't exactly a Mexican food haven, which is a bit tough, since I love Mexican food. That's why I was completely ecstatic to discover Dos Toros Taqueria, a fast-casual, Mission-style burrito place with three locations in NYC.

Now, before I go any further with this review, let me be clear:  Dos Toros doesn't exactly have a veg-friendly reputation.  Not only did they get into a bit of hot water back in 2010 (before I'd heard of them) for neglecting to note that their "Basic (No Meat)" burrito contained rice made with animal-based stock, but most people don't even realize that one of their locations has vegan options.

I'm hoping that this post will help change all of that.

So, wanna know which Dos Toros location is vegan friendly, and what I like to order there?  I bet you do.

The super-secret fact about Dos Toros is that their West Village location now offers vegetarian rice (which is, indeed, vegan).  However, it's only available at this location, and you have to ask for it!  (This fact is apparently so unknown, that when I posted a picture of my Dos Toros tacos on Instagram, a debate about their veganess immediately ensued.  Fortunately, I was able to allay any concerns, and quickly spread the word about those scrumptious tacos.)

Dos Toros is often compared to Chipotle, since they offer essentially the same options: tacos; burritos; quesadillas; platos (like "bowls" at Chipotle); and salads.  Once you determine which option you'd like, you then select your beans (black or pinto), house-made salsa(s) and/or hot sauces (pico de gallo salsa, green tomatillo/jalapeno hot sauce, and red habanero hot sauce), and the optional (but highly recommended) guacamole.

When I order, I specify that I'd like the "Basic" option without cheese or sour cream, and with the vegetarian rice and black beans.  It's no problem, and all of the staff are incredibly friendly (or "disarmingly nice" as described by The NYT) and are completely accommodating.  They're also more than willing to answer any ingredient questions that you might have regarding the menu.

My favorite thing at Dos Toros is the black bean tacos with vegetarian rice, pico, guacamole, and green hot sauce, with the red hot sauce on the side.  A word of caution is required though - the red/habanero sauce is extremely hot!  CH and I always joke about how we "smoke ourselves out" with the hot sauce whenever we eat at Dos Toros, so be warned.  In the best way possible, of course...

Finally, if their impeccable hot sauce, almost-secret vegan options, and reasonable prices don't get you in the door, Dos Toros' commitment to sustainability should.  According to their website, Dos Toros uses only local and organically grown pinto and black beans, and composts all of their kitchen food waste.  They also provide recycling and composting bins for your trash (although it takes a few minutes to determine what goes where), and use compostable utensils, cups, straws, napkins, and bags.  In addition, all of their cleaning products are non-toxic and are made from biodegradable plant- and mineral-based ingredients.

Pretty awesome.

Lusting after a taco from Dos Toros Taqueria?  Here's the only info that really matters:
  • Location: West Village - 11 Carmine St., between Bleecker & 6th Ave.
  • Hours: 
    • Monday: 11:30am-10:30pm
    • Tuesday-Friday: 11:30am-11pm
    • Saturday: 12pm-11pm
    • Sunday: 12pm-10:30pm
  • Getting there: Take the B, D, F, M, A, C, E (all trains lead to Dos Toros... well, almost!) to W. 4th St. and walk a short distance


  1. Those are some awesome photos!! When I take pictures at restaurant they generally look like they were taken at night, in a power outage, during an earthquake! Mexican food is my favorite, this looks wonderful!!

    1. What a sweet (& hilarious) comment! Thank you! And I completely agree, it's so hard to get good restaurant photos... I was lucky here because there's a ton of natural light at Dos Toros, which really helped. However, you should see the pics that I didn't use. Yikes!

  2. That looks like my perfect meal. Here in PDX, we hit up a place called Los Gorditos regularly. They have a big vegan menu, and the prices are cheap and the food is MMmmmmM.



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