Midtown Happy Hour: Ta Cocina is a Good Place to Celebrate National Tequila Day
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.
Apparently today is National Tequila Day (who knew!?!), but that’s not what brought me to Ta Cocina (on 9th Ave. btw. 48+49th) this week. I went there because my ideal happy hour in the summertime is sipping on a tangy margarita and rounding that out with a big bowl of salty tortilla chips and salsa. So when commenter Wayne mentioned that T.C. looked like they had a good happy hour I thought it was about time for my first frozen margarita of the summer.
Ta Cocina is your average New York City Mexican restaurant. Walls are decorated with a plethora of the ubiquitous Frida Kahlo portraits and paintings -apparently a must for any “authentic” Mexican place. However, the space invites you in with an open-air storefront, sociable waiters, and the comforting buzz of lively conversations at the bar.
At 5pm on a weekday the bar seating was already full and by 6pm the table seating was bustling. The food is acceptable, but if I wanted a memorable taco I’d go over to Tehuitzingo, one avenue over (on 10th Ave. btw. 47+48th.) If I wanted a mole like grandma made I’d head to Tulcingo Del Valle, next door (on 10th btw. 46+47th). However, Ta Cocina has something the aforementioned destinations sorely lack, namely a liquor license.
Sunday through Wednesday they have 2 for 1 frozen margaritas all night ($8). Basically making each $4 for the usual lime. If you want to get fancy a meager 50 cents more will score you some strawberry or other berry flavors. My lime margarita was refreshingly cold and revitalizing given the humid afternoon. It wasn’t strong, but for $4 at a sit down restaurant I wasn’t about to complain.
The drink specials are available at both the bar and the table seating, great for when several co-workers are in need of a cocktail. To cinch the deal, you get an unlimited basket of warm crispy tortilla chips and chunky salsa. The salsa was not spicy at all (which could be a plus for some) and was mixed with diced onion and cilantro that gave it some distinction.
Ta Cocina does have another deal that might be worth checking out. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 4-8pm, the happy hour is $5 for any frozen margarita, cosmo, appletini, sangria or wine. Ta Cocina also has a satellite take out window next door called Ta Cocina Express, where burritos will run you only $6.50 and tacos $2.50. If you work nearby this might be a cheap take-out option.
- Refreshing and inexpensive frozen margaritas all night long
- Complimentary basket of chips and salsa
- Sunlit, open air storefront
- Great waiters and jovial atmosphere
- In the “that’s how they getcha” category… if you want cheap beer you are shit out of luck. They are $6 and not part of the happy hour Sun-Wed
- This is not the place to take anyone to try real Mexican food
- Dinner options are more in the $13 range. So fill up on chips and drinks and head over to their take out window or instead go to Wondee Siam for some dinner to go
Ta Cocina, 714 9th Ave (btw. 48+49th), 212-586-0821
Photos and post by Mamacita