Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Tacos started it all. When Rockaway Taco opened on the beaches of Queens in 2008, it was mostly unconquered territory. Sure, the Rockaways had been a beach destination for New Yorkers since the early part of the 20th Century but in more recent decades, younger locals took to the Hamptons or Jones Beach instead for their summer activities.
That all changed because of tacos. Well, mostly because of tacos. Rockaway Taco was the first destination food spot to open near one of Queens’ longest stretch of beaches. And then the hipsters followed. Now you can spend the day, weekend, or summer out in Rockaway Beach and feel like you’re somewhere in between Williamsburg, Portland, and San Diego. In addition to the food, there are now surfing lessons, flea markets, and luxury shops.
Like most New York food-types, I made the pilgrimage out to the Rockaways last season to try those famous tacos. I enjoyed them, but wasn’t ready to move out to the ends of Queens for them. Earlier this summer, Rockaway Taco closed and the owner opened another taco concept in a different location with a more clever name – Tacoway Beach. So another trip was in order.
These tacos were even better than their predecessors. The special of the day was an impossibly tender and smoky brisket. Not sure why this isn’t a permanent menu item other than it is so good that the crowds might revolt if they ever ran out of it. We also tried the regularly offered chorizo, which was phenomenal with a salty, spicy finish. The fresh, colorful additions to both tacos include sliced radishes, cabbage slaw, and excellet guacamole. Also available are their famous fish tacos and a vegetarian-friendly tofu.
Tacoway Beach currently resides inside the Rockaway Beach Surf Club and rumors are that next season they will return to their original location as Rockaway Tacos. Either way, these are some serious neighborhod-changing tacos. If you’ve never been out to the Rockaways (or even if you have), you have just another few weeks to bask in the sun, fun, and tacos before summer sadly crawls to a halt.
|3-02 Beach 87th Street (between Rockaway Freeway and Beach Channel Drive),
Rockaway Beach, Queens