Why go: Everything from the Pepsi to the striped blankets and icons of the Virgin of Guadalupe is from south of the border. And the Mexican cooking is no less authentic. In an area awash in Salva-Mex and Tex-Mex, that’s a big draw.
What to get: Tacos—both the soft two-ply and the fried versions—filled with spicy baby-pork ribs, paprika-flavored chorizo, or pulled goat; burrito with red beans, rice, and smoky barbacoa; horchata, a rice-based drink that tastes like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Best for: Small gatherings—the 30 or so seats aren’t conducive to parties of more than four.
Insider tip: The other location in Petworth hasn’t figured out the ratio of salt to meat; this one—the Columbia Heights original—is better.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here