East Village is known for it’s hidden (delicious) gems that just sneak up on you. Even if you walk down the same street, on your commute to work everyday, you’ll still be shocked to see new divey bars, cafes, and corner bistros that you’ve never noticed before. And Fonda is one of those to add to your list. It could easily go unoticed, but I’m here to tell why you should slow down and give this place your full attention.


Fonda Roots in Brooklyn!

Since it’s original opening in Park Slope, back in 2009, Fonda has opened in the East Village as well as Chelsea, serving authentic and creative Mexican food, which is a rarity here in NYC. Stop by this affordable neighborhood joint that has a relaxing and casual feel, but with menu items that will excite your taste buds and have you coming back to try whatever you couldn’t fit on your plate the first time! The tortillas are hand pressed, the guacamole is made to order, and the margaritas are thoughtfully crafted.


This world-renowned Chef serves the contemporary urban cuisine found in his native Mexico City. He honors culinary traditions but is not bound by them. The result: a menu of refined street foods, sophisticated riffs on regional specialties, and an exhilarating array of salsas, adobos and moles.


Since opening in Park Slope in 2009, Santibañez brought FONDA to the East Village, then to Chelsea, serving the most distinctive and authentic Mexican food in New York.  He explores the Spanish and Middle Eastern influences on Mexican cuisine, creating a gazpacho of almond and cucumber, enlivened by sweet bursts of grapes.

Design at FONDA…a quietly colorful aesthetic in keeping with the food’s sophisticated urban vibe. A well-curated mix of work by contemporary Mexican and New York artists accents a warm, welcoming ambience. Park Slope’s secluded backyard patio is especially popular.


Familiar Classics are Transformed at FONDA

Tacos al pastor (chile-marinated pork, pineapple) or carne asada bear inimitable salsas, in warm, hand-pressed heirloom corn tortillas.

FONDA signature dishes include:

Zarape de Pato (Soft corn tortillas filled with braised duck, roasted tomato-habañero cream sauce)

Queso Fundido Con Chorizo (Oaxaca & Chihuahua cheeses baked with chorizo, tomatillo serrano salsa, corn tortillas)

Chile Relleno de Espinacas (Roasted poblano pepper filled with spinach, raisins, pine nuts, roasted tomato chipotle sauce, epazote goat cheese)

Cochinita Pibil (Yucatan-style achiote-marinated slow-baked pork shoulder, oregano pickled onions, warm hand-pressed tortillas)

Chilaquiles Rojos (brunch) (Crispy tortillas tossed in roasted tomato habañero sauce with scrambled eggs; skirt steak or shredded chicken)

For dessert: Chef Santibañez’ trademark Tres Leches (Citrus three-milk-soaked sponge cake, Chantilly cream, berries),or Budin de Banana (Warm brioche/banana bread pudding, guava and cajeta sauce).

Be sure to check out the Brunch menu: a terrific value.

FONDA’s bars (and generous Happy Hour bar menus) are known for impeccably balanced cocktails: a classic Margarita or a Spicy Pineapple version; a Tequila Old-Fashioned; or, the signature frozen Rosalita hibiscus margarita (silver tequila, hibiscus, Cointreau, lime juice, hibiscus rim).

Celebrated chef and cookbook author Roberto Santibañez has created a rare New York restaurant: a relaxed, affordable neighborhood spot that also serves exciting contemporary Mexican cuisine. Santibañez blends care and authenticity with the creative urban flourishes that distinguish the food of his native Mexico City. At Fonda’s three locations—in Chelsea, the East Village, and Park Slope, Brooklyn—the tortillas are hand-pressed, the guacamole is made to order, and the margaritas are thoughtfully crafted. His version of enchiladas in black mole, the legendary sauce made from dozens of ingredients, would impress any grandmother in Oaxaca, while modern dishes like duck zarape, braised duck tucked between tortillas lavished with habanero-spiked tomato salsa, keep jaded New Yorkers coming back for more since 2009.

Fonda – Website

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About The Author

Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York