Mission Cantina has your favorite classic cantina food as well as some new things to try. I went with the latter. So often I find myself out at restaurants wanting to try something new, but then the fear sets in… what if I order this expensive dish and I hate it? What a waste! So on this particular night when I was dining out with one of my adventurous friends, we tackled one of my food challenges. Liver. I’ve never had liver of any kind and I’m not really one to be afraid of foods. So when my friend said that he thinks we should get the liver, I warned him that I’m down to try it but I’ve never tried it before. We did what we thought was playing it safe by also ordering the octopus ceviche, which also turned out to be somewhat unexpected.

The ceviche came to the table first. Ceviche is usually seafood that has been semi cooked in a citrus juice. This was not the case at Cantina. The octopus ceviche was served in a coconut milk and lime sauce and topped with a generous amount of avocado. This is the kind of dish that played with my senses. Although the food looked creamy, the lime in the coconut milk is very strong. So while looking at your food you expect one taste, what happens in your mouth is something totally different.

Mission Cantina

Now the liver. They came in a whole mess of delicious mole sauce, which was incredible. I’m glad I had a friend to share the dish with because a plate of livers was a lot for me. I still have no regrets in trying chicken liver and would be more then willing to try again. Here’s the thing, for a sauce that was so flavorful, the flavor also left your mouth surprisingly quick which left you with just the mineral tasting liver, not an easy thing to handle.

For me the biggest thing that makes a restaurant memorable are the little details. Mission Cantina definitely hit home for me on that one. If you order a Modelo at Mission Cantina they serve it in a can but season around the lip of the can so you get this spicy seasoning with your beer, yum. They also brought us an amuse bouche of refried beans on tortillas. Even though these two things were so minor they stood out to me and really made the experience.

I’d wanted to try Mission Cantina for a while and I’ve often heard that people either love or hate Danny Bowien and I can see why. His food is extreme and unexpected and truly an adventure on a plate. I hope to go back to Mission Cantina and continue on a culinary adventure. I’m also planning a trip to Mission Chinese Food too, so look out for that one!

Mission Cantina – Lower East Side

172 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Corner of Orchard St. and Stanton St.


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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