Buffalo, NY

Perfection in a Tortilla at Taqueria Los Mayas

J.M. Lesinski

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The front entrance of Taqueria Los Mayas in Cheektowaga, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Just up the street from Buffalo Airport, tucked away on the corner of Genesee and Union, is the revered and much-loved Taqueria Los Mayas. Opening to much rave and review years ago, the Cheektowaga, New York restaurant continues to serve the area what many consider the best Mexican food in Buffalo.

Tacos at Los Mayas are a genuine treat for a meal, as the full-service taco bar offers pretty much every topping under the sun for custom designing. The tortillas are street style, made in house, and perfectly fried and still light at the same time. Meats include all the classics like al pastor, carne azada, steak chorizo, shrimp, carne molida, chorizo, carnitas, barbocoa, pollo asado, and pescado, as well as the more unique and alluring like chorizo con buche, beef tongue (lengua), and the chorizo breakfast taco.

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Left to right: the chorizo, carne azada, and al pastor tacos from Taqueria Los Mayas.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The fajitas at Los Mayas are superb, presented sizzling as one expects with tortillas, caramelized onions, peppers, tomatoes, and chorizo by default, and that is even before the sides of rice, beans, and guacamole salad. The namesake Fajitas Los Mayas features four types of mouth-watering meat: chicken, beef, shrimp, and chorizo, while the Fajitas Especial comes with three in chicken, chorizo, and shrimp.

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The Las Hawayanas fajitas with a side guacamole salad, rice, and refried beans.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

A personal favorite fajita, the Las Hawayanas, offers a stunning array of sweet and savory in the combination of chicken, chorizo, steak, shrimp, and pineapple chunks. The La Pina is another dish that incorporates the pineapple, but by using half of the shell as a vessel for chicken, beef, and carnitas. Then, of course, for date night or just dinner with a friend, the parrillada fajita is enough to feed two, featuring the amazing trio of chicken, steak, and carnitas.

Burritos are massive, packed with flavor, and several are very much unique only to Los Mayas versus other Western New York restaurants. The El Nopal is a fascinating dish, featuring cactus, potatoes, and guacamole with rice, while the El Reyeno comes packed with hearty goodness in the combination of carnitas, a poblano pepper, cheese, and a side of rice and beans.

The dinner section of the menu houses several more burritos, as well as many of the staples to classic Mexican cuisine, like the pollo loco, chori pollo, and chimichangas. Many variations or the same dish in a different portion size are available on the lunch menu, with some only on the lunch menu and vice versa for dinner like the flautas, but most waiters will gladly still serve the lunch menu items if asked.

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The chicken flautas with a side guacamole salad, rice, and refried beans.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Appetizers are always easy to resist when chips and salsa are on the house, but there are some appetizers one simply has to experience at Los Mayas. The chori quezo is liquid heaven, really bringing out the perfected blend of spices in the chorizo, while the tamales are some of the best in New York state period. The pollo tamales, or veggie, are the must-try appetizer hands down. No matter what one orders, the consensus is always the same: Taqueria Los Mayas may very well be the best taqueria in Buffalo.

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A strawberry margarita alongside the complimentary nachos at Taqueria Los Mayas.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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