El Parador Café in Kips Bay

Entrance to El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Entrance to El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Rating
4.8/5

The El Parador Cafe in Manhattan’s Kip’s Bay looked perfect for a quick bite to eat on the way to see an iMax movie. Afterwards, tonight’s event was Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at the AMC just steps away. Before dining, I consulted Seated, my favorite new app for locating restaurants and earning rewards.

The restaurant offered fine Mexican cuisine with its convenient location and tempting menu. Stepping inside the door on 34th Street, you are immediately drawn into the vibe of a Mexican vacation. Certainly, the solid wood tables and chairs, mood lighting, and Mexican music with smooth acoustics extolled “bring on the salsa!”   

Corn Chips and Salsa at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Corn Chips and Salsa at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

House-made Guacamole and Margaritas

As soon as we were seated, warm, homemade salsa, chips, and chilled water glasses appeared. The service was superb at El Parador Café in Kips Bay. Although El Parador is known for its house-made guacamole and margaritas, a friend and I enjoyed glasses of Spanish wine and Mexican beer with our chips. 

Sizzling Hot Chicken Fajita with flavorful sides at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Sizzling Hot Chicken Fajita with flavorful sides at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Sizzling Fajitas

We were looking for something flavorfully Mexican to share as we viewed the menu since we weren’t too hungry. We chose the chicken fajita, and each had two bursting tortillas. The fajitas were among the best, if not the best I have had. The sizzling fajitas arrived with saffron rice, refried beans, roasted peppers and onions, guacamole, jalapeño sauce, sour cream, and tortillas. Each item was perfectly seasoned, cooked, and presented. The chicken was tender, the side toppings were fresh and tasty, and the warmed, soft tortillas enhanced and combined the flavors and textures into sublime culinary joy.

Fine Spanish Red Wine and Modelo at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Fine Spanish Red Wine and Modelo at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Thank you, Luis!

Saving room for popcorn, we skipped the dessert and were in such a hurry I left my credit card behind. Our attentive server Luis went above and beyond to create a wonderful dining experience for us and ran across 34th Street on a hot summer evening to catch us to return my credit card. Thank you, Luis!

Front Window at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Front Window at El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

On the restaurant’s wall, I noticed the accolade, “El Parador Cafe, fantástico since 1959. I agree, the El Parador Cafe in Kip’s Bay, the oldest Mexican restaurant in NYC, is fantástico in 2023.

El Parador Cafe

325 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-6812

Menus and information

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Pershing Square CafeTake Me Back to Manhattan at Chelsea Table and StagePolyphony in Music

El Parador Café in Kips Bay

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Laura K
Laura K
July 10, 2023 7:53 am

This looks like a great place to visit! I am a huge fajita fan so it’s perfect for me.

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