El Toro Blanco (6th Avenue near Houston Street) - Energetic, modern Mexican restaurant with a cool retro decor. Also includes my favorite happy hour around: $6 cocktails, $5 tacos and $7 guacamole.
Dos Toros (Bleecker and Carmine) – an organic, locally-sourced and 10000x more delicious version of Chipotle. Big fans of the pollo or carne asada bowls with guacamole.
Havana – Alma de Cuba (Christopher Street near Bleecker Street) – large space, lively atmosphere, and authentic Cuban cuisine. Churros and mojitos to boot! Incredibly nice staff, known to have given wine in a to-go coffee cup to a friend on her move-in day. Those are my kind of people.
Empellon Taqueria (West 4th Street near West 10th Street) – more upscale Mexican restaurant with a fun bar scene most nights of the week and on the weekends. Perfect for a girls' group dinner. Fresh and delicious, creative margaritas and queso fundidos (melted cheese pots served with fresh tortillas) are on the top of my list.