NYC’s La Barca Cantina on the Hudson River opens May 5

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Refreshing agave-based spirits and tasty tacos are now being served onboard a three-story boat in the Hudson River.

On May 5, La Barca Cantina, the only Mexican restaurant on a boat in NYC, will reopen to the public with a summer street food-inspired menu that’ll get the party started for you and your friends.

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Based at Pier 81, next to its sister-restaurant North River Lobster Company, La Barca spans three levels with an expansive outdoor top deck with a bar and table seating, a bi-level interior space with two bars, table seating and booth-like tables—perfect for large groups.

Even better, it takes short cruises multiple times per day, five days a week, offering up sweeping views of the NYC skyline. (It’s a must to reserve a table for cocktails at sunset.)

Photograph: Courtesy La Barca Cantina

On that note, the cocktail menu by Kanarick and Roman Tartakovsky, the beverage director for New York Cruise Lines, features agave-based spirits, such as mezcal, tequila, sotol and racilla, with a diverse bottle list and flights for sampling. Other cocktails include “The Drunken Rabbit” (Oaxacan rum with passion fruit), a “Bandera” (three parts, each served in its own shot glass—one with tequila, one with lime juice, and another with a spicy tomato juice called sangrita, a classic margarita, served on the rocks or frozen, a Paloma and a mezcal mule. Most of these can be served in large format to be shared among couples or groups.

We’d recommend not drinking on an empty stomach, so order from the menu items like tacos (chicken, shrimp and al pastor), Tony’s Campechano (beef, pork and roasted scallions) or the Fiesta Platter (giant boat filled with finger-food dishes—whole Mexican fried chicken, onion rings, jalapeño poppers and corn chips with a variety of salsas). Of course, there are also classics like guacamole with fresh corn chips, a chicken quesadilla and queso fundido alongside. There’s a new offering for vegetarian diets—vegetarian nachos, which is a mountain of tortilla chips, melted cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole made with a plant-based meat alternative. 

La Barca Cantina
Photograph: Courtesy La Barca Cantina

La Barca Cantina, located at Pier 81 at 41st Street and 12th Avenue will be open four days a week, Thursday through Sunday. It sets sail Thursdays and Fridays between 4 and 8pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 2-8pm. Tickets go on sale on April 18.

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