Sabroso: A Latin Foodie Journeys Through New York's Weed Scene For Some Delicious Meals

Chimichangas, birria, pupusas, empanadas, tacos, gorditas, chilaquiles, noodles, seafood and steak. Fried rice, curries, and dessert. Crunchy chips, queso and cream, finely chopped lettuce, rice, jalapenos and beans.

All the colors, all the accents and dialects, all the flavors. Glass-bottled soda to wash it down, lime wedges to squeeze. “Extra spicy?” they ask.

Cultural delight is free. Meeting the people cooking and nurturing New York’s five boroughs is a treat.

Crunchy, juicy, fulfilling and comfy. Is this a love story with Latin food? Then, what can we match with this magnificent artisanal work? Friends or family are a must, and… you are probably right, weed it is.

Where To Go In Manhattan?

Grind it, roll it, puff it, pass it, and don't worry about the police, 8.5 million New Yorkers finally enjoy recreational cannabis along with another 66 million or so tourists yearly.

The city’s packed streets will serve as the showcase of the cannabis industry for the world.

To its magnificent food, entertainment, architecture, culture, history, and people, New York City is now adding cannabis for those who might never try it at home but are willing to experiment abroad.

Several non-profit organizations leading the way. Housing Works, a non-profit organization that assists formerly incarcerated individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS, began legal marijuana sales in December 2022.

Smacked LLC, a dispensary owned and operated by a previously impacted individual, opened its doors in Greenwich Village as a pop-up before becoming a permanent fixture in February.

The Doe Fund, another non-profit, opened the Union Square Travel Agency dispensary in Manhattan in February.

In April, the House of Cannabis is set to open a 30,000-square-foot building dedicated to cannabis, featuring a private lounge, community gathering space, café, corner store, live glassblowing, and lifestyle products.

Food, Drinks And Weed

If you are a tourist in NYC you are probably in a rush. There is a lot to see, budgets can be tight and family plans can be diverse. So here is a weed and food tour for you and your loved ones in case you enjoy both.

Start your morning with a power breakfast at La Chilaqueria at 139 W 28th St in Chelsea. The small cafe serves a dish consisting of deep compostable bowls filled with fried tortillas, refried beans, cheese, crema, and an array of meats and proteins such as fried eggs, chorizo, cecina, chicharron prensado, and avocado.

Another option for breakfast is Coppelia. Located at 207 W 14th St, this is a “Pan-Latin Luncheonette” with an accent in Cuban cuisine, that offers food from Havana, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.

Then it's time to visit Union Square Travel Agency at 62 East 13th St, and Housing Works' storefront located at 750 Broadway.

Not far from Housing Works, you can enjoy some excellent arepas for lunch at Arepitas, a legit Venezuelan cart located at 434 Lafayette St. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and packed with flavorful fillings like shredded beef, black beans, and queso fresco, arepas are out of this world. The cachapas are equally as tasty - sweet corn pancakes filled with melted cheese and savory meats.

For lunch, you can also try Los Tacos No. 1 located at 340 Lafayette St. The tacos are made from fresh, simple, and flavorful ingredients based on family recipes, which bring the true taste of Mexican culture to every bite.

After lunch, you can visit Smacked at 144 Bleecker St. and the House of Cannabis which is further South on Howard St. and Broadway.

For dinner try Tomiño Taberna Gallega located at 192 Grand St. Their menu features a combination of traditional and modern Galician and Spanish cuisine. It focuses on Seafood, tapas, and shareable main dishes. A few to highlight are the Pulpo a Feira, Empanada de Bacalao con Pasas, and the Spanish Wine List.

Another option is Viva Birria Tacos by Marcus Tirado, a self-taught Latin Chef who created the first "Birria" Taco Popup in Manhattan in 2019. Despite the pandemic, he created a popup that gained acclaim from food critics as one of the best tacos in New York City. Located at 153 Ludlow St suite A, Viva Birria sources fresh vegetables and cheeses from local farmers and manufacturers.

Find the complete tour here.

Feeling like exploring further afield?

New York City opened its fourth legal recreational cannabis store and its first outside of Manhattan. Good Grades, a Jamaica Queen's pop-up dispensary at 162-03 Jamaica Ave is also the first woman-owned dispensary in New York state.

Another dispensary will be open in The Bronx, soon.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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