Delicious Mexican food will have you coming back for more

Joanna Chait and Charlotte Guy

After a near-death experience in an uncomfortably small car (thanks Piney Branch Parkway) and the not-so-friendly reminder of DC’s sweltering humidity, we finally arrived at Taqueria Habanero in Columbia Heights, unscathed, but remarkably hungry. 

 Looking around at the patio area, bedecked with charming colorful lights and content patrons, we entered through the superbly painted white and blue entrance and were immediately hit by the cool AC, beautiful decor, and welcoming staff. 

Taqueria Habanero, located on 14th street, is a small family run restaurant that has served authentic, Puebla-style Mexican food for 14 years. However, their catchphrase “99 percent Mexican” which adorns every aspect of the restaurant一from the painting on the wall to our to-go bags一pays homage to the fact that true Mexican food, despite how authentic their recipes are, will always reside directly in Mexico. 

Ordering was the worst part of our experience (other than the drive, of course). With the abundance of appealing options and our crippling indecisiveness, it took triple the amount of time than it should have. Ultimately we decided on two tacos (pollo and carnitas), a burrito, and a side of chips and guacamole. 

The burrito was almost as large as our heads and wrapped in a fluffy flour tortilla and topped with a generous amount of crema, Pico de Gallo, and lettuce. Inside, the burrito was bursting with generous amounts of flavorful yellow rice, black beans, guacamole, salsa verde, chicken, and queso fresco. It was truly unforgettable and enough to temper our insatiable appetites. 

Did that stop us from eating more? Nope. Their tacos had been calling our names since we first unpacked our to-go bag and the price, at just $3, simply cannot be beat. The carnitas taco was tenderly cooked and delectable, however, we found the pollo taco to be slightly underwhelming. But, we will take the blame for that one, since the bumpy car ride left the poor taco in a rather dishevestate before we could get our hands on it.

The chips and guacamole were the piece de resistance. Arguably the best part of our order and packed with flavor, they possessed a delightful simplicity. The corn tortilla chips were well-seasoned, undeniably crisp, and the perfect vessel for the fresh, creamy, and spicy guacamole. 

So the burning question: will we go back? Most definitely. If not for the guacamole then at least to try a slice of their tres leches cake.