Set foot into one of Jajaja Mexicana's three NYC locations and it becomes clear why the restaurant's die-hard fans love the spots' aesthetically-pleasing ambiance as equally as the delicious vegan Mexican offerings: Their minimalist white walls are punctuated with joyful details like sprawling potted plants, woven lighting fixtures and colorful Mexican art that make every dining experience feel like a celebration.

Much like their entirely plant-based menu, Jajaja's environments feel joyful, welcoming and inclusive. Their menus deliver all of the classic Mexican fare you love, but with an inventive twist: Instead of traditional carnitas they use hearts of palm, in lieu of shredded chicken they shred jackfruit. This expertly done innovation means discovering new favorite foods and alternatives while still getting to appreciate the traditional tastes you love.

Nestled on the West Village, the Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Jajaja's dishes include comfort food favorites like enchiladas smothered in coconut queso and hearts of palm carnitas, beet and pumpkin empanadas and jackfruit tamales covered in salsa verde and cashew crema. Don't forget the drinks either: Jajaja's Manhattan locations boast a full bar, inventive cocktails and icy margaritas which include a fan-favorite Frozen Agave Margarita that the restaurant says "tastes like spring break". That promise alone is enough to get us out of our freezing apartments and into Jajaja's vibrant locations, which feel celebratory even on days where you have no special occasion planned.

While the food, cocktails and desserts (did we mention their vegan flan?!) speak for themselves, the best testament to the restaurants' deliciousness may be that out of all the 10,867 restaurants in Manhattan, The Beet chose Jajaja's West Village location to hold our holiday celebration in. So what will we be dining on? We're ordering a bunch of our favorite appetizers for the table including the coconut ceviche, nachos and of course, plenty of guacamole and chips, and keeping our fingers crossed that there will be leftovers to take home.

Update: We celebrated with vegans and non-vegans alike last night, and were blown away by the response from non-vegans to the food: People were shocked that the heaping nachos' ground 'beef' was actually beefless, and the nacho cheese cheeseless. If you're looking for a restaurant to bring your friends who aren't plant-based, Jajaja is the one!



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