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Ánimo is a great new concept developed by the gregarious norteño chef Antonio de Livier. The affordable lunch spot, not far from the World Trade Center offers nothing but soups and tacos. But the soup offerings are varied and unusual – ‘birriamen’ is the house special, combining the heartwarming picante of Jalisco birria with filling Japanese ramen. Most recipes come from the chef’s tierra which is northern Mexico.  $109 pesos buys a bowl, 3 tacos such as lengua en adobo or hongos con quelites as well as a drink. It’s a bargain.

The spiffy light-wood furnished moderne space centers around a communal table as well as wraparound counters. Service is U.S. cafetería style, i.e. order, grab a tray, pay and sit. Anyone remember SoHo’s legendary Food, of the ’70’s and ’80’s? Same idea. The chef promises more branches soon, but meanwhile it’s worth the trip to Colonia Napoles. ¡Anímate!

Calle Pensylvania 205, Napoles; Open Monday-Saturday 1 – 9 p.m.
See Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/mzd9uweSAhs

New Branch: Rio Elba 31, Colonia Cuauhtémoc
See Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/1mVPCsiUY7J2

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About The Author

Nicholas Gilman is a food writer based in Mexico City; he's author of Good Food in Mexico CIty: Food Stalls, Fondas, Fine Dining.