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HomeNew York City / NYCSailing the Hudson with La Barca Cantina: A Review of Dinner, Drinks & Views

Sailing the Hudson with La Barca Cantina: A Review of Dinner, Drinks & Views

Tacos & Skyline: A Review of La Barca Cantina’s Dinner Cruise (Including Budget Options)

Considering a unique way to experience the sights of New York City? La Barca Cantina’s 2-hour dinner cruise offers a combination of Mexican fare, stunning Manhattan views, and a lively atmosphere aboard a comfortable boat. Keep in mind, the experience comes at a premium price, but we’ll delve into the value proposition throughout this review.

Setting Sail with Stunning Sights

Our journey began at Pier 81 on 41st Street. As we set sail down the Hudson River, the iconic skyline of Manhattan unfolded before us. From the towering skyscrapers of Midtown to the historic landmarks of Lower Manhattan, the cruise provided a fantastic perspective of the city’s architectural wonders. The highlight, of course, was getting up close and personal with Lady Liberty, a sight that never fails to impress.

The attentive staff added to the positive experience. Our waiter, Mario, struck the perfect balance between friendly and efficient, ensuring our needs were met throughout the cruise.

A Multi-Level Mexican Fiesta

The boat boasts multiple levels, each offering a unique dining experience. We were seated in the mid-level area, which provided comfortable seating and good views. However, for those seeking a truly immersive experience, the lower level with its bar seating directly at water level is highly recommended. We peeked down there during our bathroom breaks and were envious of the diners soaking in the sights right next to the water.

While the upper deck was closed due to cooler temperatures, we were allowed us to explore it. This level would be perfect for a warm spring or summer evening, offering unobstructed views and a delightful breeze.

A Taste of Mexico on the High Seas

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the food! We tackled a selection of their tacos, featuring both the grilled steak and braised chicken varieties with the grilled steak being the true star of the show – the savory and perfectly cooked steak stole the spotlight. While the two tacos per serving fit comfortably in hand, they proved surprisingly filling. The price of $18 and $20 respectively felt a bit steep considering their size. While not the most extraordinary tacos we’ve encountered, they were still very enjoyable.

The fresh chips and guacamole ($22) were a shareable starter – perfectly acceptable, but not the most memorable part of the meal. However, the fluffy yellow rice ($6) was a delightful surprise. It arrived perfectly cooked, boasting a light texture and a surprising depth of flavor. The true highlight, though, was the churros ($11). These warm, melt-in-your-mouth pastries were served with decadent caramel and chocolate dipping sauces, providing the perfect sweet ending to our cruise experience.

For drinks, I opted for their signature passion fruit margarita ($18). While it was undeniably refreshing and packed a punch, I would have liked a more generous serving size to truly match the price tag. My companion, not being a drinker, opted for a diet soda ($4).

Budget Bites and Bonus Options

While the dinner cruise is certainly a splurge, La Barca Cantina offers more budget-friendly alternatives. For those seeking similar sights at a lower price point, consider their “Bottomless Brunch Cruise” with Brunch Early Season Pricing. This deal is perfect for those who snag it before June 1st, offering the two-hour cruise with all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas and bellinis for just $79 (originally priced at $99). It’s the perfect way to celebrate with friends while taking in stunning NYC views.

For the cruise enthusiast, the “Season Pass Club” might be worth considering. For a flat fee of $45, this pass grants access to both La Barca Cantina and their sister boat, North River Lobster Company, for the entire season, eliminating boarding fees.

A Memorable Afternoon on the Hudson

Overall, our afternoon spent cruising the Hudson River with La Barca Cantina was a delightful experience. The delicious food, attentive service, and unbeatable views made it a truly special occasion. While the price tag might be a bit steep for some, the combination of delicious food, stunning sights, and a festive atmosphere makes it a worthwhile splurge for a special occasion.

For photography enthusiasts, the opportunities to capture stunning cityscapes are endless. And for food lovers, the tacos and churros are a must-try. But fear not if you’re on a budget! La Barca Cantina offers alternative cruises that cater to different needs. No matter which option you choose, you’re guaranteed a memorable afternoon cruising down the scenic Hudson River.

Full disclosure, we were treated to this delightful experience aboard La Barca Cantina’s 2-hour dinner cruise. This complimentary excursion allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the sights, sounds, and tastes offered, giving us the opportunity to provide this comprehensive review for our readers.

Following, is a video and photos taken during our cruise:

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