NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano tried tacos with Newsday food writer Marie Elena Martinez at the new Tacombi in Westbury. The taqueria, which originated in Mexico, also has locations throughout New York City.  Credit: Newsday/Drew Singh

Westbury has a new taco spot and its name is Tacombi. The popular chain, which has locations in the New York City metro area and beyond, opened its doors this week with a short but mighty menu of tacos, quesadillas, margaritas and requisite sides like freshly made tortilla chips and guacamole.

Started in a vintage Volkswagen bus on the streets of Playa del Carmen, Mexico by Tacombi founder Dario Wolos in 2006, the brand focuses on connecting diners to Mexico’s cultural and culinary traditions.

Quickly embraced for its funky décor — the original VW bus was displayed inside the first Manhattan taqueria — Tacombi’s restaurants riff on the roadside taquerias found throughout Mexico, offering casual gathering spots for a bite and a drink. In Westbury, the open-air venue boasts a bar, outdoor picnic tables and interior hightop tables. It feels worlds away from Old Country Road.

The menu features six tacos and four quesadillas inspired by the flavors of Mexico’s 32 states. There's a Mexico City-style pork al pastor taco ($4.49) with meat freshly sliced from a twirling trompo. A Yucatecan chicken taco is flavored with regional achiote and oranges, while a beef birria taco ($11.98) features brisket from Jalisco and cheese from Chihuahua with a long-simmered consommé for dipping. Quesadillas (from $8.49) come with chicken, pork, steak or mushrooms. Sides include esquites ($4.49), which is fiery off-the-cob street corn, as well as a hefty portion of guacamole with totopos ($11.98), or thick, fresh-made tortilla chips. 

“We are always trying to evolve what we do and understand what about Mexico — and tacos — people are interested in, both in and outside of New York City. Going into Westbury is an important step,” Wolos said.

As for cocktails, sure, you can have a margarita, but there's also the Spiked Hibiscus, a heady mix of fresh hibiscus flower and mezcal, and the Sandia Santa, the perfect summer blend of fresh watermelon, tequila and lime. Happy hour runs 4-7 p.m. weekdays with $5-$9 drink specials, including beers.

Tacombi fans on Long Island can find its Vista Hermosa brand of high-quality tortillas and totopos, produced in its Brooklyn tortilleria, for sale at Whole Foods. 

Tacombi, 1226 Old Country Rd., Westbury; 516-216-9851, Open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A previous version of this story had the incorrect year Tacombi started in Mexico.

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