Maz Mezcal – 316 East 86th Street

Maz Mezcal Restaurant
316 East 86th Street
Established 1979


At the heart of Maz Mezcal lies a love story. Mary, affectionately called “Mama,” met Eduardo Silva when they were sixteen and eighteen, respectively. He had been stationed in Indiana with the army when his car ran out of gas, leading Mary and her sister to rescue him. After that, they were inseparable. During the time that Eduardo was in Vietnam, the two teenagers wrote letters to each other. And after he returned, they moved to New York to enter the culinary world, opening the original Maz Mezcal in 1972. Today, the restaurant is located in a different neighborhood from the original, however its warm and jovial atmosphere never changed. From beautiful and quirky calacas to authentic Mexican food, there are many things about Maz Mezcal that make it a special New York staple. Above all, people leave with the lasting impression of eating a home-cooked meal surrounded by family. In the words of Gabi, Eduardo and Mary’s daughter, “Everything is made with so much love and attention. It’s great that after a long day, this is where people want to come.”

Art by CLoD


This 5-story brick building was originally 2, 4-story Italianate brownstones built in 1885, designed by architect H.L. Harris. Until the middle of the 20th century, this block of East 86th Street was still composed of different rows of low-scale single family residences, a sight now unusual for such a large thoroughfare. But the pressures of real estate on this area started as early as 1925, when a proposal was approved to replace 2 of the rowhouses with a 6-story brick tenement building. This proposal never came to fruition, as we can see much of the Italianate details still remain in this 1940s tax photo of the row. It seems though, that these may be the last photos taken of this building in its original state, as in 1941, numbers 316, 318, and 320 were altered and combined into the building you see today.