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From Mexico to Newark Avenue

Oscar Munoz is the owner of Taco-Drive, at 195 Newark Ave. Jersey City

With an upside down relic of Lady Liberty on a ceiling and city streets that seem to have no end, Taco Drive, located on the walkway of Newark Avenue, takes on an interesting spin when it comes to Mexican-styled tacos.

Oscar Munoz, who is the owner of the Taco-Drive restaurant, moved to Brooklyn at the age of 14 with a mission to meet his father for the very first time after he left Mexico when he was three years old. Munoz who grew up in Puebla, a city located east-central of Mexico, said when he left “it was almost as if I left it up to destiny,” Munoz said as he remembered getting off the plane almost 22 years ago, not knowing where life would take him. 

“My mother had asked me if I wanted to go and meet my father…she thought it was time for us to meet man to man,” said Munoz. “I told her yes, not knowing what my new life would be like moving over here.”

Munoz said that he never saw himself making a living off the food he grew up with back in Mexico. At first, he worked in construction for 18 years. “I never saw myself doing this,” said Munoz. His mother is a restaurant owner back in Mexico and his father was a butcher.

“Seeing my mother cook in the kitchen, I started to pick up on some stuff here and there.”

Before he opened up the new restaurant he sold his tacos right outside the MET life stadium. “We would sell like crazy,” said Munoz, who sold tacos at the parking lot for about three months prior to the public shutdowns caused by the pandemic. “Starting off to what felt like a good gig selling tacos turned out to be one of the biggest challenges I had to face.”

A couple of days later he received a call from a friend who asked him if he wanted to sell tacos right in front of his bar, Munoz set up shop the next day, selling his “on the street styled crazy tacos” as he would call them.

His friend mentioned that the owner of Rig A Tony’s pizzeria was giving up the property and was looking for someone to take over, after less than a year.

“I knew that this was a perfect chance for me to start something of my own and eventually in the future pass it down to my kids,” said Munoz. “It was a box of chaos,” he said as he walked into the formerly-owned Italian dished pizza that he would soon turn into a Mexican restaurant.

He had a soft opening on March 18 and officially opened up the restaurant on Cinco de Mayo or May 5, Mexican’s day of Independence. The menu at Taco-Drive is about $3.75 per taco and an entire meal, including the drink, will cost less than $15. (You can read a full review by Hoboken Girl.)

“Opening up this restaurant in Jersey City I get customers from all around that tell me these are the best tacos they’ve ever had,” said Munoz. “I am Mexican after all.”

Taco Locos

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