Lovable TikTok Star Eric Sedeño’s Guide to the West Side
Better known by his handle Rico Taquito, you’ll find one of the internet’s most beloved besties hopping around Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village.
By Izzy Baskette and Eric Sedeño
Published on 6/30/2022 at 12:00 PM
Eric Sedeño at Coppelia's | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
To many TikTok users, Eric Sedeño has become widely known by his handle: Rico Taquito (with honorable mention to his nickname, Thicky Ricky). With more than 750,000 followers and 62 million likes on his account, Sedeño has become a popular FYP (For You Page) standby for his hilarious and unfiltered storytimes, DIY clothing tutorials (most of which involve dyeing and then redyeing garments to no avail), and a bright and lovable posting style that feels like being on FaceTime with your bestie. When he’s not working as an art director or completing various TikTok duties, Sedeño adores his free days and nights where he can explore his three favorite Manhattan neighborhoods: Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village.
The background to what kick-started my whole TikTok era is, funnily enough, owed in part to my ex-boyfriend breaking up with me a couple years back. There was that usual post-breakup sadness, then I just wanted a fresh start. Next came my mullet plus mustache, and I used all my extra free time to post TikToks and try to be a happy presence in people’s lives. Even with this rise of views on my videos, which totally took me by surprise, I like to think that it’s a privilege to share these little clips of my life and personality with people. It’s so important to me that I never become any less humbled by it all.
In between working full-time as an art director, traveling around the country to different influencer and brand events, plus keeping up a steady flow of new social media content, I love keeping my days off pretty low-key. It’s been about four and a half years since I moved to New York City from Dallas, Texas, and I think it’s the perfect place to be. Even though I live in Brooklyn right now, I’ve realized some of my all-time favorite spots to hang are on the West Side of Manhattan.
Eric Sedeño at Little Island | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
"It’s such a special NYC creation because it mixes nature with the surrounding urban city energy."
Visualizing that perfect day off with no work or responsibilities, it would start off with not being in a rush to be anywhere. Eventually though, I’ll find myself hanging out at Little Island right off of the Meatpacking District. Whenever I have a friend in town, I love taking them here because it’s free to enter, there’s live music or performances most days, cool views of the city, and tons of benches for lounging around. It’s such a special NYC creation because it mixes nature with the surrounding urban city energy. Also, inevitably each time I end up with tons of cute pictures for my feed.
After the park hang is when I’d have to go to my favorite restaurant in the city, Coppelia. It’s this warm, retro-style, 24-hour Cuban diner on the border of Chelsea and the West Village that’s always a solid spot for a walk-in great meal. The vibe inside is never crazy loud and it feels intimate, so it’s ideal for catching up with friends or running down the upcoming night without having to scream to each other. Without a doubt, I always get a few Coppelia Smashes, which are these perfectly strong cocktails made with reposado, a little bit of bourbon, muddled lemons, and always topped with an orange-slice garnish. Food-wise, you can’t go wrong by starting with some empanadas—there’s beef, chicken, and corn and cheese—or by splitting a classic Cuban sandwich. Lately, though, I’m obsessed with one of Coppelia’s main dishes called lomo saltado. It’s to die for, really, and loaded with beef short ribs, onions, tomato, fries, sambal, and white rice. Lomo saltado is a go-to for a hearty and savory meal before I’m about to go out or if I just need to eat something that’s comforting and tastes like home cooking.
Lomo Saltado at Coppelia | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
"I always remember this as the spot where I bought my boyfriend a '50s cartoon-style card to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day together."
After that, I have to get myself something sweet. And following Coppelia with a stop by The Donut Pub, which is literally right next door, has become a sort of ritual for me. It’s one of two locations in the city. The other one’s over on Broadway and Astor Place close to Washington Square Park, and you can smell it from down the block. It has a bright, '50s-inspired interior, and the shelves behind the counter are stocked full of these crazy-delicious donuts. My usual go-to order is an old-fashioned donut and a maple bacon donut, but you always have to check out what their limited-time seasonal specials are.
If we still have time before meeting up with other friends or until the bars open up, hitting up the Greenwich Letterpress is such a cute way to kill time. It’s only a 10-minute walk downtown from Coppelia and The Donut Pub, and lands us right next to all our favorite bars in the West Village. It’s pretty tiny inside and it’s completely filled with the sweetest array of greeting cards for any occasion. The vintage cards are beautiful, and you can’t ignore their amazing collection of stickers too. I always remember this as the spot where I bought my boyfriend a '50s cartoon-style card to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day together.
Cards from Greenwich Letterpress | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
"It’s a random little trail that I’ve accidentally developed for no reason other than it’s just good vibes, you know?"
Next up, if I’m in the mood to go out, we’re going to one of my favorite gay bars. Usually this means hitting up Pieces on Christopher Street. It’s one of the first gay bars I ever went to in New York, so it holds a special place in my heart. How I’d describe Pieces is a great place to catch a drag show, dance around, and score (relatively) cheap drinks. I’m a tequila girl, so you’ll catch me with a tequila soda or, other times, a beer. Also, since the pandemic, the bar has set up a pretty large outdoor seating area, so you can cool off there.
To wrap up my night, I love crossing over to the other side of Christopher Park, past The Stonewall Inn, to grab a slice at Two Boots Pizza. It’s just crazy good, straightforward thin-crust pizza on a paper plate you can walk out with. Other than the classic cheese and pepperoni, they have a bunch of specialty meat-loaded pies, plus veggie and vegan options.
What I love about these spots is that they’re filled with such fun and heartwarming memories made with my friends and people I’ve met along the way since starting on this TikTok journey. It’s a random little trail that I’ve accidentally developed for no reason other than it’s just good vibes, you know?
Things to See & Do
Places to Eat & Drink
207 W 14th St
203 W 14th St
8 Christopher Street
101 7th Avenue South