America’s 15 Best Tex-Mex Chain Restaurants

Tacos, burritos, and enchiladas galore

Baja Fresh got its start in 1990, and focuses on fresh, never-frozen ingredients.

The votes have been tabulated, and we are pleased to announce the 15 best Tex-Mex chain restaurants in America.

We rounded up a list of 50 top Tex-Mex chain restaurants around the country and asked you to determine which one is the best based on ingredient quality, service, selection, and overall experience.

Now we have narrowed it down to the top 15, based on your votes.

America's 15 Best Tex-Mex Chains (Slideshow)

Americans love Tex-Mex. There is a reason why there are thousands of these restaurants around the country. But what are the origins of this cuisine, and why do we care so much?

The concept of Tex-Mex is relatively new. The first trace of it popped up in the 1940s, according to Food Timeline. But it didn’t gain momentum until the 1970s when it was deemed trendy.

Tex-Mex gets its name from the restaurants that opened in Southwest cities with large Mexican populations, and is a take on regional cuisine in Mexico. Some may also argue that it is a version of Mexican food prepared by Texan cooks.

Fast forward to today, and Tex-Mex is available all around the world.

While it’s no debate that there’s a big difference between authentic Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex (you won’t find a hard-shell taco in Mexico), both Tex-Mex and Mexican foods rely on the same basic ingredients: tortillas, rice, beans, beef, chicken, pork, sauce, and cheese (though traditional Mexican fare is a bit more subtle flavor-wise, and usually includes fresh white cheese instead of cheddar).

Even if their menus might be similar, some chains are arguably better than others. And this is why we asked you to be the judge, and put it to the vote.


From the rice and beans to the burritos, chips, and salsa, Americans are undoubtedly hooked on Tex-Mex. Click here to learn which Tex-Mex chain is America’s favorite.