It’s no secret that pretty much everyone loves Mexican food. From delicious tacos to perfectly wrapped burritos, Mexican cuisine is near and dear to our hearts. With that in mind, we set out to discover the best Mexican restaurants in every state, plus Washington D.C. Some of these restaurants serve dishes you might not know, while others serve the best of the basics, but one thing is sure: deliciousness is guaranteed.
To find the best Mexican restaurant in every state, we scoured online reviews, social media posts, local publications and word-of-mouth tips until we found the absolute best place in every state.
El Barrio — which translates to district or neighborhood — is a hotspot for Birmingham locals serving up fun cocktails and creative and exciting Mexican-inspired fare. Popular menu options include the gulf shrimp quesadilla and the grilled chorizo meatloaf, wherein spinach, cotija mashed potatoes, ranchera sauce, cumin sour cream and, of course, chorizo, combine for a delicious concoction.
Owned and operated by the Hurtados family since 1997, El Dorado is Alaska’s top destination for great Mexican food. You’ll find all the standards here, but locals’ favorites include the El Jefe — steak asada with cheese enchilada on the side, rice and beans — and the sizzling fajitas.
Located in Phoenix, Barrio Café offers Mexican food that has enthralled Arizonans since 2002. The cuisine at Barrio Café is so famous that it even made an appearance on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” If you want to eat like a Food Network star, try the Chiles en Nogada — poblano pepper stuffed with chicken, nuts, dried fruits, apples, pears, almond and a cream reduction — and if you want to eat like a local, try the Cochinita Pibil — Barrio’s award-winning 12-hour achiote-sour orange pork spread on corn tortillas with pickled red onions, Yucatan pico de gallo, Sangre del Diablo chile oil, piloncillo carrots, quelite beans, Barrio papas and spicy ketchup.
When you’re in Arkansas and craving delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, look no further than Taquería El Palenque. Located in Little Rock, Taquería El Palenque specializes in the basics, but dishes like enchiladas, carnitas and gorditas are among the most popular, and tacos are available with seven different meat options.
When immigrant husband and wife Fernando Lopez and Maria Monterrubio opened Guelaguetza’s doors in 1994, they introduced Los Angeles to Oaxacan cuisine. Dubbed the “best Oaxacan restaurant in the country,” Guelaguetza is most famously known for its mole — the restaurant offers six variations of the flavorful dish — and its tlayudas — a crispy plate-size tortilla typically smeared with refried beans, meat, cheese and toppings.
Originally a taco truck, Denver hotspot Tacos Tequila Whiskey puts a modern twist on comida de la calle (Mexican street food) and serves small-batch tequilas. You’ll want to start with an order of queso fundido, but you can’t go wrong with the award-winning tacos, like the chipotle-and-beer-battered fish taco.
Founded in 2019, El Charrito might be new on the scene, but that hasn’t stopped locals from raving about the delicious meals at this Riverside, Connecticut, establishment. El Charrito prides itself on serving “authentic Mexican food, not Tex-Mex,” and the menu shows it. Try a torta — it’s served with a meat of your choice and loaded with chipotle mayo, black beans and Oaxaca cheese.
El Pique in Wilmington, Delaware, is a tiny establishment that you might not notice when you first drive by, but once you step inside, you may never want Mexican cuisine from anywhere else. At El Pique, you can’t go wrong with an order of tacos. There are numerous proteins to choose from, including lamb barbacoa, potato, chorizo and lengua.
Named after the beautiful pottery of Mexico, Florida’s best Mexican restaurant is Talavera in Coral Gables. The menu at Talavera is inspired by a combination of new and old-world Mexico and features famed Mexican dishes that can be found in both traditional street markets and classic restaurants in Mexico City. Pair an order of tacos with the Los Famosos Moles — it’s made from scratch daily with up to 36 different ingredients. Skip out on Disney and the beach and stay here all day.
The handmade tortillas are a selling point at El Rey Del Taco in Atlanta. When you stop by El Rey Del Taco, prepare to load up on tacos, most notably cabeza (cow’s cheek) and chivo (goat). Wash it all down with a cool glass of horchata.
California-born Alejandro Alvarado grew up eating the cuisine of his Salvadorian and Mexican parents, and his family recipes serve as the foundation of the menu at his Kalihi Valley, Hawaii, destination, appropriately dubbed Alejandro’s. Specialties include carnitas, beef and carne asada tacos.
Two sisters from Texas missing tacos from home put their heads together and created Tin Roof, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Boise, Idaho. Tin Roof serves a variety of creative tacos, including the Tin Roof (shredded achiote-rubbed pork, pineapple, cilantro and onion), brisket (slow-roasted beef with queso fresco, cilantro and onion) and fish (grilled or fried, and topped with chipotle crema, red cabbage, and cilantro).
Xoco — pronounced Sho-ko — has delicious Mexican cuisine with bold flavors. Owned by award-winning chef Rick Bayless, this Chicago hotspot honors Mexico’s most beloved street food and snacks with flaky empanadas, deep-fried churros, Mexican hot chocolate and flaky tortas. Everything is worth a try here, but you can’t say you’ve dined at Xoco until you’ve had a Xoco churro.
There’s plenty of great Mexican cuisine in Indianapolis, but Indy Tacos in Indianapolis is a local favorite. The basics are served at Indy Tacos, but why not be bold and try one of the famous specialty tacos like the mango chicken — grilled chicken and fajita onion marinated with mango sauce. For a burst of flavor, try the mole taco — shredded chicken topped off with mole sauce and fresco cheese.
Originally a taco truck seen rumbling through the streets of Iowa City, La Regia Taqueria is Iowa’s go-to spot for tasty Mexican cuisine. From quesadillas to tortas, to tostadas and burritos, La Regia Taqueria has all the favorites you’d expect from a Mexican restaurant, but it’s the tacos that take the menu to the next level. Try the beloved fish tacos — fried tilapia on a corn tortilla with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce and ranch dressing — for the full experience.
Founded nearly a decade ago, Don Antonio’s Carniceria y Taqueria is known — as the name implies — for savory meats and amazing salsa. The menu isn’t extensive — tacos, burritos, tortas, quesadillas and nachos are the only dishes offered — but the meat options, which include buche, carnitas, grilled beef and more, will spruce up any meal.
Kentucky has more than excellent Derby cocktails. At Taco Luchador in Louisville, you’ll find delicious tacos. Try the baja fish tacos with a side of chips and guacamole or elote callejero — all recommended by the chef — when you’re craving a meal with a kick. The baja fish tacos are made with Mexican beer-battered cod, chipotle aioli, pickled cabbage and cilantro, and the elote callejero — a traditional dish — is caramelized corn on the cob smothered with mayo, Mexican spices and cotija cheese.
Many factors contribute to the stellar food at El Cabo Verde in Shreveport, Louisiana. The recipes are inspired by chef Gabriel Balderas’ upbringing in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he studied his mother’s and grandmother’s cooking. All the recipes are made from scratch and ingredients are taken from an organic garden on the restaurant property. El Cabo Verde is a gem that keeps the locals coming back for deliciously crafted dishes like ceviche, tamales and crispy chicken flautas.
Portland, Maine, has no shortage of great restaurants, but for tacos, head to Taco Escobarr. Tacos are available in three varieties: soft corn tortillas, crispy griddle-fried tortillas, or deep-fried puffy tacos. The crispy taco is the winner of the bunch. Try it filled with bistek — slow-braised shredded beef with flavors of roasted poblano peppers and garlic.
Located in Baltimore, Tortilleria Sinaloa is a local favorite serving some of the best Mexican cuisine in the entire state. There aren’t many options on the menu, but there’s magic in simplicity. For a bit of Mexican/Maryland fusion, try the special tilapia tacos with Old Bay butter sauce.
Massachusetts may be home to the Boston cream pie, but thanks to Taqueria Jalisco in Boston, the east coast state can claim great Mexican cuisine, too. The best time to go to Taqueria Jalisco is on the weekend when they’re serving up the birria tacos. Served on weekends only, the birria tacos are made with tender beef, topped with cilantro and onion, and served with a broth for dipping.
Detroit gem El Rey is best known for its marinated grilled chicken, cooked over a wood charcoal grill and “crisped to perfection.” A whole chicken, served with rice, beans, tortillas and salsa, costs $13, and, as a bonus, you can use the leftovers to make a delicious meal. Corn shell tacos are only $1.75 and can be filled with your choice of 11 fillings, including pastor, asada, tripe, lengua and cabeza.
Known as “the best kept secret in town,” Andale Taqueria in Richfield, Minnesota, dishes out street-style Mexican food. Everything is made from scratch and ingredients are purchased from the market next door, so whether you’re ordering tacos, fajitas or a torta, you’re guaranteed a fresh and satisfying meal. If you don’t believe us, ask Guy Fieri — Andale Taqueria was featured on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
At Jackson, Mississippi, hotspot Green Ghost Tacos, recipes have been passed down for generations and are cooked in small batches every day. Almost anything Mexican cuisine you’re craving — from chimichangas to enchiladas — is on the menu, but try the specialty Green Ghost taco — three streak or chicken tacos on flour tortillas topped with melted cheese and mushrooms and served with rice and beans.
Located in St. Louis, La Tejana is a restaurant that couples friendly smiles and a warm atmosphere with delicious food for a joyous experience. The menu is simple, yet loaded with classic favorites. When you want to see what all the hype is about, locals recommend trying the fish and al pastor tacos.
Since 1997, Taco Del Sol in Missoula, Montana, has been a Mission-inspired restaurant serving great eats. Tacos are served in soft flour, soft corn and crispy corn shells and loaded with your choice of meat. Try the fish taco — baked Alaskan cod, beans, shredded cheese, fresh salsa, shredded cabbage, white sauce, hot sauce and jalapenos.
Rivera’s Mexican Food is a family-owned business serving delicious dishes with flavors and spices from Pueblo, Mexico. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Rivera’s serves everything from pork enchiladas to grilled shrimp tacos with pico de gallo and a drizzled morita sauce. And just as good as the food at Rivera’s is the tequila — there are over 100 brands available.
It may not have the flash of Mexican hotspots on the Strip, but Bonito Michoacan is one of Nevada’s great neighborhood Mexican restaurants. This Las Vegas institution has all the basics and more, plus an extensive list of margaritas to complement each meal.
El Rincon Zacatecano Taqueria is a beloved Mexican spot in Manchester, New Hampshire, serving authentic cuisine with rich flavors. El Rincon is serving up savory chilaquiles and standout chef’s specialties. Try the shrimps el rincon — three fried shrimp tacos on soft corn tortillas topped with avocado salsa, pico de gallo and shredded cabbage.
By the time you receive your order at Pancho’s Mexican Taquería in Atlantic City, New Jersey, you’ll be salivating. The food is prepared in front of you — even the tortillas — so great smells accompany even better food. The main menu options are tacos with a side of even more tacos, but with more than 10 different meat options to choose from, you’ll never get tired of coming back for more.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cocina Azul is owned by Frank L. Barela Sr. and his wife Evelyn. Together, the two work hand in hand to craft original recipes that have locals coming back for more. Try the Nuévo México Relleno Plate — two full stem New Mexico whole green chiles stuffed with white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, dipped in a frothy whipped egg batter, delicately pan fried and smothered with the dealer’s choice of Frank Sr.’s red or green chile.
Casa Enrique is a Michelin-star restaurant led by Cosme Aguilar, a native of Chiapas, Mexico. Inspired by the traditional Chiapas meals served by his mother, aunts and sisters, Aguilar opened Casa Enrique’s doors in 2012 and continues to bring authentic cuisine to New Yorkers. Local favorites include the enchiladas de pollo en salsa verde — chicken breast rolled in a corn tortilla topped with tomatillo sauce, lettuce, black beans, crema fresca, queso fresco and avocado — and the enchiladas de pollo con mole de piaxtla — chicken breast rolled in a corn tortilla with mole sauce, onion, black beans, crema fresca, queso fresco and avocado.
Ian Maren C./Yelp
La Super Taquería in Durham, North Carolina, is a small establishment with big flavors. The menu is pretty straight forward — tacos and tamales dominate the list — but every order is guaranteed to be fresh and tasty.
La Carreta has everything you look for in a classic Mexican restaurant, and it’s been serving hungry Bismarck, North Dakota, locals for more than 15 years. On the menu, you’ll find great margaritas and top-notch nachos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and more. Traditional Mexican dishes like arroz con mariscos and chilaquiles are also available.
Beloved Cleveland hotspot Barrio trusts its guests to build their own ideal tacos from a selection of fillings, including Coca-Cola-marinated steak, braised beef, homemade chorizo, pulled pork, bacon, jalapeno lime shrimp and pan-seared portobellos. If you’d rather leave it up to the masters, try one of the El Jefe’s Selecciones.
If you’re looking for Oklahoma’s best Mexican food, drive until you reach Norman and pull into Tarahumara’s, a charming family-owned cantina. Menu items are made with high-quality ingredients and recipes originated in Chihuahua, Mexico. Make sure you try the sizzling chicken fajitas.
Tienda Y Panaderia Santa Cruz is renowned for bringing local, authentic Mexican food to Portland, Oregon. The menu consists of items like a lengua tacos, burritos and camarones rancheros, among other dishes. Huaraches, another house specialty, are masa formed in a long oval shape and topped with beans, lettuce, cheese and meat.
With several locations across Pennsylvania, El Limon Mexican Taqueria has enthralled locals with authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine. There’s not one traditional dish you won’t be able to find on the menu, but it’s the fish tacos — served with tilapia, onions, cilantro, rice and beans — that locals rave about.
Tallulah’s Taquería in Providence, Rhode Island, is serving classic Mexican fare prepared with care. Tacos, burritos, tortas, bowls and quesadillas can be filled with your choice of 14 fillings. Don’t miss the carnitas tacos: slow-braised pork belly is served in a corn tortilla with onions, cilantro and salsa.
Originally a business started in a small town in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant comes from the minds of two brothers who grew up preparing moles, salsas and other family recipes. Today, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, staple where locals stop by for delicious Mexican cuisine and even better margaritas. Try the steak fajita quesadilla.
In 2003, just two years into his retirement, Jose “Pepe” Magallanes opened Las Tortugas in Memphis, Tennessee, with his son Jonathan. Born and raised in Mexico City, Pepe saw a need for authentic Mexican food in Memphis and made Las Tortugas the go-to spot for locals. The menu is simple, but the food is not. Whether you’re ordering the de pollo — a whole roasted chicken with tomato, sweet onion and mild pickled jalapeno pepper — or the al pastor — shepherd style spicy pork tenderloin with fresh caramelized pineapple — you’re guaranteed a burst of flavor with every bite.
At Hugo’s in Houston, Chef Hugo Ortega — a 2017 James Beard Award-winning chef — cooks food that is light and fresh, deep and complex and earthy. Ortega specializes in menu options that range from staple, iconic recipes to the complex. Try the highly praised pulpo al carbon — grilled octopus, onions and peppers, chipotle-tomatillo salsa with small tortillas — or the flavorful carne brava — wood-grilled skirt steak, poblano peppers, onion, salsa tarasca con cacahuate, guacamole, refritos and arroz a la Mexicana.
If you want “killer Mexican food” in Utah, you’ll have to go to Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. Opened in 1985 by Ramon and Maria Cardenas, Red Iguana is now operated by their daughter, Lucy Cardenas, and has gained both local and national recognition for exceptional food, especially the mole.
Located in one of America’s most underrated small towns, Taco Gordo has some of the best Mexican cuisine in the entire state of Vermont. This Burlington taco joint keeps locals happy with a simple menu featuring tacos, burritos and even more tacos. Pair the brisket taco — dry-rubbed, 16-hour chopped brisket with cilantro and onion on a corn tortilla — with a side of fresh guacamole.
Since opening its doors in 1998, El Paso Mexican Restaurant has become a staple for tasty Mexican food in Springfield, Virginia. The restaurant takes pride in transporting Springfield residents to Mexico with its long list of tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
When you’re not taking a tour of Seattle’s famous Space Needle, you should be eating at Fogón Cocina Mexicana. With salsas, tortillas and tostadas, it’ll be difficult to choose what you should order, but we recommend kicking off your order with a round of carne asada street tacos, topped with onions, cilantro, salsa and lime with radish on the side.
Spanish-born chef and humanitarian José Andrés is a renowned chef dedicated to the craft of cooking up great food. At Oyamel in Washington, D.C., Andrés combines Mexico’s rich regional diversity with a vibrant atmosphere. The menu is loaded with an eclectic range of cuisine that ranges from spicy to savory, but whatever you do order, be sure to include the queso fundido con tequila: melted Clover Hill Farms Monterey Jack cheese flambéed with tequila and served with fresh hand-made tortillas.
Located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Maria’s Taquería is the brainchild of Northern Virginia native Maria Allen. She opened Maria’s Taquería after graduating from West Virginia’s Shepherd University, and it became a hotspot almost immediately. The food here is fresh and tasty, and there’s an expansive menu that will make just about anyone happy. The fish taco features crispy fried cod topped with cilantro, jalapeno aioli and spicy cabbage slaw wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Taquería Guadalajara, located in Madison, Wisconsin, claims it has the “best, most authentic Mexican food in Madison,” and based on reputation, they are not wrong. Everything from tacos to gorditas are available, but if you want to put Taquería Guadalajara’s claim to the test, try the chimichanga — a deep-fried tightly rolled burrito stuffed with your choice of meat and melted cheese and covered with sour cream.
Rochelle ‘Shella’ T./Yelp
In business since 2007, Juan’s House of Tacos brings authentic Mexican food to the heart of Wyoming. Located in Thayne, Wyoming, Juan’s uses fresh ingredients and traditional recipes to bring locals’ taste buds to life. Try the chimichanga for crispy goodness. If you’re craving Mexican cuisine but want to skip the restaurant, try making these favorite Mexican recipes at home.
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