The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State


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Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Burritos and Beyond

There's no need to head south of the border for tiptop Mexican food. The U.S. boasts Mexican restaurants serving delicious, authentic fare from coast to coast. Some are humble mom-and-pop taquerias offering cheap eats, while others are full-service restaurants that aim to elevate Mexican cuisine with inventive menus and an upscale ambiance. Whether you're craving a basic burrito or a multi-course feast, read on to find out the best Mexican restaurant to satisfy your hunger in every state and Washington, D.C.

Related: Tasty Taco Places Across the Country

El Barrio
Jesse R./Yelp

Alabama: El Barrio

Downtown Birmingham's El Barrio is "nothing short of spectacular" because of its offbeat, locally sourced menu and funky atmosphere, according to the Alabama news website Reviewers on TripAdvisor agree. The grilled chorizo meatloaf and grapefruit margaritas are among diners' favorite items.

La Cabana in Anchorage, Alaska
Janice N./Yelp

Alaska: La Cabaña

Good Mexican food in Alaska? Reviewers say La Cabaña makes it possible. This unassuming restaurant is nothing special when it comes to decor, but it's worth a visit for its friendly staff and consistently good food, diners say. Look for the halibut Veracruz.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Elote Café in Sedona, Arizona
Ramfis B./Yelp

Arizona: Elote Café

The food and the view of Sedona's Red Rocks make it well worth waiting in line for a table at upscale Elote, according to the food and travel website Gayot. Reviewers rave about several dishes, but the pork cheeks, carnitas, and fire-roasted corn inspire the most recommendations.

Rolando's Nuevo Latino in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Alison B./Yelp

Arkansas: Rolando's Nuevo Latino

Hot Springs
Housed in a 19th-century building in the city's historic bathhouse district, Rolando's serves Mexican and other Latin food with a more modern spin. Diners say it's hard to beat a spot on the upstairs patio. Signature dishes include pollo bohemia, chicken marinated in a Cuban mojo, sautéed in lime and tequila, served with peppers, onions, and parsley.

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Burritos, La Taqueria
Alex R./Yelp

California: La Taqueria

San Francisco
In a city bursting with upscale options, Travel + Leisure singles out this humble Mission District staple as one of the best Mexican restaurants in the U.S. Many reviewers say La Taqueria's burritos are the best they've ever had, and the tacos get plenty of love, too. 

Related: Where to Find Good Cheap Burritos in Every State

Tacos Tequila Whiskey
Christin S./Yelp

Colorado: Tacos Tequila Whiskey

Diners love Tacos Tequila Whiskey for its modern on traditional street food, cocktails, and menu of small-batch tequila and whiskey) at either its Highlands or City Park location. Since each diner will need two to three tacos, mix it up from the 17 or so listed — customers call out the Fish N Beer, lengua, and Mahi Molcajete as particularly worth the money, and one on TripAdvisor suggests "anything with griddled cotija cheese." The queso fundidos are also not to be missed. 

Geronimo Southwest Grill in New Haven, Connecticut
Liana L./Yelp

Connecticut: Geronimo Southwest Grill

New Haven
Are you a tequila connoisseur? Geronimo claims to have the largest selection on the East Coast, and even offers tequila flights. The food is also great, and even The New York Times calls many of the dishes "sensational," including the tequila and citrus-marinated pork pibil.

Related: Splurge-Worthy Tequilas for Celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Home

Border Café in Newark, Delaware
Yoko K./Yelp

Delaware: Border Café

This Massachusetts import (it began in Harvard Square) has become one of the best-loved restaurants in Delaware, and the menu offers Tex-Mex and Cajun favorites. Reviewers warn that there's often a wait and it can get noisy, but both annoyances are worth it for the tasty fajitas and shrimp and crawfish quesadillas.

Pica Taco
Pica Tacos

District of Columbia: Pica Taco

This family-operated, neighborhood joint does handcrafted food and five unique salsas. The al pastor tacos and flan get raves, and tacos are said to be so filling it's better to get started with one instead of ordering more.

Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Coral Gables, Florida
Kristine R./Yelp

Florida: Talavera Cocina Mexicana

Coral Gables
Enjoy a modern take on authentic Mexican food at this spot (already swanky and now being renovated) praised for its cocktails, seamless service, and bold decor. Moles are made from scratch daily. Diners at Talavera Cocina Mexicana say all of the tacos are delicious — wash them down with a pineapple jalapeño margarita.

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El Rey Del Taco in Atlanta, Georgia
Wes M./Yelp

Georgia: El Rey Del Taco

This little taqueria isn't much to look at, but El Rey Del Taco has sure attracted the attention of some prominent critics, landing a spot on Travel + Leisure's list of the nation's best Mexican restaurants. The lengua (tongue) taco on housemade tortillas made it to Zagat's list of "12 Tacos Every Atlantan Needs to Try." Diners vouch for the food's authenticity.

Búho Cocina y Cantina in Honolulu, Hawaii
Lyann K./Yelp

Hawaii: Búho Cocina y Cantina

Live music and a rooftop location make the atmosphere at Búho, where "hola meets aloha," hard to beat. The menu makes use of its Hawaiian location whenever possible with dishes such as shrimp fajitas and ceviche and grilled fish tacos.

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Despo's in Ketchum, Idaho
Olivia W./Yelp

Idaho: Despo's

Despite the "no-frills" feel at Despo's, Zagat says the traditional food at this longtime local favorite hits the spot. The owner is "lean green" and aim to serve locally sourced ingredients, too. Diners agree that everything is fresh; many recommend the burritos and tortilla soup.

Topolobampo in Chicago, Illinois
Kahlia S./Yelp

Illinois: Topolobampo

Celebrity chef Rick Bayless' high-end Topolobampo was singled out for a James Beard Foundation award for two years in a row. Zagat says the dishes are "wildly inventive," and the service is top-notch. Diners recommend the carne asada with Oaxacan black mole, a lunch-menu staple. 

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Nada in Indianapolis, Indiana
Courtney C./Yelp

Indiana: Nada

Nada trades the typical kitschy Mexican restaurant decor for a more sleek, industrial look, and its modern fare goes right along with the ambiance. The inventive tacos include mu shu, fried avocado, and crispy pork belly. Reviewers say the fresh guacamole is a highlight, too.

La Regia Taqueria in Iowa City, Iowa
John P./Yelp

Iowa: La Regia Taqueria

Iowa City
La Regia offers a little bit of everything: sit-down service, takeout, and an attached Mexican grocery hawking everything from fresh chorizo to piñatas. Reviewers recommend grabbing a glass bottle of Mexican soda to go with the simple fare, though if you're adventurous, taco and burrito fillings include tripe and tongue.

Related: The Bucket List Restaurant in Your State

Jarocho Pescados y Mariscos in Kansas City, Kansas
Dina R./Yelp

Kansas: Jarocho

Kansas City
Reviewers caution against judging Jarocho by its hole-in-the-wall appearance, because the prices are reasonable and the Mexican seafood is far better than the atmosphere would suggest. Diners say the ceviche, oysters, and seafood paella are among the highlights here.

Mayan Café in Louisville, Kentucky
Priyanka B./Yelp

Kentucky: Mayan Café

The chef's Yucatán heritage shines through in the food at Mayan Café, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant that Zagat praises for its "elevated, seasonal touch." Reviewer favorites include rabbit served in pumpkin-seed mole, and cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish.

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Juan's Flying Burrito in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mark S./Yelp

Louisiana: Juan's Flying Burrito

New Orleans
This laid-back spot in the Garden District is noted for its massive burritos and dash of Creole flavors that accompany its traditional Tex-Mex, Zagat says. The menu at Juan's makes use of Gulf shrimp whenever possible, and reviewers say the nachos and margaritas are among the best offerings.

Related: Best Cheap or Free Things to Do in New Orleans

Taco Escobarr in Portland, Maine
Melissa D./Yelp

Maine: Taco Escobarr

Lobster-happy Maine isn't exactly a hotspot for Mexican food, but Taco Escobarr more than does its part to add some culinary diversity. Eater Maine says it's one of the best spots for tacos in the state, calling out the wide variety of tortillas and fillings. The burritos are also great, reviewers say.

Tortilleria Sinaloa in Baltimore, Maryland
Gio H./Yelp

Maryland: Tortilleria Sinaloa

It's counter seating only at this popular taqueria in the waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point, but Tortilleria Sinaloa's devotees say that shouldn't be a deterrent to getting some of the most delicious, authentic tacos in town. That doesn't mean there's no local flavor, though: Specialties include a tilapia taco with Old Bay butter sauce.

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El Sarape in Boston, Massachusetts
Caitlyn S./Yelp

Massachusetts: El Sarape

Weymouth Landing
El Sarape has earned accolades from The Daily Meal and Travel + Leisure as one of the country's best, most authentic Mexican restaurants. The latter publication recommends staples including carnitas and enchiladas verde, or the guisado con chile ancho — that's chicken or beef casserole with potatoes, onions, and red chile sauce.

El Asador in Detroit, Michigan
Wayne H./Yelp

Michigan: El Asador

This Mexican steakhouse has created a lot of buzz in Detroit dining circles. El Asador emphasizes from-scratch recipes, and (of course) steaks with a south-of-the-border twist. Reviewers are also complimentary about the seafood dishes, including shrimp tacos and lobster quesadillas. You can even BYOB, notes Zagat.

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El Burrito Mercado, St. Paul, Minnesota
Margie A./Yelp

Minnesota: El Burrito Mercado

St. Paul
Whether you want a quick, cafeteria-style meal or a sit-down dinner, El Burrito Mercado has you covered. An attached grocery offers a wide range of imported favorites, too. Reviewers say you can't beat the authenticity at this decades-old favorite, praising staples such as tacos and burritos. Make reservations online or order for delivery. 

Fat Mama's Tamales in Natchez, Mississippi
Cayla M./Yelp

Mississippi: Fat Mama's Tamales

Fat Mama's is a mashup of Mexican and Southern favorites — po' boys are also on the menu — but the hot tamales are the real draw, reviewers say. Named the best in the state by Mississippi magazine, they come by the half-dozen and are worth the drive, reviewers say. The margaritas are also well-loved.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Spots for Fried Chicken in Every State

Mission Taco Joint in St. Louis, Missouri
Warren H./Yelp

Missouri: Mission Taco Joint

St. Louis
Zagat calls Mission a "hip gourmet street-taco specialist," and something must be working, because there are now several locations of this local favorite. Reviewers say the biggest "must" on the menu is the side of street corn, which is grilled and served in garlic-lime mayonnaise. They also love the carne asada tacos. Pro tip: pre-order Cinco de Mayo taco kits online.

Rosita's in Libby, Montana
Lindy S./Yelp

Montana: Rosita's

Authentic Mexican food isn't exactly around every corner in Montana, and to dine at Rosita's, you're looking at a long drive unless you're already passing through. Still, a few reviewers say the food is worth it at this no-frills café. They particularly recommend the massive burritos.

Related: The Best Hole-in-the-Wall Diner in Every State

Agave Azteca in Omaha, Nebraska
Dusti F./Yelp

Nebraska: Agave Azteca

The Omaha World-Herald says Agave Azteca makes good on its claims of authenticity, providing traditional favorites for more discerning Mexican-food fans alongside the usual staples. Its reviewer recommended the cochinita pibil, a pork dish from the Yucatán, while other diners say the fajitas are a solid choice.

Tacos Huevos in Las Vegas, Nevada
Tacos Huevos/Yelp

Nevada: Los Lupes Mexican Restaurant

Las Vegas
While Sin City doesn't make one think of authentic Mexican food, Los Lupes has been dishing it up for 17 years. Fans rave about the $13 chili verde and $11 carnitas burritos, and this restaurant is just 7 minutes from the Strip, where a burrito is likely to cost a lot more. You can order take-out to eat in your hotel room or at home, too. 

Related: Bucket List Restaurants in Las Vegas

El Rincon Zacatecano Taqueria
Janet S./Yelp

New Hampshire: El Rincón Zacatecano Taquería

The name may be a mouthful, but this Manchester favorite is worth seeking out for its authentic Mexican dishes made from family recipes that date back generations. Diners recommend El Rincon’s quesadillas and gorditas, and, being near the sea, the shrimp dishes also get a lot of praise.

Taqueria Downtown, Jersey City, New Jersey
Priscilla R./Yelp

New Jersey: Taqueria Downtown

Jersey City
It's loud and crowded, Zagat says, but that might be part of the experience at Taqueria Downtown. You can escape the noise by snagging a spot on the patio, where reviewers say you should nosh on just about any of the inexpensive tacos — pork seems to be among the favorites.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Indian Restaurant in Every State

The Shed in Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico: The Shed

Santa Fe
One of Travel + Leisure's picks for best Mexican food in the U.S., The Shed has been drawing diners to its location just off the city's famous plaza since 1953. The red chile enchiladas are some of the best around, reviewers say. Finish with a slice of mocha cake.

Cosme in New York City, New York
Pat L./Yelp

New York: Cosme

New York City
This upscale Flatiron District eatery landed on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017 and 2018 with contemporary cuisine that Zagat calls out for its creativity — note the bone-marrow salsa. Diners highly recommend the uni tostadas as an appetizer and the husk meringue with corn mousse for dessert.

Related: Free or Cheap Things to Do in New York City

Limones in Asheville, North Carolina
David Y./Yelp

North Carolina: Limones

The chef here is a "California-trained Mexico City native," notes Zagat, and both influences are evident on the menu at this high-end but unpretentious downtown eatery. Diners highly recommend Limones' ceviche and chile relleno to start; for an entrée, get the scallops or sea bass with roasted corn and poblano peppers.

Vinyl Taco in Fargo, North Dakota
MK L./Yelp

North Dakota: Vinyl Taco

You might not expect the hip, exposed-brick ambiance or delicious Mexican street food in the middle of Fargo, but Vinyl Taco has created a lot of buzz since opening in 2014. Reviewers love the music-inspired decor and say the shrimp and pork belly tacos are particular favorites.

Related: Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America

Momocho in Cleveland, Ohio
Lauren K./Yelp

Ohio: Momocho

With a menu featuring what's described as a "modern-Mexican" cuisine, Momocho trades the typical bright atmosphere of a cantina for a darker, more moody ambiance spotlighting Mexican wrestlers. Diners say all of the taquitos are to die for, and so are the inventive crab and smoked trout guacamoles.

Ted's Café Escondido in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Amy S./Yelp

Oklahoma: Ted's Café Escondido

Oklahoma City
Ted's is so popular that it has grown into a chain with more than a dozen locations, and locals haven't stopped raving about this place. Voted "Best Mexican Restaurant" 20 times by The Oklahoman newspaper, it has a wide-ranging Tex-Mex menu that diners love. Highlights include the fresh-made tortillas and complimentary sopapillas, they say.

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Nuestra Cocina in Portland, Oregon
Cheng-Tsung L./Yelp

Oregon: Nuestra Cocina

Though the atmosphere is casual at Nuestra Cocina, Zagat says the cuisine is upscale and worthy of a stop in a city loaded with great restaurants. The "Señora de la Tortilla" hand rolls and presses homemade corn tortillas every day. The pork tacos are a particular favorite on a menu that's well-regarded across the board.

Related: Charming Restaurant Patios to Unwind On

Distrito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
David R./Yelp

Pennsylvania: Distrito

Celebrity chef Jose Garces' spin on a casual taqueria, Distrito is all about shareable modern Mexican street food, Zagat says. Reviewers say the funky pink interior is worth a trip as much as the food, but they recommend the filling nachos, too.

Diego's in Newport, Rhode Island
Sarah L./Yelp

Rhode Island: Diego's

Rhode Island isn't exactly known for Mexican food, but the offerings at Diego's are solid, and so is the atmosphere — the restaurant is perched on Newport's harbor. Brunch is a particular highlight, reviewers say, with offerings such as chicken tinga chilaquiles, a smoked salmon quesadilla, and a $6 breakfast torta.

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Taco Boy in Charleston, South Carolina
Tory P./Yelp

South Carolina: Taco Boy

The eclectic atmosphere at this restaurant, called "colorful" and "hip" by Gayot, is half the reason to come. But that doesn't mean the food's not tasty at Taco Boy. The guacamole alone is worth the trip, reviewers say. The Mexican street corn is another favorite.

Que Pasa Cantina in Rapid City, South Dakota
Chris F./Yelp

South Dakota: ¿Que Pasa? Cantina

Rapid City
The rooftop deck alone would inspire a lot of diners to come to Que Pasa Cantina, but hundreds of them also say the food is top-notch. Highlights include the street tacos — choose from either chicken and pineapple or marinated skirt steak — and the enchiladas. Thirsty? There are more than 52 kinds of tequila.

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Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana in Memphis, Tennessee
Stanley Z./Yelp

Tennessee: Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana

Las Tortugas, one of America's best Mexican joints according to The Daily Meal, opened with the expressed aim of bringing authentic Mexican food to Memphis. Happy reviewers say this humble family restaurant has succeeded, heaping particular praise on the guacamole and fresh fish tacos.

Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia in San Antonio, Texas

Texas: Mi Tierra Café Y Panadería

San Antonio
Competition is stiff in Texas, but Gayot says Mi Tierra, opened in 1941, tops them all as "the don of Mexican dining in San Antonio." Diners say the homemade tortillas are sensational, and you can't miss with the enchiladas. The pecan pralines are also well worth a stop at the bakery counter, reviewers say.

Related: Oldest Restaurant in Every State

Red Iguana in Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah: Red Iguana

Salt Lake City
Red Iguana isn't much to look at, and the small interior means there will probably be a wait. Devotees say neither matters as long as you're a fan of authentic Mexican food, and this little cantina has been recognized by various publications as one of the city's best restaurants year after year. Reviewers recommend getting a sampler of the moles.

The Mad Taco in Waitsfield, Vermont
Amanda M./Yelp

Vermont: The Mad Taco

Despite its humble strip-mall location, reviewers say The Mad Taco serves up some of Vermont's best Mexican food. Of course, it does so with a local twist and features several local craft beers as well. The smoked pork, kimchi, and cilantro taco is a particular favorite.

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Taco Bamba in Falls Church, Virginia
Victoria N./Yelp

Virginia: Taco Bamba

Falls Church
The best Mexican food in Virginia can be found at four locations (and even one in D.C.). The tacos and tortas at Taco Bamba get raves from reviewers, who call it "the best street food" in the area.

La Carta de Oaxaca in Seattle, Washington
Mona N./Yelp

Washington: La Carta De Oaxaca

This one's a little fancier than your typical Mexican joint, but not so much that it's stuffy, reviewers say. Zagat says La Carta de Oaxaca's homemade tortillas and moles are worth waiting for a table when it's busy. Diners recommend the fish tacos accompanied by one of the tasty house margaritas.

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Black Bear Burritos in Morgantown, West Virginia
Sher Y./Yelp

West Virginia: Black Bear Burritos

Somehow, this college-town mashup of bizarre burritos and Appalachian decor just works, devotees say. Reviewers appreciate Black Bear's big portions and focus on local ingredients. A specialty is the WV Hot Rod burrito, filled with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled chicken, bacon, pepperjack, and chipotle Dijon.

Café Corazon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sean W./Yelp

Wisconsin: Café Corazón

A funky little restaurant now with three locations, Café Corazón earns a shout-out from Zagat for its "delicious, locally sourced" food and charming atmosphere. The brunch menu — featuring a range of breakfast tacos, breakfast burritos, tostada plates, and much more — earns particular praise from reviewers.

Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Maggie L./Yelp

Wyoming: Merry Piglets

Jackson Hole
This unpretentious favorite in tourist haven Jackson Hole opened in 1969 just north of the town square. Gayot notes the thatched-hut roofs and vibrant wall art that add to the festive ambiance at Merry Piglets. Diners recommend the fajitas and street tacos — if you don't fill up on the tasty chips and salsa.

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