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The Best Mexican Restaurants In The United States

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Tessa ZuluagaAuthor

To take you back to history class, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States to honor Mexico's victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Naturally, Americans honor this historical event with giant margaritas and bottomless chips and salsa. However, if you’re looking for real Mexican food and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.

This article is dedicated to the best Mexican food in the United States, featuring a diverse list of successful restaurants in different cities, sourced through recommendations, review sites, and other openly available data sources. We recommend you support these restaurants this year on Cinco De Mayo.

Ready? Let’s talk tequila, tex-mex, and tostadas.

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Angela’s Cafe - East Boston, MA

For our East Coast diners, Angela’s Cafe located in East Boston is a family-owned restaurant that offers authentic Poblana Cuisine. Angela's is widely recognized as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Boston, and across the US. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of their popular menu offerings include:

  • Mole Poblana de Angela

  • Chilaquiles

  • Enchiladas

  • Carne Asada

  • Chile Relleno

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Angela’s Cafe has 2 locations in East Boston, so make sure to check ‘em out!

Bacanora - Phoenix, AZ

Bacanora, noun: the bootlegged spirit of bringing Sonoran cuisine to Downtown Phoenix. Here, each dish is made with the love of its ingredients, the love of the guests, and the love of the community. Esquire named Bacanora one of the Best New Restaurants in America in 2021. And since then, Bacanora has continued to impress Phoenix locals and tourists alike. The menu here is simple yet delicious. If I were you, I’d be ordering the carne asada burrito!

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Camino Riviera - San Diego, CA

Camino Riviera is a sultry, creative celebration of the Yucatán coastline. The space aims to transport guests not only visually, but to create a full sensory experience to evoke the spirit of the Riviera Maya. The menu here features local farms and purveyors whenever possible. Some of their offerings include green chorizo tostadas, pork “quesa birria” bao, pork chop anticucho, and much more.

Camino Riviera also has an extensive tequila and mezcal list. They offer an incredible cocktail list, perfect for Cinco De Mayo. Here are just a few to get your mouth watering:

  • El Gordo - Green Pepper Tequila, Celery Spice, Genepy, Lime

  • Jugo Jefe - Guava Mezcal, Mango, Aloe, Eucalyptus, Mint, Lime

  • Honey B Of - El Tesoro Reposado, Benedictine, Honey, Orange Bitters

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TATEMÓ - Houston, TX

TATEMÓ: [tah-teh-mÓ] is a past tense verb from the Mexican technique “tatemar“; which means roast, toast or grill. TATEMÓ is on a mission to restore the cultural value of maíz by showcasing the diversity of heirloom corn, from different landscapes and purveyors of Mexico via masa products like tortillas. Here you can get delicious ceviche, gorditas, quesadillas, and more! This restaurant is small but mighty. There’s a reason why they were ranked #2 on Houston Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants of 2023 – Houston readers, go get some authentic Mexican food at TATEMÓ.

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Californios - San Francisco, CA

Californios has two Michelin stars and is known for turning familiar dishes into complex and deliciously unique offerings. Established in 2015, Californios provides guests with an entire dining experience, not just a plate of food. Some of their standout dishes include the Tostada Bolita Velatove, featuring Maine Lobster poached in Sun Dried Tomato & Chile Puya Butter atop a crisp masa tostada, and the Chilapita, a regional dish from Guerrero, featuring Black Masa from Tierra Vegetable Farms, Jalapeño & Smoked Sturgeon Mousse, and Golden Reserve Caviar from Tsar Nicoulai.

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To the people of California and tourists abound, this is a must-try dining experience.

El Alma - Austin, TX

Looking for an amazing happy hour spot? El Alma has two locations in Austin (Barton Springs and Westgate Blvd). Here they offer happy hour every day from 3-6pm, with tasty margaritas such as the Flaquita: Watermelon-serrano infused Astral Blanco, watermelon, lime, agave, and chile rim. El Alma’s food menu offers vibrant contemporary flavors of Mexico, from chilaquiles for brunch and tortas for lunch, to nachos and beef barbacoa tacos for dinner. If you’re looking for fresh, flavorful Mexican dishes – this should be your next spot!

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Nuevo Leon - Chicago, IL

Chicago might be known for deep-dish pizza but Nuevo Leon challenges this notion with its insane Mexican cuisine. Everything on this menu looks good and they offer the best beverages for you to top your meal off with, such as horchata or Coca Mexican. Visit Nuevo Leon today for their Tamales Dinner, Chile Relleno De Queso, and so much more. You can’t go wrong here.

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Pictured above is their Tampiqueña dish...yum.

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La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal - Denver, CO

Pozole dates back to the 16th century when corn was a sacred crop to the Aztec and Mesoamerican cultures. Today, Pozole is still prepared for special occasions. Chef Jose Avila has gathered a team that presents guests with an authentic pozole y mezcal experience. La Diabla is Denver's first eatery devoted to pozole, and they serve up delicious meals for the foodies of Denver.

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Oxomoco - Brooklyn, NY

Oxomoco is a Brooklyn eatery that offers wood-fired dishes plus ample tequila, mezcal cocktails, and a patio. This restaurant has one Michelin-star and is known for not sticking to one dish or area of Mexico. Instead, the menu here includes a range of different offerings from their Artichoke Tacos to their Peekytoe Crab Tostada. Make sure to order a tasty drink as well, such as the Antiguo Oaxacan which features bacon-washed mezcal, bourbon, cherry, and chocolate!

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Revolver Taco Lounge - Dallas, TX

We’ve talked about Austin and Houston, now it’s Dallas’ time to shine. Revolver Taco Lounge is (obviously) known for its tacos, but guests also rave about their menudo broth. They offer taco packages with a variety of different options and prices. Guests can also enjoy their Mexican brunch buffets on Sundays from 11am - 3pm. This buffet is a great way to try many of their tasty offerings for one price.

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Holbox - Los Angeles, CA

Holbox is a Mexican seafood restaurant that focuses on fresh local ingredients, vibrant flavors, and unpretentious presentation. The menu features specialties from coastal regions of Mexico, seen through the lens of its southern California and Baja California ingredients. Holbox offers casual order-at-the-counter service in a food hall setting and hosts weekly 8-course tasting menu dinners on Thursdays and Fridays.

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This restaurant has earned many awards since its opening in 2017, including Michelin Guide California Bib Gourmand in 2019, 2021, and 2022,  and ranked #5 on the 2023 LA Times 101 Best Restaurant list. Book a reservation today to try their delicious Baja Fish Taco – crispy battered local rockfish, crema, mayo, salsa roja, and pico de gallo. Yum.

Taco María - Costa Mesa, CA

The flavors of Taco María include local produce and regional meats and seafood, cooked by a chef trained in Michelin-starred kitchens and raised in Orange County. The dishes here are fresh and flavorful. You can view a sample menu here. Taco María has received many awards from Michelin Star 2023, 2022, 2021, 2019 to Winner of the Golden Tortilla 2019. You can now buy their famous salsa negra and gift it to your fellow Mexican food-loving friend.

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Taqueria Chingón - Chicago, IL

Located in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, Taqueria Chingón is a Mexico City street-style taqueria focused on one of Mexico City’s favorite street foods: the Al Pastor. This menu features both the classics that stay true to their origins and some contemporary tacos that create a new tradition. If you visit Taqueria Chingón, you have to try their Al Pastor taco, Duck Carnitas, and their fresh chips and guacamole. Although their Tres Leches cake also has our attention.

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Cosme - New York, NY

Flatiron District’s Cosme serves contemporary cuisine rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions while celebrating local and seasonal ingredients. The beverage program here mirrors its cuisine, focusing on artisanal spirits, high-quality ingredients, and sourcing inspiration from Mexican culture. Meanwhile, the noteworthy desserts here are crafted by Pastry Chef Eva Ramirez. The dessert menu features coconut pixtle sorbet, cornhusk meringue, and more. Book a reservation at Cosme for May 5th, or any night, to enjoy authentic, delicious Mexican food.

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Fonda San Miguel - Austin, TX

Texas has the best Mexican food – shocker! Fonda San Miguel has been serving authentic Mexican dishes since 1975. In fact, Fonda San Miguel was the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on true, authentic regional Mexican cuisine from Mexico’s interior culinary epicenters: Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, and Yucatan. Today, this restaurant continues to explore the authentic tastes and developing trends of Mexico, with an addition to the menu including 100% plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes. Another great aspect about this restaurant? It features Tom Gilliland’s carefully curated collection of museum-quality artwork, exotic plants, and international décor.

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With entree flavors as rich as its atmosphere, Fonda San Miguel is a must-try establishment in Texas.

Barrio Café - Phoenix, AZ

Since 2002, Barrio Café has been serving up irresistible Mexican dishes to Phoenix locals. This is a walk-in-only establishment, first come first served. Barrio Café is the vision of owners Wendy Gruber and Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza. Here, Chef Silvana’s unique cuisine serves to elevate Mexican American culture. Her versions of regional Mexican favorites are recognized as some of the best Mexican cuisine in Phoenix, the region, and nationally. Some iconic menu items include Cochinita Pibil, Chiles en Nogada, and Chef's Tableside Guacamole.

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La Taqueria - San Francisco, CA

Located in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, La Taqueria stands as a beacon of Mexican culinary tradition. This restaurant's inclusion in the Michelin Guide has highlighted its excellence in the culinary world, making it a distinguished dining destination. The menu here features all kinds of Mexican street foods, as well as vegetarian options such as their Meatless Burrito. For meat-lovers, make sure to check out their steak fajitas served with grilled peppers and onions, lettuce, pico de Gallo, cheese, flour tortillas, rice and beans.

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L&J Cafe - El Paso, TX

Originally known as “Tony’s Place”, this restaurant opened on the outskirts of El Paso in 1927. Today, the renamed L&J Cafe is run by the fourth generation, continuing the family tradition. The menu here is mouthwatering, featuring flautas, burritos, and more. Make sure to check out their Picadillo Burrito: ground meat with grilled pico de gallo (tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro). L&J Cafe also offers family-size orders; let them take care of your dinner plans on Cinco De Mayo!

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Coyo Taco - Miami, FL

If you’re in Miami and craving fresh Mexican street food, you have to try Coyo Taco. With 6 Florida locations to choose from and 4 international branches, this restaurant knows how to make a good taco. Here, vegetables are farm-fresh and responsibly sourced. Meat and seafood are naturally raised and humanely treated. Agua frescas and margaritas are made from scratch. Thanks to their ‘everything fresh’ philosophy, the ingredients at Coyo Taco are 100% natural. Yum!

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El Rey - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia might be the unexpected city on this list, but don’t let the Cheesesteak Capital fool you. El Rey, located near Philadelphia City Hall, captures the essence of Mexican home cooking, bringing a unique south-of-the-border experience to the city. The cantina is also stocked with the best tequilas, mezcals, and cervezas. They even offer a happy hour with $3 chicken tacos, and you can finish off your meal with their tasty churros. Sounds like a dream come true to us!

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Support these restaurants year-round

Though these are great Cinco De Mayo restaurants, don’t forget you can try them out year-round. These are all outstanding establishments, many with immense amounts of awards, for a reason. So, on your next night out, consider indulging in a spicy margarita with homemade tortilla chips and salsa as you read the best Mexican menus out there. Salud!

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