Here in Phoenix, we take our Mexican food seriously, and the choices for restaurants are authentic and numerous. Here’s a list of our top 10 favorite Mexican food restaurants in Phoenix, although we can assure you this list could have been much, much longer.
You can’t create a list of the best Mexican food restaurants in Phoenix without including Barrio Café. Owner and Chef Silvana Esparaza creates modern, top-notch preparations of traditional Mexican dishes.
Tip: Order the guacamole.
2814 N. 16th Street, Phoenix
Don’t let the location or the austere interior deter you from eating at Carolina’s, as you’ll be rewarded at first bite.
Tip: Get the Oaxaca (pronounced wa-hock-ah) burrito and order a dozen tortillas to take home.
1202 E. Mohave Street, Phoenix
Beyond the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location and spartan interior like Carolina’s, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with fantastic tacos at Restaurant Atoyac. Here you can afford to be adventurous: Everything on the menu is affordable, with the most expensive item only $8.50.
Tip: Get the fish tacos.
1830 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix
La Santisima probably has the most diverse salsa bar you will ever see, from traditional variations to adventurous strawberry, peanut and pecan flavors.
Tip: Order the Horchata.
1919 N. 16th Street, Phoenix
5932 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale
A long time favorite of Phoenix locals, Los Dos Molinos is known for its spicy food and margaritas. Warning: The food at Los Dos is as good as it is hot. You’ll know what we mean when you’ve ordered your second pitcher of margaritas.
Tip: Don’t go to Los Dos starving as there is usually a wait.
8646 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix
1044 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix
4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix
260 S. Alma School Rd, Mesa
Technically not a Mexican restaurant, but we need our dessert and Palatas Betty is where it’s at. Most Phoenicians are used to seeing paletas sold from carts on neighborhoods streets, but with two permanent locations in Greater Phoenix, Paletas Betty saves us the time listening for the faint ring of a bell on a hot Phoenix afternoon.
Tip: Bring your four-legged friend along — Paletas Betty always has a special frozen treat for your dog.
96 W. Boston Street, Chandler
425 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe
Located at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, La Hacienda does upscale Mexican food right. La Hacienda is also a great choice for tequila lovers, with over 200 varieties available.
Tip: Try the flaming coffee.
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale
La Hacienda. Photo via Facebook
This tiny taco shop offers about a dozen three-bite taco choices with big flavor.
Tip: Try the fish taco or go off menu with a Sonoran hot dog.
5341 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix
Seafood? In the desert? That’s right. Get your fill of shrimp, oysters, octopus prepared Sinaloan-style at Mariscos Playa Hermosa.
Tip: Order the Campechana Cocktail.
1605 E. Garfield Street, Phoenix
Mariscos Playa Hermosa. Photo via Facebook
The menu at Los Reyes de la Torta is Mexico City-style with huaraches, sopes and huge tortas. The tortas are so large that they were featured on the Food Network’s “Man vs. Food.” Bring a friend.
Tip: Get your vitamin C with the “bomba” juice concoction from the juice bar.
9230 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix
4333 W. Indian School Rd, Phoenix
1528 E. Southern Ave, Tempe
Did we miss your favorite? Share your recommendations in the comments below!