Special Report

The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Taqueria "el gallo rosa"

> Restaurant: El Gallo Rosa
> Location: Kailua
> Yelp rating: 4

With this counter-service restaurant near Honolulu, writes a critic for the Frolic Hawaii food and travel website, “Hawaii finally gets a taste of elevated Mexican fare.” The modest menu offers just six tacos, five quesadillas or sincronizadas (two-tortilla quesadillas), four “snacks,” and one dessert. The relatively small choice didn’t stop one local resident from telling Yelp readers that the place served her “PROBABLY THE TASTIEST FOOD I’VE EVER EATEN.”

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Source: Courtesy of Pueblo Lindo Mexican Restaurant Meridian

> Restaurant: Pueblo Lindo
> Location: Meridian
> Yelp rating: 4.5

The extensive menu here includes plenty of seafood and vegetarian dishes, as well as chicken, beef, and pork in various guises (chicken breast in chipotle sauce, carne asada tacos, pork carnitas, etc.). “Excellent menu, great service, and good food,” enthused a fan from Boise on Yelp.

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Source: Courtesy of Frontera Grill

> Restaurant: Frontera Grill
> Location: Chicago
> Yelp rating: 4

Rick Bayless is the country’s leading non-Mexican authority on Mexican food, and together with the slightly fancier Topolobampo, immediately adjacent, this is his flagship. Shrimp and scallop ceviche, smoked chicken taquitos, and Veracruz-style fresh corn tamales are among the regular offerings, and dishes from a different Mexican region are featured every month. Currently, it’s Puebla, with such specialties as chicken tinga tostadas and swordfish with mulato chile and huitlacoche (corn fungus) sauce.

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Source: Courtesy of Festiva

> Restaurant: Festiva
> Location: Indianapolis
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Yelp reviewers love the costillas here — honey-and-guajillo-braised pork ribs with chipotle crema. Also on the menu are the “best guacamole in town” (according to the restaurant), as well as several taco variations, carne asada, and an unusual preparation of whole rainbow trout with morita chile salsa.

See all stories featuring: Indiana

Source: Courtesy of El Bajio Mexican Restaurant

> Restaurant: El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
> Location: Cedar Rapids
> Yelp rating: 4.5

The large menu here ranges from ceviche-like aguachiles and shrimp soup through both Mexican- and “Texano”-style tacos in numerous variations and all the way to hearty pork stew or stuffed poblano chiles served with house-made tortillas. Grilled meats are also a focus, with marinated flame-grilled steaks in several forms filling out the ample choice of dishes.

See all stories featuring: Iowa