Special Report

The Best Mexican Restaurants in Every State

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The food Americans have missed the most during long months of not dining out — and most look forward to eating again when restaurant-going gets back to normal — is Mexican, according to figures compiled by DoorDash, the nation’s largest food delivery service.

In addition, says the company, three Mexican-style dishes were among the 10 most often ordered items for home delivery in the first six months of this year — breakfast burritos, spicy shrimp tacos, and chicken fajitas.

If any further proof is needed that we love Mexican food in this country, Mexico came in second only to Italy as the country with the best food overall, according to Ranker readers responding to a survey the site conducted last year. And Mexican is the second most popular “ethnic” cuisine in the United States after Chinese — and the number-one favorite in some 27 states — according to an analysis of Google searches for various cuisines conducted by the website Chef’s Pencil.

Of course “Mexican” can mean different things to different people: sea urchin tostadas with bone marrow salsa at Cosme in Manhattan; black mole enchiladas with chorizo at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles; a five-item combination plate at the nationwide Chevy’s Fresh Mex chain; even a keto salad bowl with adobo chicken at the ubiquitous Chipotle or a never-in-Mexico creation like a Quesarito or a Crunchwrap Supreme at the local Taco Bell. (These are the top 15 Mexican chains in America.)

In this listing of the best Mexican restaurant in every state based on Yelp scores, 24/7 Tempo has included establishments of every type — elegant contemporary restaurants, family-style neighborhood places, bare-bones counter-service establishments. Some specialize in the cuisines of specific regions of Mexico. Some offer the standard fare we’ve come to expect, but done particularly well. Some take the Mexican flavor palate as an inspiration and invent dishes of their own. 

Click here to see the best Mexican restaurants in every state.
Click here to read our methodology.

These restaurants range from the casual to the sophisticated, the Americanized to the authentic, but every one is a place you’ll want to try.

At this writing, the restaurants listed are all open on at least a limited dine-in basis, unless otherwise specified. However, the food service industry is in constant flux in this COVID-19 era, with local regulations frequently changing and establishments responding to challenges in various ways — including, in some cases, suddenly closing down. (These are the 50 most popular restaurants that won’t reopen after the pandemic.)

Bear in mind that, even under the best circumstances, menus may be limited and hours may be curtailed — and websites and social media pages aren’t always updated promptly. Call first, then, before heading to one of these superior Mexican restaurants.

Source: Courtesy of Antojitos Izcalli

Alabama
> Restaurant: Antojitos Izcalli
> Location: Tuscaloosa
> Yelp rating: 5

Tacos (including versions with calf’s head, tripe, or beef tongue, as well as other meats) on freshly made tortillas are a big draw here. There are also quesadillas, tostadas, gorditas, and carne asada, among other dishes — but, advises the menu, chips and salsa are not available. There’s no alcohol either. According to a statement from the owner on Yelp, “adding alcohol to our menu would lead to longer waiting time for an available table.” Nonetheless, the food is rated on the review site as “wonderful,” “outstanding,” and “delicious.”

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Source: Courtesy of Serrano's Mexican Grill - Anchorage

Alaska
> Restaurant: Serrano’s Mexican Grill
> Location: Anchorage
> Yelp rating: 4

House-made chorizo and salsas and signature beers are among the selling points at the two locations of this Anchorage hotspot. The menu offers everything from tiger prawn ceviche and cheddar cheese queso to fajita burritos and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) served with cilantro-parmesan fries.

Source: Courtesy of La BAMBA mexican grill restaurant

Arizona
> Restaurant: La Bamba Mexican Grill Restaurant
> Location: El Mirage
> Yelp rating: 5

“Street Tacos,” “Mexican Food,” and “Only Cash For Now” read the signs in the window of this bare-bones storefront place in El Mirage, northwest of Phoenix. The blackboard menu is short, offering a small selection of bargain-priced tacos, quesadillas, a salad and a torta, plus occasional specials, but the food is the real deal — simple and, according to Yelp, “amazing.”

Source: Photo by Erin J. via Yelp

Arkansas
> Restaurant: Taquería El Palenque
> Location: Little Rock
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“Wow doesn’t even begin to cover it,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. Six variations on fajitas and 10 shrimp dishes are among the specialties, and the barbacoa tacos get raves. In a note on Yelp that should be of particular interest these days, one local customer wrote “Attentive servers…great food…very clean…definitely practicing Covid precautions also.” Yelp users also report that customers are required to wear masks.

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Source: Courtesy of Guelaguetza

California
> Restaurant: Guelaguetza Restaurante
> Location: Los Angeles
> Yelp rating: 4

The late, legendary L.A. restaurant critic Jonathan Gold called this “one of the best Oaxacan restaurants in the country.” Mole, Oaxaca’s most famous culinary creation, is a specialty at this cavernous 25-year-old institution, available in six varieties. In addition to more standard dishes, the menu includes authentic regional fare such as chapulines (grasshoppers) with jalapeños and Oaxacan cheese, pizza-like tlayudas with various toppings, and squash blossom empanadas. The list of mezcals, another Oaxacan specialty, is encyclopedic. The restaurant has recently opened its Corridor Guelaguetza — a full-service outdoor dining area — as well as providing takeout and delivery.

Source: Courtesy of Xicamiti La Taquería Bistro

Colorado
> Restaurant: Xicamiti La Taquerí­a Bistro
> Location: Golden
> Yelp rating: 5

It’s “street Mexican cuisine” at this taquería, tequilería, and mezcalería in a strip mall in the Rocky Mountain foothill town of Golden. Yelpers say: “It is some gooood Mexican food,” “one of the best authentic taco restaurants,” and “This place is unreal…ranked number 1 in my heart.”

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Source: Courtesy of Aztec Grill & Grocery

Connecticut
> Restaurant: Aztec Grill & Grocery
> Location: North Haven
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Offering gorditas, chalupas, alambres, huraches, and sopes, as well as better-known choices like nachos and an array of tacos, this counter-service place offers “good authentic Mexican food on a budget,” writes one Yelp fan. “Awesome authentic Mexican food made in a small place by real people,” offers another.

Source: Photo by Brittany K. via Yelp

Delaware
> Restaurant: Los Portales
> Location: Middletown
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Tacos come soft or crisp, with corn or flour tortillas, in half-moon shape or rolled, and even in salad form at this “hidden gem” and “perfect Mexican restaurant” (according to Yelp). The guacamole and fresh salsa get high marks, too, and the churros are “out of this world.”

Source: Courtesy of Casa Maya Grill by Emilio Dominguez

Florida
> Restaurant: Casa Maya Grill
> Location: Deerfield Beach
> Yelp rating: 4.5

As one visitor to this “amazing” and “friendly” restaurant in a Boca Raton suburb puts it on Yelp, “Big portions, very reasonable prices, great menu, good margaritas for $8 — can’t beat that.” Octopus ceviche, poc chuc (sour-orange-marinated pork), fajitas, and crisp-fried tuna tacos are among the more unusual items on the menu. The restaurant is currently open for pickup orders and offers free delivery within a 5-mile radius.

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Source: Courtesy of Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Georgia
> Restaurant: Taquerí­a La Oaxaqueña
> Location: Jonesboro
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Mexican street tacos with 10 different fillings plus three American-style tacos are on the menu at this restaurant just south of Atlanta. But it’s the Oaxacan specialties — like chicken in mole sauce and tlayudas (a bit like pizzas on oversize corn tortillas) — that make this place stand out. “The mole sauce was as rich as it looked,” reported a visitor from California on Yelp. “The beef tongue was tender without being mushy like many places. The hand made tortillas were icing on the cake.”

Source: Courtesy of Taqueria "el gallo rosa"

Hawaii
> 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

Idaho
> 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. Still serving both dine-in and take-out meals, the restaurant assures potential patrons on its Facebook page that “We are still hanging in there, trying to keep our customers and staff safe while following the state and city COVID guidelines.”

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

Rick Bayless is the country’s leading non-Mexican authority on Mexican food, and this is his flagship. Roasted poblano gazpacho, Veracruz-style fresh corn tamales, grilled swordfish with squash blossom crema, and crispy carnitas tacos are among the current menu offerings. Cochinita pibil — achiote-marinated sucking pig roasted in banana leaves — is a Saturday night special. Bayless’ more upscale restaurant immediately next door, Topolobampo, is temporarily closed, but is offering fixed-price tasting menus upstairs in the restaurant library, currently dubbed Topolo 2.0.

Source: Courtesy of Festiva

Indiana
> 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. Festiva currently offers “limited socially distanced seating on our covered patio and picnic tables” as well as takeout and delivery — and requires that customers wear masks.

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Source: Courtesy of El Bajio Mexican Restaurant

Iowa
> 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.

Source: Courtesy of El Camino Real via Facebook

Kansas
> Restaurant: El Camino Real
> Location: Kansas City
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Yelp reviewers hail this casual, colorful little place for serving “the best tacos in Kansas City” (it’s on the Kansas side of the metropolis). “Tortillas made fresh right in front of you and al pastor tacos from a giant spit,” enthused one fan. “What more could you want!” Another wrote “Very picky about my Mexican and will tell you this is authentic.”

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Source: Courtesy of The Mayan Cafe via Yelp

Kentucky
> Restaurant: Mayan Café
> Location: Louisville
> Yelp rating: 4.5

This restaurant’s chef, Bruce Ucán, is a Mayan from Yucatán, and his menu includes dishes from his home region not often seen in U.S. Mexican restaurants. Sikil-pak is a dip of pumpkin seeds and roasted tomatoes; cochinita pibil is slow-roasted pork in achiote (annatto seed) sauce; tikin-xic is silver carp in achiote-lime sauce. And customers rave about the tok-sel lima beans, cooked with green onions, parsley, lime juice, and ground roasted pumpkin seeds. Ucán closed the restaurant on March 16 but reopened on June 22. “We welcome you back,” said a statement on his website, “inside our (socially distanced) building and onto our (constantly sanitized) patio.”

Source: Courtesy of El CABO VERDE

Louisiana
> Restaurant: El Cabo Verde
> Location: Shreveport
> Yelp rating: 5

Using gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients, local and organic when possible, El Cabo Verde serves pork tamales wrapped in banana leaves, quesadillas made with housemade corn tortillas, Louisiana Gulf shrimp with mojo sauce, and other specialties that avoid the usual Mexican-restaurant clichés. “Food was delicious, prices are reasonable, and service was on point,” wrote one Yelp reviewer.

Source: Courtesy of Taco Escobarr

Maine
> Restaurant: Taco Escobarr
> Location: Portland
> Yelp rating: 4

This is probably one of the few places in the Northeast that serves San Antonio-style puffy tacos (the tortillas are deep-fried raw so they balloon up), as well as the more conventional soft and crispy varieties. Three meat fillings, two seafood choices, and two vegetarian ones are available (the latter including avocado slices fried in panko breading). Beyond tacos, Yelp reviewers have reported that “the chipotle sweet potato taquitos…were perfect,” the El Nino nachos were “stacked high with chips and tons of toppings,” and the avocado salad “was refreshing and fulfilling.”

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Source: baltimoreheritage / Flickr

Maryland
> Restaurant: Clavel
> Location: Baltimore
> Yelp rating: 4.5

This family-owned taquería and mezcalería makes its own corn and flour tortillas and serves an assortment of simple but imaginative tacos — carnitas with crispy pork cracklings and green sauce, lamb cooked in Mexican coffee and Negra Modelo beer, lightly battered cod with pickled cabbage slaw and habanero cream, etc. There are also ceviches, queso fundido with chorizo (or vegetables, or shrimp), and quesadillas, among other things. According to the Clavel website “Outdoor seating is now open! Masks required. Order through food truck and find a seat after you’ve ordered, gracias.”

Source: Courtesy of Taquería Jalisco

Massachusetts
> Restaurant: Taquería Jalisco
> Location: Boston
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“I just got back from a week-long trip to Mexico and I have to say…these tacos were better than any tacos I had in Mexico,” according to one local, writing on Yelp. And Boston Magazine reports that “Marinated carnitas tacos are a must at this low-frills Eastie mainstay, but don’t overlook traditional comforts, like the pozole rojo, a porky stew with hominy and vibrant red chilis.”

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Source: Courtesy of Mi Pueblo

Michigan
> Restaurant: Taquería Mi Pueblo
> Location: Detroit
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“Huaraches, birria, gorditas, chicharrones, mole… all of it. Not one bite has been disappointing.” That’s one Yelp reviewer’s take on this something-for-everybody establishment with its endless menu. “As someone from Arizona who grew up with fantastic Mexican food on every corner,” wrote another commentator, “this was really good Mexican food!”

Source: Courtesy of Andale Taqueria & Mercado

Minnesota
> Restaurant: Andale Taquería y Mercado
> Location: Richfield
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“This is my new favorite taco place in the Twin Cities,” wrote one Yelper of this combination restaurant and well-stocked Mexican market in suburban Minneapolis. A wide selection of meat, chicken, and other fillings is available for burritos, quesadillas, tortas, alambres (meat topped with chopped vegetables, bacon, cheese, and salsa), and of course tacos. Guy Fieri loved the place when he visited, if that means anything.

Source: Courtesy of El Torero Mexican Grill via Facebook

Mississippi
> Restaurant: El Torero Mexican Grill
> Location: Flowood
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Among the accolades posted by Yelp reviewers for this casual establishment near Jackson: “Food was very flavorful and service was good;” “This place is AWESOME;” “Everything was outstanding…;” and “The food is so mouth-filling and scrumptious every bit was better than the last bite.” The menu offers an assortment of quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas with various combinations of ingredients — for instance, the super quesadilla, filled with steak, chicken, cheese, and mushrooms.

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Source: Courtesy of Ixtapa Fine Mexican

Missouri
> Restaurant: Ixtapa Fine Mexican Cuisine
> Location: Kansas City
> Yelp rating: 4

A Yelp reviewer who moved to Missouri from Texas was having trouble finding decent Mexican food in her new home state. Then…”Our friends took us here and oh my goodness, from the min we walked in till we left it was a fabulous dinner experience.” Another diner here told readers that “It’s not the bland mainland Mexican food, but an explosion of flavors and choices.” The owner gets special praise for his hospitality and for creating special meals based on his customers’ preferences. Margaritas, tortilla soup, vegetarian tacos, and enchiladas and burritos get special notice. (There is another location nearby in Overland Park, Kansas.)

Source: Courtesy of Los Maya's Mexican restaurant

Montana
> Restaurant: Los Maya’s Mexican Restaurant
> Location: Billings
> Yelp rating: 4

Owned by a family from Guanajuato in central Mexico, Los Maya’s [sic] serves a standard menu — huevos rancheros, chiles rellenos, enchiladas, tamales, tacos (shredded or ground beef on corn or flour tortillas), etc. Yelp reviewers give high marks to the tacos (“just like the ones we would get when in LA”) and the “perfect” chile relleno, and one was surprised at “how good the chicken enchilada was.”

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Source: Courtesy of Copal Progressive Mexican Cuisine

Nebraska
> Restaurant: Copal Progressive Mexican Cuisine
> Location: Lincoln
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Shrimp nachos, duck tamales, and mineras (Oaxacan scrambled-egg enchiladas with chorizo and bean sauce) are among the more uncommon items served here. “Feels like grandma is back in the kitchen preparing all these delicious, homemade, authentic meals,” wrote one enthusiast on Yelp. Another wrote: “Best lunch in south Lincoln! Do I enjoy Mexican cuisine? Absolutely! Was this fresh and delicious beyond expectation? Definitely!”

Source: Courtesy of Mato S. via Yelp

Nevada
> Restaurant: Bajamar Seafood & Tacos
> Location: Las Vegas
> Yelp rating: 5

Baja California is famous for its seafood, so it’s not surprising that ceviche-like aguachiles, marlin or spicy octopus tacos, and sashimi-style fish tostadas are among the specialties here. “If you love seafood and tacos…this is a place you have to try!” one local assured Yelp readers recently. Others hail the place for the city’s best fish tacos. (Bajamar has recently opened a second location in the southwestern portion of the city.)

Source: Courtesy of El Rincón Zacatecano Taquería via Facebook

New Hampshire
> Restaurant: El Rincon Zacatecano Taquería
> Location: Manchester
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Menudo, pozole, carnitas, shrimp in ranchera sauce, pork guisado (stew) in green sauce, green chile burritos…There’s more to the menu here than the usual combination plates. Speaking of that burrito, one Yelp reviewer hailed it as “Without question, one of the biggest, baddest, and most flavorful burritos I’ve ever had. This thing is no joke!” And a visitor from Massachusetts declared: “This is the best place in the whole entire world.”

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Source: Courtesy of Mi Mariachi Taquería

New Jersey
> Restaurant: Taquería Mi Mariachi 
> Location: Jersey City
> Yelp rating: 4.5

All the basics are here: burritos, quesadillas, tacos (soft or fried crisp), enchiladas, tamales, fajitas, chilaquiles, tostadas, tortas, and more. “Everyone has different expectations and preferences for tacos or ‘authentic mexican’ food,” wrote one Yelp reviewer, “but it’s hard to not find something here for everyone.” Another wrote: “Great authentic local Mexican restaurant! The tables and chairs are colorful and cute. Their tacos and burritos are to die for. Super delicious.”

Source: Courtesy of El Callejon Santa Fe

New Mexico
> Restaurant: El Callejón Taquería and Grill
> Location: Santa Fe
> Yelp rating: 4.5

There are burgers and salads (including the Hail, Caesar) on the menu at this “very good place for Mexican food,” as one Yelp reviewer put it — and another reported that what they serve is “Mexicanized more upscale American bar food.” On the other hand, the menu also lists al pastor, carne asada, and other taco variations, as well as ceviche tostadas, enchiladas filled with queso fresco, and a torta filled with red-chile-marinated pork, among other non-American-bar-food items, and another Yelp critic wrote: “If you love tacos, then you have to stop by this place while in Santa Fe.” The restaurant notes that ” In addition to carryout (with alfresco tables available), we now also have an intimate patio set up where you can enjoy full food and drink service — just a few small socially-distanced tables….”

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Source: Courtesy of Casa Enrique

New York
> Restaurant: Casa Enrique
> Location: Queens
> Yelp rating: 4

When a small Mexican restaurant in Queens wins a Michelin star, you know it’s something special. Many of the items on the menu will look familiar — guacamole, chicken tacos, chile relleno, carne asada, etc. — but everything is prepared with evident skill at this “absolute must try for any fan of Mexican food,” in the words of one Yelper. According to another, “If you ever traveled to Mexico and tasted the local food there, you will know that [what] you eat at the states is not even close; but then there is Casa Enrique.” A diner here in mid-August noted on Yelp that the restaurant was observing COVID-related procedures and that “Staff is always with mask and gloves….”

Source: Courtesy of Taquería La Vaquita

North Carolina
> Restaurant: Taquería La Vaquita
> Location: Durham
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“Vaquita” is Spanish for “little cow,” but it’s a very large cow that stands atop this ultra-casual counter-service place with outdoor-only seating. The long menu ranges from tacos (the specialty) and tortas to assorted fajitas and beef tongue stewed with guajillo chiles. “Consistently good,” “great meats and good sides,” “super delicious tacos,” and “a great place for authentic fresh Mexican fare,” Yelp commentators have said.

Source: Courtesy of Patricia H. via Yelp

North Dakota
> Restaurant: La Enchilada
> Location: Bismarck
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“Pretty darn great,” according *to a first-time visitor to this modest Mexican establishment earlier in August, writing on Yelp. “Don’t miss out on this place,” wrote another Yelper. “Looks are deceiving.” The menu offers everything from choriqueso (melted cheese dip with chorizo) to garlic shrimp to enchiladas, tamales, and tacos.

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Ohio
> Restaurant: Momocho
> Location: Cleveland
> Yelp rating: 4

Six variations on guacamole (including one with smoked trout and bacon), six different taquitos (one with duck confit, another with salt-roasted beets, spiced peanuts, and goat cheese), and avocado-leaf-braised lamb enchiladas with mole are among the unusual offerings at this “ModMex” restaurant. Yelp reviewers particularly recommend the happy hour, for $5 margaritas and $10 taquito plates. The restaurant currently offers patio dining, with social distancing and a two-hour time limit enforced. “Be kind, be patient, enjoy!” reads a message on the Momocho website.

Source: Photo by Jp. M via Yelp

Oklahoma
> Restaurant: Pepe Delgados
> Location: Norman
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Some Yelp comments: “Amazing food,” “lots of salsa options and all are delicious!,” “great Mexican food…always good and fresh,” “Everything on the menu is truly incredible & the staff is always friendly…& you will NEVER leave hungry (trust me).” In addition to more usual items, the menu offers vegetarian nachos, tacos, and burritos. The restaurant is not currently offering delivery, but notes on its Facebook page that “We offer curbside pickup as well as regular take out, and the safe distance dining room is open!”

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Source: Courtesy of Nuestra Cocina

Oregon
> Restaurant: Nuestra Cocina
> Location: Portland
> Yelp rating: 4.5

This chef-owned restaurant offers a smallish menu with a number of unusual dishes, including crispy lollipop chicken wings with black mole, smoked mushroom and cactus tacos, grilled Spanish goat cheese in banana leaves with pumpkin seed salsa, and tamarind-marinated Mexican white prawns. The tortillas are fresh-made in-house. A statement on the restaurant website reads “We want you to feel comfortable so whatever works best for you: take-out or dine-in. We are happy to have your support. Face masks are REQUIRED while in & around the restaurant.”

Source: Courtesy of La Palapa Mexican Kitchen & Mezcal Bar

Pennsylvania
> Restaurant: La Palapa Mexican Kitchen & Mezcal Bar
> Location: Pittsburgh
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“The service was fantastic, the food was delicious and the margaritas were the best I’ve had in a long time,” according to one Yelp reviewer, writing about this food truck-turned-restaurant. Another wrote: “Easily some of the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of the Southwest. Tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, everything I’ve tried has been delicious.” And a third said simply, “The food, drinks, service, ambience, and price are all exemplary.” A note on the restaurant website promises that “We are taking extra precautions…to better serve our customers with the care you need.” Dine-in, takeout, and delivery are all available.

Source: Courtesy of Bandidos Mexican Restaurant RI via Facebook

Rhode Island
> Restaurant: Bandidos Mexican Restaurant
> Location: Cumberland
> Yelp rating: 4.5

One local diner at this self-styled “family” restaurant and bar near Pawtucket told Yelp readers what she likes about this place: “Great chicken chimichangas, awesome shredded beef burrito! Refried beans!? I didn’t realize that they could be so good.” Another Cumberland diner wrote “This place hands down gets a 5 star rating!”

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Source: Photo by Angelina C. via Yelp

South Carolina
> Restaurant: Carmen y Juan
> Location: Mount Pleasant
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas…There are no surprises on the menu here — but reviewers posting to Yelp hail the “exceptional” mole enchilada, “very good” carnitas and “amazing” carnitas street tacos, and “just right” beans and rice, among other things. “I’m from Los Angeles and my husband is half Mexican,” wrote one commentator, “so I’m hard to please when it comes to Mexican food but this place is amazing.”

Source: Photo by L S. via Yelp

South Dakota
> Restaurant: Sabor a Mexico
> Location: Rapid City
> Yelp rating: 4

One Rapid City diner told Yelp readers that “Sabor is a great quaint place to enjoy authentic Mexican food.” Another local chimed in saying, “I would eat here everyday, but they are closed on Sundays.” Among the dishes meeting with reviewers’ approval are the carnitas torta, the chicken tostada, the fish tacos, and the cheese tamales.

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Source: Courtesy of Maciel's Tortas and Tacos

Tennessee
> Restaurant: Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos
> Location: Memphis
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Described on its website as “a small, fast-casual counter specializing in the hand-held delicacies it boasts in its name,” Maciel’s also serves nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, and other items. Shrimp and tilapia tacos are among the options. “Super fresh and delicious every single time!” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “Gets Maciel of approval,” punned another.

Source: Courtesy of Fonda San Miguel

Texas
> Restaurant: Fonda San Miguel
> Location: Austin
> Yelp rating: 4

In a city (and state) famous for its hybrid Tex-Mex cuisine, Fonda San Miguel — a large restaurant with an attractive interior — takes pride in being, as they put it: “the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on true regional Mexican cuisine from Mexico’s interior culinary epicenters.” While some dishes are familiar (guacamole, tortilla soup, tacos al pastor, etc.), others are less common — for instance, ancho chile filled with chicken, olives, capers, and almonds, or mixiote (slow-cooked lamb cooked in a paper wrapper). As one Yelp critic said, “A definite ‘don’t miss’ when in Austin.” The restaurant requires guests to wear masks, and, they say, “We may take temperatures.”

Source: Courtesy of Chile Tepin

Utah
> Restaurant: Chile-Tepin
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Yelp rating: 4.5

With its industrial decor and an extensive menu encompassing tacos, burritos, chimichangas, fajitas, moles, quesadillas, and much more, Chile-Tepin wins praise because, as one Yelper put it, “The food is spot on, the service is quick, [and] there’s beer and salsa music playing.” A former Californian, used to “great Mexican food on almost every corner” in his home state, found the place “great — period!”

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Source: Courtesy of Taco Gordo

Vermont
> Restaurant: Taco Gordo
> Location: Burlington
> Yelp rating: 4.5

This one-time food cart, which materialized as a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Burlington’s Old North End in late 2018, offers a stripped-down menu of tacos (six kinds, including one with dry-rubbed 16-hour chopped brisket and another with plantains, beans, poblano chiles, and queso fresco), plus a handful of snacks and side dishes — and an imaginative cocktail list, too. They obviously do things right. “Now I don’t have to wait once a year to travel back to LA and get my taco fix,” wrote a former Angeleno on Yelp. Other comments: “The best tacos I’ve ever had,” “Everything is so delicious and flavorful but also authentic!,” and “the best food in greater Burlington.” The dining room is currently closed, but everything on the menu is available for delivery or pick-up.

Source: Courtesy of Abuelita's via Facebook

Virginia
> Restaurant: Abuelita’s
> Location: Richmond
> Yelp rating: 5

The menu specialties here change daily, but include a range of guisos (stews), tamales, empanadas, chiles rellenos, and barbacoa, among other dishes. One fan told Yelp readers that “[T]his is great Mexican comfort cooking like if you had friends from Meico and you were lucky enough to be invited for dinner.” The downside? According to another commentator on the review site, “[P]ortions are huge and will fill you up immediately!”

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Source: Photo by Safina H. via Yelp

Washington
> Restaurant: Fogón Cocina Mexicana
> Location: Seattle
> Yelp rating: 4.5

“We ordered the ceviche, carne asada burrito, carne asada plate and guacamole,” wrote a Yelp reviewer visiting from Southern California. “Absolutely delicious. Oh and the margaritas were top notch.” A Texan, meanwhile, liked the “cool bar and delicious food,” and a diner from Chicago called out the (house-made) tortillas, whose “quality and taste definitely show.” The happy hour had gotten raves, too — though it has now been temporarily suspended.

Source: Photo by Michelle H. via Yelp

West Virginia
> Restaurant: Los Amigos
> Location: Charleston
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Nachos galore, a selection of fajitas, and 30 different combination plates ($9.15 each) are among the draws here. Yelp reviewers have said (actually exclaimed) things like “Great food with many vegetarian/vegan options!,” “The best Mexican I have ever had outside of Mexico!,” and “I would recommend this every day of the week!”

Source: Courtesy of Tapatios

Wisconsin
> Restaurant: Tapatíos Cocina Mexicana
> Location: Fitchburg
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Opened in 2018 in this suburb of Madison, this Guadalajaran-inspired restaurant counts Mexican-style skirt steak, char-grilled chicken, and cheese, chicken, or beef enchiladas in red or green sauce among its specialties. “Food was delicious!” enthused one local on Yelp, while another Madison resident admitted that while she doesn’t care for Mexican food in general, she was “blown away” by the place.

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Source: Photo by Todd M. via Yelp

Wyoming
> Restaurant: Rodolfo’s Mexican Grill
> Location: Cheyenne
> Yelp rating: 4

A 24-hour-a-day roadside counter-service place serving California-style Mexican fare in a former KFC, Rodolfo’s earns the approval of reviewers posting on Yelp for food that’s “solid, cheap and abundant,” for the “best breakfast burritos in Cheyenne,” and for its “great salsa bar with a bunch of choices to doctor up your food just the way you want it.”

Methodology

To identify the best Mexican restaurant in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the top-rated restaurants nationwide in the Mexican category on Yelp. To be considered, restaurants needed to be in or near a city with a population of at least 100,000 people. In states with few or no cities of this size, restaurants in smaller cities were also considered.

Chains with more than a few units, food trucks, take-out places without seating, pan-Latino or Central American establishments, and restaurants specializing in Korean-Mexican and other hybrid cuisines were eliminated from the list, as were Mexican markets unless they had in-store restaurants.

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