Special Report

The Best Mexican Restaurants in Every State

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….”

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.

> 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.

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