Special Report

The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

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 the online food ordering company DoorDash.

If any further proof is needed that we love Mexican food in this country, Mexican is the second most popular “ethnic” cuisine overall 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 international food publication 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. They range from the casual to the sophisticated, the Americanized to the authentic, but every one is a place you’ll want to try.

Click here to see the best Mexican restaurant in every state
Click here to see our detailed methodology

Note that restaurants are in a state of flux at this point in this COVID-19 era. Local regulations change frequently, and establishments respond to the situation in various ways — including, in some cases, suddenly closing down. (These are the 50 most popular restaurants that won’t reopen after the pandemic.)

At this writing, most if not all of the restaurants on this list are open for at least limited indoor service. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the establishment before making definite dining plans.