Special Report

The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Courtesy of Talavera Cocina Mexicana via Facebook

According to a study conducted late last year by FoodFireFriends, the second most popular cuisine in America based on Google search data is Mexican, with an average of 1.22 million searches a month. (Chinese is first, with more than 3.35 million.) And this year, on a list of the 50 most popular foods in America published by Reader’s Digest, 11 items were Mexican or Mexican-adjacent.

What is it about the fare of our neighbors to the south that appeals to us so much? Well, let’s see…. It’s intensely flavorful, accessible, varied, comparatively expensive, and you can dress it up or dress it down. What’s not to like?

Of course “Mexican food” means different things to different people – black mole enchiladas with chorizo at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles or a two-foot-long Macho Burrito at Los Amigos in Charleston, West Virginia (to mention two restaurants you’ll read more about below) or maybe a five-item combination plate at the nationwide Chevy’s Fresh Mex chain or a never-in-Mexico Crunchwrap Supreme at the local Taco Bell (to mention two restaurants that we’ll say no more about.) 

To identify the best Mexican restaurant in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted reviews and ratings on a wide range of culinary and general interest websites, including Thrillist, Gayot, Time Out, The Daily Meal, and Yelp, as well as local and regional sites.  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. A few counter service places that provide seating, on the other hand, made the cut.

Current Yelp scores are provided. These scores are a useful reference, but it should be noted that because the site sources reviews and ratings from a broad cross-section of the population, sometimes the more authentic or innovative restaurants end up with lower scores than some that are more conventional. (Here, though, are Yelp’s top 30 taco spots in America.)

Click here to see the best Mexican restaurant in every state

The resulting list includes establishments of every type – elegant contemporary restaurants, family-style neighborhood places, bare-bones 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. (Here’s a list of 20 “foreign” foods that are really American.)

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

Alabama: Antojitos Izcalli
> Location: Tuscaloosa
> Yelp rating: 4.9

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. There’s also a serve-yourself salsa bar. There’s no alcohol, however. According to a statement from the owner on Yelp, “adding alcohol to our menu would lead to longer waiting time for an available table.”


Alaska: Serrano’s Mexican Grill
> Location: Anchorage
> Yelp rating: 3.8

House-made chorizo and salsas and signature beers are among the selling points at this Anchorage hotspot, which describes itself as “a new generation of old cocina.” The menu offers everything from mahi mahi ceviche and tortilla soup to fajita burritos and street tacos with a choice of meats.

Arizona: La Bamba Mexican Grill Restaurant
> Location: El Mirage
> Yelp rating: 4.7

“Street Tacos,” reads the sign 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.”

Arkansas: Taquería El Palenque
> Location: Little Rock
> Yelp rating: 4.4

“Wow doesn’t even begin to cover it,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. Six variations on fajitas and 10 shrimp dishes are among the specialties at this, and the barbacoa tacos get particular raves. One local customer wrote “Attentive servers…great food….,” while another called out “Fantastic food at great prices.”


California: Guelaguetza Restaurante
> Location: Los Angeles
> Yelp rating: 3.9

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.

Colorado: Xicamiti La Taquerí­a Bistro
> Location: Golden
> Yelp rating: 4.8

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.” Among the specialties: tacos campechanos with steak and chorizo and a fusion-leaning birria ramen.


Connecticut: Azteca
> Location: Bridgeport
> Yelp rating: 4.5

Expect homemade tortillas, Mexican-style seafood cocktails, tacos and quesadillas with a wide range of fillings, and main dishes including enchiladas, enmoladas, and a plato Azteca (seasoned pork, chorizo, jerky-like cesina, beans, cactus leaves, onions, roasted chiles, and cotija cheese) at this attractive establishment with “a family feel” offering “a wonderful dining experience,” according to Yelp.

Delaware: Los Portales
> Location: Middletown
> Yelp rating: 4.4

“I cannot say enough great things about Los Portales!” wrote a recent visitor on Yelp. “[W]hoever is the AMAZING Chef there deserves accolades!” Tacos come soft or crisp, with corn or flour tortillas, in half-moon shape or rolled, and even in salad form at this popular restaurant in northern Delaware, near the Maryland border. The guacamole and fresh salsa get particularly high marks.

Florida: Talavera Cocina Mexicana
> Location: Coral Gables
> Yelp rating: 3.8

The tortillas are made here with heritage corn from Oaxaca, nixtamalized in-house; the chips are toasted over cherry wood, not fried; the list of mezcals and tequilas in 300-strong. In other words, this isn’t your standard combo-plate place. The menu offers three different moles, sandal-shaped huaraches with a choice of fillings, four kinds of ceviche, whole red snapper, short ribs in birria broth…and there’s even a selection of insects, including maguey worms and chicatana ants.


Georgia: Taquerí­a La Oaxaqueña
> Location: Jonesboro
> Yelp rating: 4.2

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.”

Hawaii: El Gallo Rosa
> Location: Kailua & Ward Village (Oahu)
> Yelp rating: 4.1 (Kailua)/4 (Ward Village)

“No fuss. Just Tacos” is the motto at these Honolulu-area counter-service restaurants Writes a critic for the Frolic Hawaii food and travel website, “Hawaii finally gets a taste of elevated Mexican fare.” The menu offers nine different tacos, plus snacks (guacamole, etc.), quesadillas and sincronizadas (two-tortilla quesadillas), tortas, and tostadas – plus cocktails and beer.


Idaho: Pueblo Lindo
> Location: Meridian & McCall
> Yelp rating: 4.5 (Meridian), 4.3 (McCall)

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.

Illinois: Topolobampo
> Location: Chicago
> Yelp rating: 3.7

Rick Bayless is the country’s leading non-Mexican authority on Mexican food, and this upscale Michelin-starred institution is where he expresses his knowledge of and love for the sophisticated side of Mexican cuisine. Suffice to say you won’t find dishes like baby Baja chocolate clams “with a riot of flavors,” slow-cooked ancho-cured Petuna ocean trout, or Texas acorn-fed pork with eggplant and black bean sauce at your neighborhood taquería.

Indiana: Festiva
> Location: Indianapolis
> Yelp rating: 4.4

Yelp reviewers love the costillas here – agave-and-guajillo-glazed pork ribs with chipotle crema. Also on the menu are the “best guacamole in town” (according to the restaurant), as well as several street taco variations, three kinds of enchiladas, carne asada, and an unusual preparation of pan-seared scallops with creamy morita chile salsa.


Iowa: El Baijo Mexican Restaurant
> Location: Cedar Rapids (2 locations)
> Yelp rating: 4.4 (Gateway Place)/3.4 (Blairs Ferry Road)

The large menu at both locations ranges from ceviche-like aguachiles and shrimp soup through both Mexican- and “Texano”-style tacos in numerous variations and all the way to birria and chiles rellenos. Grilled meats are also a focus, with marinated flame-grilled steaks in several forms filling out the ample choice of dishes.

Kansas: El Camino Real
> Location: Kansas City (2 locations)
> Yelp rating: 4.3 (7th Street)/3.5 (Argentine Boulevard)

Yelp reviewers hail the casual, colorful little 7th Street location 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!” Gorditas, burritos, sopes, fajitas, and more are also offered.


Kentucky: Mayan Café
> Location: Louisville
> Yelp rating: 4.6

This restaurant’s chef, Bruce Ucán, is a Mayan from Yucatán, and his restaurant website promises “local, seasonal Mayan food.” That 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; braised local duck comes cloaked in Mayan black mole sauce. And customers rave about the tok-sel lima beans, cooked with green onions, parsley, lime juice, and ground roasted pumpkin seeds.

Louisiana: El Cabo Verde
> Location: Shreveport
> Yelp rating: 4.7

Using gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients, local and organic when possible, El Cabo Verde serves pork tamales wrapped in banana leaves, sweet potato enchiladas, 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.

Maine: Taco Escobarr
> Location: Portland
> Yelp rating: 3.8

This is 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. Five meat fillings, two seafood choices, two vegetarian ones, and one chicken option are available. 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.”


Maryland: Clavel
> Location: Baltimore
> Yelp rating: 4.4

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.

Massachusetts: 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.”


Michigan: Taquería Mi Pueblo
> Location: Detroit
> Yelp rating: 4.53

“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!”

Minnesota: Andale Taquería y Mercado
> Location: Richfield
> Yelp rating: 4.3

“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.

Mississippi: El Torero Mexican Grill
> Location: Flowood
> Yelp rating: 4.2

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,” 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.


Missouri: Ixtapa Fine Mexican Cuisine
> Location: Kansas City
> Yelp rating: 4.1

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 minute 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.)

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

Owned by a family from Guanajuato in central Mexico, Los Maya’s [sic] notes on its website that “you won’t find Americanized Tex-Mex food” at the restaurant. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of familiar fare, including burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and chimichangas. 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.”


Nebraska: Copal Progressive Mexican Cuisine
> Location: Lincoln & Omaha
> Yelp rating: 4.2 (both locations)

Shrimp nachos, duck tamales, and sandal-shaped huaraches with a choice of fillings 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!”

Nevada: Bajamar Seafood + Tacos
> Location: Las Vegas & Blue Diamond
> Yelp rating: 4.7 (Las Vegas)/4.4 (Blue Diamond)

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.

New Hampshire: 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.”


New Jersey: El Taco Loco
> Location: Camden
> Yelp rating: 3.9

Open since 1990, this bare-bones old-school place offers both American- and Mexican-style tacos, with meats including tripe, pork rinds, and calf’s head as well as chicken tina, carnitas, chorizo, and more – and also a full range of gorditas, huaraches, tortas, quesadillas, tostadas, and more. The house specialty is a “ponchiburro,” or open-face burrito, with a choice of 10 different fillings, including birria, carnitas, and beef tongue.

New Mexico: 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 spicy ceviche tostadas 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.”


New York: Casa Enrique
> Location: Queens
> Yelp rating: 4.2

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 in the States is not even close; but then there is Casa Enrique.” Don’t miss the chorizo sopecitos (thick homemade corn tortillas).

North Carolina: Taquería La Vaquita
> Location: Durham
> Yelp rating: 4.3

“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 Veracruz-style braised beef tongue – and of course birria. “Consistently good,” “great meats and good sides,” “super delicious tacos,” and “a great place for authentic fresh Mexican fare,” Yelp commentators have said.

North Dakota: 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.


Ohio: Momocho
> Location: Cleveland (2 locations)
> Yelp rating: 4.2 (Ohio City)/4 (Lakewood)

Six variations on guacamole (including one with smoked trout and bacon), five different taquitos (one with salt-roasted beets, spiced peanuts, and goat cheese), and grilled pork chop with herb-ricotta tamale dumplings are among the unusual offerings at this “ModMex” restaurant. Yelp reviewers particularly recommend the happy hour.

Oklahoma: Pepe Delgados
> Location: Norman
> Yelp rating: 4.3

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 and burritos.


Oregon: Nuestra Cocina
> Location: Portland
> Yelp rating: 4.3

This chef-owned restaurant offers a smallish menu with a number of unusual dishes, including roasted cauliflower with Oaxacan cheese and pumpkin seed vinaigrette, black-bean-stuffed tlycoyos (oval-shaped tortillas) with sautéed beef and onions, and tamarind-marinated Mexican white prawns. The tortillas are fresh-made in-house.

Pennsylvania: La Palapa Mexican Cuisine & Mezcal Bar
> Location: Pittsburgh
> Yelp rating: 4.2

“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.” Burrito Steelers, with ground beef and chicken and both mole and green sauce, is a specialty.

Rhode Island: Bandidos Mexican Restaurant
> Location: Cumberland
> Yelp rating: 4.4

One local diner at this 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.” Guacamole is made tableside, and there are numerous vegetarian options. (There is another location in nearby Attleboro, Massachusetts.)


South Carolina: Carmen y Juan
> Location: Mount Pleasant
> Yelp rating: 4.2

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.”

South Dakota: Sabor a Mexico
> Location: Rapid City
> Yelp rating: 3.9

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.


Tennessee: Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos
> Location: Memphis (2 locations)
> Yelp rating: 4.7 (Maine Street)/4.4 (Cooper Street)

Described on its website as “a small, fast-casual counter specializing in the hand-held delicacies it boasts in its name” – there are 26 taco variations on the menu – Maciel’s also serves nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, and other items in its vibrantly decorated dining room. “Super fresh and delicious every single time!” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “Gets Maciel of approval,” punned another.

Texas: 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, chicken with mole, 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.”

Utah: Chile-Tepin
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Yelp rating: 4.4

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!”


Vermont: Taco Gordo
> Location: Burlington
> Yelp rating: 4.1

Materialized as a bricks-and-mortar restaurant out of a one-time food cart, Taco Gordo offers a stripped-down menu of tacos (six kinds, including one with slow-cooked pork shoulder and another with beans, guacamole, and lettuce), plus a few burritos – 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.”

Virginia: Abuelita’s
> Location: Richmond
> Yelp rating: 4.7

The menu specialties here change daily, but include a range of guisos (stews), tamales, chilaquiles, and birria (plus birria ramen), among other dishes. One fan told Yelp readers that “[T]his is great Mexican comfort cooking like if you had friends from Mexico 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!”


Washington: Fogón Cocina Mexicana
> Location: Seattle
> Yelp rating: 4.4

“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 albondigas soup is particularly popular.

West Virginia: Los Amigos
> Location: Charleston
> Yelp rating: 4.2

Nachos galore (including a variety with scallops, shrimp, and crab meat) a selection of fajitas, and a dozen kinds of burrito are among the draws here. Really hungry? Try the Macho Burrito Challenge – a two-foot burrito filled with steak, grilled chicken, refried beans, black beans, rice, grilled vegetables, lettuce, and sour cream, and topped with cheese dip. The challenge? If you devour it in 30 minutes or less, it’s $12.99 – otherwise it will cost $29.99.

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

Opened in 2018 in this suburb of Madison, this Guadalajaran-inspired restaurant counts Mexican-style chuck steak, char-grilled chicken, and chicken enchiladas with “three generation mole 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 this place.


Wyoming: Rodolfo’s Mexican Grill
> Location: Cheyenne
> Yelp rating: 3.8

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.”

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