One of the great things about being in Arizona is that you can take a bite out of two cultures in one place. And we mean that literally. Thankfully, Arizona and Mexico’s histories are intertwined, and you can taste delicious Mexican cuisine without even leaving your comfort zone. Here are the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix you need to try right away:
1. Los Reyes de la Torta
Does this restaurant ring a bell? That’s probably because you’ve seen it on Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. If that segment wasn’t enough to at least get your attention, we honestly don’t know what will. You pretty much have an idea of what to expect from this place from the name of the place, Los Reyes de la Torta (“Los Reyes” or “The Kings”). They feature award-winning and mouthwatering sandwiches with the quality meats and cheeses on a scrumptious buttery bolillo roll. Not to mention, they also boast the iconic torta that can challenge even the most voracious eaters.
The food at Los Reyes de la Torta is also based on 100% Mexican recipe, so you won’t be humiliated if you take your Mexican friend here.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Authentic Mexican tortas & agua fresca drinks
Multiple Locations: 9230 N 7th St, Phoenix, Arizona & 4333 W Indian School Rd, Phoenix, Arizona
2. Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva
You can never go wrong in eating from and visiting such a beautiful place that offers a refined take on Mexican cooking. Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva is set inside the historic Bragg’s Pie building and you’d think that’s the best thing about this restaurant, but there’s more to love. Many locals visit this place to celebrate special occasions or if they just want something authentic.
You can say that this place is a product of the acclaimed Phoenix chef Silvana Salcido Esparza. You will be blown away by the extraordinary tastes. There are many great reviews for their mole, because it’s delicious on anything you get it with. To complete the night, you just need a bottle or two of their Mezcal and Mexican wines.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Scallop ceviche, mole ahumanpdo, hand-made mole, rib eye, and chef’s tasting menu
Location: 1301 NW Grand Ave #1, Phoenix, Arizona
Note: Unfortunately, this place has been forced to shut down for good due to zero-funding an the COVID-19 crisis. It was a sad, but critical move made by the famous chef to save Barrio Cafe. Still, this place will go down as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix.
3. Mariscos Playa Hermosa
Are you craving seafood? Then you better head to Mariscos Playa Hermosa, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix, for a fresh dining experience. This place prides itself on its Sinaloan-style Mexican seafood made only using quality ingredients, and perfected with an inventive and fantastic presentation. They basically bring the sea to the desert. You’d be completely energized after a meal or two.
Many customers also can’t get over Mariscos Playa Hermosa’s wonderful staff. You’ll pretty much see a commendation for these guys in every review. Plus, feel free to take lots of photos of the place. The whole atmosphere of this restaurant is made more beautiful with the colorful furnishings.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Seven Seas soup, crab enchiladas with real crab meat, and house special molcajete
Location: 1605 E Garfield St, Phoenix, Arizona
4. The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food
Tasting authentic Mexican food can be pretty tricky even in a place close to Mexico. But thankfully, there’s a South Phoenix mainstay that serves the best homestyle food you’ll remember for quite a long time. The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food may have a humble exterior. Some might even get the impression that this is not one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix. But don’t judge the book by its cover. This is your go-to spot if you want delicious burros, flautas, chimichangas, tamales, and more.
The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food dishes out all your favorite Mexican fare, and you can buy it without burning a hole in your pocket, too! In fact, you can buy an affordable meal using the spare change in your pocket.
It doesn’t matter if you’re coming in to eat your meal for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. Visit this local food legend if you’re around the area!
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Tortillas, oaxaca special, chimichangas, and flauta combo
Location: 2126 East Cactus Rd, Phoenix, Arizona
5. La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop
Say hello to this impressive gourmet salsa bar in Phoenix! La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop is inspired in the heart of Mexico, and made fresh in the heart of Phoenix. Every bite from their delicious food will make you scream a word of praise. There are plenty of gourmet tacos at a good price, and you will love the unique and traditional flavors of the pillowy tortillas, green tomatillos, chipotle chiles, and more. They also serve the Mexican-favorite quesadillas and burritos, which after one bite, will turn you into an avid La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop fan.
This place is mainly vegetarian, so if you’re strict about your diet, or if you’re particularly concerned about your health, this one is perfect for you. Feel free to indulge in their creative selection of homemade salsas in the salsa bar!
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Aztec tinga taco, La Santisima margarita, and La Condesa mahi mahi quesa
Location: 1919 N. 16th St. Phoenix, Arizona
6. Comedor Guadalajara
Many foodies know that this restaurant is a gem, and if you know this, then you might just be a good spotter of awesome restaurants! Comedor Guadalajara is all about treating its patrons to unpretentious and delicious Sonoran-style dishes. Their specialties include seriously mouthwatering chiles rellenos, parrilladas, and tasty burros.
They are also known for their signature plate called the Parrillada Grande “Mariscada” or Seafood Grill. It has a hefty serving of whole freshwater fish, slipper tail lobster, squid, calamari, shrimp, and mussels. It’s perfect for guests who suddenly have seafood cravings. This is a popular lunch-out spot, but their large and lively dining room also makes for a great place to spend family dinners. If you’re bringing a kid along, we suggest you make them choose from the kids’ menu. They can have small portions of Menudo (during weekends) or small chicken nuggets.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Carnitas de Puerco, spicy breakfast soup, Huevos con Nopalitos, and seafood grill
Location: 1830 S Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona
7. Tacos Chiwas
Who wouldn’t want a soulful serving of lengua and tripas tacos? It’s already heaven on ears, so we’re damn sure it’s also heaven on the mouth. Tacos Chiwas is a famous family-owned destination that serves Mexican fare such as tacos, burritos, and gorditas. They have a pretty tight and focused menu, so you know they are serious about perfecting each and every food they serve.
Delight your taste buds with the amazing, authentic flavors, with salsas that are icing on the cake. Everything they serve is full of flavor, and you only need to try it once to know it’s real! Here’s a challenge: try to sample everything from the menu, and see what your favorite is. The catch is, you can’t have more than one “best” food.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: homemade bean stew, gorditas
Location: 1923 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, Arizona
8. Cocina Madrigal
Here’s another upscale place that made it to this list of best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix.
Cocina Madrigal certainly doesn’t look anything special from the outside. But the inside tells a whole different story, and their food can take you to Mexico. They embrace only three key goals in the restaurant: authentic, reasonable price, and delicious. You bet they pass with flying colors on all these accounts! You can order your food and it will be made while you watch. Of course, you can also opt to wait on the table if you don’t want to drool too much.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Hatch green chile pork, Madrigal burger, crispy salmon, and burritos
Location: 4044 S 16th St, Phoenix, Arizona
9. Chino Bandido
Sometimes, the best quesadillas are found in a simple and unassuming counter-service joint somewhere in Phoenix. If you like to steer clear from big crowds, you can always visit Chino Bandido. This place serves amazing Mexican food, combined with Chinese and Carribean flavors for amplified deliciousness.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: Jade red chicken, carnitas, machaca, and chile relleno
Location: 15414 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, Arizona
10. Barrio Cafe
You can’t have a “best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix” list without Barrio Cafe. That just goes without saying. This restaurant is the home to celebrated Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, famous for her unique cuisine that elevate the Mexican American culture.
Just like Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva, this place has become a local favorite thanks to the delectable dishes as the slow-roasted pork dish, seafood enchiladas, and more. You can also taste their fresh guacamole, burritos, tacos, and delicious grilled steaks. If you’re coming with your amigas, you might as well have a few Margarita drinks as you bond over stories.
Don’t Leave This Place Without Trying: pomegranate guacamole
Location: 2814 N. 16th St. Phoenix, Arizona
Are we missing anything from this list? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, check out this cool read about an Arizona restaurant with an interesting past.
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