…And by that I mean Tex-Mex, of course. Well, mostly. I can’t believe we haven’t done an article on this yet! If there’s one thing to know about Texans, it’s that we love our Mexican food. So much, in fact, that we put our own spin on it and created an entirely new type of cuisine fusing the two cultures. (Read: chips and queso. Okay, everything and queso. Queso for president.) Keep reading if you want to hear our take on the best places to get enchiladas, tacos, tamales, refried beans, rice, salsa, queso, and all of your other favorites, possibly in the same meal – this is Texas, after all!
14. Fonda San Miguel (Austin)
This restaurant looks like a Mayan Palace, and rest assured, you'll be eating like a king. Fonda has been around since the '70s and remains under the same management, so they've had some time to perfect their cuisine. Their specialty is uniqueness: their very extensive brunch and dinner menus feature shredded duck enchiladas, shrimp in a spicy chipotle cream sauce, shredded pork chiles rellenos, and many more interesting options. There's something for every palate, that's for sure.
13. Benito's (Fort Worth)
Benito's has been proudly serving authentic Mexican food for over 30 years. It has won many Texas Monthly awards and countless praise from customers for its exquisite food. Among peoples' favorite dishes are the chiles rellenos (stuffed poblano peppers), tamales wrapped in a banana leaf, and of course, every variety of enchilada. They also offer breakfast, so you can enjoy some delicious huevos rancheros!
12. SoLuna (San Antonio)
SoLuna offers both authentic and Tex-Mex, so there's something for everyone! Stick with traditional Mexican entrees like mole or find comfort within the vast realm of Tex-Mex, choosing from fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, and the like. Definitely head to their website and check out the menu - everything is so intricately crafted and delicious sounding!
11. Taqueria Y Antojitos Ricos (Brownsville)
Taqueria Rico's just has that hole-in-the-wall, really good Mexican restaurant vibe. I've heard their specialty is their guacamole: you're brought chunks of avocado on a plate with all the fixins (tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice) and you mash it all together yourself. Freshest thing you'll find in hot and dry Brownsville.
10. Cuquita's (Dallas)
Their menu doesn't offer the most choices, but as far as I'm concerned, that just means the items they do have will be that much better. They must be doing something right because everyone in Dallas will direct you here. You can find the traditional tacos, flautas, gorditas, and nachos as well as more exotic fare like beef tongue and pozole (pictured above - a soup of tender pork pieces and hominy in a red broth - DELICIOUS!)
9. Desperados (Dallas)
Desperados is known all over the city, and not just to ordinary citizens, either - they're the caterer of choice for the Mavericks, Cowboys, and the Texas Rangers! Acclaimed for their tacos, (beef/chicken, brisket, adobo chicken, or fish) and ridiculous margaritas (over 10 different kinds!) Desperados really knows how to capture taste buds. They have two different lunch specials for every day of the week, as well! Plus some really interesting dinner options like crab meat enchiladas and tons of steak, chicken, and seafood entrees.
8. Avila's (Dallas)
There's so much good Tex-Mex in Dallas! Who would've known? Herrera's has all your standards: enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tamales, chimichangas - and they do it darn well. Apparently anything with sour cream is a win here.
7. Herrera's (Dallas)
Avila's is claimed to be one of the "best kept secrets" of Dallas. Nobody would assume that inside a little house lies some of the greatest Tex-Mex to ever pass your lips - but Avila's has been featured on the Food Network and rated in Zagat, Texas Monthly, and other reputable media. You know love and soul is going into your food because the restaurant was started by retirement age Anita and Octavio Avila, who had been preparing the same foods for their children for years. You'll find quesadillas, tamales, tacos, a huge variety of enchiladas, chimichangas, flautas, gorditas, and pretty much any other Mexican dish you can think of. Oh, the margaritas are to die for, as well.
6. L&J Cafe (El Paso)
L&J has been voted the best Mexican restaurant in El Paso - which is saying something because there's practically one on every corner. The food isn't anything exclusive or particularly special, but the passion and attention to detail that goes into every dish certainly is unique. If you're ever in El Paso, L&J's is an experience you can't miss out on.
5. La Fonda on Main (San Antonio)
La Fonda is the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, so they've had a few years to fine-tune their craft - and boy, does it show. They've adopted a more contemporary approach to Mexican food, and it's a unique experience you'll never forget. Maybe try some spinach, mushroom, and sundried tomato enchiladas with poblano cream and asadero cheese, or perhaps sweet potato enchiladas with roasted tomato chipotle sauce. Or maybe you're in the mood for something fancier, so you abandon the confines of traditional Tex-Mex and go for some gulf shrimp in a garlic butter sauce with nopal (cactus) infused rice. The possibilities are endless!
4. Hugo's (Houston)
Everybody who's anybody has heard of Hugo's. Let me preface by saying their menu is extremely vast, so head on over to their website if you want to know what you're really in for. They stray from tradition by incorporating seafood into many of their dishes, from lobster tacos to a cocktail named "return to life" with shrimp, octopus, snapper, oysters, crab meat, avocado, and tomato sauce - Mmmmm. You can stay safe with something like chicken taquitos or chiles rellenos instead (but maybe the adventurer in you is dying to try chapulines, aka grasshoppers). Finish with a steaming mug of Mexican hot chocolate and fluffy churros and your belly and taste buds will be in heaven.
3. The original Ninfa's on Navigation (Houston)
Of course we had to include the original Ninfa's. You'll find all your favorites here plus a few fun Texas twists, like a Fajita burger. The chicken enchiladas with poblano mole with avocado and sour cream sound delicious, too. And with every meal comes a slice of history too rich to pass up.
2. Joe T. Garcia's (Fort Worth)
This popular Mexican joint has been serving up authentic Tex-Mex since 1935, and their expertise definitely shows in their cooking. Their menu is rather limited, but they cover all your favorites and do it well. Specialties are beef and chicken fajitas.
1. Mi Tierra (San Antonio)
Rounding out the list is the famous Mi Tierra in San Antonio. Even if the food was mediocre (which it isn't), the experience would make it all worth it - mariachi bands, dancing...the whole nine yards. And the dessert case is more than impressive.