Dining April 07, 2016
Guest Contributor 6 Underrated Mexican Restaurants In Arizona That Will Blow Your Mind
Arizona evokes thoughts of the desert, cacti, the kokopelli and the Grand Canyon. It also evokes the thought of mouthwatering, spicy, close your eyes and say mmmm Mexican cuisine. Though I will say I do enjoy some foo foo Mexican grub now and again, I certainly would pass up any fusion restaurant for good old fashioned quality, tasty, authentic Mexican. You may see it as a “hole in the wall,” but once you eat their grub, it will be top on your list to visit again.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Mi Pueblo, Phoenix, AZ
Upon arriving in the area, we were now in a different time zone, had missed all our meals, were struggling getting a broken pair of eyeglasses fixed at a mall kiosk and satisfying the anger in our guts. Then Mi Pueblo appeared. Located in a small strip mall across from the mall, we could not even tell if there was a Mexican place or just Mongolian. But this desert oasis offered fine Mexican pizza for the littlest members of our party, delicious nachos as starters, a wonderful outdoor seating ambiance and a salsa bar. Yep, a whole bar filled with various salsas with different heats, various ingredients and something for everyone. Shhh, I may just have to stomp on my husband’s other glasses just so we can return.
9620 N Metro Pkwy W #127, Phoenix, AZ
2. La Fonda, Tempe, AZ
An overnight before an extremely early flight took us to Mesa/Tempe area. We drove around for a while, looking for something authentic and open since it was quite late by the time we had arrived in the area. Not far down Baseline we came to La Fonda. Immediately I thought of Jane Fonda in her unitard and leg warmers jumping around to music. That image was quickly erased upon entering the restaurant. Beautiful lighting gave way to comfortable seats and an atmosphere that exuded deliciousness. The chips were warm, salsa was perfectly seasoned, service was spot on, and the food was divine. All three of us devoured our dishes. In addition, they were very accommodating to dietary needs with one of our guests and created an authentic version of Mexican food on a foo foo diet. Well done!
1831 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ
3. Poncho's, Tucson, AZ
This is a classic do not judge a book by its cover restaurant. Located in a small strip mall, we just stumbled upon it after looking at thrift shops. Considered to be our favorite spot in Tucson, this restaurant has very little seating inside, but the best food comes from the kitchen. The sauces and salsas are to die for, but beware, a couple are super spicy. The portions are huge so get a couple meals and split them amongst yourselves.
5470 E Speedway Blvd #101, Tucson, AZ
4. Joe and Aggie's, Holbrook, AZ
Though not what you would call a typical Mexican restaurant, this place offered some seriously delicious Mexican breakfast options. The chile relleno and enchilada with green sauce were so tasty and deliciously spicy. And, this is right on Route 66, so you get that whole nostalgic feel in the very town that inspired the movie Cars and with a staff of cooks, servers and owners that were so friendly, kind and fun to be around. It was a true delight to dine here.
120 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ
5. Mi Nidito, Tucson, AZ
Being from the East Coast, I do not think I ever really had authentic Mexican cuisine until I ate at Mi Nidito’s. Located in the center of Tucson, this restaurant had a line around the block and offered delicious salsa, mind bending tortilla soup with so many goodies in it you could have certainly made it a meal and flautas that were close your eyes and lean back good. Their margaritas made me a fan and after a pitcher of lovely green liquid, we left Mi Nidito’s and I said farewell to Tex-Mex, Mexican fusion and foo foo Mexican and opened my belly to the real deal.
1813 S. 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ
6. Tortas de Fuego, Sedona, AZ
Sedona cannot be bypassed without visiting those beautiful red rocks. The energy, sights and atmosphere of sedona speak to the inner soul. So does Tortas de Feugo. Found only because we were having car trouble and there was a mechanic behind it, we stopped in to eat while we waited. I think the car had problems on purpose, because we were meant to eat at this place. The shredded tacos were tender, seasoned to perfection and were quickly devoured by the table. Little girl, who was not even a fan of Mexican cuisine, became the president of the fan club after eating here. Though small, there was plenty of space for all the hikers, bikers, and seekers of inner peace. I found it in their burritos. Ommmmmm.
1630 AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ
Are you hungry yet? Well, make sure you are. Now get in your car, get your taste buds ready and dive right into Arizona’s Mexican delights.