Everyone knows that Southern California is home to the best Mexican food in the country. If you’re like me and could devour Mexican food every day of the week, here are 10 of the best Mexican restaurants located throughout SoCal that will keep you busy. There are plenty more Mexican spots in SoCal that deserve a shout, but this list of tasty gems is a good place to get started. Did any of your favorites make the list?
1. Guelaguetza -- Los Angeles
For a taste of authentic Oaxacan cuisine, there's really no question that you must head to Guelaguetza. One of the original restaurants, if not THE original, that introduced SoCal and the rest of the country to the flavorful recipes of this part of Mexico. At Guelaguetza you'll find a menu filled with family recipes passed down from many generations. Mole is their specialty, so make sure to try one of their dishes smothered with that heavenly flavor.
2. La Super-Rica Taqueria -- Santa Barbara
This spot has been buzzing ever since the late Julia Child proclaimed this was her favorite place for authentic Mexican in Santa Barbara. And the buzz is well deserved. When you show up, be prepared for a long line most any time of day. Once you reach the front of the line your toughest decision will be what to order, as everything on the menu is quite tantalizing and delicious. My personal favorite is the Tacos De Chuleta. Mmmm -- can't stop thinking about the handmade tortillas!
3. Flor Del Rio -- Los Angeles
If you have menu fatigue and hate deciding what item to order, Flor Del Rio might become your new favorite Mexican restaurant. With only one specialty on the menu -- Goat Birria -- you'll never have to spend your time trying to decide the best item to pick. What exactly is Birria? A hearty Mexican stew made with braised goat, a bounty of spices, and served with freshly made warm tortillas for dipping. Add some onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and you'll be in flavor heaven.
4. Babita Mexicusine -- San Gabriel
An elegant Mexican restaurant with food so beautiful you'll want to snap a picture before you take your first bite. Pictuerd here: Chiles En Negado, a featured dinner special that's not listed on the menu. Maybe they'll make it for you if you ask nicely.
5. Coni's Seafood -- Inglewood
Outrageously delicious seafood cooked up with authentic Mexican style and flavor. Whether you like your fish grilled, fried, or baked, Coni's has a fish specialty for everyone. Must-try favorites include any of the shrimp dishes or the grilled snook.
6. Las Cuatro Milpas -- San Diego
See all those people? They're patiently standing in a long line so they can devour the best Mexican eats in San Diego. Since 1933, Las Cuatro Milpas has had a loyal following in the Barrio Logan neighborhood. This casual eatery is best known for its tacos -- rolled, crispy, or fried -- and no matter what kind you order you'll experience taco bliss. Don't believe me? Just look at those thick handmade tortillas for proof.
7. Border Grill -- Santa Monica
Border Grill is a modern Mexican favorite in Santa Monica that is full of flair and flavor. From the moment you walk in you'll be delighted by the vibrant color scheme and festive environment. When it comes to the food, you will be equally dazzled by the creative menu and mouthwatering flavors in every bite. If you love ceviche, you must make sure to add that to your order. Pictured here: the beautiful and fresh Baja Ceviche.
8. Casa de Bandini -- Carlsbad
You can always count on impeccable service and flavorful Mexican fare at this local favorite in Carlsbad that captures the feeling of an old Mexican village. And if you're the type that enjoys a little Mexican food with your margarita, it's hard to resist ordering something on the rocks or blended while dining at Casa de Bandini.
9. Puesto Mexican Street Food -- La Jolla, San Diego, and Irvine coming soon
It's no wonder this Mexican spot has received award after award for its delicious cuisine. Starting with sustainable seafood, natural meats that are antibiotic free, and locally sourced organic greens, you can be assured that great care has gone into every ingredient inside each and every dish. Quickly growing in popularity, Puesto is expanding from its San Diego and La Jolla locations to a space in Irvine that's coming soon.
10. La Golondrina Mexican Cafe- -- Los Angeles
For a taste of the oldest Mexican restaurant in Southern California you'll want to head to Casa La Golindrina Cafe' on Olvera Street, which is also the first and oldest street in Los Angeles. Since 1924, this classic restaurant has been a destination for anyone who visits this historic district. For a remarkable dish you can't find anywhere else, order the Cochinita Pibil -- pork wrapped in banana leaves. The flavor is out of this world.!
I’m suddenly craving tacos, burritos, guacamole, and mole like crazy! Don’t all of these dishes look delicious?! If you had to select just one restaurant on this list, which one would you pick? I have a better idea – let’s try all of them at least once! Craving more Southern California restaurant recommendations? Check out our list of the
10 Oldest Restaurants In Southern California that have stood the test of time.
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