Mexican food is a delicious choice any time of year. Fresh salsa, guacamole, tacos, burritos, all the melted cheeses…what’s not to love? Those who live in Virginia know that there are plenty of opportunities to get your spicy fix. While we all have our opinions about which Mexican restaurants are truly the best, the following have been consistently rated well. If you haven’t stopped in to these fine establishments, you are truly missing out on some delicious Mexican fare in our state.
1. Pepe's (Chesterfield)
Pepe's is a popular spot in the greater Richmond area. Made with authentic Mexican flavor and spices, their food is consistently rated as delicious. The photograph above shows their mouthwatering presentation of the El Guapo Burrito, with fresh corn and avocado on top. Also popular are the lunch bowls, which run at just $5.50 and come topped with tortilla strips and fresh cilantro.
2. Jessy's Taqueria (Norfolk)
If you find yourself in the Hampton Roads area, this is the spot to go for authentic Mexican food. The tacos are incredibly popular, and offer plenty of delicious flavor without much of a price tag. The menu sticks to the basics and the kitchen knows how to serve them right. These marinated pork and pineapple tacos should not be missed.
3. Al Carbon Chicken (Charlottesville)
Al Carbon serves both Mexican and Latin American cuisine with, of course, a special emphasis on chicken. The rotisserie meat is cooked to perfection and the sides are equally delightful. Popular here are the yucca fries, which pair especially well with any of the specialty tacos. Because this is no fast food joint, you should know that the preparation of fresh ingredients may take a bit longer than expected. It will all be well worth the wait.
4. The Sub Station Mexican Grill (Harrisonburg)
The building of an old Waffle House may sound like an unsuspecting place for excellent Mexican food, but that's definitely the case in Harrisonburg. The portions here are generous, and that rule also applies to the drinks which come served in gigantic mugs. Freshly made sub sandwiches are also served here, along with chips and guac. This is the place to go if you're wanting to combine a little of everything, as seen by this tasty platter above.
5. Alejandro's Mexican Grill (Roanoke)
Alejandro's is the spot in Roanoke for delicious Mexican fare. Most popular here are the fajitas as well as the chorizo. There's even a salsa bar with over 20 different flavor options! You can expect to get a lot of food for your buck here. You'll find the restaurant in the historic downtown Roanoke, and the atmosphere is comfortable and casual.
6. Agave Bar and Taqueria (Virginia Beach)
Agave Bar and Taqueria has only been around for about a year, but has made quite an impact on the Virginia Beach dining scene. Agave's take on Mexican food is actually west coast inspired. This paired with local and seasonal ingredients makes for a pretty killer combo. The quality of ingredients is very high; you won't find any non-organic or GMOs on their menu. This also happens to be a popular late night hang out spot, with lots of craft cocktails and live music to enjoy.
7. El Chilango (Arlington)
Here's proof that incredible things come in small packages. El Chilango may be a food truck, but it's about as authentic as it gets. (They do also have a sit-down restaurant in DC.) What makes the tacos from El Chilango so special is that they are made to order, and need to be eaten almost immediately to be enjoyed. It isn't rare to see something of a line waiting for delicious food at any hour of the day.
8. Tres Machos (Richmond)
Tres Machos is a highly-rated spot in Richmond when it comes to the Mexican food scene. Upon being seated, you will be served chips and queso (or whatever your preferred dip may be). You can expect all the classics to be cooked well, and the presentation is what makes Tres Machos so unique. The margaritas are also particularly popular here.
And don't miss out on their homemade vanilla ice cream!
9. Mano Taqueria (Lexington)
Mano Taqueria is a recent establishment to Lexington. So far, it has been quite a hit, especially considering the meat is locally-sourced. This brings the price up a bit more than the average taco establishment, but the quality is well worth it. What shines here are the seasonings and unique flavors. The guacamole, for instance, has hard boiled egg in it, which most people find to be a delicious addition. Pictured above is is popular slow roast pork taco.
10. El Fresco Mexican Grill (Chantilly)
El Fresco is the place to go for exceptionally fresh Mexican flavor. If you happen to stop by on a Friday before 6 p.m., tacos only cost $1.50. Shrimp tacos are a definite favorite here, and the free chips and salsa bar is worth a visit in and of itself. For dessert, you'll want to try some of the specialty fried ice cream. Pictured above is their tasty burrito bowl.
11. Soup & Taco (Fredericksburg)
Soup & Taco is one of more popular restaurants in Fredericksburg, and you'll want to plan accordingly. The salsa is one of the most highly-praised aspects of this Mexican restaurant, with its unique smoked flavor. The effect of dining here is that you're being served the freshest and most authentic home-cooked meal. The soups are equally fantastic, and make a fun pairing with any of the Mexican fare. One of their soup options is carrot ginger soup with goat cheese.
These are just a few of the many incredible options for delicious Mexican dining in Virginia. Did any of your favorite local restaurants miss the list? Please let us know, we’d love to hear from you!