Food & Drink

The 9 Best Mexican Restaurants in Boston

Published On 04/27/2015 Published On 04/27/2015
Christina Ng/Thrillist
Christina Ng/Thrillist
Christina Ng/Thrillist
Flickr/Bing
Dave Baldwin/Thrillist
El Centro
Besitos Mexican Restaurants
Courtesy of Dorado
Rosa Mexicano Restaurants
Christina Ng/Thrillist
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1. Olecito 12 Springfield St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Inman Square)

Olecito is Inman Square’s hidden gem, literally a hole-in-the-wall across the street from sister restaurant, Olé. Locals say it's where you get the most bang for your buck. Expect to get amazing chips, tacos, tortas, and burritos swiftly in a familiarly decorated bright yellow, four-table space.

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2. The Painted Burro 219 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144 (Davis)

Painted Burro's a 95-seat Mexican kitchen & tequileria described as a “farm chic hacienda” featuring a red-/white-walled dining room with weathered wood tables, plus a 14-seat hammered tin/ reclaimed beam bar lit by wire cage lamps and overlooked by a unicorn burro mural rocking a luchador mask and corncob horn.

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3. Lone Star Taco Bar 479 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

Lone Star is the result of a collaboration between two dudes from Texas and Southern California, so you can feel pretty confident that they know their way around Mexican food. With a menu influenced by taquerias and markets in Austin, Dallas, and Mazatlan, Lone Star serves up a huge range of tacos, from carnitas and barbacoa to refried beans and huevos rancheros. They also do a killer breakfast menu (breakfast tacos! huevos rancheros!) and have an absolute ton of tequilas ready to pour.

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4. El Pelón Taqueria 2197 Commonwealth Ave, Brighton, MA 02135 (Allston Brighton)

After not one, but two fires eventually destroyed their Peterborough St resto last year, the resilient owner of this Fenway taco joint has traded BU for BC and re-opened serving a similar menu of regional Mexican fare in a new brick-red/white 12-seat Comm

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5. El Centro 472 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118 (South End)

Opening tomorrow in the SE's former Siraj Cafe, the latest addition to the Hub's upscale Mexican scene rocks an authentic (as in, from a Hermosillo-born chef/owner) lineup including red-sauced enchilada/skirt steak with guac.

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6. Besito Mexican 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA 01803

Besito ("little kiss") Mexican is heating things up with traditional/authentic Mexican from Executive Chef Carlos Arellano in Burlington.

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7. Dorado Tacos & Cemitas 401 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446 (Coolidge Corner)

Three years in the making from the Cali-born former chef of JP's Café D, this Coolidge Corner taqueria boldly casts aside the ubiquitous burrito to serve up an eclectic selection of fish/traditional tacos, unique-to-Boston Mexican sandwiches (cemitas), and rotisserie chicken in a humble 19-seat space with brightly painted orange/blue/yellow walls, metal stools, a colorful chalkboard menu, and a giant framed cartoon poster that diagrams the anatomy of a Cemita (aka: the Vitruvian Sam').

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8. Rosa Mexicano 155 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210

Grab some shade behind the foliage of Rosa's Seaport Blvd patio whilst you take down their signature (since "When Doves Cry" topped the Billboard charts!!) frozen pomegranate margarita made with silver tequila and pomegranate juice.

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9. Tu y Yo 858 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144 (Somerville)

Tu y Yo is a vibrant Mexican restaurant in Powder House Square that is almost as colorful as it is authentic, and that’s saying something because the benches are violet and the walls are red and orange. Trust us and have the crispy Tacos de Chapulines to start, you’ll be surprised how great grasshoppers taste with chiles, but if critters aren’t your cup of tea the jalapeño poppers stuffed with sweet, spicy tinga chicken probably are. Choose your main by protein like the Pollo en Mole Blanco (chicken growing in a creamy sauce made with onions, pine nuts, and beer) or flavorful, slow-cooked Carnitas (pork) served with salsas and tortillas. For veggie lovers, the Indio Vestido (cactus stuffed with cheese and drizzled with tomatillo and mild pasilla sauce) is a must-try. Pro tip: everything tastes great with the house red or white sangria.

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