The Best Mexican Restaurants in Las Vegas
Load up on Margaritas and prep for Cinco de Mayo.
Las Vegas may have the best Taco Bell in the world, but it hardly represents the depth of Mexican cuisine within Nevada's largest city. There's a diverse collection of restaurants all over the Las Vegas Valley that specialize in a wide array of vibrant flavors—from street tacos to sustainable, fresh seafood and a few surprises along the way. What about drinks, you say? Vegas is basically fueled by tequila these days, so you won't have to look far for a top-notch Margarita either. Just pace yourself. There's a lot of Mexican food to eat—and culture to discover. Read on and get familiar with the restaurants calling your name as we fast approach Cinco de Mayo.
Bajamar Seafood & Tacos
Borrowing inspiration from the coastal regions of Mexico (and a hint of style from San Diego), Bajamar takes pride in having exceptional seafood, which arrives fresh every two days. Tacos, tostadas, and ceviche are the main vehicles for delivering shrimp, octopus, tilapia, and other bites. Everything is made to order—even individual servings of soup—and the restaurant is eager to accommodate any dietary or allergy restrictions. Tortillas are cooked with just a hint of crunchiness and mozzarella is the only cheese used (which sounds a bit odd at first, but allows the natural flavors of the seafood to emerge uninterrupted). La Paz is a taco made with smoked tuna in the style of carnitas. Wash it all down with a Michelada, prepared with a house mix and your choice of Mexican beer.
How to order: Place an order for pickup or delivery online—or just walk in and hang out a while.
Casa Calavera makes the most of its Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme. Images of skulls and skeletons are everywhere, so have your camera ready at all times. Between a wooden throne, flowered wall, and colorful hand-painted murals, there's a selfie station around every corner to make Instagram dreams come true. But what about the food? The restaurant serves up plenty of classic dishes, from street corn on sticks to fresh-made guacamole with thick strips of bacon as garnish. The coolest surprise is a vegan taquito with sweet potato and avocado. Margaritas are available in two sizes: "regular" and "call an Uber." If the weather's appropriate, request a table on the outside patio—yet another photo-ready spot with a fireplace, bistro lights, and a sandy floor inspired by the original Casa Calavera in Los Cabos.
How to order: Book a table online.
Me Gusta Tacos
It was a bummer to see Me Gusta Tacos close its Southwest location in recent weeks, but the original is still around—and still busy—at The District in Green Valley Ranch. It's an intimate space with orders geared toward carryout (or picnic-mode in the neighboring courtyard). As the name suggests, the restaurant knows how to have fun with a taco—giving classic dishes more than a few contemporary modifications. The Korean Kalbi comes with soy-and-ginger steak and Asian-style cabbage slaw, while the California burrito squeezes in a few tater tots among the cheese, guac, and choice of meat. Tortilla chips are automatically served on the side—a nice bonus.
How to order: Save time by ordering in advance online.
Milpa serves food that's easy, quick, and convenient, but don't confuse it with fast food. No heavy sauces or greasy meat here. Instead, the focus is on ultra-fresh produce and premium ingredients, including stone-ground masa tortillas. "Bowls" are served with nuts and savory additions like roasted corn, warm chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, and/or quinoa. Tacos come with charred grilled chicken, spicy short rib, or roasted cauliflower, with additional ingredients on the side. Some assembly required. Milpa opened during the pandemic; not quite as a ghost kitchen, but with a heavy emphasis on takeout orders. The modern but minimalist dining room is starting to generate traffic, especially on Tuesday nights when guest chefs are invited for pop-up tastings.
How to order: Place pickup orders for meals (or tortilla packages) online.
Las Cazuelas is a small, simple operation with about a half-dozen tables and a to-go counter. But you're not here for the atmosphere. You're here for regional Puebla-style cuisine. The enchiladas are the specialty, stuffed with beef or shredded chicken and topped with a choice of red or green sauces. Yet if you really want to do it right, go with the house-recommended mole on top. The recipe includes 25-30 ingredients with at least three kinds of peppers balancing out raisins, cinnamon, and chocolate, adding up to a rich, but well-balanced combination. The menu has plenty of other traditional favorites, including an egg-battered poblano chili relleno, tacos with a choice of slow-cooked meats, and six takes on a torta (a traditional Mexican sandwich). The restaurant is clearly tailored toward takeaway orders—even if you're only going as far as one of the shaded patio tables in a courtyard shared with neighboring businesses.
How to order: Show up, sit down, and somebody will hand you a menu. Or call 702-837-0204 to order ahead for pickup.
Carnitas El Cunado
Carnitas El Cunado is one of the best reasons to visit the 22-acre Broadacres Marketplace. The stand is all about pork—and nothing but pork. Chef Gustavo Parada cooks the meat for hours in a large pot, following traditional methods that filter out much of the fat, but retain a clean, buttery flavor. It's not an exaggeration to say the final product could be the best carnitas in Las Vegas. Stick with the tender shoulder, or mix in a combination of stomach and skin for extra crunch and flavor. The pork is best experienced as a taco or tostada, delicately topped with pickled vegetables and pico, although you can go for something heavier by ordering a burrito or torta.
How to order: Just show up. The stand is generally open 4–10 pm on Fridays and 8 am–4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The earlier, the better, since the pork often sells out before the shift is over.
Tactotarian is proof you don't need meat or seafood to have great Mexican food. As Vice President Kamala Harris knows firsthand, the restaurant is dedicated to using only plant-based ingredients in its dishes—not an easy feat to pull off with a cuisine that leans heavy on cheeses and creamy sauces. Yet Tactotarian scores with vibrant flavors in 14 different tacos and other traditional dishes, including burritos and quesadillas. In some cases, meat substitutes like Beyond and Gardein are used, but Tacotarian is inventive with its house blends and recipes that allow jackfruit, hibiscus flower, and mushrooms to take center stage.
How to order: If preferred, orders can be placed in advance online.
Mexican cuisine is somewhat underrepresented on the Strip, but Diablo's Cantina remains a favorite at the Luxor with an open, energetic dining room designed to capitalize on the casino's pedestrian traffic. Chef Saul Ortiz overachieves with much of the menu, including an "OMG" cheese blend of Oaxaca, manchego, and gouda that's delicious in the enchiladas or all by itself as a fondue. Ask for an extra kick of Carolina Reaper in the fresh-made guacamole. Or just warm things up with a serving of pozole, a Mexican stew of hominy and chicken. Sunday brunch runs all day long 10 am–4 pm.
How to order: Book a table online.
El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina
El Luchador brings a splash of modern style to the growing Mountain's Edge community, wrapping traditional Mexican flavors in contemporary packages. And who can argue with side dishes in mini mason jars? The restaurant has a pro wrestling theme with images of lucha libre masks illuminating the wall. The Triple Threat Chimichanga—with a choice of three meats and three sauces—actually sealed the deal on Aaron Bryon getting hired as chef. Try it and you'll see why, especially if you request a seat on the outdoor patio during the recently launched weekend brunch.
How to order: Online reservations can be made via OpenTable. Carryout orders of $50 receive two free Margaritas to go.
Mariana Alvarado was hosting Airbnb cooking classes when she decided to take her business in a new direction during the pandemic. The chef did her research and perfected a tortilla, scratch-made with hand-pressed masa. Masazul grew from there and now has the Vegas Test Kitchen all to itself every Tuesday through at least the end of May. The tortillas provide the starting point for menus that change by the week; each inspired by a different Mexican state—like Jalisco, Toluca, or Oaxaca— and utilizing the respective native corn. Dishes can range from a huarache (a sandal-shaped torta eaten with a knife and fork) to a roasted carrot taco with sesame-spiced avocado and spinach cashew cream. The one constant is the chips, made from masa and fried quickly for a souffle-like texture that's light and soft with a crunchy exterior.
How to order: Make a reservation online with Secret Burger or just show up at the Vegas Test Kitchen on Tuesdays. Tortillas are also sold on a retail basis online and at Intuitive Forager's Farmers' Market or Fresh 52 Farmers' Market. Follow Masazul on Instagram for the latest pop-up events.
Màs Por Favor Taqueria y Tequila
You already know that Mas Por Favor has a great speakeasy-style bar in the back, but let's not overlook the taqueria out front. It's a minimalist semi-industrial space with wood decor and concrete floors. Just walk up and place an order at the counter. Street tacos come with a choice of meat and style. "Gringo" is regular. "Wok it Out" is Asian-inspired. Yet the signature tacos are the most fun and like to stretch the definition of what qualifies as a taco shell. Just look at the Hawaiian bread that wraps around juicy BBQ pork, or a crispy egg-roll tortilla that accompanies an Asian-style shredded chicken taco. The chicken taquitos make for a crispy side dish while the "F-Bomb" is basically a loaded bag of Fritos. No, the cocktails from the speakeasy aren't on the menu, but there's plenty of beer by the can or bottle.
How to order: Order online or just walk in and place an order at the counter.
Bomb Tacos does just a few things, but does them really, really well. Chef Robert Solano's taqueria has a Guatemalan influence and a welcome simplicity that's reflected in the chalkboard menu that posts the day's selection. Bright, fresh ingredients are felt in every bite, whether it's one of more than a dozen specialty tacos (like the crispy beef brisket—a longtime customer favorite) or a wet burrito covered in sauce and eaten with a knife and fork. If you prefer the vegan route, the deep-fried cauliflower is truly the bomb.
How to order: Bomb Tacos has a minimal online presence, so call 702-262-0141 to place any pickup orders.
Much like Tao or STK, Javier's is a restaurant with a lounge feel that overlaps with the energy of the Vegas nightlife scene. It's also the closest that Mexican food comes to fine dining on the Strip. You'll pay a premium for the atmosphere—and a dining room that includes an impressive display of chainsaw art—as well as the food. Fortunately, Javier's totally delivers. The carnitas, braised and lightly fried, come with a flavorful crunch, while the center-cut prime steaks are prepared with subtle, spicy touches. The short rib comes wrapped around the bone, osso bucco-style with a rich tomato-serrano sauce. Yet sustainable seafood is the heart of the menu, best represented in a lobster enchilada and an octopus ceviche that needs little more than fresh oregano and olive oil to show off its natural flavor. Margaritas are made with the restaurant's own organic sour mix—and a generous pour of tequila.
How to order: Call 866-590-3637 to make a reservation.
Pinches Tacos got its start in Los Angeles, but now has three locations in Vegas: the Downtown Container Park, the Gramercy near Summerlin, and Henderson. If you need help choosing between the three… the one at the Gramercy has a make-yourself-at-home vibe that encourages guests to watch TV and stick around a while. It also goes through about 160 Gringo Tacos a day—a deep-fried hard shell taco of shredded beef and mozzarella topped with lettuce, tomato, and homemade chipotle cream sauce. None of the sauces or marinades are measured in the kitchen. Everything is done "by feel" based on the seasonality of the ingredients and in-house recipes by the family who own and run all the restaurants.
How to order: Seating is pretty loose, but look up the number for your nearest PInches to call ahead and check wait times.
El Dorado Cantina
El Dorado could easily get by on location alone—open 24 hours a day in the same building that houses Sapphire Gentlemen's Club. Yet the restaurant chose to stake its reputation on fresh, organic ingredients: no GMOs, no antibiotics, that sort of thing. The concept worked out so well, it's since expanded to Tivoli Village (which hosts a brunch on Sundays), with a third on the way in Spring Valley. Any day is perfect for munching on the prime filet fajitas or wild salmon seafood bowl, but come by on Don Julio Tuesdays when shots of 1942 are just $7 (a ridiculous deal).
How to order: Order delivery or book a reservation on OpenTable.
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's two-level restaurant has been around for more than two decades—an impressive run for a celebrity-chef concept in Las Vegas. Longtime executive chef Mike Minor recently left the operation, but the kitchen remains in good hands under the direction of Danny Pineda, who seems eager to produce experimental specials and secret off-menu dishes (so quiz your server thoroughly). Taking inspiration from its popular brunch format, Border Grill now has an all-you-can-eat small plates dinner for $45 per person. The view of the Mandalay Bay pool is just a bonus. Sure, the margaritas are good, but don't overlook the wine list, which is heavy on choices from Spain and Mexico. BBQ Mexicana is a sister to-go spot next door, featuring smoked meats and a signature burnt ends burrito.
How to order: Book a reservation online.
Tacos El Gordo
Want a taco made with meat from a cow's head—and want it to go? Well, Tacos El Gordo is your kind of place. In addition to the cabeza option, you've got nine choices of meat for your taco, from sesos (cow brains) to more familiar fillings like carne asada. It's just one of the many ways this family-owned business combines authenticity with convenience—although navigating through multiple lines before paying can be a bit tricky. Tacos El Gordo was one of the few signs of activity on the Las Vegas Strip when the surrounding casinos and hotels temporarily shut down last year—and the crowds continue to line up outside. The locations in North Las Vegas and Downtown have noticeably shorter wait times.
How to order: Just show up and wait in line.
As the name suggests, this restaurant focuses squarely on regional favorites from the Mexican state of Michoacán. That means a lot of seafood, soups, avocados, and cheeses, not to mention three dishes made with beef tongue. You may also come across a Mexican noodle known as fideo and margaritas made with chamoy for a slightly salty, savory twist. The dining room is a bright, colorful space that's designed to recreate the feel of a historic Mexican village. Long story short, it's a great background for your selfies. The only downside: there's an extra charge on chip refills.
How to order: Call for a reservation or order online for pickup.