20 Essential Mexican Restaurants You Need to Try in Las Vegas

Where to find the best tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas across Sin City.

Viva
Photo courtesy of Viva

There are a couple ways to enjoy Mexican food in Las Vegas. You can hit the Strip and get married at the world's greatest Taco Bell or you can make the quality of food a priority and dine at a restaurant that crafts exceptional recipes with top ingredients and south-of-the-border inspiration. Encompassing some of our favorite new restaurants and brunch spots, from street tacos to sustainable, fresh seafood and a few surprises along the way, Las Vegas has a compelling lineup of Mexican restaurants worthy of your attention—not only on Cinco de Mayo, but the other 364 days of the year too. So get ready for burritos, quesadillas, margaritas, and other enticing tastes throughout Sin City.

Casa Playa
Photo by Bill Milne, courtesy of

Casa Playa

Wynn Las Vegas
$$$$

Casa Playa presents upscale Mexican cuisine in a lounge-like environment with the warm amber glow of an elaborate floral light fixture dominating the space. Executive chef Sarah Thompson has put together an intriguing menu that shows off a coastal Yucatan Peninsula influence, reflected in bright, flavorful seafood dishes like a shareable Surf and Turf (with lobster and Wagyu carne asada), Blue Shrimp Ceviche, or flavorful Grilled Branzino. The margaritas are on the strong side, while the Vitamin Sea cocktail is a sweeter mix of tequila and citrus juices. Save room for desserts like a Tres Leches cake with whipped ganache or a mangonada prepared with a touch of mezcal.
How to order: Call 702-770-5340 or visit Seven Rooms to make a dinner reservation.

Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina
Photo courtesy of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas

Juan Vasquez got his start washing dishes at his family's Oklahoma restaurant at 13 years old, but now runs his own Mexican concept in Las Vegas that's grown to locations in Spring Valley, Henderson's Water Street District, and the Aliante area of North Las Vegas. As the name suggests, fajitas are the specialty and most popular dish. Steaks and chicken are marinated for two days and grilled to order in a dramatic fiery tableside presentation. Onions and bell peppers continue to caramelize, thanks to holes in the custom cast-iron skillets that circulate the air and produce a distinct flavor. Regulars also love the Parrillada de Mariscos, a seafood combo of shrimp, scallops, and bosa (Vietnamese catfish) that's given a spicy kick with a roasted garlic jalapeno sauce. Vasquez makes a point to keep most of the menu gluten-free. The Chile Relleno, for example, is made fresh daily with cornstarch instead of flour. Try Emanuel's Margarita, a modified Cadillac Margarita, made with fresh lime juice, lemon juice, and oranges, with organic agave nectar and a choice of premium tequila.
How to order: Book a reservation online.

La Neta Cocina & Lounge
Photo by Mike Kirschbaum, courtesy of La Neta

La Neta makes the most of its "vibe-dining" atmosphere, serving a modern take on Mexican cuisine in a social, upbeat setting with late night hours to help give Summerlin something of a nightlife scene. The main dining room has faux foliage and stone walls, but the best seats are in the corner bar, where windows open wide to the Downtown Summerlin air. Larger parties will be happy to share a bottle of tequila and large-format dishes, including a two-pound Lobster Taco wrapped in a large cheese-coated tortilla and topped with citrus slaw. Chef Israel Castro draws on his Mexican heritage with a strong emphasis on seafood, so order the Lobster Enchiladas or a mixed Seafood Paella. The margaritas are served on tap, made with Casamigos Reposado, fruit juices, and a touch of agave syrup. The newly launched brunch features an excellent house-made Bloody Maria (with a choice of tequila) and Spicy Hot Chicken topped on waffle bread pudding.
How to order: Visit the restaurant's website to book a reservation.

Hola Mexican Cocina + Cantina
Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Hola Mexican Cocina + Cantina

Southern Highlands
$$$$

Hola brings a splash of Mexican-inspired culture and cuisine to the growing Southern Highlands community. Blue-corn tortillas add extra flavor to the taco plates, which come two to a serving with rice, beans, and fideo (Mexican pasta). Hola loves to give customers choices; reflected best in the variations on street corn and guacamole. Vegans will appreciate the use of jackfruit in the Mole Enchiladas. Hola isn't afraid to be playful, especially when it comes to dessert. The Mucho Loco Sundae is made with fried strawberry ice cream, cookies, and Fruity Pebbles. Ask about the latest off-menu mezcal flight or keep things simple with a savory house-made Michelada. Margaritas are made with a sour mix of fruit juices and a touch of mint. A second location is opening soon in the Southwest Valley.
How to order: Place an order for pickup.

Available for Reservations
Viva
Photo courtesy of Viva

Viva

Resorts World
$$$$

After making a splash in the Los Angeles dining scene with Broken Spanish and the newly opened Asterid, chef Ray Garcia is making his presence felt in Las Vegas with ¡Viva!, at Resorts World. The chef's elevated take on Mexican cuisine feels right at home inside a dining room that's stylish, but not intimidating. The thick ropes and nets that decorate the walls suggest an oceanside environment—even though the gritty Las Vegas Strip is right outside. The atmosphere matches up well with the signature dish, a Wood-Grilled Snapper, served with yellow and blue corn tortillas that are pressed and cooked to order. Garcia is also known for his Pork Belly, marinated for 36 days, slow-cooked, and flash-fried for a crispy exterior. A Grilled Pineapple and Goat Cheese combo works as a vegetarian entree or shareable appetizer. Everything tastes best with the VivaRita, a margarita topped with salty foam.
How to order: Book a reservation via Seven Rooms.

Bajamar Seafood & Tacos
Photo courtesy of Bajamar

Bajamar Seafood & Tacos

Downtown & Mountain's Edge
$$$$

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.  

Me Gusta Tacos

Green Valley Ranch
$$$$

Me Gusta Tacos is a busy, but intimate space at The District in Green Valley Ranch 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. There are occasional crossover events with The Local, a nearby wine bar under the same ownership.
How to order: Save time by ordering in advance online.

Milpa

Spring Valley
$$$$

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
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Las Cazuelas

Silverado Ranch
$$$$

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
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Carnitas El Cunado

North Las Vegas
$$$$

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. 

Blind Barber
Photo courtesy of 1800 Tequila

Aged in both American and French oak barrels and finished in port wine casks, 1800 Cristalino Tequila is an ultra-premium, crystal-clear añejo meant to celebrate life’s special moments with taste. So, this Cinco de Mayo, elevate your experience and raise a glass with 1800 Cristalino instead—your taste buds will thank you.

Tacotarian

Multiple locations
$$$$

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. As the plant-based movement continues in Las Vegas, Tactotarian is expanding in dramatic fashion with locations in Spring Valley, Downtown, and Henderson, with a fourth opening on Blue Diamond Road later this year.
How to order: If preferred, orders can be placed in advance online.

El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina
Photo by Bronson Loftin, courtesy of El Luchador

El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina

Mountain's Edge and Henderson
$$$$

El Luchador now has two restaurants where they wrap 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 walls. If you want a heavyweight championship-worthy entree, go with the Triple Threat Chimichanga, stuffed with your choice of meat and slathered with salsa verde, cilantro crema, and salsa rojas to represent the colors of the Mexican flag. Otherwise, try the Sweet Pork Burrito (with carnitas braised in Jarritos orange soda) or the Mahi-Mahi Tacos with a soft tortilla wrapped around a hard shell tortilla double-decker style.
How to order: Carryout orders of $50 receive two free Margaritas to go.

Available for Reservations
Màs Por Favor Taqueria y Tequila
Photo courtesy of Mas Por Favor

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
Photo by AMIT DADLANEY, courtesy of Bomb Tacos

Bomb Tacos

Spring Valley
$$$$

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.

Javier's Mexican Restaurant Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of Javier's

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
Photo courtesy of Pinches Tacos

Pinches Tacos

Multiple locations
$$$$

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
Photo courtesy of El Dorado Cantina

El Dorado Cantina

Multiple locations
$$$$

El Dorado built its reputation on fresh, organic ingredients—no GMOs, no antibiotics, that sort of thing—and the concept worked out so well, it's grown to three locations in Las Vegas plus another on the way in Dallas. The in-depth menu has a little bit of everything, with the quality of ingredients especially noticeable in the Prime Filet Fajitas and Wild Salmon Seafood Bowl. The options for vegans and vegetarians have dramatically improved over the years with Grilled Squash, Cauliflower and other vegetables seasoned so well, you'll never miss the meat inside those tacos. Sample the extensive tequila selection in a flight or gather some friends together and share an indulgent 64-ounce cocktail. Corporate chef John Miranda is further stretching his creativity with Exclusivo, an intimate sister-concept in Tivoli Village that combines Mexican, Asian, and European flavors into an exceptional fine-dining menu.
How to order: Order delivery

Available for Reservations
Border Grill
Photo courtesy of Mandalay Bay

Border Grill

Mandalay Bay
$$$$

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's dual-level restaurant has been around for more than two decades—an impressive run for a celebrity-chef concept in Las Vegas. The kitchen, currently under the day-to-day direction of Danny Pineda, continues to ensure the signature dishes are better than ever, whether it's the sweet-and-savory Plantain Empanadas stuffed with black beans, poblanos, and cotija cheese, or Yucatan Pork braised for eight hours in banana leaves with oranges and cinnamon sticks. There's a dedication to quality, hormone-free meats and sustainable seafood (just try the Shrimp Ceviche for evidence) and commitment to making everything in house, including the caramel Ice cream used in a decadent Churro Ice Cream Sandwich dessert. Brunch is an incredible deal, serving all-you-can-eat small plates for dinner for $43.99 per person. The view of the Mandalay Bay pool is just a bonus. BBQ Mexicana is a sister to-go counter across the hallway, featuring smoked meats and a signature Burnt Ends Burrito.

Available for Reservations
Tacos El Gordo
Photo courtesy of Tacos El Gordo

Tacos El Gordo

Multiple locations
$$$$

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.

Bonito Michoacan

Chinatown
$$$$

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.

Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's craving carnitas as he writes this. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.