1. Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana1215 S Germantown Rd, Memphis
2. Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant3295 Poplar Ave Suite 101, Memphis
3. Babalu Tacos & Tapas2115 Madison Ave, Memphis
4. Agave Maria's83 Union Ave, Memphis
5. Elena's Taco Shop6105 Summer Ave # 101, Memphis
6. Mi Mexico3967 Summer Ave, Memphis
7. Bucanas4522 Summer Ave, Memphis
Far from the usual Tex-Mex, Pepe Magallenes and his son Jonathan redefined Memphis's idea of Mexican food when they brought authentic Mexico City cuisine to an unassuming shopping center just outside the Memphis city limits. There's a line out the door most days for lunch for the supremely fresh fish tacos, guacamole, tortas, elote, and aguas frescas. Ask Pepe and Jonathan to choose for you or opt for one of the daily specials.
The Mexican menu at this spot is pretty standard, but the Cuban menu is what's really special. They also offer fun drinks like the margarona, which you can enjoy alongside choriqueso: a spicy cheese and chorizo mixture to eat with chips.
Jackson-based Babalu might have tacos in its name, but that doesn't mean it's an exclusively Mexican restaurant. Tapas and empanadas are on offer here, but so are fried gulf shrimp, cubanos, and a much-lauded burger. It's made with Aspen Ridge Natural Angus beef and topped with roasted Roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, Haas avocado, smoked bacon, chipotle aioli, and served on a sweet sourdough bun. As for the tapas and tacos menu, we recommend sharing orders and starting with guacamole, which will be made fresh at your table, with sundried tomatoes.
This downtown spot brings crowds almost every night, thanks to the welcoming space, great food, and margaritas on tap. Yes, you read that right. Margaritas. on. tap. Why haven't you been yet?
Elena's promises to use the freshest ingredients in their SoCal inspired menu of tacos, tortas, burritos, and rice bowls. Fish tacos scream Cali, and steak street tacos are all Mexico, but it's more unique dishes like carne asada fries that bring people back. Pro Tip: Take advantage of their extensive salsa bar.
The authenticity of the food at Mi Mexico is undeniable, and options like taco samplers and the New Mexico Breakfast (which is really just a sampler) give patrons the chance to try an assortment.
Don't let the unassuming location and exterior fool you: Bucanas brings it with killer Mexican served to patrons in giant booths. Late night it becomes a popular dance club, but as long as they're serving food you should definitely be there ordering molcajete with a group of friends (beef, shrimp, chicken, cactus, and chorizo dip).