Courtesy of Professor Thom's


Flickr/Garrett Ziegler

El Patron Cafe

Tap Bar & Restaurant

Yucatan Taco Stand

Cora's Grill

Rosa's Cafe

Little Goat

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1. Sunset Cantina 916 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (Allston Brighton)

Sunset Cantina delivers cheap Mexican fare to grateful BU students, and salty snacks are the best way to keep the crowds thirsty. They up the ante with their original Sour Cream-N-Chive Fries with homemade ranch and for heat lovers, the oh-so-smoky Cajun Fire Fries will put sweat on your brow. (Also served with ranch for cooling purposes.)

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2. Taco Surf 4657 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

This laid-back Cali spot offers build-your-own California burritos and Torrey nachos to which you can add up to four toppings ranging from guac, grilled onions & peppers, and salsa fresca to hash browns, beans, and sauteed mushrooms & jalapeños

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3. Professor Thom's 219 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Boston sports fans take refuge at this Hub-themed bar in the East Village, which, incidentally, sits next to one that's loyal to San Francisco, Finnerty's. Professor Thom's divey, unassuming storefront leads to an interior where tons of sports memorabilia (including a couple of Fenway seats) make the bar look as though it were plucked from Boylston Street. Standard pub fare like burgers, club sandwiches, and fish & chips are on offer, as are lobster night specials and of course, Harpoon brews all around.

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4. El Bracero 2822 SW 6th Ave, Amarillo, TX 79106

This local spot is renowned for its authentic Mexican food. Don't leave without trying their nachos -- They've got seafood nachos and bean & cheese nachos, but the nachos con carne are the real move here, if you're looking for something more out-of-the-box.

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5. Tinga 142 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (Mid Wilshire)

This La Brea taqueria is brightly colored and is serving up hand-pressed tacos filled with deliciousness like bitter orange, 72 hour pork, and habanero salsa. They've also got chipotle corn dogs (!), fried chicken, and super refreshing drinks like horchata, the stuff those dudes in Vampire Weekend seem to love.

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6. Velvet Cantina 3349 23rd St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Velvet Cantina is a cozy, dimly lit Mexican spot in The Mission that also dabbles in flavors from the rest of Latin America. Its "S'mores Nachos" get a special shout-out, as well: fried tortilla strips with crushed graham crackers, Mexican chocolate, cinnamon & sugar, and marshmallows make for the perfect post-drinks snack.

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7. Taqueria Diana 129 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (Manhattan)

The East Village location of this cheap Mexican food mecca is a bit of a misnomer: sure there are carne asada, al pastor, and pollo tacos, but the non-taco items are the true lure. Opened by Californians, Taqueria Diana makes a fat, guac-loaded burrito and show-stealing nachos, the latter of which are served in a foil pan instead of on a flimsy paper plate. The huge portion has 50 or so tortilla chips and a heap of white queso, beans, and hot poblanos -- but don't be afraid to add a giant dollop of guacamole and crema. You can load them with tender carnitas (you can actually see the pork spinning on a spit roaster when you walk in), but the cheese tastes great on its own.

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8. Willimantic Brewing Company 967 Main St, Willimantic, CT 06226

This brewing company might be a landmark restaurant and pub located in Willimantic, but you'll probably stay for the nachos. Or, more specifically, a perfectly layered, sog-proof chips drowning in shredded cheddar and Jack, diced tomatoes, scallions, and jalapeños with picante salsa on the side.

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9. El Patron 10551 Montgomery Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

This family-owned Southern New Mexico joint is famous for its slow-cooked brisket, so you've pretty much gotta get it on top of their also-legendary nachos for a combination that's out-of-this-world awesome. Locals swear by the smoky, flavor-packed meat when it's paired with refried beans, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa on top of authentic, house-made tortillas, so you should, too. Damn.

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10. The Commodore 366 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

The Commodore is a Southern/tropical-themed dive bar in Williamsburg. Open late, hipsters flock to its incredible fried chicken sandwiches, burgers, biscuits, and seriously dope grilled cheese. Its cocktails are also top-notch: get the eponymous Commodore, which is a Pina Colada gone buck-wild with an extra shot of amaretto thrown in there for good measure.

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11. The Tap 408 San Antonio, El Paso, TX 79901

With cold beer always on tap this a favorite amongst local. The brisket nachos come highly recommended by the range of patrons here—think hipsters and Mexican cowboys chopping it up over a beer.

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12. Colima's Mexican Restaurant 302 8 3rd St, Oceanside, CA 92054 (Oceanside)

This place specializes in seafood and delicious Mexican food. Everything is made fresh daily. Be sure to order the carne asada fries—great for sharing. They have big portions here, so just about whatever you order is sure to satisfy.

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13. Yucatan Taco Stand 24 Waterway Ave, Suite 160, The Woodlands, TX 77380 (The Woodlands)

You can expect great tacos, coconut margaritas, and some of the best nachos in Houston at this Woodlands spot. The nachos come with a laundry list of ingredients, including but not limited to roasted garlic aioli sauce; guac & sour cream; shredded pork, beef, or chicken; and three (three!!!) modes of cheese. They make the perfect companion to the tequila flights you’re definitely doing.

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14. Cecilia's Cafe 230 6th St SW, , 87102

This authentic Mexican eatery supplies inventive eats like blue corn pancakes and carne adovada enchiladas alongside simpler fare (quesadillas, loaded nachos, and tacos).

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15. Cora's 471 Grill 2204 FM 471 N, Castroville, TX 78009

They claim to have the best nachos in Texas. They also have a salad bar in case you want a lighter meal.

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16. Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Brewery Vivant is worth seeking out for several reasons. The first: this is one of the best breweries in Michigan, period, the end -- but people still don't seem to fully comprehend that. The second: the brewpub is located in a former funeral chapel with the bar in the pulpit, and if THAT doesn't pique your curiosity, well, then... that's just like, your opinion, man. The third: the hearty (and we mean hearty!) Franco-Belgian-inspired pub food suits the oft-frigid Grand Rapids climate and the vaguely monastic atmosphere perfectly.

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17. Four Peaks Brewing Company 1340 E 8th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

This industrial-chic brewery, sporting lots of wood, exposed brick, and metalwork inside a former creamery, is a favorite hangout for locals -- from college students to families -- who stop in to sip craft brews and nosh on burgers and pizzas. With four locations across the Phoenix area, it’s a household name among beer lovers, whether they're into mainstays like the Scottish-style Kilt Lifter and the sweet Peach Ale, or the unique seasonal brews.

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18. Little Goat 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Right across the street from its upscale sister Girl & The Goat, Stephanie Izard's Little Goat is an all-day upscale diner that serves insanely creative takes on classic American comfort food. Split between a sit-down restaurant and a bakery, Little Goat is the place to go for over-the-top breakfast (breakfast spaghetti, banana peanut butter waffles), exceptional burgers (you can choose between a beef, goat, and veggie patty), and crazy desserts (smoked pork & toffee crunch milkshakes, Cheez-It sundaes). If you can't sit and stay -- or handle the long weekend waits -- then hit the "Grab and Goat" take-away area.