Where to Find the Best Mexican Food in Phoenix
It's never a bad time for a margarita.
We take chowing down on some great Mexican food pretty seriously here in the Phoenix area thanks to our close proximity to the culinary geniuses of our neighbors in Mexico. From high-end, traditional dishes from James Beard Award-winning chefs like Silvana Salcido Esparza to quick, cheap, and authentic street tacos—the Valley has a bit of everything when it comes to Mexican cuisine. And while there’s no shortage of options, finding the most mouthwatering, flavorful dishes takes time, persistence, and a high tequila tolerance. So, we took the liberty of researching for you to provide a list of the top spots for everything from tacos to enchiladas and guac to margaritas.
Rancho de Tia Rosa
The name isn’t just a marketing technique—Rosa’s grandson opened the first Tia Rosa restaurant in Mesa in 1991 exclusively using Rosa’s homegrown Mexican recipes, and the decor matches the traditional-ness of the menu. You’ll definitely notice the ‘Flying Saucer’ on the menu, featuring your choice of beef, pork, or chicken on a large, crisp flour tortilla topped with beans, lettuce, salsa, guac, sour cream, and lots of cheese. Get it!
How to order: Dine in or order for takeout or picking up curbside via Postmates.
Frank & Lupe's
It may be a hole-in-the-wall, but you can pretty much throw a dart at this menu and leave satisfied. If tacos are your bag, go for (in this order) the shredded beef, the chicken, and then the fish, and finish it all with an order of the old-school sopaipillas. Their poblano cream chicken enchilada is a delicious mix of mild poblano, a light and fluffy tortilla, and chicken prepared so that it's evenly distributed throughout the enchilada. This spot's also been around for more than 25 years and has great patio in the back with outdoor seating.
How to order: Dine in or pick curbside to-go or order for delivery through UberEats.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
Unsurprisingly, these guys do two things really well: tacos and margs. With the vast shelves of tequila, you can create approximately one million variations of the margarita. Their new-Mexican dishes cut back on the grease and lighten things up with the freshest veggies and cheeses (we love the award-winning slow-cooked BBQ pork tacos), and their happy hour comes with as many rounds of $3.50 tacos as you can handle.
How to order: Dine-in at any location, order for takeout or curbside or get delivery through DoorDash.
Joyride Taco House Eastside
Joyride Taco House has slowly become a staple in the Valley’s culinary scene (it has super colorful party vibes and is great for groups), even making a big impact on more traditional taco lovers—the crispy fish tacos are the move. The cuisine tends to stick to the basics (chicken mole, etc.), but does them in a more modern take. And hey, if you want to stick to the basics, the margaritas and guac won’t disappoint.
How to order: Dine in, order for takeout, or get it delivered to you via GrubHub.
Gallo Blanco Cafe y Bar
Featuring an easygoing, wood-decked vibe, Gallo offers up a range of modern Mexican bites ranging from breakfastings (huevos rancheros, etc) to ceviche. There’s also a large margarita and cocktail menu (which the daily happy hour makes even more attractive).
How to order: Dine in or order online for curbside pickup.
With three colorfully decked dining rooms, Barrio’s been putting out authentic Mexican for more than 15 years, and doing a damn fine job. In fact, it’s such a staple that when plumbing issues almost forced the eatery to close in January, the community came together to support in droves—keeping the restaurant afloat. They’ve got 205+ tequilas, and an extensive food menu to match, but it’s Sunday brunch that should draw you in. There’s an entree dubbed Huevos Divorciados (this differs from the classic huevos rancheros because the eggs are prepared separately from one another, and they sub in hollandaise for a salsa mix) which you’ll absolutely want to snag. But if that doesn’t pique your interest, you’ll find happiness in their Cochinita Pibil Tortas, which are topped with pickled red onion.
How to order: Dine in or take it to go by ordering online or over the phone.
Tee Pee Mexican Food
The Tee Pee has reached a legendary status—hosting the likes of Pink Floyd, David Spade, and ZZ Top during its more than 60-year history. The family-owned restaurant is certainly casual, and homey, which adds to its charm. The food is traditional, with no frills. Our recommendation? Nana’s Chili Relleno.
How to order: Dine in or call for takeout.
At CRU they’re serving up Latin-inspired tacos with a twist. Think street tacos but make them gourmet. Check out the lamb taco which is loaded with cotija, cabbage, pickled red onion, jalapeño, and 'birria' sauce. They’ve also got a Wagyu steak taco and a bunch of others that you’ll surely want to pair with their over a dozen craft cocktails.
How to order: Dine-in service only.
Ladera Taverna y Cocina
Ladera is an undeniable staple in the Phoenix Mexican food scene thanks to its authentic Mexican fare, welcoming and modern atmosphere, and its wildly popular brunch concept which features mimosas alongside chicken enchiladas, barbacoa hash, and coco leche French toast. And just for reference, that barbacoa is loaded with guajillo salsa, cilantro, elotes, cotija cheese.
How to order: Dine in, takeout, or delivery available via the website or Postmates.
Taco Guild Gastropub
Taco Guild’s assortment of standout tacos, which include the chipotle cherry steak and the molida lamb with sweet potato hay and Creole aïoli, have been recognized as some of the best in the country, but what’s even more impressive is the restaurant’s atmosphere. Between its home in a cathedral-style dining room to its live music, dining here is a true sensory experience. If we had to pick just taco to recommend, it'd be their chipotle cherry steak New World taco, which features poblano straws, chile aioli, and blue cheese.
How to order: Dine in, or get curbside pickup and delivery through GrubHub.
Phoenix Burrito House
While PHX Burrito House has great tacos, quesadillas, and even a delicious Mexican salad—you have to get a burrito, because why else would you visit a burrito house? Whether you opt for the classic bean and cheese burrito or the build-your-own breakfast burrito you can’t go wrong. Our favorite is the No Filler Burrito that’s, well, filled to the brim with tasty, flavorful carne asada.
How to order: Dine in or order to-go at the restaurant.
Tacos Chiwas offers traditional Chihuahua-style tacos, gorditas, and burritos crafted from recipes that have been passed down for generations, making them a favorite of local critics, and Food Network, and has even piqued the interest of the James Beard Award committees. The eatery was even able to expand to a new location during 2020, which says a lot about its local support. While you’re there, try something new and go for the Lengua taco—beef tongue, cilantro, and white onion. And for $2.50, it’s totally worth it.
How to order: Dine at one of the three Valley locations, call for takeout or get your meal delivered through UberEats.
Carolina's Mexican Food
It takes some seriously good Mexican food to last more than half a century in Arizona where the competition’s hot. Carolina’s has managed to do that, and grow to three locations, with the same traditional recipes Carolina Valenzuela opened the restaurant with back in 1968. You’ll wanna dig into the chicken tamales which are loaded with shredded chicken, Carolina’s legendary green sauce, and diced jalapenos.
How to order: Dine in, call for curbside pickup, or order delivery on Postmates.
Casa Corazon Restaurant
Casa Corzaon was dubbed one of Yelp’s top 100 places to eat for 2021, and for good reason—it takes authentic Mexican cuisine to the next level with gourmet dishes inspired by Southern Mexico and executed with high quality, fresh produce directly from Mexico. You can’t go wrong with classics like carne asada tacos or the huevos rancheros, but we highly recommend branching out with one-of-a-kind dishes like the omelette with hibiscus flower or quesadilla with lobster.
How to order: Dine in at the restaurant or order online for curbside pickup.
La Bamba Mexican Grill Restaurant
If you’re ready for some truly authentic al pastor tacos, La Bamba Mexican Grill Restaurant should be at the top of your list. This unpretentious, cash-only grill makes up for its simple dining space with colorful, drool-worthy street tacos that pack out of this world flavor at unbelievably low prices. Don’t skip on dessert either—the sopapillas and churros are unmatched.
How to order: Dine in or order to-go at the restaurant.