Food & Drink

DC’s Best Mexican Restaurants You Can Enjoy From Home

It’s margarita season.

As the weather warms, so do the cravings for fresh and vibrant Mexican cooking. Spring feels like the ideal time to enjoy homemade tacos, scoops of guacamole, and the bite of a strong margarita. DC has built up a diversity of Mexican restaurants, from modern and refined to casual, no-frills taquerias. Fortunately, many of the District’s best Mexican kitchens continue to offer food (and cocktails) through carryout and delivery. Good thing, too, since a cheesy quesadilla or a crispy fish taco are some of the ultimate comfort foods.

One important note: As much as delivery services have made it easier than ever to experience local restaurants at home, ordering directly from the business is the best way that their staff and ownership receive your full financial support during these challenging times.

El Chucho

Columbia Heights
If you’ve never experienced an elote (street-style corn on the cob), El Chucho is the spot in DC to make the move. The succulent corn comes out partially charred, slathered with a brown-butter aioli, and covered in crumbles of cotija cheese and cilantro. This Central Mexico-inspired hangout is a mainstay for many Washingtonians who enjoy throwing back spicy margaritas and chowing down on tacos and burritos. 
How to order: Order takeout through ChowNow


Try some of Espita Mezcaleria authentic Mexican flavors in dishes like fresh salsa verde or guacamole before moving on to shareable appetizers like a tlayuda -- essentially one big nacho topped with shredded pork belly, beef, or chorizo. Tortillas are made with heirloom corn and make ideal partners to the restaurants tacos and chips. Sip through the bar’s extensive mezcal selection or grab a crafted cocktail or refreshing beer. The restaurant is also now offering grocery boxes, complete with tortillas, vegetables, protein and dairy items, along with suggested recipes for home cooks.
How to order: Order takeout online and delivery through Caviar


Columbia Heights
The first step to enjoying Mezcalero is to order a margarita -- try the hibiscus or spicy mango variations for an extra tropical kick. Then build a meal from the street food-inspired recipes of chef Alfred Solis, who broke into DC cooking with El Sol in Shaw. There are nearly 20 taco choices, but that’s only part of the extensive menu. The enchiladas slathered with molé sauce are a winner, as are the quesadilla with mushrooms and spinach. 
How to order: Order takeout by calling 202.803.2114 or online

Mi Vida

The Wharf
The Wharf is DC’s splashiest neighborhood, and Mi Vida is ready with plates of Mexican favorites designed for sharing (or not). Gooey queso fundido is an appetizer highlight, made from Oaxacan and Chihuahuan cheeses and served with hand-pressed corn tortillas. Enchiladas de mole negro are a good bet for heartier fare, especially paired with an order of fried plantains or roasted corn esquites. The restaurant is currently offering takeout and delivery taco dinner options for one or two people, as well as margarita kits. 
How to order: Order takeout or delivery online


Penn Quarter
Arguably DC’s most influential chef, José Andrés never misses a chance to innovate and adapt. At Oyamel, his head chef Omar Rodriguez oversees a menu that starts with zippy ceviche and decadent guacamole and graduates to dishes like chicken tamales and tacos built around grasshopper, steak, and other Mexican vegetables and herbs. Oyamel is currently serving a packaged meal for two or four with chips and guacamole, shrimp or steak, rice, and refried beans. There are a la carte options too, highlighting the restaurant’s refined and colorful take on Mexican cooking and cocktails.
How to order: Order takeout or delivery online

Taco Bamba

Multiple locations
What started as a small store in Falls Church has developed a groundswell of followers as it spread throughout Northern Virginia. The menu spans traditional -- proteins like chicken, grilled beef, or chorizo topped with onions and cilantro -- to more elaborate creations with Asian influences. For fans of the al pastor taco, go ahead and give La Gringa a try. Pork and pineapple are paired in a quesadilla with seared cheese, onions, cilantro, and sweet chili sauce. The DC location has closed, but pickup and delivery are available at the Virginia addresses.
How to order: Order takeout or delivery online

Taqueria Habanero

Tacos are obviously the must-try items at this Pueblan-style eatery, which describes itself as "99% Mexican." The first one you should try is tinga poblana, made with shredded chicken and sausage. Vegetable fans can choose mushrooms or cactus "nopales," and grasshopper and beef tongue are among the more adventurous options. Each mouthwatering ingredient, including their corn tortillas, is made in-house, from scratch. 
How to order: Order takeout online


Silver Spring
An abbreviation of tacos, tortas, and tequilas, this Silver Spring eatery serves up an "arabe" taci with your choice of protein (shrimp, mushrooms, and grilled chicken), salsa roja, and avocado crema on pita bread. Anyone with a sandwich craving can tuck into a satisfying spicy torta Milanesa, stuffed with chicken, tomato, refried beans, avocado and lettuce. Groups of two can order a package with all the supplies for a taco or torta fiesta at home. Don’t forget the drinks, either. A strawberry margarita, maybe?
How to order: Order takeout by calling 301.755.6132 and delivery through Uber Eats or Grubhub

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Travis Mitchell is a DC-based food and drink writer, with stories appearing in outlets including EaterDCistPaste, Washington City Paper, and others.