The best place for Mexican food near me is, of course, Mexico, but otherwise, we have a list of some great places in the United States.
Trying to pick the best Mexican food near me restaurants in the United States is no small feat. The United States is a land that stretches far and wide, encompassing many different cultures and landscapes; many nationalities have left their mark on the gastronomic scene here, but perhaps none of them is more common than the Mexicans.
Americans love Mexican food. There’s a reason there are thousands of Mexican food restaurants across the country.
Choosing a Mexican food near me restaurant that isn’t overdone but still a little sophisticated and above all delicious can take some time. Located in this great country, it will certainly be near you. Ok, maybe not further down the road, but still in your corner of the country!
We’ve compiled a list of the top 17 Mexican food near me restaurants across the country and decided the best based on several criteria: a variety of menu options on offer, best rice and beans, use of fresh ingredients, plus authentic/unique dishes, best fries, salsa and guacamole, and the most delicious food overall.
Even though their menus may be similar, some restaurants are arguably better than others. Americans are undeniably addicted to Mexican Food.
Founded in 1982 in Austin, Texas, Chuy’s was founded by Michael Young and John Zapp. Chuy’s is the most inventive and quirky Mexican food near me chain on our list, true to its hometown motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” These restaurants are adorned with Elvis and other retro memorabilia, as well as traditional Mexican decor and brightly coloured 1950s-era vinyl booths and chairs.
Their menu features every Mexican dish under the sun, including enchiladas, fajitas, chilli Relleno, quesadillas, burritos and bottomless baskets of fries, salsas and their famous jalapeno cream sauce. One of the most popular items on the menu is the chimichanga, a deep-fried burrito with a perfectly crispy outer layer topped with your choice of creamy queso sauce or creamy jalapeño sauce. This franchise has mastered the art of frying and offers the best fries in the world.
They currently have 95 restaurants in 19 US states.
2. Baja Fresh
Baja Fresh opened in 1990 in California to advertise Mexican dishes made with fresh, homemade produce. Baja Fresh prides itself on using raw, fresh ingredients, claiming that all ingredients are sourced directly from the farm and all cooking methods are human-powered. jars, microwave ovens, freezers and monosodium glutamate are prohibited on Baja Fresh premises.
The Baja Fresh menu is simple, delicious and above all fresh. It serves burritos, salads, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, nachos and more. A popular menu item is the Baja Bowl, a kind of deconstructed burrito with rice, beans, meat or fish protein, and your choice of salsa. With a fresh homemade concept, their salsa is particularly delicious; the selection includes mango salsa, 6 chillies, salsa verde, and molcajete, to name a few.
They currently have over 200 locations across the United States.
3. Torchy’s Tacos
From a humble food truck in South Austin, Texas, Torchy’s Tacos quickly became the city’s most popular taco restaurant and now has 75 locations with plans to open 80 more by 2023.
Torchy’s tacos aren’t your average two-ingredient tacos; they’re unique, elaborate, and huge tacos with at least seven ingredients and silly names like Dirty Sanchez and Trailer Park. They also have delicious side dishes like grilled real Mexican street corn with spicy mayonnaise, lime juice and cotija cheese.
Chipotle is a multinational Mexican food near me chain specializing in burritos and burrito cups with over 3,000 locations in the United States alone. The first establishment opened in Denver, Colorado in 1993, serving burritos inspired by San Francisco’s Mission District taqueria founder Steve Ells, who frequented during his time living there.
Despite its fast-food status, Chipotle breaks stereotypes by using fresh produce and responsibly sourced organic meats and dairy. All ingredients are visible to customers who choose which ingredients they want to add to their burrito or burrito bowl.
5. Qdoba Mexican Eats
Another Denver-based Mexican food near me, Qdoba, was originally called Zuma and changed its name for the second time before settling on the widespread franchise we all know today. The two co-founders of Qdoba launched Zuma in 1995, and by the time it became Qdoba it had begun to grow. There are currently over 600 Qdoba restaurants in the United States.
Their concept consists of customizable Mexican dishes that cater to all dietary needs, including keto, gluten-free, and vegetarians. They have unique salsas like bbq ancho and chilli and speciality burrito menu items like chilli popcorn. Their most popular sauce is the three-cheese queso, which took years to make.
6. Taco Bell
By far the largest and most famous franchise in the world on the Mexican food near me list, Taco Bell has over 7,000 locations worldwide, serving 2 billion customers annually. Taco Bell founder Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Irvine, California in 1962. Far from authentic Mexican cuisine, Taco Bell’s menu is best described as Americanized Mexican cuisine, where tacos are served in a fried hardshell with shredded lettuce, cheese, and ground beef.
However, their Mexican-inspired dishes have become iconic as well as countless memorable promotional exploits; who will ever forget a series of commercials featuring a talking chihuahua reciting “Yo Quiero Taco Bell”?
7. Del Taco
Founded in Yermo, California in 1964, Del Taco offers a mixed menu of Mexican and American fast food items including burgers and fries, as well as the famous inexpensive tacos. They serve a mixture of Tex-Mex tacos in soft flour tortillas with grated cheese and fajita grilled fish or meat, but they also serve simpler traditional Mexican meat and corn tortilla tacos with the classic sliced onion and cilantro toppings you’ll see at authentic taquerias.
There are currently 547 Del Taco locations in 16 states.
8. Moe’s Southwest Grill
Moe’s Southwest Grill, founded in Atlanta in 2000, now has over 460 locations in the United States and around the world. Along with cute and eye-catching ad campaigns and product descriptions, Moe’s prides itself on using fresh ingredients and high-quality meats that are steroid-free and abuse-free.
With names like Homewrecker Burrito or Funk Meister Tacos, the food at Moe’s is healthy and interesting. They also have many vegan options that use tofu as the protein instead of the standard rice and bean combo. The unique menu item is called “Stack”, which is a sort of Mexican calzone with a soft toasted tortilla wrapped around corn chips stuffed with meat, sticky cheese, sour cream, black beans, tomatoes and coriander.
9. Taco Cabana
Taco Cabana is another chain originating from Texas and loved by drunken college students around the world. It has over 160 establishments, most of which are located in Texas. They are open 24 hours a day and serve the best queso accompanied by fresh and warm tortillas made from homemade flour. They have a classic flatbread that makes hundreds of flatbreads an hour.
The smell is intoxicating, and watching the process is fascinating.
Most Taco Cabanas have outdoor patios adorned with traditional stitching of colourful square paper cutouts. There’s also a condiment bar stocked with salsa, pico de gallo, limes and more to spruce up your main courses however you like.
10. Pappasito’s Cantina
Texas is doing it again with this chain of family-run Mexican food near me restaurants, ironically founded by a Greek family. The Pappas family owns other franchised restaurants, including Pappas Bros. SteakHouse, Pappa’s Seafood, Yia Yia Mary’s Greek Food and Pappadeaux Seafood, just to name a few. All Pappas restaurants are excellent, and Cantina de Pappasito is no exception.
Greeks know how to grill meat, which is why Pappasito’s is famous for its plate of grilled sizzling fajitas, as well as fresh, made-to-order guacamole your waiter prepares at the table.
11. El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco is the only franchise on the list that originated from Mexico and is, therefore, the only truly authentic Mexican food restaurant. They also stand out as Mexican speciality restaurants as they only serve Mexican Grilled Chicken. As usual, preparing a whole Mexican chicken consists of marinating the chicken in a mixture of fresh herbs, orange and lime juice, and plenty of spices, and then roasting it over an open fire.
Their chicken has a unique taste and is always very juicy. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! They have about 500 outlets in the US.
12. Wahoo’s Fish Tacos
Surf year-round at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. Founded in 1988 in Orange County, California by three surfer brothers, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos is a blend of Brazilian, Hawaiian and Asian flavours packed into traditional Mexican fish tacos. This original idea caught on and the restaurant grew into the 50 restaurant franchise it is today.
Although they have diversified their menu to include Tex-Mex dishes like enchiladas, Wahoo’s specializes in fish and seafood tacos and pairs international dishes with innovative taco toppings like citrus coleslaw. In addition, their menu changes depending on the state or region in which the restaurant is located, with the aim of serving tacos with the freshest local fish.
13. El Torito
The oldest Mexican food near me restaurant on our list is El Torito, founded in 1954 in California, where most of its 69 locations are located. El Torito is a family-run seating restaurant serving all the classic authentic Mexican Tex-Mex dishes, including enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, tacos, and guacamole galore.
On Saturdays, they also offer an elaborate breakfast menu with innovative Mexican-American fusion dishes such as churro pancakes and Mexican “steaks with eggs” with carne asada. There are also traditional Mexican breakfast options such as Chilaquiles and Huevos Rancheros.
14. On the Border
This restaurant epitomizes the culture of the Tex-Mex region with its name and origins in 1986 in Dallas. All dishes are inspired by the tastes of Mexico and South Texas, including chicken flaunts chicken ajiote tacos, homemade guacamole and hand-pressed tortillas. The chain, which was originally based on sizzling fajitas and margaritas, now has more than 160 locations and offers a wide selection of authentic Tex-Mex cuisine.
15. Chevys Fresh Mex
As the second-largest Mexican food near me franchise in California, Chevys promises that all of its food was made from scratch. Founded in 1986 in Alameda, California, this Mexican food restaurant chain is designed to resemble dining at a diner or cafe in a Mexican border town. One of the best dishes is the sizzling fajitas with chicken, steak, prawns, portobello mushrooms or pork carnitas. The best part of the dining experience, however, is Chevys’ homemade flatbread, nicknamed El Machino. Watch your tortilla cook in this machine that adds freshness and fun to the Chevy.
16. Pappasito’s Cantina
As the Mexican food near me outpost of Pappas restaurants, Pappasito’s makes this cuisine worth it. According to their website, over 3.5 million pounds of tortilla chips are served at the chain’s outlets each year. Holy guacamole! And speaking of guacamole, Pappasito’s is prepared on the table with fresh avocados, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and lime juice. What started as a family restaurant business in 1976 has expanded to include other cuisines such as Greek, steak and seafood. Pappasito stays true to its roots with most of its locations located in Texas.
While today Chili’s is known for its sizzling fajitas, premium burgers and ribs, it was first inspired by chilli recipes. Founder Larry Lavigne attended a culinary event in Terlingua, Texas and then decided in 1975 to open a restaurant in Dallas serving hamburgers, tacos and chilli peppers. With over 1,200 locations, Chili’s has expanded to 24 countries and expanded its menu to include American favourites such as the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and Chicken Chips.