When you’re hungry for traditional Mexican food from recipes handed down through generations, you want an authentic Mexican restaurant.
There are 54,000 Mexican restaurants in the United States, but not all of them serve authentic food.
To spare your taste buds – and your wallet – from the task of weeding the bad from the good, we’ve rounded up ten of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in the U.S.
From tortillas to tacos, enchiladas, beans, rice, and more, our tour will give you a mouthwatering glimpse into America’s real, authentic Mexican food.
From Coast to Coast – The Most Authentic Mexican Restaurants in America
Each of these restaurants is notable for the quality, flavor, and traditional Mexican style of their food.
- El Cholo – Los Angeles, CA
El Cholo got its humble beginnings in 1923, making it one of Southern California’s most enduring Mexican restaurants.
The food is hearty and traditional, with seasonal menu items – like green corn tamales – taking pride of place.
- La Carta de Oaxaca – Seattle, WA
The first Oaxacan restaurant in Seattle, La Carta is a popular place for customers seeking traditional and unusual mole. And since Oaxaca is considered Mexico’s “birthplace of mole,” this should be no surprise.
Their mole negro remains a crowd pleaser – it’s available with pork or chicken as a plated dish, or in tamales.
- Rio Grande Café – Salt Lake City, UT
Tucked inside a railroad station built in 1910, this café has a local cult following for its incredibly cheesy enchiladas and large portions.
In fact, their enchiladas with blue corn tortillas stuffed full of savory beef and melted cheese are a not-to-be-missed menu selection.
- Taqueria Lupita’s – Detroit, MI
Lupita’s is well known locally as the “House of the Original Mexican Taco,” and they take their tacos very seriously.
Choose from a menu packed full of traditional Mexican favorites served with piquant sauces and warm-from-the-oven chips, Lupita’s is the perfect place for a quick Mexican bite.
- El Centro – Boston, MA
The chef in this authentic-style Mexican restaurant is Sonoran, so he knows his carne asada.
Allen Rodriguez, chef and owner, prepares this tender beef dish with care – adding accompaniments like roasted tomato salsa to add flair and flavor.
- El Sol Restaurante – Washington, D.C.
Brother and sister chefs Alfredo and Jessica Solis take you back to old Mexico City – and their own childhoods – with homemade tortillas and no-frills traditional cooking.
Their queso fundido is a sight to behold – and taste – with the perfect mix of sweet and spicy flavors showcased by deliciously gooey melted cheese.
- Salud Mexican Restaurant – Camden, SC
With ten varieties of tacos to choose from featuring traditional meats, fresh seafood, and hot tortillas, Salud offers the quintessential Mexican experience in a vibrant, lounge atmosphere.
People come as much for the tequila as the food, as Salud is home to over 100 tequilas – including top-shelf, mid-range, and even rare brands.
- Mi Rinconcito Mexicano – Miami, FL
Mi Rinconcito knows that, just like in Mexico, the real reason to eat out is to enjoy food with family and friends.
Tacos are served with hot corn tortillas snugged around spicy tongue, chorizo, savory pork, or ground beef or chicken.
Of course, you can experience home-cooked pozole, cooling horchata, and sopes and flautas if tacos aren’t your thing.
- The Shed – Santa Fe, NM
In operation by the same family since 1953, the Shed is a Santa Fe staple of authentic Mexican fare.
Take a seat at the gorgeous outdoor eating area and enjoy the red chili enchiladas, renowned far and wide for their traditional taste.
- Benitos Mexican Restaurant – Fort Worth, TX
Located on the popular, vibrant Magnolia Avenue area of Fort Worth, Benitos is a cherished local gem.
Priding ourselves on traditional Mexican food, Benitos serves locals and visitors some of the most authentic Mexican food in Texas – no small feat, when you consider the state has the largest share of Mexican restaurants in the country.
Customer favorites include the chille rellenos (names Fort Worth’s best, by the way), tamale oaxaquen, and enchiladas.
Anywhere You Travel, Authentic Mexican Food is Nearby
Wherever you go in the United States, you can be sure to find delicious, authentic Mexican food on the menu at one of these outstanding Mexican restaurants.
From California to Boston and Michigan to Texas, we’ve rounded up all our favorites to make choosing the best from thousands of restaurants simple – and tasty.
The next time find yourself in any of these destinations – and hungry – stop in at one of our list-makers’ establishments and treat yourself to a traditional plate of authentic Mexican fare.
Benito’s is the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing in Fort Worth. Close to many of the most popular attractions in the city, it’s a delicious way to rest your feet and feed your hunger.
Come on down to 450 West Magnolia, Fort Worth, TX 76104 or call (817) 332-8633 for great takeout to enjoy in the gorgeous Texas sunshine.