Are you searching for truly delicious Mexican food in El Paso? Craving authentic flavors, fresh ingredients, and generous portions that will leave you satisfied? Well, you’ve come to the right place! El Paso is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants you’ll find anywhere, each offering their own unique take on classic dishes.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the top spots to get your Mexican food fix in El Paso. Whether you’re a local just looking to try something new or a visitor wanting to experience genuine Southwestern cuisine, you’ll find plenty of mouthwatering options on this list. Read on to start planning your tasty tour of El Paso’s Mexican food scene!
Felix Mexican Restaurant – Traditional Dishes in a Lively Setting
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food in a fun and energetic environment, head to Felix Mexican Restaurant. Located right in the heart of downtown El Paso, this lively local favorite has been serving up traditional dishes since 1938.
When you walk through their doors, you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of Mexico. Striking traditional decor sets the mood. You can choose to dine in their casual bar area or snag a table in the main dining room. Either way, you’ll love watching the bustling open kitchen preparing fresh, made-to-order meals right before your eyes.
The menu features all your Mexican favorites like tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and more. Be sure to try their signature dishes like the Tacos Al Carbon – juicy grilled steak tacos topped with onions and cilantro. Wash it all down with a refreshing margarita or ice-cold Mexican beer.
With amazing food, lively ambiance, and excellent service, Felix Mexican Restaurant is a long-time local favorite. It’s the perfect place to experience authentic Mexican cuisine in the heart of El Paso.
L&J Cafe – Homestyle Mexican Food Done Right
For delicious homestyle Mexican meals in a cozy, casual setting, L&J Cafe is a go-to local spot. Family owned and operated since 1927, they’ve been serving up generational recipes for nearly a century. The welcoming, low-key vibe makes you feel right at home.
At L&J Cafe, you can expect generous portions of Mexican comfort food classics. Their award-winning chile relleno covered in rich salsa is a must-try. Other favorites include their cheese enchiladas blanketed in spicy chili gravy, hearty chile verde plates loaded with tender pork, and their giant breakfast burritos smothered in your choice of savory sauces.
Everything at L&J Cafe tastes like it came straight from a Mexican abuela’s kitchen. In addition to their daily specials, they also offer a full bar and selection of craft beers to pair with your meal.
For no-frills, stick-to-your-ribs Mexican grub in a relaxed setting, L&J Cafe can’t be beat. It’s the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner anytime you’re craving homestyle flavors.
Casa Jurado – Modern Mexican Cuisine with a Twist
If you’re looking for inventive dishes putting a modern spin on Mexican flavors, Casa Jurado is a must-visit. Chef and owner Jose Jurado takes traditional recipes and ingredients and gives them a contemporary upgrade. The result is a menu full of uniquely crafted Mexican plates you won’t find anywhere else.
Casa Jurado’s trendy but laidback ambiance matches its innovative approach. Located in El Paso’s hip Cincinnati District, the restaurant features chic, contemporary decor melded with original design elements paying homage to its Mexican roots.
While the surroundings may be modern, Jurado’s cooking highlights traditional ingredients like mole sauce, freshly made corn tortillas, and Mexico’s famous chiles. Signature plates like the Pollo Enchilada Mole Poblano feature pulled chicken and homemade mole layered between fresh tortillas.
Other favorites include tacos made with handmade blue corn tortillas, tender brisket burritos smothered in tomatillo salsa, and their Mexican street corn off the cob bathed in crema, queso fresco and lime. Lighter options like Ensalada de Nopales (cactus salad) and the vegan Bean Torta remind you it’s still Mexican at its roots.
If you want to experience El Paso’s emerging food scene, Casa Jurado is leading the pack with its modern Mexican fare. The inventive dishes and stylish vibe come together to create a distinctly contemporary dining experience you can only find here.
Rosa’s Cantina – Enjoy Live Music with Your Mexican Meal
For a fun night out enjoying top-notch Mexican food and drinks paired with live music, Rosa’s Cantina is a legendary local spot. Made famous by the 1973 Marty Robbins song “El Paso”, Rosa’s Cantina has been an iconic El Paso destination for decades.
Today, Rosa’s continues to serve up excellent Tex-Mex style dishes in a setting vibrant with Southwestern decor and live music. Their menu features classics like chimichangas, flautas, and burritos alongside Tex-Mex chili and fajitas sizzling hot from the grill.
While the food takes center stage, Rosa’s also hosts live bands that get the party going with songs in English and Spanish. The dance floor fills up fast, so eat, drink, be merry and get ready to burn it off on the dance floor!
For a rollicking good time enjoying tasty Tex-Mex plates and two-stepping to live music, Rosa’s Cantina is a one-of-a-kind El Paso experience. It’s the perfect place to let loose and enjoy a memorable night out on the town.
Anson 11 – Upscale and Sophisticated Mexican Cuisine
If your tastes run toward finer dining, Anson 11’s upscale ambiance and innovative Mexican menu will definitely impress. Chef and owner Josh Loya worked in Mexico City’s prestigious restaurants before opening Anson 11 in Downtown El Paso. He brings a refined sensibility to authentic Mexican cuisine that really shines.
The ambiance at Anson 11 is sleek and contemporary, full of warm wood, natural textures and modern design. It’s an ideal setting to enjoy Loya’s elevated take on traditional dishes. Menu standouts include Duck Carnitas Tacos with habanero aioli, Salmon Tostadas with mango salsa, and divine Tres Leches Cake for dessert.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to experience refined Mexican cooking at its best, indulge in Anson 11’s sophisticated flavors and setting. This is Mexican food done at the highest level, artfully presented and full of dynamic textures and tastes.
The Best of the Rest – More Great Options for Mexican Food in El Paso
Beyond these top picks, El Paso is home to so many other excellent spots to enjoy authentic Mexican flavors:
- Tacoholics – This food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant specializes in gourmet tacos stuffed with unique meats like brisket, chorizo or succulent shrimp.
- Little Diner – A hip downtown outpost slinging made-from-scratch Mexican dishes and killer margaritas. Try the Shrimp Diablo!
- Los Bandidos de Carlos & Mickey’s – Their family-run restaurants serve up Mexican and New Mexican cuisine. The green chile is amazing.
- L&J Cafe – This historic spot opened in 1927 makes traditional Mexican comfort food just like grandma used to – but better!
- Tapatio Mexican Restaurant – Family-owned neighborhood favorite serving classic Mexican plates in a casual setting since 1969.
No matter where you choose to visit in El Paso, you really can’t go wrong when it comes to sating your Mexican food cravings. From street food to fine dining, El Paso delivers authentic flavors, generous portions, and that signature Southwest touch.
Satisfy Your Cravings: The Can’t-Miss Mexican Dishes to Try in El Paso
Now that you know the best places to get your Mexican food fix in El Paso, let’s explore some of the iconic dishes you simply have to try during your visit. When you dig into these crave-worthy plates, you’ll see what makes El Paso’s Mexican food scene so vibrant.
Here’s an overview of the must-try Mexican specialties and where to sample them across the city:
You can’t visit El Paso without indulging in some spectacular tacos. Two varieties to try:
- Tacos al Carbon – Smoky grilled steak tacos, best at Felix Mexican Restaurant downtown.
- Breakfast Tacos – Fluffy egg tacos loaded with potatoes, bacon, cheese – a Texas specialty. Enjoy at L&J Cafe.
Enchiladas are a staple of Mexican cuisine. Don’t miss:
- Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy – L&J Cafe makes theirs drenched in rich, spicy chili gravy.
- Enchiladas Suizas – Creamy, cheesy chicken enchiladas covered in tangy green tomatillo sauce. Eat at Tapatio Mexican Restaurant.
Chile rellenos are roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and meat, then bathed in sauce. Try:
- Award-Winning Chile Rellenos – L&J Cafe’s version smothered in red or green salsa is a local legend.
- Shrimp Chile Rellenos – For a twist, Anson 11 stuffs poblanos with plump shrimp and sopes.
Margaritas & Micheladas
What’s Mexican food without a refreshing cocktail? Sip a:
- House Margarita – Felix Mexican Restaurant shakes up excellent house margaritas on the rocks or frozen.
- Michelada – Anson 11’s gourmet Micheladas are spicy, savory beer cocktails not to miss.
Tamales, masa stuffed with savory fillings and steamed in corn husks, are a specialty here. Try:
- Pork Tamales – Dig into Felix Mexican Restaurant’s tender pork tamales bathed in red and green salsa.
- Chicken & Green Hatch Chile Tamales – Harvest Restaurant makes theirs with spicy Hatch green chiles – a taste of New Mexico!
Flan & Sopapillas
Save room for these sweet Mexican desserts:
- Classic Flan – Casa Jurado’s ultra-smooth Mexican custard flan is the perfect light finale after a big meal.
- Sopapillas with Honey – Puffy fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar & drizzled with honey. Indulge at Felix.
Tips for Exploring El Paso’s Amazing Mexican Food Scene
Looking for ways to get the most out of eating your way through El Paso’s top-notch Mexican restaurants? Here are helpful tips and tricks:
Go at Peak Times
Visit restaurants at peak hours when fresh batches of food are constantly being prepped. Lunch and dinner rushes are best. Avoid late nights or closing.
Ask for Recommendations
Don’t know what to order? Ask your server for recommendations on the best dishes and specialties to try. Most are happy to guide you.
Share Dishes Family-Style
Mexican food is perfect for sharing! Order a variety of dishes and sample bites family-style. You’ll get to taste more items.
Save Room for Dessert
Never skip dessert at a legit Mexican restaurant! Save room to enjoy something sweet like flan, churros, sopapillas or tres leches cake.
Pair with Drinks
Enhance your flavors by pairing dishes with drinks like margs, Mexican beer, horchata or Jamaica (hibiscus iced tea).
Most restaurants are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions. Ask for veggie fillings instead of meat, gluten free tortillas, etc.
Grab Leftovers to Go
Portion sizes can be huge. Feel free to request a to-go box with any leftovers to enjoy later. No waste!
Go Off the Beaten Path
Some of the best authentic Mexican food can be found in hole-in-the-wall spots and taco trucks. Explore!
By keeping these tips in mind during your Mexican food adventures, you’ll enjoy the full experience like a local. Now get out there and buen provecho (happy eating)!
Satisfy Your Cravings for Authentic Mexican Flavors in El Paso
El Paso’s Mexican food scene is vibrant, innovative, and steeped in authentic flavors. You’ll find everything from lively traditional eateries to contemporary spots putting modern spins on classics. Whatever your tastes, there’s a fantastic restaurant ready to satisfy your cravings.
Start planning your tasty tour of El Paso’s Mexican restaurants. Try a bit of everything from street tacos to gourmet cuisine and immerse yourself in Southwestern and Mexican culture with every bite. With so many delicious options, one visit may not be enough! Just don’t leave El Paso without enjoying one (or more) of these mouthwatering Mexican meals.