The Hot Sheet | The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ


Top 10 Mexican Food Restaurants in Phoenix

A pitcher of margaritas from Los Dos Molinos is necessary to cool the burn.

Here in Phoenix we take our Mexican food seriously. Our Southwestern and Mexican restaurants are supremely authentic and numerous. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 favorite Mexican food restaurants in Phoenix, although we can assure you this list could have been much, much longer.

  1. Barrio Café (2814 N. 16th Street, Phoenix) You can’t create a list of the best Mexican food restaurants in Phoenix without including Barrio Café. Owner and Chef Silvana Esparaza creates modern, top-notch preparations of traditional Mexican dishes. Tip: Order the guacamole.
  2. Carolina’s (1202 E. Mohave Street, Phoenix)  Don’t let the location or the austere interior deter you from eating at Carolina’s, as you’ll be rewarded at first bite. Tip: Get the Oaxaca (pronounced wa-hock-ah) burrito and order a dozen tortillas to take home.
  3. Tacos Atoyac UPDATE: Tacos Atoyac has closed indefinitely as of 3/28/14 (1830 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix) With a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location and a spartan interior like Carolina’s you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with fantastic tacos at Tacos Atoyac. Everything on the menu is very affordable, with the most expensive item being only $8. Here you can afford to be adventurous. Tip: Get the fish tacos.
  4. La Santisima (Formerly known as La Condesa) (1919 N. 16th Street, Phoenix)  La Santisima probably has the most diverse salsa bar you will ever see. From traditional salsas to more adventurous versions like strawberry, peanut and pecan make sure to grab a few to try along with your meal. Tip: Order the Horchata.
    La Santisima Taco Shop salsa bar

    The delicious salsa bar at La Santisima. You gotta try them all!


  5. Los Dos Molinos (8646 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix)  A long time favorite of Phoenix locals, Los Dos Molinos is known for its spicy food and margaritas. Warning, the food at Los Dos is as good as it is hot. You’ll know what we mean when you’ve ordered your second pitcher of margaritas. Tip: Don’t go to Los Dos starving as there is usually a wait.
  6. Paletas Betty (96 W. Boston Street, Chandler & 452 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe) Technically not a Mexican restaurant, but we need our dessert and Palatas Betty is where it’s at. Most Phoenicians are used to seeing paletas sold from carts on neighborhoods streets, but with two permanent locations in Greater Phoenix, Paletas Betty saves us the time listening for the faint ring of a bell on a hot Phoenix afternoon. Tip: Bring your four-legged friend along – Paletas Betty always has a special frozen treat for your dog.
    paletas betty

    It's tough to choose just one at Paletas Betty.


  7. La Hacienda (7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale) Located at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, La Hacienda does upscale Mexican food right. One of the only two of North America’s AAA Four Diamond Mexican restaurants in the U.S. - if you’re looking for an all-around unforgettable and indulgent Mexican meal you won’t be disappointed. La Hacienda is also a great choice for tequila lovers with over 200 different varieties available. Tip: Try the flaming coffee.
  8. El Bravo (8338 N. 7th St, Phoenix) This family-owned award-winning favorite has been serving up classic Mexican fare in Phoenix for more than 30 years. Need one last fix before departing Phoenix? Stop by their location in Sky Harbor Airport's Terminal 4. Tip: Start with a cheese crisp then get your burrito green enchilada style.
    El Bravo Phoenix

    El Bravo


  9. Mariscos Playa Hermosa (1605 E. Garfield Street, Phoenix)  Seafood? In the desert? That’s right. Get your fill of shrimp, oysters, octopus prepared Sinaloan style at Mariscos Playa Hermosa. Tip: Order the Campechana Cocktail.
  10. Los Reyes de la Torta (9230 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix)  The menu at Los Reyes de la Torta is Mexico City style with huaraches, sopes and huge tortas. The tortas are so large that they were featured on the Food Network’s Man vs. Food. Bring a friend. Tip: Try The Hulk, a drink made with nopales (cactus) pineapple and a hint of lime.

Want more? Visit our Where to Eat Southwestern/Mexican food in Phoenix section on our website.

Comments (19) Trackbacks (4)
  1. I’m disappointed you didn’t include
    Sylvia’s La Canasta Mexican Restaurant
    5502 N 7th Ave
    Phoenix, AZ 85013
    (602) 242-4252
    I think it’s on of the best in AZ.

  2. Thank you, Nancy! As we mentioned this list could have been so much longer with all of the wonderful Mexican and Southwestern food that Phoenix offers.

  3. Via Delosantos is my choice for excellent traditional Mexican food. I get the chicken enchiladas with Fundito sauce (where else will let you customize this way?) and it ROCKS! Staff is always great and the chips n salsa are fresh and plentiful!

  4. Where’s Juan’s Authentic Mexican Food, 1516 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ??? Being a Chicano and having always received positive reviews from anyone that I’ve referred there, I’m surprised it’s not at the top of the list. In my opinion, they have the best Mexican food in the valley, and I eat around.

  5. Thank you, Pete! As we mentioned this list could have been so much longer with all of the wonderful Mexican and Southwestern food that Phoenix offers.

    Susan – We too love Via Delosantos. So many Mexican restaurants in Phoenix, so little time.

  6. Great list here! I’ve been to 4 out of 10 restaurants in your list. La Condesa is one of my favourite. Highly recommend it to those who are yet to try! Thanks for your article anyway :)

  7. pepe’s taco villa….La Perla…..Popos…….We need a list of the best types of Mexican Food.
    Enchaladas… Via Delosantos for sure
    Green Burros….Carolinas
    Red Burros….. El Bravo
    Barbacoa… La Canasta
    Tamales ????
    Mexican Shrimp cocktail…. Mixtecca

  8. What about Ritos in the Garfield nabe?

  9. No Taco Bell? No Filibertos? No El Pollo Loco? This list is garbage! You could have least had some class and put Jack in the Box on the list, as everyone knows Jack’s Tacos are the best!

  10. Pedro’s in Glendale

  11. Tacos atoyac!?! Uh ok. They never give enough hot sauce and you get a rude look if you ask for more…. Lame.

  12. No Si Senors = try venturing out of Phoenix proper.
    Their chiles are delivered fresh from NM every week and their food is authentic, spicy and amazing. You should be ashamed!!

  13. What about Fajardo’s Cafe (formally Lily’s Cafe) in Glendale?

  14. Pedro’s in Glendale and Rosa’s in Mesa (THE BEST grilled fish and seafood tacos in the valley, PERIOD!)

  15. Juans is amazing. I’ve never been to any on this list though, how depressing.

  16. All most all east side, try some of the good places=go west people go west

  17. Popos 67th ave Indian School rd.
    Best mexican food in town.

  18. The real list is in the comments! Carolina’s yes…everything else….

    Pedro’s mentioned in comments!
    Rito’s!!! Why is it not the list?
    And last i want to mention…comedor Guadalajara.omgeeze best food!

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