Mexican Restaurants

Discover Great Mexican Restaurants Near You With Restaurantji.

86,219 Mexican Restaurants currently listed on Restaurantji

How Many Mexican Restaurants Are There in the US?

There are over 85,000 Mexican restaurant businesses across the United States as of 2024, according to Restaurantji data. This is a 1.5% increase from the previous year. These Mexican restaurants are heavily concentrated in a few key states. Over half (51%) are located in just six states - California (19,5%), Texas (16,8%), Florida (4,1%), Illinois (3,9%), New York (3,6%) and Arizona (3,2%).

Big national restaurant chains serving Mexican food are also very common. Taco Bell has the largest share with over 7,550 locations across the country. Taco Bell accounts for 8,8% of all Mexican restaurants and almost a half (45,7%) of the Mexican chain (i.e. more than 5 locations) restaurant market. Other top national Mexican chains serving their takes on burritos, Mexican rice, elote, and other favorites include Chipotle, Qdoba, Moe's Southwest Grill and Del Taco.

Looking at the different styles, 22% of Mexican restaurants nationwide are considered fast food places, while 12% specifically serve tacos. 8% are food trucks or carts, and 6% offer Tex-Mex cuisine. The majority (52,4% or 44,716) are reasonably priced restaurants rated as one "$" on Restaurantji.

While Americanized Mexican dishes like hard-shell tacos, overstuffed burritos, and lots of melted cheese are very popular menu items, there are differences from authentic Mexican food. Traditional Mexican uses more corn tortillas instead of flour, fresh cheeses like queso fresco rather than heavy cheeses, and more subtle, complex flavored sauces and seasonings.

Mexican food is extremely popular and common all across the United States. It is deeply rooted in American food culture in every part of the country. Let Restaurantji guide you to great Mexican restaurants every day.

7 Mexican Culinary Regions

The North

With a strong ranching tradition, Northern Mexican cuisine revolves around beef. Grilling is very popular, along with staples like refried beans, rice, and dried beef machaca. The cattle industry also produces a variety of cheeses like queso fresco. Flour tortillas enabled the invention of the burrito in Sonora. Other famous dishes include marinated arrachera skirt steak, cabrito roasted baby goat, and capirotada bread pudding.

The North Pacific Coast

Stretching along the Pacific, this region supplies much of Mexico's produce, cheese, chiles, and seafood. The cuisine showcases the abundance with many vegetable, fruit, grain, and seafood dishes cooked with chiles and European spices like parsley, thyme, and cilantro. Guadalajara is the cultural center, known for stews like birria and pozole. The Pacific coast also produces tequila.

The Bajio

Very similar to Spain's central plains from the earliest settlers, the Bajio cuisine features rice, pork and spices. Popular dishes include morisqueta (sausage and rice), carnitas (fried pork), and typical sweet treats like cajeta (goat's milk caramel), arroz con leche (rice pudding), and bunuelos (fritters). The town of Cotija is known for its namesake aged cheese. The local spirit is charanda from fermented corn.

The South Pacific Coast

The indigenous cuisines of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas feature staples like chicken, pork and Oaxaca's string cheese. Oaxaca is famous for its seven distinctive mole varieties using chiles, chocolate, nuts and cinnamon. Other specialties include tamales, enfrijoladas (tortillas in bean sauce) and diverse fiery chiles like the chile de siete caldos. In Chiapas, corn is the main staple used for tortillas, empanadas and more, often with very spicy chile condiments on the side.

Central Mexico

As a cosmopolitan capital, Mexico City offers foods from all regions like barbacoa lamb, birria goat stew, cabrito kid, carnitas pork, and complex moles from Puebla. Street food is hugely popular with taco stands, torta sandwich shops, and lunch counters everywhere. The city is also home to restaurants serving pre-Hispanic cuisine with ingredients like insects. For haute cuisine, this is the place to go.

The Gulf

With influences from indigenous, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean cultures, Gulf coast cuisine makes use of tropical fruits, vanilla, citrus, olives, capers and annatto seed. Seafood like Veracruz's signature snapper dish is emblematic. The flavors extend to dishes with peanuts, plantains, yuca and sweet potatoes. Tabasco offers incomparable seafood variety including crab and crayfish.

The South (Yucatan)

Based on Mayan food with Caribbean, European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences, the Yucatan peninsula's cuisine is distinct. Corn is the staple used for liquids and solids. Annatto seed adds color and flavor, used in recado pastes for pit-cooked dishes like cochinita pibil. Other specialties include tropical fruit salsas, habanero condiments, honey drinks and seafood like conch.

Tex-Mex vs Cal-Mex vs Traditional Mexican Cuisine

Traditional Mexican cuisine uses staples like corn, beans, chiles, tomatoes and avocados in dishes like moles and tamales. Tex-Mex originated when Mexican-American communities in Texas blended Mexican recipes with American ingredients like beef, cheddar, wheat tortillas and cumin. It includes dishes like nachos, fajitas and crispy tacos. Cal-Mex from California emphasizes fresh, healthy ingredients like avocados and grilled meats. It features burritos stuffed with non-traditional items and fuses Mexican flavors with other cuisines.

Most Popular Mexican Dishes in The US

Restaurantji has millions of restaurant reviews across the US and Canada. We've taken all the reviews in the Mexican food category to determine Americans' favorite Mexican dishes

Quesadilla - A quesadilla is a simple Mexican dish made by putting cheese between two tortillas. The name means "little cheesy thing." Quesadillas likely started in northern Mexico, especially the state of Sonora. They are a handy finger food that can be dipped in salsa. Common ingredients are cheese (often a mild white cheese) and tortillas.

You can try some of the best quesadilla in the country here:

Talkin' Tacos Buckhead in Atlanta, GA

Mexican Mariachi Grill y Tequila Bar in Glassboro, NJ

My Taco House in Modesto, CA

Guacamole - This avocado dip dates back to the Aztecs in 1500s Mexico. The Aztecs made an "avocado mixture" called ahuaca-mulli from the avocados native to the region. Guacamole became popular due to the high nutrition in avocados - they are full of healthy fats and protein for a fruit. Key ingredients are mashed avocados, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and chili peppers.

Check out these restaurants for a perfect guacamole:

Fat Rosie's Taco & Tequila Bar in Frankfort, IL

Los Sarapes Horsham Mexican Cuisine Margarita and Tequila Bar in Ambler, PA

Joe T. Garcia's in Fort Worth, TX

Chips & Salsa - Salsa (a spicy sauce) and tortilla chips originated in Latin America before becoming hugely popular in the US and Canada. According to Mayan myth, dried corn kernels were used by peasants to make a snack for kings. By 2003, chips and salsa was declared the official state snack of Texas! Common salsa ingredients are tomatoes, onions, chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

These restaurants have the most positive comments on their Chips & Salsa:

Mexico Lindo in Waterford, MI

Rj Mexican Cuisine in Dallas, TX

Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina and Tequila Bar in Knoxville, TN

Chimichanga - While not authentic Mexican food, the origins of the chimichanga are disputed between restaurants in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. The story goes that a burrito was accidentally dropped in a deep fryer, creating this crispy fried burrito dish. Chimichangas stuff flour tortillas with rice, beans, cheese and meat like beef or chicken.

Restaurantji recommends these places:

Guadalajara Grill, Tucson's Best Mexican Restaurant in Tucson, AZ

Top Shelf Mexican Food & Cantina in Phoenix, AZ

Agave Azul Winter Park in Winter Park, FL

Carnitas - Meaning "little meats" in Spanish, carnitas are made by frying pulled pork in milk and orange juice until crispy outside but tender inside. Typically using pig legs, ribs, stomach and tongue. The exact origins are debated between states like Michoacan and Jalisco. Carnitas are often enjoyed with salsas, onions, cilantro, cheese and lime for added flavor.

The best restaurants with carnitas on the menu according to Restaurantji:

Solita Tacos & Margaritas in Orlando, FL

Palenque kitchen by Mezcal in Riverside, CA

Carnitas La Piedad Taqueria in Fresno, CA

Is Mexican Food Healthy?

Mexican food is quite healthy. Most dishes feature fresh, natural ingredients like lean proteins, grilled chicken, seafood and a rainbow of vegetables. Traditional tacos don't usually have melted cheese, unlike Tex-Mex versions. Mexican cuisine relies on corn tortillas which are naturally gluten-free and are fiber-rich complex carb that aids digestion. Even guacamole, made from avocados, provides heart-healthy fats.

What is National Taco Day?

National Taco Day is celebrated in the US on October 4th every year. It's an unofficial food holiday started by taco chains to promote and sell more tacos. Mexican restaurants, Tex-Mex restaurants and taco trucks offer deals and discounts. Fast food chains like Taco Bell do social media marketing, limited-time offers and giveaways. Grocery stores give discounts on taco ingredients. People celebrate by having taco parties and sharing photos using #NationalTacoDay.

What is the Oldest Mexican Restaurant in the US?

Established in 1922, El Charro Café in Tucson, Arizona is the nation's oldest Mexican restaurant continually operated by the same family. The original owner is said to have invented the chimichanga.

Must-Try Restaurants

“Food taste amazing and the service is great! Came here we the family had a great time !Parking: They have a person guiding for parking”

5 Superb425 Reviews

“It is a very delicious place to have a good time, the food and drinks are exquisite, the presentation of everything is impeccable and not to mention the ...”

4.9 Superb1130 Reviews

“A wonderful place in Gainesville, the food was particularly delicious and the service was incredible, Marlen Diaz served me and she really made us feel l...”

4.9 Superb994 Reviews

“Great Mexican restaurant, it is not fast food, however considering that it was made to order, it was fast. The VIP Fajitas are really excellent, and eno...”

4.9 Superb969 Reviews

“Jason was very attentive and delivered amazing service ! Master burrito was delicious! Thank you!”

4.9 Superb951 Reviews

“No No No ? Who puts AMC-style Jalapeno slices on a genuine Mexican cuisine plate?! Stop it. ?? Amazing vibe and very busy on our first-time there visit t...”

4.9 Superb897 Reviews

“Leo attended to us with excellent service and great kindness. Very delicious food and very good drinks.”

4.9 Superb806 Reviews

“The restaurant decor and atmosphere is chill. They offer complimentary chips and salsa (a bit hot), but the food was average and nothing to rave about. M...”

4.9 Superb731 Reviews

“Martin was absolutely fantastic. Incredibly attentive, kind, fast, and helpful. Had a perfect dinner here, and got to hear a mariachi band that was next ...”

4.9 Superb711 Reviews

“The chicken not only had amazing flavor it was so tender and juicy! Their Apple pico was such a delicious & fresh touch to my friend shrimp tacos. &a...”

4.9 Superb692 Reviews

“First time here .. Excellent service and outstanding food recommendations from Robert - can’t wait to come back!”

4.9 Superb496 Reviews

“Kevin, our server, is the best!!! He needs a raise.Food and margaritas were awesome and tasty.”

4.9 Superb479 Reviews

“The chicken was good, and friendly staff,The chicken is good, they give chicken, sevolla, rice, beans, with corn tortillas”

4.9 Superb437 Reviews

“Delicious food, delicious drinks and excellent service. Mateo very nice, attentive and helpful. highly recommended!!”

4.9 Superb364 Reviews

“Had tacos and burritos here along with their pozle. It was all good food but a bit pricey for me. The service was great, and the atmosphere was pleasant....”

4.9 Superb361 Reviews

Recently Opened Restaurants

“Food looks good service is good but the wait time for your food is ridiculous had to wait a very long time just for a huvos ranchor plate and a prok chop...”

4.7 Superb51 Reviews

“Great food, attentive and friendly service, and awesome drink specials. Delicious fajitas!”

4.6 Superb44 Reviews

“Delicious tacos, different but delicious flavor, tasty with fresh flavor. You have to try them. They give you the option on the menu to order mixed tacos...”

4.9 Superb37 Reviews

“The staff is friendly and professional. I was excited about having pollo asado in Los Fresnos but honestly, for me, the chicken lacked flavor and so did ...”

4.6 Superb10 Reviews

“Woohoo! Must be my lucky day. Stopped going to Chipotle after several disappointing and down right angry experiences of getting hosed with skimpy portion...”

1.9 Poor59 Reviews

“Tropical burrito is the best thing I've ever had from multiple Mexican restaurants”

4 Good93 Reviews

“It is located inside a building, like a mini mall. There are only 4 tables. The owner were super nice and find table for us to dine in. We ordered 1 larg...”

4.7 Superb16 Reviews

“Disappointed. This place could be so much better if they just seasoned their food properly. A little salt would go a long way. My tacos majorly lacked fl...”

3.7 Good3 Reviews

“The breakfast here is pretty good and the Huevos Rancheros for $8.95 you get 2 eggs, a quesadilla, refried beans, fried tortilla, bacon & potatoes.Th...”

5 Superb3 Reviews

“Excellent service. The food was nicely done. The food exceeded our expectations. The decoration makes for a pleasant setting. The prices seem high to m...”

3.7 Good43 Reviews

“Came here tonight servers name was Toni she was absolutely wonderful! Super attentive always making sure we were happy with everything. Cadillac Margarit...”

3.8 Good58 Reviews

“They don't have their liquor license at the moment. When you go to a Mexican restaurant you want margaritas and queso”

3.2 Average18 Reviews

“Great service and nice local spot! Love the home made sauces. And they’re kid friendly.”

4.7 Superb43 Reviews

“The street tacos hit. Even the veggie tacos. A must try/ buy.The asada fries were a no for me. Taste and feel like they were microwaved (they were stuck)...”

4.6 Superb84 Reviews

Recent Reviews

“The best Tex Mex food ever. Great service, friendly staff. Everything is delicious.”

4.3 Superb214 Reviews

“Great service from Alicia! Food was great”

4.4 Superb566 Reviews

“This is the real deal! The Birria Ramen is excellent. The Quesabirria are excellent and really a a good size portion. The steak tacos are so affordable a...”

4.9 Superb83 Reviews

“These tacos and nachos were SO GOOD! I highly recommend. They have their own homemade hot sauce also, this was amazing! Their guacamole is on point if yo...”

4.6 Superb39 Reviews

“Excellent service and delish food.”

4.6 Superb243 Reviews

“I was hoping an inspector would show up. Filthy floors, men’s bathroom out of order & in women’s toilet seat up and pee on floor....”

3.2 Average178 Reviews

“The food is very tasty and very good service the delicious chicken [Original] Está muy sabrosa la comida y muy buen servicio el pollo delicioso”

3.4 Good214 Reviews

“We have never been disappointed!! Great food at great prices! Love the additions to the menu! Family owners and staff have always been very friendly and ...”

4.3 Superb151 Reviews

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3.4 Good205 Reviews

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4.1 Good137 Reviews

“First day open, food was great. Fairly priced . 6 adults ate for less than $100.”

5 Superb1 Reviews

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4.4 Superb553 Reviews

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4.6 Superb50 Reviews

“Wonderful! Consistently good food!”

4.3 Superb68 Reviews

Recently Updated Menus

“This is a food truck but I believe they are working towards an inside restaurant. Recommend the tamales, tortas and the burritos. Highly recommend getti...”

4.8 Superb36 Reviews


5 Superb5 Reviews

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3.7 Good92 Reviews

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4.6 Superb5 Reviews

“My man working the register was super friendly. The food was delicious. 5/5. Definitely check these guys out.”

4.9 Superb76 Reviews

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4.5 Superb55 Reviews

“Everything was great about this place. The food was really good and the atmosphere was relaxing. Would absolutely go again and recommend it. Really feels...”

4.2 Good144 Reviews

“Very delicious food and fairly priced. I ordered the California burrito and it was one of the best burritos I’ve had in a while.”

4.6 Superb62 Reviews

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4.1 Good47 Reviews

“The nachos and aguas frescas were so good. They have a small table and you can eat by the food truck. Definitely a great meal.”

5 Superb11 Reviews

“Great food, nice people ? when my order didn’t get delivered as ordered- they fixed it right away and were very nice ?”

5 Superb10 Reviews

“The ATMOSPHERE there AWESOME, and the owner is AWESOME TO, HE WILL DO THINGS THAT OTHER OWNERS will NOT DO!!!Vegetarian options: Yes they have it!!!Dieta...”

3.6 Good42 Reviews

“Oh you’re missing out if you haven’t been here. They taste even better than the pictures.i got my mango snack and hurried home to dig in. I was NOT disap...”

4.9 Superb35 Reviews

“The flower Tortillas was good food is average will not be coming back to this location customer service she had an attitude at the drive-through.10:00 AM...”

3.8 Good32 Reviews

“Server was very attentive to our needs. It was great to hear Mexican music in a Mexican restaurant. Very clean. The food was very good.”

4.2 Good93 Reviews

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