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Where to Eat Authentic Mexican Food in Cleveland

Our favorite spots around the city serving up delicious traditional Mexican dishes.

Cleveland, Ohio, is best known for being the birthplace and home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and people love to visit for various other musical, historical, and artsy attractions.

mexican restaurants in cleveland serving tortilla chips

But many people don’t know that there are dozens of excellent Mexican restaurants throughout the city as well!

These Mexican joints are excellent places to stop when you get hungry from your day of exploring C-town.

You can expect to find some of your favorite classics, such as tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. You’ll also find a range of traditional, Tex-Mex, and fusion Mexican fare across town.

Given the variety of Mexican eateries, I’m here to help you choose what you should try first when you visit Cleveland or what to try next if you already live there.

Without further ado, here are the best Mexican restaurants in Cleveland.


Barrio

Multiple locations
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Barrio is a popular chain taco restaurant with multiple locations in Cleveland, but my favorite is the one on Tremont, near Lincoln Park.

I find the Tremont location particularly hip and stylish, making it a top spot to go with my friends for a casual hangout.

I love having out on the patio and ordering margaritas, especially during happy hour when the drinks are half off.

But my favorite thing about Barrio is that they encourage you to build your own tacos, providing an extensive list of ingredients to make unique, creative, and tasty combinations!


Blue Habanero – Street Tacos & Tequila

6416 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
Phone: 216-465-1818
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Blue Habanero is an artsy, colorful, and hip spot near the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland.

As the name conveys, they serve a wide range of street tacos and tequila drinks, namely margaritas, and everything you order there is a treat!

Their craft margaritas are especially delicious, and it’s hard to choose just one or two for the night.

Luckily, Blue Habanero offers a margarita flight, so you can try several different kinds.

I think the raspberry, choco loco, and lime ones are my favorites, but people really enjoy the octopus margarita as well.

In terms of food, you can’t go wrong with any of their tacos, but you should also order their tuna ceviche, grilled chicken bowl, spicy chicken burrito, and flan for dessert.


Camino

1300 W 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: 216-621-8226
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Camino is another chill taco joint in Downtown Cleveland near the FirstEnergy Stadium and Great Lakes Science Center.

If you’re a fan of margaritas but want to try more clever and innovative tequila drinks, check out Camino next time you’re in town.

They also have a wide range of tequilas to choose from, so you may even find one of your favorites and choose to drink it straight!

In terms of food, many people opt for the tacos, but I think their quesadillas are exceptional, especially the steak one.

They are stacked with meat and cheese, so you get a great bang for your buck.


El Jalapeños Authentic Mexican Restaurant

1313 W 117th St, Cleveland, OH 44107
Phone: 216-226-9765
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El Jalapeños is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Cleveland for a combination of authentic Mexican food, colorful and inviting decor, and cheery, friendly vibes.

Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, it’s one of the most popular Mexican spots for people to gather, so don’t be surprised to see people celebrating birthdays, promotions, and reunions here.

When I go with my friends, ordering pitchers of frozen margaritas is always our first move!

The Mexican staples that you have to order here include chimichangas, fajitas, and burritos.

Regardless of your main meal, you’ll be remiss not to order a side of their charro beans with bacon. And to finish your meal, don’t hesitate to get the fried ice cream — delicious!


La Plaza Supermarket

13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44107
Phone: 216-476-8000
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You wouldn’t guess from the outside, but La Plaza Supermarket is one of the best places to go for Mexican food in Cleveland.

It’s an unassuming market in Birdtown, near Madison Park, where you can go grocery shopping and get delicious Mexican food right after.

They have scrumptious chorizo tacos, barbacoa tortas, carne asada burritos, and even fresh tamales!

I typically place an order of tamales, and a few tacos, then head to the salsa bar to douse them in salsa verde and spicy red salsa.

Of course, it’s also nice to be able to pick up a few things for your kitchen inside the market before and after your meal!


Luchita’s Mexican Restaurant

3456 W 117th St, Cleveland, OH 44111
Phone: 216-252-1169
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Luchita’s is a well-known and well-rated Mexican restaurant that’s been serving tasty, authentic Mexican fare for decades.

This restaurant, located on West Boulevard near Halloran Park, is a small, cozy place where you can get some of the most flavorful food in the city.

Luchita’s has a pretty extensive menu, so it’s hard to choose what to order.

I’ve enjoyed their tamales, ceviche, chimichangas, enchiladas, fajitas, chile relents, and much more.

There’s also a bar, so I appreciate being able to sit and eat at the bar and order margaritas right from the bartender.


Momocho

1835 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: 216-694-2122
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Momocho, in the Ohio City neighborhood near Wasmer Field and Gabor Track, is a gorgeous, eclectic, and hip Mexican eatery that’s full of life!

I like to go during their happy hour, where you can take advantage of amazing drink specials like half-price sangria and margaritas.

Their margaritas are some elf the best in the city, namely the blood orange and cucumber ones.

In terms of food, you can stick with the classic and get tacos and burritos, or switch it up and try some of their creative, fusion dishes like goat cheese guacamole, braised beef brisket, or hibiscus pickled shallots.


Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill

869 E 185th St, Cleveland, OH 44119
Phone: 216-531-2300
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Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill is colorful, bright, and ultra-casual, making it one of the top spots to dip in and out of whenever you feel a burrito craving.

You can find Chili Peppers in North Collinwood, right next to LaSalle Theatre.

They offer build-it-yourself burritos, so I can get everything I want on mine — and then some.

I usually include the basics like rice, beans, salsa, and sour cream, then throw on a few surprises like black olives.

It’s a popular spot for carrying out, but the inside is clean and simple, making it quite chill and relaxing to dine in as well.


Cozumel Mexican Restaurant

4195 W 150th St, Cleveland, OH 44135, United States
Phone: 216-331-4310
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Cozumel Mexican Restaurant is a traditional Mexican restaurant — in the Jefferson area near John Marshall School of Engineering — that serves all of my favorite Mexican dishes including but not limited to fajitas, tacos, and burritos.

You get free chips and salsa almost immediately upon sitting, but make sure not to fill up on those because their entrees are humongous.

I think what makes Cozumel so good is the freshness of their tortillas. They are light, flaky, and hot, and even a bit sweeter than what I’m typically used to.

And their seafood is fresh and tasty as well, so I highly recommend getting your favorite Mexican style dish with seafood in it, whether it’s a seafood burrito, seafood chimichanga, etc.


Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar

1000 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: 216-737-1000
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Nuevo is a beautifully-decorated, modern restaurant located right on the water in the North Coast Harbor area, next to the Science Center.

It’s a large space with a classy, boho-chic feel and floor-to-ceiling windows that let you enjoy views of the lake.

But besides the aesthetic appeal, the food is incredible, especially the guacamole.

Nuevo offers different types of guacamole, and it’s best to order a flight in order to try three at once.

I love their habanero jelly and candied bacon ones the most. Other top menu items at Nuevo, in my opinion, include the calamari, carne asada, and corn grits.


Ohio City Burrito

Multiple locations
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Ohio City Burrito is a local favorite and chain serving Mexican burritos and tacos at a great price. As the name suggests, they specialize in burritos, and they do them very well.

I like to get the chicken burrito with black beans, cilantro-lime rice, salsa verde, sour cream, and cheese. It’s a lot of food, but so worth it.

The best part about Ohio City Burrito is that they have multiple locations around the city, so you’re never too far from a delicious burrito.

My favorite one is on W Superior Ave near Cleveland Public Square, as it’s a quieter spot that never gets too busy.


Si Senor Mexican Restaurant

16800 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44111
Phone: 216-941-4424
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There are Si Senor restaurants across Ohio, but the one in Cleveland is particularly spectacular.

It’s so festive and fun, making it one of the best spots for family gatherings, friend hangouts, celebrations, and date nights.

The service is solid, as the waiters tend to be attentive, friendly, and welcoming. Plus, the atmosphere is not typical of your kitschy Mexican chain restaurants.

Instead, Si Senor has a more homey and authentic feel to it.

That said, you’ll still get what you expect from a Mexican chain, such as complimentary chips and salsa and sizable margaritas!


Chipotle Mexican Grill

Multiple locations
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Chipotle is a popular chain known for its burritos, bowls, and tacos.

I tend to go for the latter two, as I love loading up my bowl with rice, black beans, chicken, guacamole, and salsa.

And whenever I try a burrito, I add so many fillings that it often breaks open, and they have to wrap an additional tortilla around it!

It’s a simple concept, but it’s executed well, which is why Chipotle has become so popular.

It seems you can find one on just about every street corner in Cleveland, but I appreciate the Southpark Center location because the staff is friendly, and they load you up!


Cilantro Taqueria

2783 Euclid Heights Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: 216-331-3069
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Cilantro Taqueria is a small, casual Mexican eatery in Clifton Park.

Although the interior is compact, there is a lot of outdoor seating, so it’s still a nice place to dine in and hang out with your pals.

If you’re craving Chipotle but want to try something new, Cilantro Taqueria is an excellent option because you can get large burrito bowls here as well, with a more fresh and authentic taste.

I load up my bowls here with rice, queso, beans, sour cream, chicken, and some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had outside of Mexico.

Plus, if you’re vegan, the vegan chorizo is a must-try!


Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the best Mexican restaurants in Cleveland. You might love spicy, authentic dishes or prefer more mild, Americanized flavors.

You might want to sit in a casual spot with friends or dress up for a celebratory gathering. Either way, with such a large and diverse selection, you’re sure to find a place that suits your taste.

Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave me a comment, and I’ll check it out!


Best Mexican Restaurants in Cleveland

  1. Barrio
  2. Blue Habanero – Street Tacos & Tequila
  3. Camino
  4. El Jalapeños Authentic Mexican Restaurant
  5. La Plaza Supermarket
  6. Luchita’s Mexican Restaurant
  7. Momocho
  8. Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill
  9. Cozumel Mexican Restaurant
  10. Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar
  11. Ohio City Burrito
  12. Si Senor Mexican Restaurant
  13. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  14. Cilantro Taqueria

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.