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The Most Popular Mexican Restaurants Pittsburgh Has to Offer

Where to get delicious Mexican food when you’re in town.

Pittsburgh is not only one of the most historically significant cities in the U.S., but it is also a beautiful city to live in and explore as a tourist. Pittsburgh was once a highly industrial city. Its countless factories and plants generated the raw materials to fuel the U.S. economy through both World Wars and into the ’70s before becoming the modern, tech-savvy city it is today.

Pittsburgh is home to the renowned Carnegie Mellon University, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and nearly 500 bridges that traverse the three different rivers that run through this charming city. Whether you’re a history buff, a sports fan, an academic, or a nature lover, Pittsburgh has something for everyone.

friends out eating tacos at popular restaurant in pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is also a diverse cultural melting pot, and while you may associate Pennsylvania and the northeast with a sizable Italian population, there is also a growing Mexican presence. Mexican food is a beloved cuisine nationwide, and you can find plenty of great places to get Mexican food in Pittsburgh.

If you’re in the mood for Mexican food and looking where to get Mexican food in Pittsburgh, my list of the best Mexican restaurants in Pittsburgh has the most delicious options to satisfy your craving.

Best Mexican Restaurants in Pittsburgh

  1. Totopo
  2. Patron Mexican Grill
  3. Bakersfield
  4. Condado Tacos
  5. La Palapa: Mexican Restaurant, Bar and Catering
  6. Mad Mex
  7. Emiliano’s | Mexican Restaurant & Bar
  8. Las Velas
  9. Tako
  10. Doce Taqueria
  11. Tres Rios

Totopo

660 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228
Phone: 412-668-0773
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Located in Mt. Lebanon Township, Totopo Cantina and Cocina is a casual and authentic Mexican restaurant and bar. Meaning “tortilla chip” in Mexican Spanish, Totopo serves its fair share of them with freshly made salsas. They also offer a panoply of typical Mexican cocktails and beers in a family-friendly, colorful setting.

There are ten margarita offerings on the Cantina menu along with other Mexican cocktails like the classic beer cocktail known as the Michelada, made with Negra Modelo draft beer, clamato, lime, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire A1 sauce, and tomato juice. I prefer a frozen mango margarita to accompany freshly fried chips and an order of Choriqueso, Mexican cheese fondue with chorizo, roasted poblano peppers, and salsa roja.


Patron Mexican Grill

135 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: 412-441-2111
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Patron Mexican Grill is a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant and bar in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. They also have five other locations in the greater Pittsburgh area. Owner Martin Bolanos is from Michoacan, Mexico, which happens to be the largest producer of 100% Agave Tequila in the world, a fact that has inspired Patron’s expertly curated authentic tequila menu.

Patron’s festive and colorful dining space and bar are a great place to enjoy their excellent daily specials like $5 Sangria and $3.50 Modelo draft beer on Tuesdays or $10 chicken quesadillas and $5 margaritas on Thursdays. I especially loved their guacamole, which is made tableside. They also make a delicious pork carnitas dish with rice, beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapenos, and fresh tortillas.


Bakersfield

940 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-586-5024
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Located right across the street from the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Strip District, Bakersfield is a hip bar and restaurant serving refined takes on Mexican street food. The trendy yet authentic dining space has a giant tiled mural of authentic Mexican Catrinas or skeletons dressed in Mexican garb.

Bakersfield cocktail menu features a wide variety of margaritas and classic cocktails with a Mexican twist. There is also a wide selection of tequilas, mezcals, and other spirits. Bakersfield’s Mexican street fare features a long list of authentic Mexican tacos made with house-made corn tortillas. I recommend the Huitlacoche tacos with corn truffle, roasted poblano, corn, onion, cotija cheese, and cilantro. Also consider the authentic Al Pastor tacos with chile marinated pork, pineapple, pickled white onion, and cilantro.


Condado Tacos

Multiple locations
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With locations in downtown Pittsburgh, Central Lawrenceville, and Upper St. Clair, Condado Tacos is a contemporary taqueria dedicated to inclusivity and community. They offer clients the option to customize their tacos along with a list of specialty tacos that use flavors and ingredients from different world cuisines.

You can build your own taco plate, choosing from different taco styles like hard-shell or soft tacos, your desired protein, accompaniments, and salsas. They also have nachos, healthier bowls, and a long list of exciting specialty tacos. I recommend their Braised + Confused, a flour tortilla filled with brisket, jicama and cabbage slaw, pickled red onions, queso fresco, and chipotle crema.


La Palapa: Mexican Restaurant, Bar and Catering

2224 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-586-7015
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Located in the Carson neighborhood, La Palapa is a Mexican restaurant and bar offering authentic Mexican cuisine. Head Chef Jose Luis is from the culturally rich Mexican state of Puebla, where mole originated. He has over 15 years in the gourmet Mexican and Spanish restaurant industry. La Palapa is a high-end restaurant that has won consecutive votes for the Best Mexican Food in Pittsburgh from the local press.

You can expect a more formal dining experience with a menu that features soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees. I recommend starting with their authentic mole tamales, wrapped and steamed in corn husks and stuffed with your choice of vegetables or meat. For meat lovers, I recommend the carne asada, flank steak cooked to order with grilled nopal cactus, onions, queso fresco, and jalapenos served with black beans and tortillas.


Mad Mex

Multiple locations
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Mad Mex is a California-style Mexican restaurant with nine locations in Pittsburgh. Deeming themselves “Cal-Mex,” Mad Mex offers a fusion of Mexican, Southeast Asian, and Spanish cuisine plus a full cocktail bar in a laid-back and friendly environment. They draw from the California-cuisine by using healthy, local, and fresh ingredients to experiment with a fusion of flavors.

In addition to Mexican-inspired dishes, Mad Mex also has delicious fried wings, salads, soups, and southwestern chili, and healthy vegetable and grain bowls. They’re famous for their massive California-style burritos. I recommend the Big Burrito with grilled chicken, flank steak, roasted corn, Jack cheese, guajillo-poblano-garlic-cayenne salsa, and waffle fries, then topped with guacamole, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and red pepper cream sauce.


Emiliano’s | Mexican Restaurant & Bar

Multiple locations
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Emiliano’s is a family-owned and operated refined Mexican food restaurant and bar with six locations around Pittsburgh, including North Oakland and Southside Slopes, to name a few. Emiliano’s offers traditional Mexican food at an affordable price in a family-friendly, casual atmosphere.

The menu features delicious guacamole prepared tableside with diced jalapenos for an added kick and salsas made fresh daily. They also have a large grilled meat and vegetable menu featuring sizzling fajitas and authentic Mexican favorites like carnitas and a Mexican surf and turf option with grilled shrimp and Angus sirloin steak. I recommend their Flautas with four rolled and fried corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken and topped with sour cream and Mexican parmesan cheese.


Las Velas

21 Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-251-0031
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Located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh inside the historic Market Square, Las Velas is an authentic contemporary Mexican restaurant owned and operated by head Chef and Mexico City-native David Montanez. Chef Montanez pays homage to Mexico City as well as his years of cooking in the Mexican Caribbean to inspire a diverse menu of regional Mexican favorites.

Las Velas is casual yet elegant and offers fast, tasty lunches as well as a more formal, sit-down dining experience. I like how they provide tacos in the Mexican style with onions and cilantro and lime, and the Tex Mex style with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I recommend trying the tacos cochinita pibil, a specialty of the Yucatan. They feature slow-cooked achiote-vinegar shredded pork with habaneros and marinated red onions.


Tako

214 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-471-8256
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Tako is a James Beard award-winning contemporary Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh. Its beautiful, modern two-story interior with wildly colorful murals of octopi, wrought iron indoor balcony, and custom carved wood ceilings also feature live DJ performances on the weekend. Tako’s unique and creative concept has earned accolades from Eater, Vogue, Zagat, and multiple Pittsburgh press outlets.

Their extensive Mexican spirit menu features over 50 types of mezcal and close to 100 types of tequila, not to mention expertly crafted Mexican cocktails, beer, and wine. Their small but delicious menu offers Asian takes on Mexican favorites. For example, the Mexican street corn features oregano butter, sriracha mayo, cotija cheese, chili, and lime. The Korean taco features soybean-glazed flank steak with spicy cucumber, napa cabbage, and peanut salsa.


Doce Taqueria

1302 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-238-8518
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With brick-and-mortar locations in South Side Pittsburgh and North Hills, Doce Taqueria is a hip, fast-paced taqueria with a mobile food truck for catering parties. Owner Andrew Balint and his team offer an Americanized take on Mexican street food while also offering a Los Angeles vibe to its atmosphere.

Not only do they offer traditional corn tortilla tacos, but they also offer the option to choose flour tortillas or “crunched” tortillas, a double-decker hard corn shell covered in melted cheese and wrapped in a flour tortilla. I recommend traditional corn-tortillas for their Pollo taco with smoked chicken, guacamole, Cholula crema, pico de gallo, Mexican Farmer’s cheese, cilantro, and lime.


Tres Rios

1719 E Carson St #1705, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-930-0868
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Located in the hip neighborhood of South Side Flats, Tres Rios is a fun and friendly cocktail bar and Mexican food restaurant featuring local takes on traditional Mexican food and bar fare. Their menu has all the Mexican street food favorites along with hearty entrees. They have one of the best happy hours in town during the workweek with 3$ tacos, 6$ margaritas, and discounted Mexican draft beers.

Their menu offers a unique variety of traditional street food like tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches), ceviche, and nachos. I also loved their smokey pineapple mezcal margarita with fresh pineapple and lime juice, mezcal, triple sec, and spicy syrup. Tres Rios also offers a vegan and vegetarian menu featuring sweet potato enchiladas and jackfruit burritos and quesadillas, to name a few.


Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican food or contemporary Mexican fusion, Pittsburgh’s Mexican restaurants have an eclectic mix of traditional and modern takes on Mexican favorites.

You’ll find family-friendly casual restaurants and fine-dining Mexican fusion bistros alike on my list of the best Mexican restaurants in Pittsburgh, so you can try the best of both worlds.

If you want to sample all the excellent cuisines Pittsburgh has to offer, check out my list of the most fantastic places to eat around Pittsburgh.

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

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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.