Rochester, New York, is situated along Lake Ontario. One of the most historic cities in New York, notable figures have long visited the area. For instance, Fredrick Douglas lived in Rochester for more than twenty years and is buried in Mount Hope cemetery.
Rochester is one of the snowiest places in the country and is only separated from Toronto, Canada, by Lake Ontario–far from our neighbor to the South. However, if you are searching for the best Mexican food in Rochester to add some spice and warmth to a chilly day, look no further. Our comprehensive list will show visitors to the city where to get Mexican food and margaritas!
Best Mexican Restaurants in Rochester
- John’s Tex Mex
- Monte Alban Mexican Grill
- Salena’s Mexican Restaurant
- Old Pueblo Grill
- Mesquite Grill
- Bitter Honey
John’s Tex Mex
426 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620
In 2006, John’s Tex Mex Kitchen + Bar opened in Rochester. Near the South Wedge neighborhood and the Genesee River, the lively restaurant offers a dining room with eighty-five seats. The restaurant is open between Monday and Saturday for lunch and dinner.
John’s Tex Mex’s bar holds the largest selection of tequila in Rochester. I enjoyed the shrimp tacos with chipotle-honey shrimp, lettuce, onion, lime, and garlic aioli. The burrito bowl is another great option, and guests can choose chicken, pork, beef, tofu, or “un-beef,” then stuff with up to four fillings including cheese, pickled jalapenos, chipotle ranch, and more.
Monte Alban Mexican Grill
845 East Ridge Road, Rochester, NY 14621
Monte Alban Mexican Grill is named for a historic site in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Oaxaca, the cuisine is a mixture of pre-Hispanic and Spanish ingredients, and the restaurant has captured that cuisine at the grill. Monte Alban often hosts events like birthday parties or private dinners. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
The Nachos Supremo is delicious and includes homemade fried tortilla chips, queso, lettuce, sour cream, tomato, and jalapeños, topped with beef, chicken, or steak. My favorite bite was the Chilies Poblanos served with two poblano peppers stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese and topped with enchilada sauce. Don’t forget to try the churros with chocolate syrup.
Salena’s Mexican Restaurant
302 N Goodman St, Rochester, NY 14607
Salena’s Mexican Restaurant is located in the Village Gate neighborhood. The restaurant has been open for more than twenty years. Salena’s offers a large selection of specialty tequila. The restaurant has a large wrap-around indoor-outdoor bar with a large patio for an incredible dining experience. Salena’s is open between Tuesday and Saturday.
The restaurant offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus. For an appetizer, try the bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and fried. Then, I would recommend the beer-battered fish tacos with honey-lime slaw, avocado crema, salsa fresca, and cotija for your entree. Add a frozen margarita to your meal!
Old Pueblo Grill
55 Russell St, Rochester, NY 14607
Chef Joe Zolnierowski operates and sets the menu for Old Pueblo Grill. He was born and raised in Tucson, which heavily influences his cuisine. Located in the neighborhood of the arts, Old Pueblo Grill opened in 2018 to serve the community. The chef’s other restaurant – Nosh – is just across the street.
At Old Pueblo Grill, try the al pastor tacos topped with pineapple salsa or the carne asada tacos topped with guacamole. The Super Nachos are awesome and totally customizable with your choice of chicken, carne asada, carnitas, mojo vegetables, fried cauliflower, or grilled shrimp. The Alarm Clock burrito is a popular menu item. Also, on Tuesday through Saturday, try the daily special!
1900 S Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14618
The Mesquite Grill is located near Buckland Park in the Shoppes at Lac De Ville. The restaurant is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. The Mesquite Grill is a popular place for birthday celebrations. During the week, the restaurant offers lunch specials.
Starting your meal with the Sopa de Pollo is delicious; the soup is made daily with chicken broth, pulled chicken breast, rice, diced avocado, and pico de gallo. The Chilaquiles is a fantastic casserole of tortilla chips, shredded chicken, salsa ranchera, and melted cheese. Try lunch special four with the chile poblano!
127 Railroad St #110, Rochester, NY 14609
Bitter Honey is a casual neighborhood restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has an amazing mezcal-based cocktail list. The restaurant is open from Tuesday through Saturday. Bitter Honey is a great venue for events in Rochester. The restaurant is located in the Marketview Heights neighborhood.
I enjoyed the Mexi Cali Bowl with rice, black beans, avocado, pico de gallo, corn and black bean salsa, sour cream, cotĳa, and cilantro. The Smash Burger is incredible with double patty, pepper-jack cheese, chipotle mustard, roasted red pepper aioli, and pickles. Try the Berry Marg cocktail with blanco tequila, lime, berries, agave, and saline.
690 Park Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
In 2008, Dorado opened and began serving creative Mexican dishes and more than three hundred types of agave spirits, like tequila. The vibe is very cool, with bottles of alcohol literally hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner with extended hours on the weekend.
The Chipotle Fish Sandwich is amazing with a spiced Mahi filet, sliced avocado, slaw, and chipotle aioli. The Cast Iron Enchiladas are fantastic; they are served on a sizzling cast-iron skillet with layers of corn tortilla, meat, rice, beans, peppers, onions, cheese, and red enchilada sauce. Try the classic cocojito cocktail with coconut rum, coconut cream, mint, lime, and club soda.
Rochester, New York, is a hip town on Lake Ontario. It gets very cold in the winter, but visiting one of the local Mexican restaurants can drive away the chill with jalapenos or mescal. Try one of the creative Mexican-inspired dishes of established chefs in a modern metropolis.
From traditional dishes like enchiladas and burritos to customizable tacos or nachos, these establishments have wonderful options for the residents and visitors of Rochester.
If you’re looking for some other great Rochester restaurants, check out these awesome brunch spots!
Are we missing anything? Leave a comment below and we’ll check it out!
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