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Where to Eat Delicious Mexican Food in St. Louis

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

St. Louis is an iconic city, its Gateway Arch marking the point of embarkation of Lewis and Clark’s groundbreaking expedition to the unknown west. St. Louis has since hosted many more important historical events, from Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis to world-famous Blues musicians.

huevos rancheros salsa at St Louis Mexican restaurants

When I wasn’t paddle-wheeling the Mississippi River to glimpse the best views of the Arch or strolling through the Soulard district to catch a blues show, I was exploring St. Louis’ amazing restaurant scene.

I was in the mood for Mexican food, so I went looking for the best Mexican food restaurants in St. Louis and found an amazing selection.

Read on to check out my list of the best Mexican food restaurants in St. Louis.


Mi Ranchito

887 Kingsland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63130
Phone: 314-863-1880
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Located in University City, a block from Metcalfe Park, Mi Ranchito is a\ friendly and casual Mexican food restaurant with a massive menu.

The quaint interior has faux-stucco walls painted with brick archways to mimic a colonial Spanish hacienda.

However, they modernize the décor with silly framed paintings of Speedy Gonzales and other Mexican-themed Disney characters.

The warm service and delicious food are the real reasons that Mi Ranchito is a neighborhood favorite. I loved their combo menu because it allows you to try numerous classics in one meal.

My favorite combo platter was the Speedy Gonzales, with a taco, an enchilada, and refried beans.


Mission Taco Joint

Multiple locations
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From California native brothers and owners Jason and Adam Tilford, Mission Taco Joint is their ode to California-style Mexican cuisine.

They honor both California and St. Louis by offering Mission-style burritos and tacos alongside a wide variety of craft beers from St. Louis’ long list of microbreweries.

 Mission Taco Joint’s flagship location is in the Delmar Loop, but there are now locations in Soulard, and the Central West End, not to mention various locations in Kansas City and St. Charles.

I was blown away by the cocktail, tequila and Mezcal, and beer. I went for a festive rum drink called the Zombie with three types of rum, citrus, grenadine, cinnamon syrup, and bitters.

To soak up the booze, I ordered a Three Little Piggies burrito.


Chava’s Mexican Restaurant

925 Geyer Ave #3921, St. Louis, MO 63104
Phone: 314-241-5503
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Named for owner Chris Ybarra’s grandfather and culinary muse, Chava’s Mexican Restaurant has been a favorite Soulard district haunt for authentic Mexican cuisine since 2006.

Chava’s Mexican Restaurant has a unique and lively atmosphere inside what used to be a historic St. Louis hole-in-the-wall joint.

Its wood walls and ceilings are covered in old-school Mexican pottery illuminated by countless antique light fixtures hanging from the wood-carved ceilings.

Chava’s Mexican Restaurant sources its recipes from grandpa Chava’s repertoire, so you can expect authentic dishes from the patriarch’s native Guadalajara.

I went for the house specialty called El Mireko, featuring two deep-fried mini-burritos stuffed with chicken and topped with chili con queso and guacamole.


Chimi’s Fresh-Mex

2435 Woodson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63114
Phone: 314-942-1038

Located in Overland in a casual, fast-paced, and family-friendly atmosphere, Chimi’s Fresh-Mex is a bar and grill, serving a wide selection of sizzling Mexican favorites and Americanized versions of Mexican dishes.

True to its name, Chimi’s has an impressive menu of Chimichangas or deep-fried burritos. Their bar serves massive margaritas, using an equally impressive list of top-shelf tequilas.

I wanted to sample an authentic Mexican dish and an Americanized twist, so I started with a delicious appetizer of Cocktel de Camarones, a shrimp cocktail in spicy tomato salsa.

I then ordered the Cheese Steak Chimi for a taste of Mexican and American fusion.


El Burro Loco

313 N Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: 314-224-5371

El Burro Loco is a colorful and festive authentic Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar in St. Louis’ Central West End.

El Burro Loco has my favorite atmosphere due to its amazingly colorful traditional décor including tiled bar and backdrops, multi-colored chairs, walls, and tables, and old-fashioned lamp-post style light fixtures.

The authentic Mexican menu is as colorful as the décor, literally! I started with the Burro Loco Dip, a creamy queso dip with ground beef and freshly fried tortilla chips.

For my main dish, I went with their taco plate, which comes with three tacos of your choice. I had the Al Pastor, Chorizo, and Carne Asada tacos.


Nixta

1621 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: 314-899-9000
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From three-time James Beard Award semifinalist chef and restaurant group owner Ben Poremba, Nixta is a stunning, high-end modern Mexican bistro and tequila and mezcal bar in Botanical Heights.

Chef Poremba creates a world-class menu and dining experience, taking inspiration from Mexican street food and elaborate regional dishes while using modern Chef-driven cooking techniques.

The multi-course dinner menu is a stunning exploration of coastal and interior Mexican cuisine to pair with a selection of over 60 different kinds of mezcal and tequila.

I loved their yellowtail ceviche with passion fruit and pico to start. The highlight of my dinner was the Chicken Mole negro.


Rosalita’s Cantina

1235 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 314-621-2700
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A lively downtown favorite, Rosalita’s Cantina is a margarita bar and Tex Mex restaurant in a hip industrial-chic space with a great outdoor patio, minutes from the City Museum.

They have one of the best happy hours in town on weekdays from 3 to 6 pm with great deals on their signature margarita on the rocks, well drinks, and draft beers as well as discounted appetizers. 

Tex Mex is a specific kind of Mexican food that provides a Texas take on Mexican cuisine, which means adding hefty amounts of melted cheddar and jack cheese to everything.

Tex-Mex establishments also popularized the idea of bottomless baskets of chips. It follows, then, that Rosalita’s chips are undoubtedly my favorite.

They’re thin, light, and crispy. I snarfed three baskets before my meal came.


Ruiz Mexican Restaurant

901 N Hwy 67, Florissant, MO 63031
Phone: 314-838-3500
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Opening in Florissant in 1966, Ruiz Mexican Restaurant is the oldest family-owned and operated Mexican food restaurant in St. Louis.

Ruiz is the surname of the founding family that’s now in its generation of ownership. Ruiz Mexican Restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes along with innovative fusion dishes brought by each new generation of Ruiz.

Ruiz’s menu offers a small yet authentic selection of Mexican cocktails like Palomas and margaritas to pair with generous plates of enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, and more.

One of my favorite Mexican comfort foods is tamales, so I ordered Ruiz’s pork tamales in mole sauce with a side of rice and refried beans.


Canyon Cafe

1707 S Lindbergh Blvd Store #2, St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-872-3443
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Canyon Café is a Southwestern bar and grill in a gorgeous high-ceilinged space inside Plaza Frontenac Mall in Frontenac Woods.

The interior reminded me of a refined mountain lodge with multiple rooms, wood floors and columns, and desert-inspired décor.

They serve a unique food and drink menu inspired by Mexican and Southwestern US culinary traditions.

Their expertly crafted cocktails feature hand-shaken top-shelf margaritas, while their gourmet menu fuses Mexican ingredients with Southwestern dishes.

Take, for example, the black and blue quesadillas with blackened steak, jack and blue cheese, caramelized onions, and marmalade served with chipotle aioli, tomatillo-avocado salsa, and margarita slaw.


Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Multiple locations
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Originating as a funky, hippie taco shack in Fort Worth, Texas, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has since become a beloved national franchise with over 150 locations around the U.S., including St. Louis’ Manchester, Webster Groves, and Maryland Heights neighborhoods.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has a quirky, colorful atmosphere with a fast-casual counter-service format. Their Texas-sized portions of tacos come in simple wax-paper-lined baskets indicative of their Mexican street food roots.

Their tacos are Americanized, containing lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese. My favorite tacos were their tempura Mahi tacos.

For vegetarians, I recommend the breaded and fried avocado tacos. 


Tequila Mexican Restaurant

5496 Baumgartner Rd Suite 119, St. Louis, MO 63129
Phone: 314-416-1945
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Tequila Mexican Restaurant is a family-friendly Mexican and American food restaurant and bar with locations in Arnold and Oakville.

They offer a large menu of authentic Mexican favorites along with American classics like steaks, burgers, chicken tenders, salads, and soups.

The Atmosphere is welcoming and casual, and they have a popular happy hour with cheap pitchers of margaritas.

Unlike many other restaurants on my list, Tequila Mexican Restaurant serves traditional chilaquiles on the lunch menu.

Still, I had to try their Enchiladas Verdes with three chicken enchiladas smothered in tomatillo salsa, sour cream drizzle, and a cilantro and onion garnish.


Amigos Cantina

120 W Jefferson Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122
Phone: 314-821-0877
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Amigos Cantina is a cozy and laid-back Mexican restaurant and bar in Kirkwood with a cute multi-colored shingled façade and a large outdoor porch with its own bar.

The warm interior is as colorful as the pastel-roofed exterior with terracotta-colored walls and authentic salsa music serenading an authentic Mexican meal.

They had one of my favorite selections of Mexican-inspired cocktails. I had the Mexican Mule with Patron Silver tequila, triple sec, ginger beer, and fresh lime.

I ordered a delicious twist on Chiles en Nogadas which they called, simply, Stuffed Poblano, featuring shredded chicken, raisins, walnuts, and spices smothered in a creamy goat cheese cilantro sauce.


Las Fuentes

8025 MacKenzie Rd, Affton, MO 63123
Phone: 314-932-7552
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Las Fuentes is a family-owned franchise of Mexican grills with locations in Affton, Arnold, Oakville, and Florissant.

Each restaurant has a festive atmosphere centered around a large bar with big-screen TVs broadcasting your favorite sports game.

Las Fuentes has been a St. Louis favorite for family-friendly atmospheres and great food for nearly 30 years. I went on a cold day, so I started with a comforting cup of Azteca Soup.

For the main dish, I had a delicious plate of Fajita quesadillas, stuffed with sizzling steak, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes with a side of charro beans and rice.


Taco Buddha

7405 Pershing Ave, University City, MO 63130
Phone: 314-502-9951
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Founded by Austin Texas native and Mexican-food fanatic Kurt Eller, Taco Buddha is a wildly popular Mexican and Southwestern-inspired eatery in a fun and welcoming space in University City.

Eller grew up eating Tex-Mex, but his travels around the Southwest and the world have informed his imaginative menu.

Eller and Executive Chef Jeff Friesen take customers on a world tour of flavors via an extravagant taco menu.

Their frozen margaritas are a must-try, served by the glass or pitcher. It was very hard to pick a favorite taco as they were all so unique.

I’m a sucker for hatch green chilies, so I loved the Taos taco with hatch green chile carnitas, cabbage, avocado, citrus, pickled red onion, cotija, radish, and cilantro in fresh corn tortillas.


SURESTE Mexican

211 S Spring Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: 314-760-4957

Located in a fast-casual Midtown food court, Sureste Mexican is an authentic Mexican kitchen and counter service specializing in Yucatan cuisine. Sureste means “southeast”, referring to the Southeastern state of Yucatan.

Yucatan has a vibrant regional cuisine that draws from its location on the Gulf as well as its bountiful harvest of native veggies.

Despite its small two-person kitchen behind the counter, Sureste is the best place in town for the most authentic Mexican food.

I recommend starting with a ceviche tostada, featuring raw shrimp marinated in citrus and achiote and chopped peppers and onion.

For an authentic taste of Yucatan cuisine, I loved the Cochinita Pibil, a marinated pulled pork dish with pickled onions and hand-made blue corn tortillas.


Final Thoughts

Mexican food is a global sensation, with taco shacks, cafes, and bistros in every town and city around the world. St. Louis may be famous for its barbecue, but its Mexican food restaurants offer a delicious alternative.

Whether you want a fast-casual lunch on the go or a fine dining multi-course dinner, the best Mexican restaurants in St. Louis have it all.

Check out our favorite Italian joints around town while you’re in St. Louis as well!

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


Best Mexican Restaurants in St. Louis

  1. Mi Ranchito
  2. Mission Taco Joint
  3. Chava’s Mexican Restaurant
  4. Chimi’s Fresh-Mex
  5. El Burro Loco
  6. Nixta
  7. Rosalita’s Cantina
  8. Ruiz Mexican Restaurant
  9. Canyon Cafe
  10. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
  11. Tequila Mexican Restaurant
  12. Amigos Cantina
  13. Las Fuentes
  14. Taco Buddha
  15. SURESTE Mexican

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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.