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11 Best Cities for Mexican Food in America

Mexican street food stall

Take a tasteful gastronomic tour across the United States as we discover the colorful Mexican food weaved with the local cuisines of different locations. This article celebrates the authenticity and complexity of flavors that have transcended borders by revealing the Best Cities for Mexican Food in America, from scorching street tacos to delicious mole sauces. Uncover hidden treasures where the aroma of freshly baked tortillas wafts through the air as cooks deftly combine classic dishes with contemporary touches. Whether you want spicy food or delicious tamales, these locations provide a cross-border culinary experience that will introduce you to Mexico’s diverse culinary culture. Prepare to have a symphony of delicious foods and spices play with your taste buds.


Austin

Austin
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Sharing a border with the country in question, Austin, Texas, is a thriving hub for remarkable Mexican food. While Austin is known for its Tex-Mex style of Mexican food, which combines the traditional Mexican flavors with an Americanized twist, it also offers some stellar, traditional Mexican food. While there are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Austin that serve a mean Mexican meal, one of my favorites is Veracruz All Natural. Veracruz All Natural is the spot to visit if you need to fulfill a craving for Tacos as I think they make some of the best in the country. And I’ve had a lot of tacos in my lifetime. 


Los Angeles

Los Angeles
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People from all over the world flock to Los Angeles to get their Hollywood experience and the chance to brush shoulders with a movie star. While the dream of meeting your favorite actor or actress may not be in the cards during a visit to Los Angeles, enjoying some amazing Mexican food is. Because Los Angeles is a cultural melting pot, you find all sorts of delicious cuisine that incorporate flavors from the homeland into Los Angeles favorites. The best part about Los Angeles Mexican food is that even the simplest of dishes have a punch of flavor, meaning you can’t order wrong. This is why I crave nachos from The Original Carnitas Michoacan every time I visit Los Angeles. The savory meat mixed with the flavorful guacamole is a dish you will want to order over and over. 


Phoenix

Phoenix
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Home-style Mexican food is the name of the game in Phoenix, AZ. Due to geographical location, it’s tough to find bad Mexican food in Phoenix. It’s even harder to pick a favorite Mexican restaurant as so many offer delicious and filling plates. After visiting Phoenix multiple times and trying numerous Mexican restaurants, I have concluded that Phoenix is home to some of the best chimichangas in the country. I will admit that I’m not typically an advocate for the deep-fried burrito. However, after consuming the hearty, southwestern-style chimichanga at Carolina’s Mexican Food, I was sold. 

See also  13 Top-Rated Mexican Restaurants in the US

San Antonio

San Antonio
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You’re probably not surprised to see another Texas city on this list. Going back to the Tex-Mex definition for Mexican food, most modern Mexican restaurants in the United States serve what we know as Tex-Mex. As you may have guessed, the name originated in San Antonio, Texas, as it was the first city known to Americanize traditional Mexican flavors. Because most modern Mexican restaurants in the United States serve a rendition of Tex-Mex dishes, it’s probably best if you try some from the city where it originated. Whether you care about the history behind Mexican food becoming Americanized or not, I can confirm that San Antonio has some of the best steak fajitas on the planet. Visit Iron Cactus Mexican Grill to see for yourself. 


Chicago

Chicago
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The Windy City offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and magnificent architecture that will leave you in awe. As you’re strolling the streets of downtown Chicago, you will notice the plethora of nationalities in the people that pass you by. The diversity of the city creates the perfect platform for a unique dining experience. Aside from the pleasing views around the city, Chicago provides visitors with some of the best Mexican cuisines in the country. The reason I chose Chicago as one of the best cities for Mexican food was after I tried the Tamarind Beef Barbacoa Torta from XOCO


Miami

Miami
Source: Instagram

Miami. The Magic City produces magical Mexican food. I’ve tried numerous Mexican restaurants in Miami and I can confirm that you cannot get bad tacos, burritos, churros, taquitos, or any other Mexican staple in the entire city. Miami has an extensive Hispanic demographic, which means bold flavors and perfectly cooked dishes are in store for you at every Mexican restaurant. The authenticity of the dishes is unmatched as you will find Mexican restaurants still using secret family recipes to whip up some delicious food. Mix the Hispanic culture with the proximity to the sea, and you get some of the best fish tacos on the planet. Don’t believe me? Try the fish tacos at Coyo Taco and decide for yourself. 


New York

New York
Source: Instagram

The towering buildings, bright lights, and stellar nightlife are only some of the aspects that make New York a popular destination. Because nightlife is a staple in the city, you are bound to find a variety of unique and delicious alcoholic beverages. This is how I discovered that New York offers some of the best Margaritas known to man. After an evening out on the town, it’s only right to go and grab a bite to eat. When that bite to eat is at Arriba Arriba Mexican restaurant, you can’t help but order one of their famous Mama Margaritas. With the first taste of the sweet and salty beverage taking me to a new dimension, I knew I had to check out other Mexican restaurants in the area, which confirmed that New York offers some of the best Mexican food. 

See also  8 Best Fast Food Tacos to Eat

Denver

Denver
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After a day out on the slopes of Colorado, the best thing to do to unwind is to enjoy a decadent bite to eat. Luckily, the Mexican food scene in Denver, Colorado, is dense and visitors can’t seem to get enough of what the restaurants offer. When you have a chef – or grandma – that knows their way around a kitchen, finding good Mexican food isn’t all that difficult. Our favorite spot in Denver is Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina, offering up authentic Michoacán cuisine.


Houston

Houston
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It’s only right that more than one, or two, Texas cities are on the list of the best cities for Mexican food. The Hispanic influence is embedded almost everywhere you go in the state, which makes it a Mexican food enthusiast’s dream. The reason I picked Houston as one of the best cities for Mexican food is that I had the best empanadas I’ve ever had in my life there. La Chingada Tacos & Tequila in Houston handcrafts their empanadas and fries them to golden perfection. The flavors compliment each other like a match made by God himself. 


Tucson

Tucson
Source: Instagram

I judge every Mexican restaurant I go to by their salsa. If their chips and salsa are subpar, I have concluded that their food is the same. On the flip side, if the chips and salsa are excellent, then the food will be as well. If I were to pick my favorite city to visit for chips and salsa, it is Tucson, Arizona. While I have had countless positive salsa encounters in Tucson, one restaurant outdoes the rest. That restaurant is Guadalajara’s Grill &Tequila Bar. The homemade tableside salsa is fresh, flavorful, and spicy and pairs perfectly with the warm, salty corn tortilla chips. 


San Diego

San Diego
Source: Instagram

After sampling Mexican dishes across all 50 states, I can confirm that San Diego serves the best Burrito California. I know, it’s ironic that my favorite Burrito California is in the sunshine state, but I know a good burrito when I taste one, and Cali has my burrito heart thus far. San Diego is where the Burrito California originated, so I’m not surprised that they know how to produce a perfected version of the grande burrito. It’s tough to find a bad Burrito California in San Diego, the best one I’ve had is from the conveniently named California Burritos Mexican restaurant. 

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  1. I’ve lived in Austin and the food is good but Tucson has better mexican food than Austin, and so dose San Diego. I have never been to NY but what the hell dose Ny know about Mexican food? Or Chicago for that matter.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.