Where to Eat Delicious Mexican Food in Raleigh

Nachos, tacos, tequila, margaritas, and enchiladas are some of my favorite things. I love Mexican food, and I also know where all the best Mexican restaurants in Raleigh are.

delicious chili con carne at Raleigh Mexican restaurants

The best places are spread throughout the city, so no matter where you are, I promise you will have one nearby.

And, these restaurants are not limited to just the classic dishes. They have a lot of specials, and each one has unique foods and plates to try.

Are you craving Mexican food yet? Read on for all the best Mexican restaurants in Raleigh.

Dos Taquitos

6101 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: 919-787-3373
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The first of many of the best Mexican restaurants in Raleigh is Dos Taquitos. The restaurant is northwest of downtown Raleigh.

The restaurant opened in 1991, and it has been one of my favorites and my friends’ favorites for a long time.

They have all the classics like tostadas, tamales, burritos, and tacos. The restaurant also has a full bar that serves more than a dozen delicious margaritas, both on the rocks and frozen.

I love the Besame Mucho margarita since it is sweet and refreshing. Other than margs, you can try a cocktail, mezcal, beer, wine, other liquors, or a non-alcoholic drink.

And, if you like tequila like I do, you’ll love it here as they have more than 30 tequilas.

Gonza Tacos y Tequila

7713 Lead Mine Rd #39, Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: 919-846-5478
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Gonza Tacos y Tequila has two locations in Raleigh, one in the western part of the city and another north of the city by routes 50 and 540.

I love the vibe here since they have a lot of fun art. They have both Mexican and Colombian food. My favorites are tacos since there are so many options.

Other dishes include enchiladas, chilaquiles, and quesadillas. And their appetizers pair well with the wine, cocktails, and margaritas.

But, the highlight of their menu is all the tequilas. They have dozens of tequilas includings reposados, anejos, mezcal, and top shelf tequila.

Salt & Lime Cabo Grill

6006 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-872-2230
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Salt & Lime Cabo Grill is north of downtown Raleigh near Millbrook. They have classic dishes like tacos, chips, and guacamole.

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But, some of the specials that I highly recommend include the surf and turf burrito, Cabo rolls, and the BBQ Mahi.

They also have a weekend brunch where you can get a mimosa, french toast, and other Mexican-inspired brunch items.

And, if you cannot decide what to drink, they offer some fun margarita and tequila flights that let you try a few different flavors all at once.

They have also been nominated as one of the best restaurants in the Raleigh News Observer’s contest, so it’s not just one of my favorite restaurants but the city’s too.


106 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: 919-835-3593
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Centro is appropriately named since it is in the center of downtown. This cute cantina is one of my Mexican restaurants in Raleigh.

They do not try to be anything fancy, so you can enjoy your favorite Mexican dishes and have a relaxing meal. You have a few taco and chip options to choose from, so come hungry.

They have some classic Mexican cocktails that pair well with their tacos. And, do not fill up on too many chips because they have yummy desserts like flan.

La Santa Modern Mexican Food

222 Glenwood Ave #107, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-720-4096
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La Santa Modern Mexican Food is in downtown Raleigh, just northwest of the center of the city. I love coming here when I want good food and drinks.

They have a huge drink menu with horchata, tons of margaritas, and cocktails, some of which are made with some of the best mezcal you could ask for.

As for food, I love the appetizers with my drinks, especially the elote, which is Mexican corn on the cob topped with mayo and queso fresco.

For meals, they have tacos and lots of classic Mexican dishes made with a variety of meats.

Cantina 18

433 Daniels St, Raleigh, NC 27605
Phone: 919-835-9911
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Cantina 18 is by University Park in West Raleigh. It is open seven days a week for brunch, lunch, and dinner, so I love coming here whenever I want!

They use the freshest ingredients possible from local farms in their dishes. At the Mexican restaurant, you will find everything from tacos and nachos to fajitas and seasonal dishes.

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I love their taco platters since they have options you won’t see everywhere, like seared pork belly, crispy avocado, and spicy braised short rib.

They also have drink specials on weekdays that include their margaritas, sangria, beer, and wine.

Chubby’s Tacos Raleigh

2444 Wycliff Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-781-4480
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Chubby’s Tacos Raleigh, northwest of downtown might be one of the most basic Mexican restaurants, but that’s why I like it so much. You can focus on their amazing tacos.

Other than tacos, they serve burritos, bowls, nachos, quesadillas, desserts, and plenty more! And I love the salsa that they make in-house every day. It’s fresh and tops any dish of theirs perfectly.

If you want an appetizer, check out one of their special queso dips or my favorite guacamole. They also have drinks, including margaritas, bottled beer, draft beer, and nonalcoholic beverages.

El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant

Multiple locations
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There are two El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant locations in Raleigh: one downtown and one just north of downtown but south of Interstate 440.

They have a massive food menu, so big that I always want to share dishes since there are so many good ones.

Other than the classics, you will find specialty tacos and other dishes with a texas-twist. I love the Texas burrito and the Texas quesadilla!

The drinks here are refreshing and simple, with many tequila shots, beers, and sodas. If you are really thirsty, you can get a gigante margarita, which is my favorite to share with friends.

Gringo A Go Go

100 N Person St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: 919-977-1438
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Gringo A Go Go is in the heart of Raleigh, just two blocks north of Moore Square. I love the restaurant because all my favorite dishes are on the special menu.

You can get tostadas, chickens, tacos, and ceviche, all discounted throughout the week. They also have a ton of shots, so I love coming here on the weekends.

Other drinks I like are the seasonal margaritas which change, so I never know what to expect. You can also get beer and wine, and there are many options for them.

Jose and Sons Bar and Kitchen

4112 Pleasant Valley Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: 919-571-1188
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Jose and Sons Bar and Kitchen is off Route 70 in northwest Raleigh. They fuse Mexican food with southern comfort, and I’ve truly never met a better match.

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Jose & Sons have a pretty big food menu with everything from appetizers and dips to burritos and tacos.

I love their sizzling fajitas that have a lot of meat options. And they have a lot of drinks that pair well with Mexican food, including craft cocktails, beer, wine, and tons of spirits.

They have tons of margarita options, too, including shaker, skinny, and special house margaritas. And I promise you that saving room for dessert is worth it for the cake, flan, churros, and my favorite, fried ice cream.

San Jose Mexican Restaurant

5811 Poyner Village Pkwy, Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: 919-790-1919
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The San Jose Mexican Restaurant is another one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, even though it is further out in northeast Raleigh.

This is one of the cutest Mexican restaurants, and all the staff makes you feel like you are part of their family. The tacos and burritos are my go-to dishes here.

I also love the appetizers since they have unique options, like the grilled pineapple guacamole and the empanadas that come with a creamy dipping sauce.

They also have 20 combo options that come with sides like rice and beans and let you mix and match the classics like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and chile Relleno.

These dishes are perfect when you are having a hard time deciding what you want to eat, which is all the time for me since I love all Mexican food!

San Marcos Mexican Restaurant Raleigh

5300 Homewood Banks Dr, Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: 919-803-4393

San Marcos Mexican Restaurant Raleigh is right at the northwest corner of Interstate 440, where it intersects with route 70.

San Marcos is great because they have vegan options, which are delicious whether you are vegan or not. I love their vegan tacos.

They also have delicious nacho platters, which go perfectly with the margaritas. In the winter, their soups are a good way to warm up, including chicken tortilla soup and seafood soup.

Torero’s Mexican Restaurant

4721 Atlantic Ave #101, Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: 919-873-9116
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Finally, I recommend Torero’s Mexican Restaurant, which is in Raleigh’s Millbrook neighborhood. It may be last, but it is certainly not the least, as it has a lot of daily specials that keep me coming back again and again.

You can get discounted drinks every day of the week. I love the food since it always tastes extra fresh, thanks to the local ingredients they use.

And they have seafood dishes that are my favorites, like the seafood burrito, seafood chimichangas, and a sopa de mariscos.

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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.

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