El Paso is a city full of history and a young but growing food scene! Nestled between the banks of the Rio Grande and the Franklin Mountains, El Paso borders Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez. This makes for a burst of cultures, both Mexican and American. You’ll find every kind of food here, from authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex to classic American Fare. And of course, there’s also international cuisine.
Maybe you’re in the Sun City for one of the many music festivals that they host, or maybe you’re just passing through the airport. You might be staying at Fort Bliss or doing some rock climbing at Franklin Mountains State Park. While you’re here, take advantage of all the food opportunities El Paso has to offer. El Paso restaurants run the gamut; it just depends on what you’re looking for.
I’ll go over where I think you should eat in El Paso, from the old to the new. From classic to modern contemporary dishes, I’ll tell you what to expect while you’re there. Check out my list of the best restaurants in El Paso below!
Best Restaurants in El Paso
- L & J Cafe
- Cafe Central
- Cafe Mayapan
- Cattleman’s Steakhouse
- Kiki’s Restaurant & Bar
- Los Bandidos De Carlos & Mickey’s
- Ardovino’s Desert Crossing
- Zino’s Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine
- The Hoppy Monk
- West Texas Chophouse
- Ripe Eatery
- Track One
- Julio’s Mexican Food
- Anson Eleven
- Mesa Street Grill
- Park Tavern
- Good Luck Cafe
L & J Cafe
3622 E Missouri Ave, El Paso, TX 79903
First on our list of best restaurants in El Paso is L & J Café, located in the Five Points East neighborhood. You’ll find them at the corner of E Missouri Avenue and N Stevens Street, famously next to the Concordia Cemetery.
A mainstay among El Paso restaurants, this family-run Mexican food spot has been serving up classic dishes since 1927. Regulars love the casual Old El Paso vibes that you’ll find here.
You can’t go wrong with L & J Café’s signature tostadas. I highly recommend the tortilla soup, and diners rave about the tampiqueña dish, both the chicken and steak. Have a drink at the bar, and make sure to take home a jar of their famous red “tombstone” salsa.
109 N Oregon St, El Paso, TX 79901
Café Central actually opened in 1918 in Ciudad Juárez. After prohibition ended, they moved to downtown El Paso. Their original location just south of San Jacinto Park on N Oregon Street and E San Antonio Avenue is in good company. Nearby you’ll find both the El Paso Museums of Art and History. After a full day playing tourist, Café Central is a great choice when looking for places to eat in El Paso.
This upscale bistro has beautiful interiors that combine traditional and modern design, reflecting their over-100-years of experience with their continuously innovative dishes.
Order their popular Green Chile Soup and try the Chilean sea bass or Colorado Lamb Rack. Your dinner will be delivered to tables with cream-colored linens romantically lit by votives in a glass. Note that there is a dress code for dinner.
2000 Texas Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
One of the best restaurants in El Paso is Café Mayapan, on Texas Avenue and Eucalyptus Street, just off of IH-10. The Café is part of the women-run organization La Mujer Obrera, which supports marginalized working women of Mexican heritage. The organization focuses its efforts on social justice issues in the neighborhoods of El Paso. When you visit Café Mayapan, you will be supporting the community while eating delicious classic Mexican dishes.
You’ll feel like you’re eating a home-cooked meal at this stop on our list of where to eat in El Paso. Guests recommend the flautas and herbal tea infusions. If you love authentic Mexican food, I loved the nopales dish and all of the Aguas Frescas.
Cattleman’s Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch
3450 S Fabens Carlsbad Rd, Fabens, TX 79838
Cattleman’s Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch is 5 miles north of IH-10, outside of Fabens. This classic cowboy steakhouse makes our list of best restaurants in El Paso not only for their food but for the fun experience.
Cattleman’s Steakhouse’s founder, Dieter Gerzymisch, also owns Indian Cliffs Ranch. Enjoy hayrides, a petting zoo, and other family-friendly attractions on the property. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find wagon wheel chandeliers and leather tablecloths.
Choose from a selection of fresh cuts of steak or try the lobster. Cattleman’s Steakhouse does the classics well, like coleslaw, buttered rolls, spicy baked beans, and mashed potatoes. They make 18 different ice cream drinks, and guests rave about the pecan pie.
Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant
2719 N Piedras St, El Paso, TX 79930
Located in the Grandview neighborhood on the northside of El Paso is Kiki’s, a classic, cozy Mexican restaurant. On the corner of N Piedras Street and Mobile Avenue, you’ll walk into multicolor twinkle lights, wood paneling, award plaques and framed reviews lining the walls, and beautiful Mexican art bordering the ceiling.
If you’re looking for places to eat in El Paso that serve authentic Mexican dishes and Tex-Mex classics, check out Kiki’s. They’re known for their brisket, and the machaca was featured on the Food Network. The portions are generous, and you’ll love Kiki’s if you like everything covered in cheese! They have a full bar where you can order a frozen margarita or bottle of Dos Equis.
Los Bandidos De Carlos & Mickey’s
1310 Magruder St, El Paso, TX 79925
Carlos and Mickey’s has two locations in El Paso. The Los Bandidos de Carlos & Micky is their second location. It’s on Magruder Street and Brook Hollow Drive, just south of Fort Bliss.
Los Bandidos is on our list of best restaurants in El Paso for the experience. They are known for their fun atmosphere and oversized margaritas. Enjoy the mariachi band under glowing, arched ceilings with a beautiful mission aesthetic.
Try one of Carlo’s & Mickey’s famous sizzling skillet platters. Guests rave about both the chicken and steak tampiqueña, as well as the flan. I recommend any of their enchiladas and save room for the fried ice cream. They also serve alcohol, including frozen margaritas.
Ardovino’s Desert Crossing
1 Ardovinos Dr, Sunland Park, NM 88063
An Italian restaurant on our list of best restaurants in El Paso, Ardovino’s is in the Sunland Park neighborhood. They have a New Mexico address, being on the far-left side of El Paso on the southern side of the Rio Grande. Stay at Ardovino’s Roadside Inn, made up of Jetstream RVs. They also host a local farmer’s market with live music and special menu options for attendees.
Come sit in the shade of the sun-dappled patio and scenic desert views while you eat. Inside this old-school Italian eatery, you’ll dine under twinkle lights filling the rafters. Ardovino’s has a separate brunch and dinner menu. Try a classic Margherita pizza fresh from their wood-fired oven. The espresso is excellent, and make sure to peruse their dessert menu.
Zino’s Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine
If you’re looking for places to eat in El Paso that serve Greek food, you won’t go wrong with Zino’s. They have two locations, one on the west side and one on the eastside of El Paso. You’ll find the first on South Belvedere at the Colony Cove II shopping mall on N Mesa Street. The other is on Montana Avenue, just south of the airport.
Zino’s El Paso restaurants serve classic Mediterranean dishes in crisp blue and white interiors decorated with tile, plaster busts, and scenic framed scenes of Greece. Diners come to Zino’s for the hummus and falafel. I also recommend their classic baklava.
The Hoppy Monk
4141 N Mesa St, El Paso, TX 79902
At the intersection of N Mesa Street and Brentwood Avenue is The Hoppy Monk. This is a gastropub with an impressive selection on tap and modern takes on American and Tex-Mex cuisine.
Enjoy a spacious outdoor patio under string lights and linen umbrellas. For the refined palette looking for where to eat in El Paso, you’ll love The Hoppy Monk’s extensive scotch menu.
Try the Blue Fox Burger and order the sweet potato fries for a twist on the classic American meal. Guests can’t get enough of the Gochu “Hop” Wings made with gochujang sauce. I highly recommend the tacos de champiñones al pastor served on blue heirloom corn tortillas for a striking presentation.
West Texas Chophouse
1135 Airway Blvd Suite 7B, El Paso, TX 79925
West Texas Chophouse is located in Cielo Vista South, where Viscount Boulevard meets Airway Boulevard. Of our best restaurants in El Paso, this modern steakhouse impresses with its traditional dishes and unique presentations. Sit in sleek interiors studded with ultramodern chandeliers, illuminated flowering tree installations, and bronze-mounted cow heads.
The West Texas Chophouse locally sources most of its supply, offering the freshest tastes. You can’t go wrong with a tomahawk steak, and guests love the steak nachos on the appetizer menu. If you’re interested in hosting a private event, they have a special private dining room for you to view.
910 E Redd Rd, El Paso, TX 79912
Located on E Redd Road on the northwest side of El Paso is Ripe Eatery. This New American cuisine restaurant is a must on our list of where to eat in El Paso. Owned by the local Norwich and Elliot families, Ripe Eatery is committed to locally sourcing all its food products. They don’t use packaged material and make everything from scratch on location.
This unassuming storefront restaurant is beautiful inside, with hand-drawn murals and a displayed wine selection. Try the pecan encrusted salmon on a bed of couscous or the green chili burger with goat cheese on a brioche bun. They have outdoor seatings, and note that they only work with a brunch menu on the weekends.
Track One El Paso
1330 Buffalo Soldier Rd, El Paso, TX 79925
Track One El Paso is on Buffalo Soldier Road in the Valley View Heights neighborhood just south of the airport. They make our list of best restaurants in El Paso for the unique experience of this neighborhood watering hole.
In the 1970s owners, Robert Neilson and H.F. “Smitty” Smith built part of the dining hall out of a caboose, a dining car, and a boxcar. The result is a cozy, fun dining experience with simple, classic diner cuisine.
Enjoy comfy leather seats, elegant light fixtures, and a mishmash of eclectic décor referencing the history of El Paso. Track One serves an array of plates, including burgers and seafood. Guests love the buffalo wings and nachos with queso. Everything comes in classic red baskets lined with paper, and they have a decent beer selection.
Julio’s Mexican Food
Don Julio and Guadalupe Ramirez opened Julio’s in 1944 in Ciudad Juárez. Multiple generations of the Ramirez family have built Julio’s into what it is today, claiming 3 El Paso restaurants. All of them serve authentic Mexican food and a full bar and have a private room available for rent.
The East El Paso location on Joe Battle Boulevard has an indoor patio and live music most nights. Julio’s on Gateway Boulevard East is in the Mesa Vista neighborhood, just off IH-10. They also have live music most nights. Finally, the most western location is in the Canyons at Cimarron shopping mall on the corner of Paseo del Norte and N Resler Drive.
For those looking for places to eat in El Paso with authentic Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Julio’s. Diners love the chile relleno and the chimichangas. Consider trying the mango or cucumber margarita. The flan is heavenly and earned the title of best of El Paso.
303 N Oregon St, El Paso, TX 79901
Located in the heart of downtown El Paso is Anson Eleven, a favorite on our list of best restaurants in El Paso. Residing in the beautiful, historic Anson Mills building, the restaurant looks out onto the intersection of W Mills Avenue and N Oregon Street.
Enjoy gorgeous downtown views through floor-to-ceiling windows while you enjoy steaks and seafood served with flair on stone slabs.
On the first floor is the Bistro, a more casual experience but with the same attention and refinery. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner. Guests rave about the mussels and fries and the pappardelle. Upstairs is Fine Dining, where reservations are encouraged. I recommend trying the meatloaf with smoked tomato gravy. Also, Anson Eleven offers complimentary parking for its diners.
Mesa Street Grill
3800 N Mesa St Suite D1, El Paso, TX 79902
You’ll find Mesa Street Grill in Mission Hill South on N Mesa Street and Mesita Drive. For both formal and casual diners seeking where to eat in El Paso, this is the spot. They’re serving up twists on American classics alongside wine from California wineries. The owner, Bill Means, started Mesa Street Grill with friends 15 years ago. They dreamed of building relationships with guests. Even the most casual diner is treated like a king here!
You can’t go wrong with both the classic mac and cheese and the lobster mac and cheese. I recommend the ribeye with lobster side for your entrée. Among El Paso restaurants, diners have nothing but good things to say about their mixed drinks. I suggest trying the frozen pomegranate martini or lemon drop martini.
204 E Mills Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
Park Tavern is located on East Mills avenue in Downtown El Paso, right near the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of History. It’s a perfect location for grabbing a bite to eat after soaking up some culture.
This New American restaurant features tons of craft beer, delicious food, and unique cocktails to make your dining experience superb.
What I recommend ordering is the lobster roll or the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich for a nice handheld meal, but they also have grilled salmon and chicken piccata for a more standard entree option.
Good Luck Cafe
3813 Alameda Ave, El Paso, TX 79905
Last, but not least, head on down to Good Luck Cafe on Alameda Avenue in the Durazno neighborhood, just north of the El Paso Zoo and Chamizal National Memorial Park Grounds.
I love coming to Good Luck Cafe because it’s been a fixture of El Paso for delicious Mexican food for a long, long time, and for very good reason.
They have a large menu with portions big enough to feed the hungriest of patrons, and all of it comes at an affordable price. What’s not to love?
I recommend trying their chiles rellenos and a few tacos to get the full effect here at Good Luck Cafe.
When you’re dining in El Paso, you certainly have your choice of fine dining or neighborhood watering holes. This border town has some of the best Mexican food and Tex-Mex cuisine but also serves up some of the best American dishes in the state. I know you’ll feel welcome in any of the dining spots I shared here!
Are you looking for more dining options in El Paso? Check out this post where I share my favorite brunch restaurants!