People usually imagine the Grand Canyon and the surrounding ocean of cacti when they hear the word Arizona. You might even think that it has gorgeous weather year-round.
However, Arizona has much more to offer than these things. Right in the heartland of Phoenix, you can find some of the tastiest Mexican food anywhere!
Mexican food is a staple of Arizona and the city of Phoenix. However, with more than 300 restaurants in the area, it could be hard to know where to start when looking for a place that serves Mexican food in Phoenix.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list of some of the 11 Best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix. These places were selected based on several different factors, including but not limited to reviews from locals and reviewers, cost, the quality of setting and food, and overall taste. I hope you enjoy it!
Table of Contents
The 11 Best Mexican Restaurants In Phoenix AZ
4117 N 16th St, Phoenix // +16022546330
There are many Mexican restaurants in Phoenix, but La Santisima stands out from the rest.
You should try their quesas, which have thick, fried masa shells filled with cheese and a filling of your choosing and topped with extra cheese.
My recommendations for fillings are the steak with mushrooms, poblano peppers, onions, and spinach from La Santisima or the scrumptious pork from Cochinita Pibil. You can also choose from a selection of vegan and vegetarian meals at La Santisima if you’re not a meat-eater.
928 E Pierce St, Phoenix // +16023270880
A list of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix would not be complete without mentioning tortas. There are a lot of big, messy sandwiches in Phoenix, but one of my favorites is from Gallo Blanco.
Served on ultra-fluffy bread, the Naco torta contains carne asada, avocado and two fried eggs. To add a little heat, top it with their avocado-based salsa verde.
Don’t feel like a sandwich? Alternatively, you can order the taco dorado, which features a thick fried masa topped with sauteed onions, cheese, and cilantro. You won’t be disappointed!
2814 N 16th St #1205, Phoenix, AZ 85006, United States // +16026360240
This is not Tex-Mex cuisine. It serves the greatest and most authentic Mexican food in Phoenix. The restaurant is located in a low-key structure with an outside terrace and interesting murals. A vibrant painting greeted us as we parked at the back of the restaurant.
The homemade horchata was a big success for everyone, and the Oaxacan-style guacamole was out of this world. Of course, I’ve tasted a lot of guacamole in my time, but the combination of cilantro, lime, and pomegranate was unlike any other.
I ordered the Chile en Nogado, an Oaxacan specialty that did not disappoint. A conventional version with chicken, fruits, and nuts in an almond cream sauce is also delicious. There’s also a vegan option, which I’m sure is delicious.
Others in our party chose the chanchito pilbi tacos, the size of a dinner plate with melted cheese on top. This meal was also fantastic. Unfortunately, we didn’t spare room for dessert, but I’m sure it’s just as delicious. Give it a try!
Mariscos Playa Hermosa
1605 E Garfield St, Phoenix // +16024621563
In a landlocked state, you may not expect to find great seafood, but Mariscos Playa Hermosa may make you forget you’re in the desert for a moment.
Mariscos Playa Hermosa has nearly a dozen locations across the Phoenix metro area, making it one of the best places to sample authentic Mexican seafood.
The restaurant offers whole red snapper, shrimp cocktails, and several kinds of crab in specialty dishes, including Molcajete con salsa verde.
Cocina Madrigal Tacos + Tequila
4044 S 16th St, Phoenix // +16022439000
Cocina Madrigal is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix despite its unassuming exterior.
At Madrigal Kitchen, you can enjoy the classic Mexican dishes you love with a gourmet twist. Make sure to try the steak tacos with corn tortillas, pomegranate-chipotle marinated steak, fried peppers, onions, and gorgonzola cheese.
It may seem odd to use Gorgonzola on tacos, but trust me, the combination of flavors works well.
The churros here are amazing, so save room for dessert! The best churros you’ll find this side of the border are stuffed with Bavarian cream, drizzled with caramel, and served with extra cream for dipping.
2929 N 43rd Ave, Phoenix // +16026827701
The restaurant Ta’Carbon is well known for serving the best carne asada in Phoenix, and it certainly lives up to its reputation.
Tacos typically consist of just meat and tortillas, the most basic taco form. However, it’s so delicious, that you can eat it straight but stop by the salsa bar for onions, cilantro, limes, and of course, salsa to top it off.
Make sure you order the carne asada, the pastor, or the Hazz taco, which is carne asada topped with green chilis and melted cheese, and don’t forget your horchata.
This popular joint usually has a line, but it’s worth the wait and the line moves quickly. Just keep your eyes on the signs, as there are different lines for both ordering and paying.
Ladera Taverna y Cocina
8729 N Central Ave, Phoenix // +16026062258
The popular Mexican restaurant Ladera on the north side of the Phoenix metro area has been converted into a modern and lively event space. The vibrant colors of Mexico City inspire the restaurant’s decor, a city considered more revered for its food than any other in the country.
This long-standing local favorite serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and other authentic Mexican cuisines.
You will also love the Enchiladas Verdes if you are a vegetarian. They are filled with cheese and poblano peppers and smothered in green sauce before being wrapped in corn tortillas.
Also, you shouldn’t miss the restaurant’s breakfast menu filled with specialties like chicken enchiladas, barbacoa hash, avocado toast, and Colombian coffee cake.
546 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix // +16022644143
Located in an old church, Taco Guild serves sustainable Mexican cuisine, craft beer & tequila.
The restaurant’s standout tacos, such as the chipotle cherry steak and molida lamb with sweet potato hay and Creole aioli, have been recognized as some of the best in the country, however, what makes Taco Guild unique is the atmosphere.
Dining here is a true sensory experience, whether it’s the cathedral-style dining room or the live music.
I would recommend one of the chipotle cherry steak New World tacos, served with poblano straws, chile aioli, and blue cheese.
1028 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix // +16023588830
Tacos Chiwas offers traditional Chihuahua tacos, gorditas and burritos created with recipes that have been handed down for generations, earning them a reputation among local critics.
It even expanded to a new location in 2020, which speaks volumes about the support it receives from the community.
A must-try is the asada, pastor, and definitely the chicken tacos, which are among my favorites. It’s heaven in a tortilla, bursting with seasoned grilled chicken, pickled onions, and cilantro crema.
Don’t forget about the gorditas, a soft masa shell filled with potatoes, beans, and your choice of red or green shredded beef.
Are you a real foodie? I’ve compiled a list of the best foodie gifts you can get for yourself and your closest ones. Cheese, meat and sweets subscriptions, and some classic must-have foodie gadgets.
Regardless of what you order, you can’t beat the price and quality here! Chiwas Tacos is truly one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix.
501 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix // +16023685316
You can’t go wrong with Taco Chelo when it comes to tacos in Phoenix. This place has earned a spot on my list of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix because it has my heart!
The tacos on Taco Chelo’s small menu are all amazing, so you really can’t go wrong. But be sure to order the costra taco-a carne asada taco covered in caramelized onions and cheese. Dreams are made of gooey, cheesy creations like this!
Ensure you also get a side of chips, salsa and guacamole, as well as a glass of their homemade horchata to complete your meal.
Casa Corazon Restaurant
2637 N 16th St, Phoenix // +16023341917
It is no wonder that Casa Corazon was dubbed one of the 100 best places to eat in 2021. They take authentic Mexican food to another level with high-quality, fresh ingredients from Mexico. A must try amongst the mexican restaurants in Phoenix.
Although Phoenix has many places with great chips and salsa, Casa Corazon’s extensive salsa bar makes it my favorite.
Each day they make 10 varieties of salsa in-house, so they have all the classic flavors we love, plus unique flavors such as cucumber, serrano and pineapple. While the salsa selection is incredible, beware—don’t get too full because the entrees are equally delicious!
I absolutely love the enchiladas at Casa Corazon, and the red sauce is to die for. You can also order tacos de canasta al vapor, beef and cheese tacos smothered and steamed in red chili sauce.
It’s extra delicious and flavorful since the sauce is absorbed into the tortilla. You’ll need a fork for this taco; it’s not your typical one!
Summary About The 10 Best Mexican Restaurants In Phoenix
Each Phoenix local would likely answer differently if you asked them about their favorite Mexican restaurant. There are over 300 Mexican restaurants in the valley, so there is no shortage of options and everyone has their favorite.
Yet the variety of Mexican food in Phoenix is incredible; you can find everything from authentic dishes to specialty taco shops.
The Mexican options in Phoenix are endless. Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican food made with family recipes or a “cheap and cheerful” spot for tacos with your friends, there’s an option to suit your needs.
Phoenix is known for authentic Mexican cuisine, but there is a wide range of other restaurants that serve Mexican food as well, ranging from taco stands to hipster eats to local favorites. So enjoy your stay and Bon Appetit!
Which of these Phoenix Mexican restaurants will you try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Visiting other destinations in Arizona? Check out our other guides:
- 15 Best Restaurants in Prescott, Arizona
- 7 Sedona Restaurants With a View
- 10 Fun Things To Do In Goodyear Arizona
- 6 Must-Try Glendale Restaurants
- 8 Best Cave Creek Restaurants
- 5 Best Scottsdale AZ Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Restaurants in Wickenburg AZ
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever
Tuesday 2nd of August 2022
I'm surprised you missed the best Mexican restaurant in Phoenix which is the Barrio Cafe. It is true Mexican food ask Mexicans about great authentic Mexican food.