If you’re as obsessed with Mexican cuisine as I am, then you’re in for a treat. Today, we’re diving deep into the vibrant food scene of St. Pete, Florida, a city that’s not just about stunning beaches and artsy murals.
Nope, St. Pete is also a culinary hotspot, and when it comes to Mexican food, this place is a goldmine.
Now, why should you trust my taste buds? Well, I’ve been on a delicious journey if you will, to find the most mouthwatering tacos, the zestiest guacamole, and the most authentic enchiladas this side of the Gulf of Mexico. And let me tell you, St. Pete did not disappoint.
You see, St. Pete’s food scene is like a treasure trove for foodies. It’s a melting pot of flavors where traditional Southern fare meets innovative gastronomy.
But what really caught my attention was the Mexican food. It’s not just about slapping some meat and cheese between tortillas; it’s an art form here.
Chefs are pushing the envelope, experimenting with flavors, and elevating Mexican cuisine to new heights.
So, are you ready to join me on this culinary adventure? Whether you’re a local looking to rediscover your city’s food scene or a tourist eager to try something new, I’ve got the ultimate guide to the best Mexican restaurants in St. Pete.
Trust me, by the end of this, you’ll be craving some spicy goodness, and you’ll know exactly where to find it. Stay tuned!
My Top Three Picks of the Best Restaurants For Mexican Food In St Pete
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|Nueva Cantina – St. Pete||Raging Queso Burrito||5/5|
|Casita Taqueria||Chicken Tacos||5/5|
|Red Mesa Mercado||Steak and egg burrito||4.5/5|
The 6 Best Restaurants For Mexican Food In St Pete
1625 4th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States // +17278519579
Let’s start this delicious journey with a hidden gem that’s been stealing the spotlight in St. Pete’s Mexican food scene—Nueva Cantina. Trust me, this place is a game-changer.
From the moment you walk in, you’re greeted by an ambiance that’s as vibrant as the food. We’re talking Mexico-inspired murals that could be straight out of a Frida Kahlo painting, moody lighting that sets the perfect dinner mood, and bar furniture that’s just begging you to sit down and order a drink.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff—the food. Everything at Nueva Cantina screams fresh. I mean, they even make their guacamole to order.
How awesome is that? And speaking of guacamole, you’ve got to try theirs. It’s like a little green bowl of heaven, perfectly balanced and oh-so-creamy.
But wait, there’s more. You can’t visit Nueva Cantina without diving into their cocktail menu. Pro tip: Go for the frozen margarita.
It’s the kind of drink that makes you forget about the Florida heat and transports you straight to a beach in Cancun.
So, what did I order for my main course? Drumroll, please… the “Raging Queso Burrito.” This bad boy was packed with grilled steak, sautéed bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and roasted corn.
And let’s not forget the queso and pico de gallo that topped it off. Every bite was a flavor explosion. The steak had this incredible char that made me want to savor each piece and the roasted corn kernels? Absolute stars of the show.
I even splurged a little and went for the $1.00 upcharge Charro Beans, which were a smoky, hammy delight.
But before you dash off to try the burrito, let me drop another recommendation—don’t skip the appetizers. Especially the bacon-wrapped jalapenos and tater-tot nachos.
Yes, you read that right, tater tot nachos. It’s like your childhood and your adult foodie self had a meeting and decided to create something epic.
So, whether you’re catching up with friends over brunch or kicking off a night out, Nueva Cantina is the place to be. It’s not just a restaurant; it’s an experience. And one you won’t want to miss.
128 3rd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States // +17278968226
Next up, we’re venturing into Red Mesa Cantina, a place that’s as much about the experience as it is about the food.
Trust me, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill taqueria; it’s a modern Mexican haven that’s got social dining down to an art form.
First off, let’s talk about locations. Red Mesa Cantina has two spots in St. Pete. This spot has a courtyard that’s basically a slice of paradise.
Whether you’re brunching under the Florida sun or having a romantic dinner beneath the stars, the setting is just magical.
And let’s not even get started on their two bar areas; they’re the kind of places where you’ll want to become a regular.
Now, onto the food and drinks. You can’t visit Red Mesa Cantina without diving into their tequila and mezcal selection—it’s the largest in the area.
But what really got me was their ceviche. Light, tangy, and oh-so-fresh, it’s the perfect starter to share… or keep all to yourself; I won’t judge.
And if ceviche isn’t your jam, no worries. Their menu is a fusion of Latin and Caribbean traditions, offering everything from classic tacos to dishes that’ll make you go, “Wow, what’s that?” I couldn’t resist the chicken Fernandez and pork enchiladas on my visit. Each bite was a flavor journey, and I was here for it.
But wait, there’s a cherry on top—or should I say, an apple empanada? Yep, you’ve got to save room for dessert because their apple empanada is the kind of sweet ending that dreams are made of.
Oh, and if you’re planning a special event, guess what? Red Mesa Cantina offers catering. So, you can bring all this deliciousness to your next party or corporate gathering. They even offer gift cards, making it easy to share the love.
So, whether it’s a lazy evening meal, a bustling Sunday brunch, or a weekday business lunch, Red Mesa Cantina has got you covered with one of the best Mexican food in St Pete. It’s more than just a restaurant; it’s a place where food, friends, and good vibes come together.
1100 1st Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705, United States // +17279547430
If you’re in St. Pete and craving some quick but quality Mexican grub, let me introduce you to Red Mesa Mercado.
It’s not the same as its siblings, Red Mesa Cantina and Red Mesa Restaurant. This one’s got its own unique vibe, and it’s all about Cali-Mex meets traditional Mexican in a laid-back, outdoor setting.
Nestled in the hip Edge District, Red Mesa Mercado is your go-to when you’re short on time but big on flavor.
Picture a walk-up, street food stand vibe where you can grab a quick bite without sacrificing quality.
It’s where you can swing by during your lunch break, order something scrumptious, and be back at your desk without anyone even noticing you were gone.
Now, let’s talk food. On my visit, I went with some friends, and we decided to feast on their specialty burritos.
And let me tell you, their outdoor patio is the perfect spot for a casual lunch. They’ve even got TVs, so you can catch up on the latest news or sports while you munch.
But here’s a pro tip you won’t want to miss: Order your burrito “enchilada style.” What does that mean? They’ll top your burrito with your choice of enchilada sauce and a dollop of crema.
It’s like taking an already awesome burrito and turning it into a masterpiece.
I tried the steak and egg burrito, and it was a flavor bomb in the best way possible. Oh, and don’t skip the tots and side salsas; they’re the perfect accompaniment.
So, if you’re in the mood for something quick, delicious, and totally satisfying, Red Mesa Mercado has got you covered with one of the best Mexican food in St Pete.
Whether it’s a solo lunch mission or a casual meet-up with friends, this place is a win-win. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll plan your next visit before you even leave.
2801 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713, United States // +17278002679
This is one of St. Pete’s best-kept secrets—Chile Verde. Forget the frills and the fuss; this place is all about cafeteria-style Mexican food that packs a punch. If you’re after a quick, no-nonsense meal that’s big on taste, you’ve got to check this spot out.
Nestled in an unassuming corner, Chile Verde might not catch your eye at first, but oh boy, does it catch your taste buds.
The menu is simple, but don’t let that fool you. These folks have mastered the art of focusing on what they do best: serving up large portions of incredibly flavorful dishes.
Now, let’s talk specifics. On my visit, I went straight for their al pastor burrito, and let me tell you, it was a revelation.
The meat was tender, the flavors were bold, and every bite was a mini fiesta in my mouth. And if you’re on the plant-based train, they’ve got you covered with vegan-friendly burritos that don’t skimp on taste.
But wait, there’s more. You can’t leave Chile Verde without trying their horchata. It’s the kind of drink that makes you close your eyes and savor every sip. Creamy, sweet, and just the right amount of cinnamon—it’s the perfect counterpoint to the spiciness of your meal.
The atmosphere? Super chill. The staff are friendly, TVs are showing various sports, and the vibe is so relaxed that you can comfortably dine alone or with friends. Plus, the prices won’t make your wallet cry, which is always a win in my book.
And before you dash, don’t forget to try their fresh juices. Whether you’re rounding off a spicy meal or just need a refreshing pick-me-up, these juices are the cherry on top of an already fantastic dining experience.
So, if you’re in St. Pete and craving authentic Mexican food that’s both quick and delicious, make a beeline for Chile Verde. It has one of the best Mexican food in St Pete.
It’s the kind of place that turns first-timers into regulars, and I have a feeling you’ll be one of them.
4912 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703, United States // +17275278728
Let’s switch gears and talk about the OG of the Red Mesa family—Red Mesa Restaurant. This place is where it all began over 20 years ago, and it’s still going strong.
If you’re in the mood for a more intimate, family-friendly setting with a dash of culinary creativity, this is your spot.
First things first, let’s talk about the man behind the magic—Executive Chef Chris Fernandez. Born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, this guy knows his way around a kitchen. But what sets him apart is his knack for fusion.
We’re talking Mexican-Asian blends, with a sprinkle of Puerto Rican flair. Trust me, it’s as amazing as it sounds. And despite being one of St. Pete’s most talented chefs, he’s incredibly humble. A low profile with high culinary skills? That’s a combo I can get behind.
Now, onto the food experience. The menu here is diverse, catering to carnivores, vegetarians, and even vegans. I couldn’t resist the chicken enchiladas and guacamole samplers. Let me just say, that “highly recommend” is an understatement.
The enchiladas were a flavor-packed journey, and the guacamole sampler was like a tour of all the best avocado regions, right on a single plate.
But wait, there’s more good news. They’ve recently added liquor to their already impressive drink menu. And if you’re a sangria fan, you’re in for a treat.
Their sangrias are the stuff of legends—perfectly balanced and dangerously sippable. Plus, they’ve got a new special every week that’s bound to keep you coming back for more.
So, if you’re looking for a cozy spot with a menu that pushes the boundaries of traditional Mexican cuisine, Red Mesa Restaurant is where you want to be. It has one of the best Mexican food in St Pete.
It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience that’ll make you appreciate the art of fusion cooking.
2663 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713, United States // +17274986473
Last on the list we have a local hotspot that’s been winning hearts and appetites in downtown St. Pete—Casita Taqueria.
Nestled on Central Avenue, this place is a go-to for anyone craving authentic tacos, zesty salsas, and a vibe that’s as warm as the Florida sun.
I’ll be honest, when I first walked up to Casita Taqueria, I was a bit skeptical. But let me tell you, any doubts were obliterated the moment I took my first bite.
The menu is a delightful mix of traditional and modern, featuring everything from barbacoa tacos to healthy Casita Bowls packed with veggies, beans, and rice.
Now, let’s talk ambiance. The place has outdoor dining options in the front and back, perfect for soaking up some St. Pete sunshine. The indoor dining area is on the smaller side, so it’s not the best fit for large parties, but it’s cozy and intimate.
And can we talk about the decor? It’s the fun, colorful atmosphere that instantly puts you in a good mood. Even the bathrooms are pretty clean, which is always a plus in my book.
But what really sets Casita Taqueria apart is the service. Even during their busiest hours, the staff are quick, attentive, and super friendly. It’s the kind of place where you feel like a regular, even if it’s your first visit.
Now, for the pièce de résistance—the tacos. I’ve had my fair share of tacos, but the ones at Casita Taqueria are next-level.
The fish tacos are a seafood lover’s dream, the shrimp tacos are a flavor explosion, and the chicken tacos? Let’s just say they’re the juiciest I’ve ever had. It’s like each taco is a mini culinary masterpiece, and I’m here for it.
So, if you’re in downtown St. Pete and you’ve got tacos on the brain, do yourself a favor and head to Casita Taqueria. It has the best Mexican food in St Pete.
Questions Foodies Ask About Mexican Food In St Pete
What’s the Mexican food scene like in St. Petersburg, Florida?
St. Pete’s Mexican food scene is a vibrant mix of traditional and modern. You’ll find everything from authentic taquerias serving up street-style tacos to upscale restaurants offering Mexican-Asian fusion dishes.
It’s a foodie paradise for anyone who loves a good taco, burrito, or enchilada!
What are some must-try dishes at St. Pete’s Mexican restaurants?
Oh, where to start? You’ve got to try the al pastor tacos, fresh ceviches, and of course, the guacamole.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go for fusion dishes like Mexican-Asian tacos or Puerto Rican-inspired enchiladas.
Any tips for first-timers?
If it’s your first time exploring the Mexican food scene in St. Pete, my advice is to be adventurous.
Try something you’ve never had before, whether it’s a unique fusion dish or a traditional Mexican dessert. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
Wrapping up: The 6 Best Restaurants For Mexican Food In St Pete
Alright, foodies, we’ve been on quite the culinary journey exploring the vibrant Mexican food scene in St. Pete, haven’t we? From the bustling streets of downtown to the cozy corners of local neighborhoods, it’s clear that this city is a treasure trove for anyone with a penchant for tacos, enchiladas, or a killer margarita.
But what truly sets St. Pete apart isn’t just the variety of Mexican cuisine on offer; it’s the soul behind each dish, the fusion of flavors, and the community that gathers around these culinary creations.
You see, Mexican food in St. Pete isn’t just about filling your belly; it’s about filling your soul. It’s about restaurants that treat you like family from the moment you walk in, whether you’re a local or a tourist.
It’s about chefs who pour their hearts into every dish, blending traditional recipes with innovative twists that make your taste buds dance.
And let’s not forget the servers who, even in the busiest of times, make you feel like you’re the only diner in the room.
But beyond the food and the people, it’s also about the experience. Whether dining al fresco under the Florida sun, enjoying a romantic dinner under the stars, or grabbing a quick but unforgettable lunch, each experience is unique.
It’s the kind of culinary adventure that turns first-time visitors into regulars, and regulars into evangelists who can’t help but spread the word.
So, as we wrap up this flavorful journey, let’s make a pact. Let’s promise to keep exploring, tasting, and, most importantly, enjoying all that St. Pete’s Mexican food scene has to offer.
Because in a world full of choices, isn’t it wonderful to know that St. Pete has got you covered when it comes to great Mexican food, St. Pete has got you covered? Trust me, your taste buds will thank you. And who knows? Your next favorite dish might just be a visit away. Happy eating, everyone!
Check out some of my other guides for this foodie haven:
- Best Restaurants in St Petersburg
- Things To Do In St Petersburg
- Restaurants in Downtown St Pete
- Sushi in St Pete
- Best Brunch in St Pete
- Pier Restaurants in St Pete
- Best Seafood in St Pete
- Oyster Bars In St Pete
- Pizza In St Pete
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