10 Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in Phoenix: Sampling the Best in the Southwest

Tex-Mex is a popular regional cuisine known for its use of savory grilled meats, ground beef and red and green chile. In Phoenix, where Sonoran-style Mexican food dominates, Tex-Mex treats such as fajitas and chile con carne still manage to fly off the menu as diners savor the slow-roasted flavors and zest of these classic Southwestern dishes.

Z'Tejas Grill, a regional chain that specializes in signature Southwestern dishes, tops our list for its perfect marriage of substance and style. Quality ingredients and stylish ambiance come together for the best in modern Tex-Mex eating.

Over at Sierra Bonita Grill, you won't find kitschy decor on the walls, but you will find authentic and delicious Southwestern cuisine that captures the spirit of cowboy cooking and Tex-Mex flavors.

If you're seeking the ultimate in Tex-Mex comfort food, head to Fajitas, a family-friendly restaurant known for its signature fajita platters, featuring marinated strips of beef and grilled onions, served with a side of cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream.

If you're craving that other favorite Southwestern comfort food, The Tamale Store in north Phoenix offers freshly made, moist and irresistible tamales by the dozen, including their popular Tex-Mex tamale, made with ground beef and Monterrey jack cheese.

Canyon Cafe

Offering a well-rounded menu of Southwestern fare, Canyon Cafe (formerly known as Sam's Cafe) is a great introduction to the region for non-natives. Chicken-fried tuna, Sedona spring rolls, chicken pasta cooked with tequila, and steaks are all...  Read More

This South Phoenix institution has been dishing out some of the best home-style Mexican food for decades. Don't be fooled by the humble exterior and lackluster dining area: the food is hot, tasty, and top-notch. Tacos, burros, flautas,...  Read More

Dishes prominently influenced by New Mexico traditions are the main feature of this establishment. Owners Paul Bigelow and Jose Leyva present Arizona locals with an inexpensive way to enjoy top-quality Southwestern fare. Most popular are...  Read More

This southwestern gastropub is tucked away inside a historic midtown church. The ambiance here is irresistible: wood beam ceilings and colorful stained glass windows lend the dining room warmth and southwestern charm, and the bar features an...  Read More

This award-winning restaurant specializes in everyone's favorite Mexican comfort food staple: tamales. Soft, moist and stuffed with delicious meats, veggies and cheeses, there are almost as many ways to make tamales as there is to enjoy them. At...  Read More

Fajitas, those sizzling hotplates brimming with marinated meats and veggies (served with a side of cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, of course), is the focal point at this north-central Phoenix restaurant. The restaurant uses an...  Read More

This central Phoenix bar and grill is named after the historic Sierra Bonita Ranch in Southeastern Arizona. The restaurant offers an authentic Southwestern culinary experience, dishing out menu favorites such as their house Cowboy Stew, made...  Read More

Outside of town

Just north of Phoenix in the quaint Western hamlet of Cave Creek, you'll find Tonto Bar & Grill, an award-winning restaurant specializing in authentic Southwestern cuisine. The Tonto frequently makes the list of the top restaurants in the...  Read More

Z'Tejas Grill

An interior of mellow wood and Texas limestone defines the casual atmosphere of this privately-owned regional chain. Dishes come from a variety of backgrounds but share a common Southwestern flair. Signature items include voodoo blackened tuna...  Read More

Rustic yet casually upscale, Dick's Hideaway is the kind of place locals take out-of-towners for an authentic taste of traditional Southwest flavors. Lunch, breakfast and dinner is served at this small local gem, where the smell of slow-roasted...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia

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