Naples Goes Mexican: From Humble Taquerias to Haute Southwestern Style

One of America’s most well loved ethnic fare, Mexican cuisine is as easy to find in Naples, Florida, as anywhere – possibly even more so given its strong Latino immigrant populations on the town’s fringes. They give Naples and Bonita Springs a reputation for “hole in the wall” taquerias that sell true, homemade and affordable tacos and other south of the border specialties. Take ultra-casual Taqueria San Julian, for instance, east of downtown Naples., where tacos cost $1.50 each and include varieties such as tripe and tongue.

On the other end of the Tex-Mex range, restaurants borrow from Mexican tradition to create innovative, carefully crafted and multi-dimensional dishes such as you will find at Agave Bar & Grill, known also for its stocks of tequila and live entertainment scene. Between the two extremes dwells modern cantinas and restaurants that serve up stylish ambiance and traditional dishes re-imagined for the American palate – Senor Tequila’s Fine Mexican Grill in Bonita Springs, for example.

For your Naples’ Mexican 101 course, this list visits the entire range of Mexican dining restaurants – from places where the local Latinos hang out to more gourmet genres of Mexican cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

A longtime amigo of Mexican loving diners in Naples, Flaco's, which ironically translates to "Skinny's," fattens you with a wide variety of traditional dishes. Additionally, the menu lists a number of vegetarian dishes plus steaks and seafood....  Read More

LaPinata Mexican Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

East of Naples, the wealthy façade makes way for more humble communities, Latino neighborhoods and affordable dining. La Pinata, however, takes it a step above your basic taqueria with a large and colorful interior, tequila cocktails and...  Read More

Taco Ardiente
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

With a busy location at the corner of Tamiami Road and Pine Ridge Road, Taco Ardiente is practically guaranteed a steady clientele. Its reasonable prices and full fledged list of Mexican favorites cinch the deal. It has a loyal following that...  Read More

Salsa Brava
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Although the window sign shouts TACOS BURRITOS TAMALES, the menu at Salsa Brava goes way deeper and more complex than your typical Mexican take out, especially at dinner. Fried whole red snapper, shrimp sautéed with tomatoes and onions or in a...  Read More

Masa Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Brought to you by the folks who introduced D'Amico & Sons and Campiello to Naples, this restaurant and tequila bar takes you South of the Border with stylized authentic cuisine and a connoisseur's selection of tequilas. Categorizing its...  Read More

Taqueria San Julian
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Taqueria San Julian has had a presence in the Southwest Florida area for quite some time now. Its reputation is built upon affordability and authenticity – a taqueria in the true sense of the word. That means you should not expect fancy digs...  Read More

Senor Tequila's Fine Mexican Grill
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

The basket of chips arrives with two bowls – one filled with a traditional full-textured, not-afraid-to-burn red salsa. The other contains a pico de gallo of chopped fresh yellow, orange and red tomatoes, jalapeños and other fiery flavorings....  Read More

Tacos & Tequila Cantina
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

It's not just all about tacos – but Tacos & Tequila Cantina's menu does list nearly 20 different flavors from traditional carnita to Buffalo , po' boy shrimp and veg out tacos. Sauces and ingredients all taste fresh in this indoor-outdoor...  Read More

Taco Mix
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Taco Mix flexes beyond Mexican to include also Cuban fare to please the beach-going crowd along Bonita Beach Road. Nonetheless pure in its south of the border orientation, it whips up a marvelous guacamole. Taco Mix also touts its tacos, and the...  Read More

Agave Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

This handsomely decorated dining room definitely dwells at the high end of Naples' range of Mexican restaurants with fare that embraces fresh Southwestern American cuisine. Its signature guacamole bar custom blends your avocado dip to your...  Read More


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle

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