Street Tacos and More: Las Vegas' 10 Best Mexican Restaurants

Photo courtesy of Border Grill
By Terrisa Meeks, Las Vegas Local Expert

Looking for a great place to enjoy Mexican food in Las Vegas? The city has plenty of restaurants serving up their own takes on Mexican dishes, with many places featuring food inspired by the cuisine in Northern Mexico and Baja.

Las Vegas’ Mexican restaurants tend to be casual and include a fun atmosphere. Naturally, diners will find menus with an abundance of tasty tacos, enchiladas, burritos, combination dishes, nachos–not to mention great beer, tequila, and Margaritas. Places like Border Grill have given all these classics a fresh new take, and expanded with flavors and dishes you won’t find elsewhere.

Some restaurants concentrate on family and regional recipes, and local favorites like Lindo Michoacan have a dedicated following–easy to understand when you taste the food. A short drive off the Strip will turn up several local, family-owned favorites. Aficionados who are searching for authentic flavors will find some gems with a little searching.

No Mexican restaurant is complete without a thorough selection of tequilas, and connoisseurs will find plenty of bars offering an impressive array from which to choose. Although it’s fairly easy to find a place to enjoy chips and salsa at any Strip hotel, with a little checking ahead you’ll find a place that earns a spot on your list for repeat visits–and who doesn’t need a go-to place in Vegas for great Mexican food?

10. Juan's Flaming Fajitas
Photo courtesy of Juan's Flaming Fajitas

The name says a lot at Juan's Flaming Fajitas, where heaping plates of fajitas are delivered in little cast-iron containers that get set on fire with a flourish right before delivery to your table. This family-friendly restaurant in southwest Las Vegas serves up a menu full of Mexican favorites and all of the accompanying sides. The two-person fajitas come in such a generous serving size that you'll almost certainly need a take-home box. Other menu selections include traditional combination plates, house favorites like steak picado and carne asada, Jalisco style plates and vegetarian specialties. Enchiladas, burritos, tacos and chimichangas each come in several styles. Juan's also has a full bar, including a tasty house Margarita.

9. Ricardo's of Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of Ricardo's of Las Vegas

Ricardo's has been one of Las Vegas' favorite Mexican restaurants for decades. This perennial local favorite, has been voted "Best Mexican Restaurant" an astonishing number of times in the Las Vegas Review-Journal Reader's Poll. It offers both authentic Mexican and "Americanized" cuisine like Mexican Pizza. You'll find the standard selection of combination platters along with flavor-filled dishes like chicken picado, carne diablo and carnitas. In addition to the restaurant, Ricardo's has a full bar with food service. The frozen Margaritas here are done well here, especially the fruit flavored ones like peach and strawberry. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day and is less than a ten-minute drive west of the Las Vegas Strip.

8. El Sombrero Mexican Bistro
Photo courtesy of El Sombrero Mexican Bistro

The El Sombrero is an Old Vegas Mexican restaurant that first opened in 1959 and was renovated in 2014 with a fresh new look. The emphasis here is on comfort food, with all the classics well-executed with quality ingredients. In addition, you'll find dishes you don't normally see at the average Mexican restaurant, like wild Alaskan salmon and rib eye. The chile relleno comes in two versions, and the menu stays away from a dependence on combination plates (you'll only find two), instead focusing on well-developed entrees with delectable meats and sauces, like the enchiladas de mole, with two pulled chicken enchiladas with traditional mole sauce.

7. Tacos el Gordo
Photo courtesy of Tacos el Gordo

When Tacos el Gordo location on the Strip re-opened, devoted fans of this restaurant were delighted. There's nothing fancy here–it's a walk-up counter where you order and pick up at the same place–but the tacos are worth it. Sure, you can order the usual carne asada, but you can also get tripe (tripa), brains (sesos), or beef and cactus on the Azteca taco. Tacos el Gordo in Southern California earned a dedicated group of followers, and in Las Vegas, it's been the same. If you're off the Strip, the East Charleston location is also close to the Strip and Downtown, making it easy to find in case you're in need of tacos.

6. Lindo Michoacan
Photo courtesy of Lindo Michoacan

Lindo Michoacan's food comes in generous portions and is served in an adorably designed restaurant full of authentic décor. The original location on East Desert Inn is known as a favorite stop for locals and tourists. The original owner learned to cook while studying at a seminary in Michoacan, Mexico, and brought those dishes to the restaurant. The menu is broken out by seafood, pork, beef, and chicken dishes. Within each of those categories, you'll find several Lindo-only specialties, like the Toro a la Coca-Cola, a dish made with a family recipe and the popular soda pop. In addition to the large selections of unique recipes, there's also great selection of combination plates and lunch specials. It's a fun, casual atmosphere that's suitable for families.

5. El Dorado Cantina
Photo courtesy of El Dorado Cantina Las Vegas

Located a few blocks west of the Strip, the El Dorado Cantina is a family-owned Mexican restaurant with an authentic touch, inspired by several regions of Mexico. There's a large selection of street tacos–carne asada, carnitas, al pastor, cochinita, pulled chicken, and vegetarian corn rajas tacos, three to a platter with cilantro rice and refried or black beans. The extensive menu has plenty of other selections as well, including burgers made with grass-fed beef. The restaurant uses food that's free from antibiotics, pesticides, and steroids– and lists its food suppliers its website. It's a popular place for locals, including some of Las Vegas' resident celebrities.

4. Hussong's Cantina - Mandalay Bay
Photo courtesy of Hussong's Cantina Las Vegas in The Shops at Mandalay Bay

Hussong's Cantina at Mandalay Bay almost feels like you're on Spring Break: live music, plenty of great beer and some terrific food. It's a casual, easy-going atmosphere with dishes like tacos, fajitas, carne asada, flautas, even a Baja sandwich, otherwise known as a torta. One of the most interesting things about Hussong's is its history. This location was the first franchise of the original Hussong's Cantina, which was established in 1892 in Baja, Mexico--the same place that bills itself as the place where the Margarita was invented. Naturally, this means that Hussong's Las Vegas has a selection of specialty Margaritas, like the Cadillac Margarita (Casamigos Reposado and Grand Marnier), or the Blackberry Splash Margarita, with freshly muddled blackberries and Ginger Liqueur.

3. Canonita
Photo courtesy of ayesamson

Canonita is one of the restaurants at The Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes, and it has a great location right on the Grand Canal--a wonderful place to enjoy a unique view. The dishes include traditional Mexican favorites like enchiladas, burritos and tacos. If you'd like to eat lightly, you'll find a wealth of tasty antojitos, like shrimp and calamari cocktail, flautas or a tuna ceviche tostada. Bring your appetite to enjoy entrees like the Chiapaneco Salmon, grilled salmon with plantain huarache, Mexican street corn, chipotle aioli and cilantro pesto. The full bar is well-stocked with tequilas, just as you'd expect from a good Mexican restaurant. Canonita is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2. Javier's
Photo courtesy of Javier's at Aria

Javier's is originally from Southern California, and its food reflects that influence. The decor is striking here, with everything distinctive and original. The menu includes Mexican specialties, including the standard combination offerings, plus several steak dishes. Diners will find ceviche, antojitos, as well as house specialties like steak picado and chile Colorado. As you might expect, Javier's has an impressive tequila selection, carrying many varieties of silver, reposado and anejo. This upscale restaurant offers a great selection of dishes in a beautiful setting. Its first location was in Laguna beach, and the restaurant's classy and hand-crafted vibe continues on in the Las Vegas location at Aria.

1. Border Grill
Photo courtesy of Border Grill

Celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger give Mexican food a few new twists at Border Grill. You'll certainly find standards like tacos and enchiladas, but you can also try the Chile Relleno Burger for lunch–ground Black Angus Brisket and short rib, rounded out with toppings like a Portobello mushroom and a stuffed poblano, on a Brioche bun. If it's dinner, maybe the Yucatan Pork, an achiote pork roasted in banana leaves, is an alternative to your usual order. There's an definite emphasis on sustainability here with organic black beans and humane certified, antibiotic and hormone free meats and poultry. The drink menu includes Margaritas, mojitos and a selection of tasty-sounding cocktails from tequila and mezcal, along with plenty of other choices. The vibrantly decorated restaurant overlooks Mandalay Bay's pool area, and its colorful ambiance lends itself to casual meals.