Eating Tucson: Where to Find the Best Mexican Food in Tucson

If your idea of good Mexican food is the Taco Bell drive-thru window at midnight, it's time to take a trip to Tucson to see how real Mexican food is done. Sonoran-style Mexican cookings is a point of pride in this town, so it comes as no surprise that some of the country's best Mexican food restaurants can be found in Tucson. The hardest part is choosing a place to eat first!

Cafe Poca Cosa, one of the most highly-regarded Mexican food restaurants in the city, elevates the combo platter to new heights with Chef Susana's fresh and inventive take on Mexican classics.

If you're in the mood for hot, tasty Sonoran-style Mexican comfort food, head to South Tucson, where El Guero Canelo pushes out tasty tacos, burritos and the iconic Sonoran Dog at a breakneck pace. 

Calle Tepa in midtown is a relatively new kid on the block, but this fast-casual restaurant is quickly making a name for itself, thanks to a hearty selection of freshly made tortas, tacos and quesadillas featuring fresh sheep's milk cheese.

Finally, for a mariachi-blasting good time, head to Guadalajara Grill, where the salsa and guacamole are always made fresh table-side, and traditional Mexican food dishes such as mole poblano and chile rellenos are cooked with fresh ingredients and signature flair. 



The Contreras family of Tucson opened a small hot dog stand back in 1993 that dished out hot and tasty carne asada and the now-famous Sonora dog. Today, that small hot dog stand has evolved in a mini-empire, with three Tucson locations of El...  Read More



Poco & Mom's dishes out traditional New Mexican-style plates that are as delicious as they are spicy. You'll find luscious enchiladas, huge chimichangas, mouth-watering machaca, and a variety of savory tacos and burritos, and classic chile...  Read More



Located in a lovingly restored 1920s-era building in downtown Tucson, Penca Restaurante has become a destination for gourmands looking for upscale riffs on the cooking of central Mexico. The seasonally-inspired menu features fine renditions of...  Read More



Tucson Tamale Company's slogan is "unwrap happiness." Well said. With more than 30 different types of tamales, from meaty and spicy to hearty vegan treats, Tucson Tamale Company is your source for authentic and creative tamales in the Old...  Read More



Inspired by the colorful streets of Tepatitlan, Jalisco in Mexico, Calle Tepa is Tucson's latest and greatest Mexican cafe. In a city full of great Mexican food, Calle Tepa manages to stand out from the pack for its great take on Jalisco street...  Read More



This unassuming eatery is home to some of Tucson's most beloved tacos and burritos. Come here for the carne asada, barbacoa, al pastor and other classic Mexican food staples that . All the meats are grilled to order and tacos come generally...  Read More



Salsas made fresh at your table, live mariachis seven nights a week, and some of the best margaritas in town make Guadalajara Grill one of the liveliest Mexican food spots in town. The Guadalajara Grill makes their tortillas fresh daily, as well...  Read More



One of South Tucson's most beloved taquerias, Tacos Apson on 12th Avenue specializes in ambrosial mesquite-grilled carne asada tacos. The name of the restaurant pays tribute to one of Sonora's most famous '60s-era Mexican rock bands, Los Apson...  Read More



The original El Charro, founded in 1922, is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Tucson; the original owner, Monica Flin, is said to have invented the chimichanga. The restaurant also claims the impressive title of oldest Mexican food restaurant in...  Read More



Chef/owner Susana Davila creates her own unique spin on Mexican cuisine, featuring techniques and ingredients borrowed from several regions. Poca Cosa began a few blocks away from this location, and the tiny original is still open for breakfast...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.