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 with 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.
Recommended for Mexican because: Juan's Flaming Fajitas delivers flavorful dishes, from the literally flaming fajitas to a large selection of traditional Mexican plates.
Terrisa's expert tip: Juan's Flaming Fajitas offers a brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dishes like Huevos Rancheros, a Mexican omelet and Huevos Con Chorizo.
Casa Don Juan has been a fixture along Main Street in Las Vegas for many years, and with the growth of the 18B Arts District and the vintage shops along Main Street, it continues to make new fans. Traditional Mexican food is served in simply gigantic proportions here. Come hungry if you want to have any hope of making your way through any of the combination plates. Carnitas for two, burritos, menudo, fajitas, tortas, tamales and tacos with al pastor, lengua, asada, carnitas, or chicken are just some of the dishes available. A selection of Mexican and American breakfast plates are also offered. The casual, rustic interior design prominently features a Frida Kahlo theme, and the comfortable dining area is definitely family-friendly.
Recommended for Mexican because: The traditional Mexican food at family-owned Casa Don Juan is made from scratch every day, using the best and freshest ingredients.
Terrisa's expert tip: Don't miss the chance to check out the neighborhood around Casa Don Juan. Main Street is home to several vintage shops with quirky collectibles that range from Old Vegas memorabilia to rare antiques.
Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria offers diners its own interpretation of Mexican food. While you will find combination plates, burritos and tacos, it would be a shame not to venture out of your comfort zone here. The menu is full of tempting creations like Duck Carnitas, with red wine citrus braised duck, crackling, berry jalapeno chutney, cilantro rice and black beans. The vegetarian Gnocchi Mexicano is house-made gnocchi with guajillo mushroom cream sauce queso fresco. Their sirloin is rubbed with ancho chile and finished with cilantro butter, roasted corn puree and charro beans. Of course, as the restaurant's name implies, their selection of tequila is not to be missed. Plenty of Margaritas are offered as well as tequila-based cocktails and flights of top-shelf tequila. The atmosphere is casual and modern, and Salud's location away from the Strip means guests can expect more reasonable prices and smaller crowds.
Recommended for Mexican because: Salud's modern Mexican food delivers authentic yet sometimes surprising flavors, plus they serve some of the best Margaritas in town.
Terrisa's expert tip: During Happy Hour every day from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., guests can enjoy $5 small plates, $5 drinks and $3 off all tequila flights.
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), tongue (lengua), or beef and cactus on the Azteca taco. Mulas and sopes are also served. Tacos el Gordo in Southern California earned a dedicated group of followers, and in Las Vegas, it's been the same. If you're not on the Strip, there's a location in North Las Vegas and an East Charleston outpost that's close to the Strip and Downtown, making it easy to find a Tacos el Gordo whenever you're in need of tacos.
Recommended for Mexican because: Tacos el Gordo's authentic Tijuana style street tacos are a perennial favorite for late night noshing on the Strip.
Terrisa's expert tip: Tacos el Gordo on the Strip is just a short drive from the Las Vegas Convention Center. It's close enough to the LVCC that convention goers could stop in for an inexpensive meal.
Lindo Michoacan's food comes in generous portions and is served in an adorably designed area 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.
Recommended for Mexican because: Lindo Michoacan's extensive menu of home-style Mexican food includes family recipes and dishes found nowhere else.
Terrisa's expert tip: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lindo Michoacan offers affordable lunch specials starting at $8.95 for plates of burritos, tacos and a host of other dishes, all served with rice and beans.
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. Don't be surprised by El Dorado's location--it's right next door to a gentlemen's club, which are common in the areas right off the Las Vegas Strip.
Recommended for Mexican because: El Dorado's savory Mexican food is created with sustainably-raised products free from antibiotics and pesticides.
Terrisa's expert tip: The impressive bar at El Dorado features more than 100 tequilas, sangrias made in-house with fresh fruit, a wide assortment of beer and even bottle service for several spirits.
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, burritos and chimichangas. 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.
Recommended for Mexican because: Hussong's casual Mexcian food and drinks are served up in a friendly atmosphere that always feels like a party.
Terrisa's expert tip: Happy Hour at Hussong's is Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with half off grilled corn, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, draft beers, well cocktails and original Sauza Margaritas.
Canonita is one of the restaurants at The Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes with a great location right on the Grand Canal, giving diners 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 an ahi tuna tostada. Bring your appetite to enjoy entrees like the Santa Rosa Barbacoa, pork rubbed with guajillo chile, served in a banana leaf with chipotle barbecue sauce, rice, beans and corn tortillas. 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. Ask for a seat on the patio that overlooks the canal, and you can watch the gondolas and listen to the gondoliers serenading their passengers.
Recommended for Mexican because: With a menu of both traditional Mexican food and inventive new fare, Canonita offers guests a wealth of flavor-filled dishes.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Street Taqueria at Canonita opens at 11:30 a.m. and offers sangria, Margaritas, beer, and street food like chicharrones, grilled Mexican street corn, chips and guacamole and tacos.
Javier's is originally from Southern California, and its food reflects that influence. The decor is striking here, with a distinctive Latin flair. Located directly off Aria's casino, Javier's candle-lit atmosphere feels miles away from the slot machines. 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 verde. As you might expect, Javier's has an impressive tequila selection, carrying many varieties of silver, reposado and anejo. The large selection of unique and delicious hand shaken Margaritas are served on the rocks, and one of the most popular is the jalapeno Margarita.
Recommended for Mexican because: Javier's elevates Mexican food to a new level, with its distinctive ambiance and upscale dishes.
Terrisa's expert tip: The upscale Javier's has only five locations, with the Las Vegas outpost at Aria being the only restaurant located outside of Southern California or Mexico.
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 most dishes have a bit of a twist to them. For instance, the lunch menu's Chile Relleno Burger is made with high quality beef, a roasted poblano stuffed with Mexican cheeses, tomato, baby gem, chipotle aioli and telera bread. At dinner, the Yucatan Pork is a tasty preparation of achiote pork roasted in banana leaves. 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.
Recommended for Mexican because: Border Grill's innovative dishes put a new spin on traditional Mexican fare with flavorful and sometimes unexpected combinations.
Terrisa's expert tip: Enjoy the Border Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when you can indulge in unlimited small plates for $38.99, or bottomless mimosas, micheladas and Bloody Marys for $20.