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Best Mexican restaurant in every state

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Tim S. // Foursquare

Best Mexican restaurant in every state

Mexican fare ranks with Italian and Chinese as Americans' top-three favorite global cuisines, according to theNational Restaurant Association. Mexican flavors and ingredients have permeated all corners of American cuisine, infusing vibrant and varied tastes into Americans’ daily diet. But while tacos and enchiladas may seem commonplace in America now, that wasn’t always the case.

To be sure, Americans have been influenced by the flavors of our neighbor to the south for hundreds of years. But it wasn't until refugees from southern and central Mexico brought their culinary traditions north to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution that dishes like tacos found their way into the mainstream. An increasingly global culture (and a growing number of Mexican fast-food mainstays and high-end restaurants) have cemented Mexican food's beloved role in U.S. cuisine. Which begs the question: Where does one go for the best Mexican food in every state?

To find out, Stacker turned to Foursquare’s algorithm that ranks locations based on user check-ins, rating signals, category matches, tips, and photo trends and found the highest-rated restaurant in every state. National restaurant chains were not considered for this story.

Read on to find the Foursquare’s top-rated Mexican restaurant in your home state.

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Andi R. // Foursquare

Alabama: El Barrio

- Address: 2201–2215 Second Ave. N., Birmingham, AL
- Rating: 9.2/10

El Barrio’s locally sourced menu is inspired by multi-regional, Mexican cuisine—tacos al carbon is a fan favorite. Customers who are more interested in the bar and grill's liquid offerings can sip on a seasonal margarita or choose from a list of local craft beers. Tips on Foursquare say to head to the restaurant early, as it gets packed quickly.

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Justin P. // Foursquare

Alaska: Bear Tooth Grill

- Address: 1230 W. 27th Ave., Anchorage, AK
- Rating: 9.3/10

Bear Tooth Grill's fusion-style menu has captured the hearts and stomachs of Anchorage locals and tourists alike. The restaurant's owners also run a nearby pub and pizzeria called Moose’s Tooth, the Bear Tooth Theatrepub, and Broken Tooth Brewing. The restaurant is ranked #10 for seafood in Anchorage, so try the fish or shrimp tacos, which can be washed down with a cocktail made with one of 90 tequilas.

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James P. // Foursquare

Arizona: The Mission

- Address: 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ
- Rating: 8.9/10

The Mission serves modern Latin cuisine, from duck carnitas empanadas to grilled street corn. Chefs are happy to make most meals gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. Likewise, if diners have an allergy, dietary restriction, or even a dietary preference, they’re encouraged by a note on the menu to let their servers know.

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Michelle K. // Foursquare

Arkansas: Baja Grill

- Address: 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR
- Rating: 9.3/10

The Baja Grill's Mexi-Cali menu features Baja crab cakes and the highly recommended honey chipotle tacos. The restaurant won three Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards in 2014: Best Food Truck, Best Restaurant, and runner-up for Best Mexican.

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Laura T. // Foursquare

California: Taqueria El Farolito

- Address: 2779 Mission St., San Francisco, CA
- Rating: 9.1/10

Open until 2 a.m., Taqueria El Farolito has captivated San Francisco’s night owls with its super burritos: carne asada, suiza, and al pastor get frequent mentions in Foursquare’s tips. Described by some of its patrons as a hole-in-the-wall, this restaurant also takes the top spot on Foursquare for the best burrito in San Francisco.

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Bret C. // Foursquare

Colorado: Illegal Pete's

- Address: 1530 16th St., Denver, CO
- Rating: 9/10

"The more. The merrier," is more than just a tagline at Illegal Pete’s, which boasts two locations in Arizona and nine in Colorado, with six in Denver alone. The customers at the 16th Street location rave about the $4 margaritas and say the restaurant is the perfect stop for a late-night bite.

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Bartaco // Foursquare

Connecticut: bartaco

- Address: 222 Summer St., Stamford, CT
- Rating: 9/10

In the downtown Stamford, bartaco (with locations in 10 states) takes its inspiration from the beach cultures of Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern California. Foursquare reviewers recommend the eatery's more unique dishes, such as the bison taco, mushroom tamale, or sesame ribeye tacos.

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Rebecka A. // Foursquare

Delaware: Border Cafe

- Address: 483 Stanton Christiana Road., Newark, DE
- Rating: 8.9/10

Border Cafe has six restaurants in three states, but Delaware’s only Border Cafe is the state’s favorite spot for Mexican. Reviewers on Foursquare highly recommend the Gulf Coast seafood enchiladas and the fajitas.

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Dustin L. // Foursquare

Florida: Coyo Taco

- Address: 2300 NW Second Ave. #3, Miami, FL
- Rating: 9/10

Freshness is a priority for Coyo Taco, where margaritas are made from scratch. It shows: One Foursquare reviewer said, “Hands-down the best Mexican food I’ve had in my life.” Reviewers rave about the tacos, too—especially the carnitas de pato (crispy duck).

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Deneen G. // Foursquare

Georgia: Nuevo Laredo Cantina

- Address: 1495 Chattahoochee Ave. NW, Atlanta, GA
- Rating: 9/10

Chance Evans opened Nuevo Laredo Cantina in 1992 to offer authentic, home-cooked Mexican food to Atlanta. The lobster taco is a favorite on the menu, as are the chicken mole and the brisket.

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Korean K. // Foursquare

Hawaii: Los Chaparros

- Address: 2140 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, HI
- Rating: 9/10

Los Chaparros means “The Shorties,” an affectionate reference to owners Mario and Lisa who hail from Mexico City and California respectively and founded the restaurant in 2005. Fan favorites include the LC Fiesta burrito—featuring chipotle ranch smothered over shrimp, steak, and fried potatoes—and the banana flautas as a dessert.

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Chris S. // Foursquare

Idaho: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

- Address: 8233 W. Franklin Road, Boise, ID
- Rating: 8.5/10

Patricia and Steve Stanley opened the first Cafe Rio Mexican Grill in southern Utah in 1997 and expanded to six restaurants before Bob Nilsen purchased Cafe Rio in 2004. There are now over 100 locations across the U.S. The patrons of the Boise restaurant recommend ordering anything with the barbacoa pork.

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Jake M. // Foursquare

Illinois: Mercadito

- Address: 108 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL
- Rating: 8.7/10

Reviewers love the vibe and amazing service at Mercadito River North almost as much as they love the phenomenal food and unique cocktails, such as the Mezcal Old Fashioned. Two tips: Always trust the special and never skip the guacamole.

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Dorothy B. // Foursquare

Indiana: Bakersfield Mass Ave

- Address: 334 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN
- Rating: 9/10

Bakersfield's Massachusetts Avenue location is the city's go-to spot for margaritas and ranked #1 for tacos in Indianapolis. The restaurant takes a creative approach with its cocktails, which they mix each morning—try the spicy pineapple margarita.

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Sam B. // Foursquare

Iowa: La Juanita

- Address: 1316 Pierce St., Sioux City, IA
- Rating: 9/10

Reviewers call La Juanita the best Mexican food in town and say it’s the best spot to get burritos for “a thousand miles.” Tips on Foursquare say to try the steak tacos and the spicy carrots. The fish tacos are also a fan favorite.

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Christopher T. // Foursquare

Kansas: Bonito Michoacan

- Address: 903 N. Seventh St. (at Armstrong Avenue), Kansas City, KS
- Rating: 9/10

Foursquare commenters rave about El Camino Real's authenticity, particularly the al pastor tacos. An added bonus—the restaurant is relatively inexpensive at $1.50 per taco, less than $6 for a torta, under $7 for a burrito, and less than $3 for a sope or gordita.

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Melanie R. // Foursquare

Kentucky: El Taco Luchador

- Address: 938 Baxter Ave., Louisville, KY
- Rating: 9.3/10

The tortas and tacos at El Taco Luchador are tasty enough to convince customers to wait for tables in the small dining room during peak times. Rest assured, reviewers say the wait is well worth it—try the carnitas torta and the homemade mole.

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Charles W. // Foursquare

Louisiana: Juan's Flying Burrito

- Address: 2018 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA
- Rating: 8.8/10

There’s no shortage of good eats in New Orleans, but Juan’s Flying Burrito still attracts crowds with its pork and slaw tacos and house margaritas. The redfish tacos also get quite a few mentions on Foursquare.

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From Away // Foursquare

Maine: Taco Trio

- Address: 119 Ocean St (at E St.), South Portland, ME
- Rating: 8.9/10

Taco Trio offers 13 rich fillings including carne asada, carnitas, and pescado chipotle (beer-battered fish, orange cabbage slaw, avocado, and chipotle mayo) for any of their tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Maine Today counts Taco Trio as “perhaps the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the Portland area.”

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Donny C. // Foursquare

Maryland: Taco Bar

- Address: 10003 Fields Road, Gaithersburg, MD
- Rating: 9.2/10

Maryland’s favorite Mexican food operates in a gas station, but reviewers are adamant the location won’t matter as soon as you try the food. Customers keep going back for the eatery's inexpensive, authentic tacos, tortas, and burritos.

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El Pelon Taqueria // Foursquare

Massachusetts: El Pelon Taqueria

- Address: 92 Peterborough St., Boston, MA
- Rating: 8.9/10

A short walk from Fenway Park, El Pelon Taqueria is the best Mexican restaurant in the state and ranked first in Boston for burritos, which are reportedly “the size of your forearm.” El Pelon Taqueria serves up burritos with fried plantains, which reviewers have fallen head over heels for.

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Danni // Foursquare

Michigan: La Taqueria San Jose

- Address: 1338 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI
- Rating: 8.9/10

Taqueria San Jose in Grand Rapids qualifies as a dive spot, but that hasn’t kept customers away. From authentic al pastor and lengua tacos to cactus paddle and gorditas, reviewers love every taco on the menu.

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Heavy Table // Foursquare

Minnesota: El Taco Riendo

- Address: 2412 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN
- Rating: 9/10

El Taco Riendo, Spanish for “the laughing taco,” serves up authentic Mexico City cuisine in the Twin Cities. Patrons can find the best-ever chimichanga at El Taco Riendo, as well as more than a dozen taco-filling options.

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Jennifer S. // Foursquare

Mississippi: Taco Sombrero

- Address: 12275 Highway 49, Gulfport, MS
- Rating: 8.8/10

Taco Sombrero makes everything fresh for its customers at both its locations in Gulfport and Biloxi. The establishment opened in 1979 to “introduce quality Mexican food to Gulfport in a quick and affordable ‘fast-food’ format.” Everything—from the chili sauce to the hot sauce—is prepared from scratch.

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Anthony A. // Foursquare

Missouri: Mission Taco Joint

- Address: 908 Lafayette Ave., St Louis, MO
- Rating: 9.2/10

Open late, Mission Taco Joint in St. Louis offers some of the city’s best Mexican fare. Customers can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but fans love the brisket and the fish tacos. Reviewers on Foursquare also say the street corn is a must-order.

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Jeff M. // Foursquare

Montana: Casa Mexico

- Address: 1600 U.S. Highway 93 S., Kalispell, MT
- Rating: 8.4/10

The family-owned Casa Mexico delivers cuisine “steeped in culture and tradition,” treating diners like members of the family. Patrons frequently comment on the salsa, which is homemade, as are the guacamole and sauces.

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Julie A. // Foursquare

Nebraska: Rivera's Mexican Food

- Address: 12047 Blondo St. (120th & Blondo), Omaha, NE
- Rating: 8.6/10

Rivera’s boast an extensive menu of authentic Mexican entrees, drawing on the cultural cuisine of Puebla, Mexico—the city where mole poblano originated. Their drink list features nearly 150 tequilas and mezcals ranging from $6 to $68 for all levels of connoisseurs.

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TheFoodDudez L. // Foursquare

Nevada: Juan's Flaming Fajita and Cantina

- Address: 9640 W. Tropicana Ave., Ste 101 (at South Tee Pee Lane), Las Vegas, NV
- Rating: 9.1/10

The original Juan's Flaming Fajita and Cantina is located 20 minutes West of the Las Vegas Strip. Mariscos adobados, chile rellenos, and dozens of other traditional Mexican favorites make up the menu, but Juan’s most famous dish is its tableside flaming fajitas available for steak, pork, chicken, or shrimp. Jaun’s expanded to a second location in Henderson in 2018.

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Shixin Y. // Foursquare

New Hampshire: La Carreta Restaurante Mexicano

- Address: 139 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH
- Rating: 8.9/10

La Carreta RestauranteMexicano has a longstanding customer base, including one reviewer who shared that in 18 years, not once has he been disappointed with the food or service. Fans recommend the enchiladas, burritos, and nachos.

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Hemant S. // Foursquare

New Jersey: Jose Tejas

- Address: 700 U.S. Rte. 1 (at Green Street), Iselin, NJ
- Rating: 9/10

Located 30 minutes south of Newark, Jose Tejas offers a lively restaurant experience with large dishes. Rich sauce dominates many of their dishes, which draw on traditional Mexican, Tex-Mex and Cajun influences.

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Purple P. // Foursquare

New Mexico: The Shed

- Address: 113 E. Palace Ave. (at Washington Avenue), Santa Fe, NM
- Rating: 8.7/10

Founded in the 1950s, The Shed offers an authentic Mexican in an old adobe building that dates back to the late 17th-century. A Pasatiempo review points diners towards the red chile, saying, “any New Mexican classic—enchiladas, tacos, burritos, huevos rancheros—can be doused in the stuff, and you’ll be satisfied by nearly any dish you choose.”

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Scott B. // Foursquare

New York: La Esquina

- Address: 114 Kenmare St., New York, NY
- Rating: 8.9/10

The flagship La Esquina location was established in 2006 in an old subway station and comes complete with a secret brasserie below the stairs. Those traveling to eat here would be wise to make a reservation: at least 21 days in advance for parties of eight or less, and a full month ahead of time for a party with more than nine people.

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Tim S. // Foursquare

North Carolina: Paco's Tacos & Tequila

- Address: 6401 Morrison Blvd. Ste. 8A, Charlotte, NC
- Rating: 9.3/10

Paco's Tacos & Tequila specializes in Tex-Mex with large portions and offers more than 100 tequila choices to its customers. Reviewers agree you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but fans love the barbecue butter corn and the No Name Margarita. Paco’s is ranked #2 on Foursquare for best tacos in the country.

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Mango's Mexican and American Girl // Foursquare

North Dakota: Mango's Mexican and American Grill

- Address: 2901 Main Ave., Fargo, ND
- Rating: 8.4/10

Mango’s Mexican and American Grill offers Mexican and American classics sure to please everyone. The molcajete dishes are recommended by Foursquare reviewers—molcajete is the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle.

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Seulgi K. // Foursquare

Ohio: Nada

- Address: 600 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH
- Rating: 8.8/10

Nada gets high scores at each of its locations around the county. The restaurant serves ingredient-driven contemporary Mexican food inspired by cuisine found all over Mexico.

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Gloria J. // Foursquare

Oklahoma: El Rio Verde

- Address: 38 N. Trenton Ave. (between East Admiral Place & Archer Avenue), Tulsa, OK
- Rating: 8.8/10

A few minutes northeast of downtown Tulsa, a faded outdoor mural marks the home of El Rio Verde—a hole-in-the-wall local Mexican spot serving up authentic Mexican cuisine. The wet burrito is their most famous dish, which comes with your choice of filling amid a slathering of melted cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

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Carlos P. // Foursquare

Oregon: ¿Por Qué No?

- Address: 3524 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR
- Rating: 9.1/10

Also rated #1 for tacos in Portland, best-in-state Mexican restaurant ¿Por Qué No? offers a happy hour menu with discounts on food and drinks. The business supports the local economy and community by using local suppliers and aiding local organizations that focus on social justice.

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Lissa P. // Foursquare

Pennsylvania: El Vez

- Address: 121 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA
- Rating: 9.1/10

Experts at Visit Philly and Philadelphia Magazine both recommend a stop at El Vez, which describes itself as “the ideal balance between a south-of-the-border celebration and a hot and flashy Las Vegas blowout.” Try the guacamole with unique mix-ins and the blood orange margarita, both recommended by Foursquare reviewers.

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Min H. // Foursquare

Rhode Island: Perro Salado

- Address: 19 Charles St., Newport, RI
- Rating: 9/10

Serving out of the former home of an 18th-century naval officer in Newport, Rhode Island, Perro Salado offers creative cocktails like the prickly pear, cilantro-jalapeño, and spicy cucumber margaritas, and indulgent dishes like the lobster quesadilla. To offset wage disparity, Perro Salado adds a 1% fee to checks, which is paid to the back-of-house kitchen staff.

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Kim T. // Foursquare

South Carolina: Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda

- Address: 2421 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC
- Rating: 9/10

Located 10 minutes northwest of downtown Columbia, Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda is famed for its tacos. Favorite dishes include the shrimp tacos, chipotle chicken tacos, and Real Mexico enchiladas.

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Alison // Foursquare

South Dakota: Giliberto's Mexican Taco Shop East

- Address: 3603 E. 10th St. (at Bahnson Avenue), Sioux Falls, SD
- Rating: 8.8/10

Giliberto's offers simple takes on Mexican fare, and is famed for their 24-hour breakfast, steak tacos, and super nachos. Located just east of downtown Sioux Falls, Giliberto's Mexican Taco Shop East marks one of several locations for the restaurant in South Dakota, Utah, and Minnesota.

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Bart F. // Foursquare

Tennessee: Taco Mamacita

- Address: 109 N. Market St., Chattanooga, TN
- Rating: 9.1/10

Ranked #1 for tacos in Chattanooga, state favorite Taco Mamacita has a wide selection of unique tacos that include the sloppy Jose, Korean BBQ, and the shrimp homeboy tacos. Reviews also approve of the street corn and the sweet potato fries.

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Eater // Foursquare

Texas: The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

- Address: 2704 Navigation Blvd., Houston, TX
- Rating: 9/10

Ninfa's on Navigation is the best spot for Mexican in the state of Texas, but also ranked #4 for cheese in Houston—most likely be attributed to its queso flameado: a cheese casserole with chorizo. The shrimp wrapped in bacon tacos are also a must order.

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Perry M. // Foursquare

Utah: Red Iguana

- Address: 736 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
- Rating: 9.2/10

Red Iguana offers several type of mole, including negro, amarillo, poblano, verde, and coloradito, as well as special moles on certain days, such as strawberry or mango moles. The enchiladas also have quite a few fans, with one reviewer going as far to say the enchiladas alone are worth a visit to Utah.

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Zach S. // Foursquare

Vermont: Cilantro

- Address: 5036 Main St., Manchester, VT
- Rating: /10

Cilantro does burritos particularly well, although reviewers also give high scores to the freshness of all the food on the menu. The homemade strawberry and peach sodas are also worth a try, as are the street-style tacos.

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Chris H. // Foursquare

Virginia: District Taco

- Address: 701 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA
- Rating: 8.9/10

District Taco started as a food truck in 2009, but now has several locations in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The restaurant, which offers Yucatan-style Mexican cuisine, serves breakfast all day long, including multiple kinds of breakfast tacos and huevos rancheros.

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Matthew B. // Foursquare

Washington: La Carta De Oaxaca

- Address: 5431 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA
- Rating: 8.9/10

The mole dishes at La Carta De Oaxaca are raved about by reviewers, as is the salsa bar. Oaxaca in La Carta De Oaxaca refers to the southern Mexico state, which is surrounded by rugged terrain that has helped keep its indigenous cultural traditions and food intact.

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Jenda // Foursquare

West Virginia: Black Bear Burritos

- Address: 132 Pleasant St., Morgantown, WV
- Rating: 9.1/10

Black Bear Burritos’ menu is inspired by Mexican food, but the restaurant takes quite a bit of creative liberty with its burritos and quesadillas: Menu items include the Thai One On, the Turkey Reuben, and the Feta Fetish. Customers have the option to build their own burritos, salad wraps, quesadillas, nachos, and salads. Reviewers note the fresh ingredients are fantastic, even if the eatery's menu isn’t authentically Mexican.

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Sergio V. // Foursquare

Wisconsin: Botanas Restaurant

- Address: 816 S. Fifth St. (at National Avenue), Milwaukee, WI
- Rating: 9.1/10

Botanas Restaurant offers a massive restaurant space that caters to groups and celebrations. When the weather suits, the dining experience extends outside to the large patio next to the main restaurant. Famed items include the enchilada soup, traditional enchiladas, and mole poblano.

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José Luis V. // Foursquare

Wyoming: La Cocina

- Address: 321 East E St., Casper, WY
- Rating: 8.6/10

The family-owned La Cocina has been open since 1996 in Casper, Wyoming. Foursquare reviewers note the friendliness of the staff and the daily specials.

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