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Best Mexican restaurant in every state

  • Best Mexican restaurant in every state
    1/ Dorothy B. // Foursquare

    Best Mexican restaurant in every state

    Mexican fare ranks with Italian and Chinese as Americans' top-three favorite global cuisines, according to the National Restaurant Association. 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.

    Read on to find the best Mexican restaurant in your own home state.

    RELATED: Hands down, the best dessert spots in every state

  • Alabama: El Barrio
    2/ Andi R. // Foursquare

    Alabama: El Barrio

    Address: 2201–2215 2nd Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203

    Rating: 9.4/10

    El Barrio’s locally sourced menu is inspired by multi-regional, Mexican cuisine—tacos al carbon are 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.

  • Alaska: Bear Tooth Grill
    3/ Justin P. // Foursquare

    Alaska: Bear Tooth Grill

    Address: 1230 W. 27th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99503

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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 be sure to try the fish or shrimp tacos, which can be washed down with a cocktail made with one of 90 tequilas.

  • Arizona: The Mission
    4/ James P. // Foursquare

    Arizona: The Mission

    Address: 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    Rating: 9.1/10

    The Mission serves modern Latin cuisine, from duck carnitas empanadas to grilled street corn. Chefs are happy to make the majority of 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.

  • Arkansas: Baja Grill
    5/ Michelle K. // Foursquare

    Arkansas: Baja Grill

    Address: 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72207

    Rating: 9.1/10

    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.

  • California: Taqueria El Farolito
    6/ Laura T. // Foursquare

    California: Taqueria El Farolito

    Address: 2779 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

    Rating: 9.4/10

    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.

  • Colorado: Illegal Pete's
    7/ Bret C. // Foursquare

    Colorado: Illegal Pete's

    Address: 1530 16th St., Denver, CO 80202

    Rating: 9.2/10

    "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 the perfect stop for a late-night bite.

  • Connecticut: bartaco
    8/ Bartaco // Foursquare

    Connecticut: bartaco

    Address: 222 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06901

    Rating: 9.1/10

    Located in the downtown area of 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.

  • Delaware: Border Cafe
    9/ Rebecka A. // Foursquare

    Delaware: Border Cafe

    Address: 483 Stanton Christiana Rd., Newark, DE 19713

    Rating: 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.

  • Florida: Coyo Taco
    10/ Dustin L. // Foursquare

    Florida: Coyo Taco

    Address: 2300 NW 2nd Ave. #3, Miami, FL 33127

    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).

  • Georgia: Nuevo Laredo Cantina
    11/ Deneen G. // Foursquare

    Georgia: Nuevo Laredo Cantina

    Address: 1495 Chattahoochee Ave. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

    Rating: 9.1/10

    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.

  • Hawaii: Da Crack
    12/ Marisa L. // Foursquare

    Hawaii: Da Crack

    Address: 2827 Poipu Road, Kōloa, HI 96756

    Rating: 8.5/10

    Hawaii is more than 3,000 miles away from Mexico, but residents can still find tasty Mexican fare on the islands. Unsurprisingly, Da Crack does fish and shrimp tacos superbly well. But be prepared for a casual dining experience: Customers order at a walk-up counter and there is no place to sit and eat.

  • Idaho: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
    13/ Chris S. // Foursquare

    Idaho: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

    Address: 8233 W. Franklin Road, Boise, ID 83709

    Rating: 8.4/10

    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 more than 100 locations across the U.S. The patrons of the Boise restaurant recommend ordering anything with the barbacoa pork.

  • Illinois: Mercadito River North
    14/ Jake M. // Foursquare

    Illinois: Mercadito River North

    Address: 108 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL 60654

    Rating: 8.9/10

    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.

  • Indiana: Bakersfield on Mass Ave.
    15/ Dorothy B. // Foursquare

    Indiana: Bakersfield on Mass Ave.

    Address: 334 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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.

  • Iowa: La Juanita
    16/ Sam B. // Foursquare

    Iowa: La Juanita

    Address: 1316 Pierce St., Sioux City, IA 51105

    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.

  • Kansas: El Camino Real
    17/ Christopher T. // Foursquare

    Kansas: El Camino Real

    Address: 903 N. 7th St. (at Armstrong Avenue), Kansas City, KS 66101

    Rating: 8.4/10

    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. 

     

  • Kentucky: El Taco Luchador
    18/ Melanie R. // Foursquare

    Kentucky: El Taco Luchador

    Address: 938 Baxter Ave., Louisville, KY 40204

    Rating: 9.5/10

    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.

  • Louisiana: Juan's Flying Burrito
    19/ Charles W. // Foursquare

    Louisiana: Juan's Flying Burrito

    Address: 2018 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130

    Rating: 8.9/10

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

  • Maine: Loco Coco's Tacos
    20/ Rachel A. // Foursquare

    Maine: Loco Coco's Tacos

    Address: 36 Walker St., Kittery, ME 03904

    Rating: 8.4/10

    Luis Valdez and his wife, Ramona, opened Loco Coco’s Tacos in 2004 after moving to the East Coast from San Diego, Calif., The couple has been sharing their family's recipes with Maine ever since. Reviewers note that Loco Coco’s Tacos is one of the only place to get authentic tamales in the area.

  • Maryland: Taco Bar
    21/ Donny C. // Foursquare

    Maryland: Taco Bar

    Address: 10003 Fields Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

    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.

  • Massachusetts: El Pelon Taqueria
    22/ El Pelon Taqueria // Foursquare

    Massachusetts: El Pelon Taqueria

    Address: 92 Peterborough St., Boston, MA 02215

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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.

  • Michigan: Taqueria San Jose
    23/ Danni // Foursquare

    Michigan: Taqueria San Jose

    Address: 1338 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI 49507

    Rating: 9.1/10

    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.

  • Minnesota: El Taco Riendo
    24/ Heavy Table // Foursquare

    Minnesota: El Taco Riendo

    Address: 2412 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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.

  • Mississippi: Taco Sombrero
    25/ Jennifer S. // Foursquare

    Mississippi: Taco Sombrero

    Address: 12275 Highway 49, Gulfport, MS 39503

    Rating: 9/10

    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.

  • Missouri: Mission Taco Joint
    26/ Lisa L. // Foursquare

    Missouri: Mission Taco Joint

    Address: 908 Lafayette Ave., St Louis, MO 63104

    Rating: 9.1/10

    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.

  • Montana: Casa Mexico
    27/ Jeff M. // Foursquare

    Montana: Casa Mexico

    Address: 1600 U.S. Highway 93 S., Kalispell, MT 59901

    Rating: 8.6/10

    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.

  • Nebraska: Lina's Mexican Restaurant
    28/ Krista V. // Foursquare

    Nebraska: Lina's Mexican Restaurant

    Address: 5832 S. 144th St., Omaha, NE 68137

    Rating: 8.6/10

    Open 'round the clock, Lina's Mexican Restaurant pleases patrons with its much-loved breakfast burrito and “super nachos.” Reviewers note the quick service and reasonable prices.

  • Nevada: Original Lindo Michoacan
    29/ Original Lindo Michoacan // Foursquare

    Nevada: Original Lindo Michoacan

    Address: 2655 E. Desert Inn Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89121

    Rating: 9.1/10

    One Foursquare reviewer commented that eating at Original Lindo Michoacan is like having a meal at your "abuelita’s" (grandma's) house—a positive point for authenticity. Patrons love the guacamole, which is made tableside, and comment on the amazing customer service and large portions.

  • New Hampshire: La Carreta Restaurante Mexicano
    30/ Shixin Y. // Foursquare

    New Hampshire: La Carreta Restaurante Mexicano

    Address: 139 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03060

    Rating: 9/10

    La Carreta Restaurante Mexicano 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.

  • New Jersey: Órale! Mexican Kitchen
    31/ Mike F. // Foursquare

    New Jersey: Órale! Mexican Kitchen

    Address: 341 Grove St., Jersey City, NJ 07302

    Rating: 8.9/10

    The bone marrow and pork belly tacos are a must-order at Jersey City’s Órale! Mexican Kitchen, according to reviewers. The owners are opening a second location in Winter 2018 in Hoboken.

  • New Mexico: Frontier Restaurant
    32/ Justin Eats // Foursquare

    New Mexico: Frontier Restaurant

    Address: 2400 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

    Rating: 9/10

    Reviewers note that along with the tasty food, Frontier Restaurant is a fun place to hang out with friends well into the night. The restaurant is a true Albuquerque staple. If you go, order the green chile burger, which was featured on Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food Nation” and gets quite a few mentions from fans.

  • New York: La Esquina
    33/ Kwan C. // Foursquare

    New York: La Esquina

    Address: 114 Kenmare St., New York, NY 10012

    Rating: 9.3/10

    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.

  • North Carolina: Paco's Tacos & Tequila
    34/ Tim S. // Foursquare

    North Carolina: Paco's Tacos & Tequila

    Address: 6401 Morrison Blvd. Ste. 8A, Charlotte, NC 28211

    Rating: 9.4/10

    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.

  • North Dakota: Mango’s Mexican and American Gril
    35/ Mango's Mexican and American Girl // Foursquare

    North Dakota: Mango’s Mexican and American Gril

    Address: 2901 Main Ave., Fargo, ND 58103

    Rating: 8.7/10

    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.

  • Ohio: Nada
    36/ Seulgi K. // Foursquare

    Ohio: Nada

    Address: 600 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

    Rating: 9/10

    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.

  • Oklahoma: El Rio
    37/ Clint R. // Foursquare

    Oklahoma: El Rio

    Address: 38 N. Trenton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120

    Rating: 8.8/10

    If you're ever in Tulsa, head to El Rio for a glass of horchata on tap and a smothered burrito. You can’t go wrong with the wet burrito—one reviewer recommends adding chorizo for some extra spice.

  • Oregon: ¿Por Qué No?
    38/ Carlos P. // Foursquare

    Oregon: ¿Por Qué No?

    Address: 3524 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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 support the local economy and community by using local suppliers and aiding local organizations that focus on social justice.

  • Pennsylvania: El Vez
    39/ A7MAD // Foursquare

    Pennsylvania: El Vez

    Address: 121 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Rating: 9.3/10

    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.

  • Rhode Island: Perro Salado
    40/ Min H. // Foursquare

    Rhode Island: Perro Salado

    Address: 19 Charles St., Newport, RI 02840

    Rating: 9.2/10

    Serving out of the former home of an 18th-century naval officer in Newport, R.I., 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.

  • South Carolina: Minero
    41/ Monica C. // Foursquare

    South Carolina: Minero

    Address: 155 E. Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401

    Rating: 8.8/10

    The highly recommended chargrilled chicken wings at Minero in Charleston are smothered tableside in Valentina hot sauce. Head to the restaurant Monday through Friday for happy hour from 3:30-6:30 p.m. to try these famous wings, plus the queso ranchero, carnitas sliders, and guacamole, each for just $5 a dish.

  • South Dakota: Qdoba
    42/ Yext Y. // Foursquare

    South Dakota: Qdoba

    Address: 4901 S. Louise Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57106

    Rating: 8.8/10

    South Dakota’s favorite Mexican restaurant is the fast-casual chain Qdoba, which is particularly popular for the Sioux Falls lunch hour. Qdoba fans love the queso on just about everything, especially the burritos.

  • Tennessee: Taco Mamacita
    43/ Bart F. // Foursquare

    Tennessee: Taco Mamacita

    Address: 109 N. Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37405

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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.

  • Texas: Ninfa's
    44/ Eater // Foursquare

    Texas: Ninfa's

    Address: 2704 Navigation Blvd., Houston, TX 77003

    Rating: 9.1/10

    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.

  • Utah: Red Iguana
    45/ Perry M. // Foursquare

    Utah: Red Iguana

    Address: 736 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

    Rating: 9.3/10

    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.

  • Vermont: Cilantro
    46/ Zach S. // Foursquare

    Vermont: Cilantro

    Address: 5036 Main St., Manchester, VT 05255

    Rating: 8.4/10

    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.

  • Virginia: District Taco
    47/ Chris H. // Foursquare

    Virginia: District Taco

    Address: 701 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314

    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.

  • Washington: La Carta De Oaxaca
    48/ Matthew B. // Foursquare

    Washington: La Carta De Oaxaca

    Address: 5431 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

    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.

  • West Virginia: Black Bear Burritos
    49/ Jenda // Foursquare

    West Virginia: Black Bear Burritos

    Address: 132 Pleasant St., Morgantown, WV 26505

    Rating: 9.2/10

    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.

  • Wisconsin: BelAir Cantina
    50/ Yáiza T. // Foursquare

    Wisconsin: BelAir Cantina

    Address: 1935 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Rating: 8.9/10

    BelAir Cantina is Wisconsin’s favorite Mexican restaurant overall, and by far Milwaukee’s favorite spot for tacos— which customers can get for $2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The restaurant serves California-style Mexican fare, offers vegetarian and vegan food (as well as a two-page, gluten-free menu).

  • Wyoming: La Cocina
    51/ José Luis V. // Foursquare

    Wyoming: La Cocina

    Address: 321 East E St., Casper, WY 82601

    Rating: 8.8/10

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

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