It’s Cinco de Mayo next week so we’ll be celebrating all things Mexican including (OK, especially) the food. Luckily you don’t have to get a hideous passport photo taken and deal with TSA in order to go track down great Mexican cuisine. There are plenty of options right here in Vegas — whether you’re looking for tamales or tacos. Here are 10 of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas:
China Poblano, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: This restaurant, from chef José Andrés, is a unique concept with a Chinese menu and a Mexican food menu under one roof. Sounds weird, but trust us, it works. If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo, go for the Mexican side of the menu and you won’t be disappointed.
A few highlights include the guacamole, which is made fresh to order and served with warm, made-on-the-spot tortillas. The carnitas tacos, filled with pork rinds and braised pork are excellent, as are the lengua tacos (beef tongue) or the setas with wild mushrooms and guacamole.
We also like the queso fundido and the col de Bruselas – caramelized Brussels sprouts with arbol salsa.
La Comida, 106 6th St.: La Comida, located in Downtown Las Vegas, serves familiar Mexican cuisine with the influences of Mexico City. Don’t miss the elotes asados, Mexican street corn with queso fresco and chile lime butter. La Comida serves classic Mexican foods like carne asada and enchiladas and spices things up a bit with the camaron al Maya, breaded shrimp, salted purple cabbage, mango, jalapeno cream and habanero salsa. There’s also a huge selection of tequila and some tasty margarita flavors like blood orange, guava and tamarind.
Mercadito, Red Rock Resort: Mercadito blends traditional Mexican fare with creative interpretations of local and seasonal ingredients. Start out with some chips and the freshly prepared ceviches, guacamoles and salsas. A variety of tacos with homemade corn tortillas are available including chicken, pork, fish and steak. You’ve heard of taco Tuesday but at Mercadito they celebrate taco Sunday and taco Monday, when you can get all-you-can-eat tacos for $24.
The restaurant also serves brunch on weekends. You can order off the menu or go for either the Hangover Cure, where you choose three items for the table plus one cocktail per guest or the Perfect Cure, with three items for the table and unlimited cocktails for two hours. The brunch menu includes chilaquiles, enchiladas, pancakes, Mexican French toast, carnitas hash and more.
Hecho en Vegas, MGM Grand: Hecho en Vegas serves the Sonoran-style cooking of Northern Mexico. That means you’ll find tasty tamales, street tacos and specialties like the Sonoran Dog, a beef hot dog with charro beans, jalapeno street salsa, tomatoes, mustard and mayo. We also like the creatively named menu items like the Viva Las Fajitas, the MGM Grande Taco Salad and the Day of the Bread (a burger or hot dog on local Mexican bread).
Stop into Hecho for happy hour Tuesday – Thursday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and get your fill of all-you-can-drink margaritas and all-you-can-eat street tacos for $18 each.
Border Grill, Mandalay Bay or the Forum Shops at Caesars: Border Grill, from celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, is all about serving up flavorful yet healthy Mexican food. The restaurant uses organic rice and beans, locally owned ingredients where possible and sustainable seafood. They also have menu items with 80 percent plant-based ingredients and they participate in Meatless Mondays.
Start out with plantain empanadas, quinoa fritters or steak nachos and move on to Tecate carnitas, duck chilaquiles or Oaxacan strip steak. Border Grill is also a great brunch spot on the weekends. You can enjoy unlimited small plates for $35. Another $10 gets you bottomless mimosas. We highly recommend you do that. The brunch dishes include bacon jalapeno PBJ, chicken and waffles and churro tots – dulce de leche infused churros with cinnamon sugar, chocolate ganache and passion fruit purée.
Javier’s, Aria: Javier’s brings a taste of Baja to Las Vegas. The menu features a variety of seafood, beef, pork and vegetarian dishes complemented by hand-shaken margaritas. Start out with nachos de mariscos with shrimp and Dungeness crab or a variety of ceviches. House specialties include mole poblano and La Tablita for two people (prepare your own tacos with your choice of meat served on a platter with all the trimmings – rice, beans, jalapenos, salsa, guacamole, onions and tortillas).
You should also check out the world’s largest piece of chainsaw art, spanning 25 feet, at Javier’s. We didn’t know chainsaw art was a thing, but it is and this is truly incredible. It features five large wooden panels, which were carved using a chainsaw.
Tacos & Tequila, Luxor: Want a little fiesta with your food? Tacos and Tequila, or T&T as the cool kids call it, has a high-energy vibe and knows how to keep the party going with an extensive tequila list, a variety of Mexican beers and great happy hour specials. As for food, you’ll find enchiladas, burritos and tacos.
We love T&T’s Mariachi Brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Grab two-for-one margaritas and bloody Marias, soothe your hangover with albondigas soup, chilaquiles and huevos rancheros and sit back and listen to live Mariachis.
Pink Taco, Hard Rock Hotel: Margaritas, plus Mexicali cuisine, plus an outdoor patio add up to a great meal at Pink Taco. Start out with appetizers like machaca diablo eggs and bacon-wrapped jalapenos. The menu also includes a variety of tortas, a hangover pozole stew, tamales, fajitas and, of course, tacos. You must try the trademark pink taco, which includes homemade corn tortillas and black beans topped with chicken, salsa, pickled onions and avocado.
Pink Taco also has a brunch on weekends with items like a chorizo skillet, al pastor hash and plantain French toast.
Doña Maria, 901 S. Las Vegas Blvd.: Tamale fans should look no further than this restaurant, which has been serving Vegas for more than 35 years. The signature tamales come in red with pork in a mild sauce, green with chicken in a spicy sauce, and cheese with Monterey jack and green chiles. The tamales are sold single, by the half dozen or dozen. And in case you don’t get enough tamales for dinner you can also have a sweet tamale for dessert, made with pineapple and raisins. Non-tamale fans can also find things like tacos, enchiladas and burritos on the menu.
Hussong’s Cantina, Mandalay Bay: Hussong’s has been an iconic party spot in Ensenada, Mexico for many years and the Las Vegas outlet serves the same famous margaritas and good times as the one south of the border. They also serve some pretty good food including tacos, burritos and enchiladas. You’ll want to try the grilled corn, which is lightly brushed with mayo butter and sprinkled with cotija cheese and chili flakes. Other house specialties include watermelon barbecued ribs, honey chipotle salmon and steak rubbed with chile seasoning, topped with chimichurri butter, chile toreado and pickled onions. There’s also a vegan menu with enchiladas, fajitas and chile rellenos.