Put down your passport. You don’t need to make a trip across the border to find great Mexican food. You can find it right here in Las Vegas. We have places to go when you just need a quick taco fix. And we have places that are so authentic that you won’t find things like nachos on the menu. No matter what kind of Mexican food you’re looking for, we have a restaurant that will satisfy your craving. Here are 10 of our favorite Mexican eateries in Las Vegas:
La Comida, 106 6th St.: In case you don’t remember from your high school Spanish class, La Comida means “family meal” and you’ll find food here that the whole family can enjoy. The menu offers familiar Mexican cuisine using traditional ingredients and cooking styles from various regions with the influence of Mexico City. Start with the elotes asados, Mexican street corn with queso fresco and chile lime butter. La Comida serves classic Mexican foods like carne asada and enchiladas, but why not go for something a little spicier? Try the camaron al Maya, breaded shrimp, salted purple cabbage, mango, jalapeno cream and habanero salsa.
You’ll find this downtown eatery easily. Just look for the pink neon monkey hanging from the side of the building. The restaurant features a few outdoor tables. Inside, there are rustic wooden tables and there’s even a swing next to the bar. Indulge in a margarita or three made from La Comida’s large tequila selection and you just might find yourself playing on it.
Mercadito at Red Rock Resort: Mercadito, Spanish for “little market,” is modeled after the markets chef/partner Patricio Sandoval shopped at while growing up in his native Mexico. It’s one of Las Vegas’ newest Mexican eateries with a menu of dishes designed for sharing. Mercadito blends traditional Mexican fare with creative interpretations of local and seasonal ingredients. Start out with freshly prepared ceviches, guacamoles and salsas. A variety of tacos with homemade corn tortillas are available including chicken, pork, fish and steak. The menu also includes taquizas — make-your-own tacos served with homemade corn tortillas. Do yourself a favor and order the costillas de res — incredibly tender red wine-braised short ribs served with cauliflower-turnip casserole.
Pro tip: Head outside to the patio and enjoy happy hour Monday – Thursday from 4 – 6 p.m. Mercadito offers margaritas and sangria, guacamole, ceviche and more for $6.50. We love a restaurant that celebrates Taco Tuesday and Mercadito does it with two tacos for $5.50.
Chayo Mexican Kitchen at The Linq: A large selection of tequila. An outdoor patio with views of the High Roller observation wheel. A mechanical bull. These are just a few of the things we love about Chayo. Oh, and there’s also the authentic cuisine from Chef Ernesto Zendejas, who serves Mexican dishes that speak to his hometown, Mexico City.
Start out with small bites like ceviche, queso fundido or guacamole served with pork rinds or tortilla chips. Entrees include dishes like pork tenderloin, fajitas, chicken enchiladas, tacos, pork sopes and more. For dessert, try flan or tres leches.
Drinks include a wide variety of tequilas as well as beer, wine and specialty cocktails. After you’ve had a few tequila shots, hop on Chayo, the wild bull the restaurant is named for, and see if you can last 8 seconds. If not, you can always head down the street and enjoy a smoother ride on the High Roller.
Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand: We appreciate Hecho en Vegas’ fun 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). Hecho en Vegas specializes in the Sonoran-style cooking of Northern Mexico. You’ll find tamales, street tacos and signature dishes like the Sonoran Dog, a beef hot dog with charro beans, jalapeno street salsa, tomatoes, mustard and mayo. Monday doesn’t have to be the worst day of the week if you make a stop at Hecho en Vegas. From 5:30 – 7 p.m. you can celebrate Margarita Monday with $5 house margaritas and $7 flavored margaritas. They also serve mojitos and margaritas by the pitcher. Enough said.
Tacos & Tequila (T&T) at Luxor: This is where to go if you want a party with your Mexican food. The restaurant has a high-energy vibe and stylish, modern décor with aluminum, dark woods, leather and bright colors. Along with the traditional enchiladas, burritos and tacos, you’ll find an extensive tequila list and lots of drink specials. For $29 you can enjoy the Seis y Seis – 6 tacos and 6 Sol beers. For $59 there’s the Macho Borracho – 6 tacos, 6 Sol beers and 6 Jose Cuervo shots. Now that’s a party! The fiesta continues with T&T’s Mariachi Brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Grab two-for-one margaritas and bloody Marias, sit back and listen to live Mariachis. You’ll swear you’re in Mexico City.
Border Grill at Mandalay Bay: Fans of celebrity chefs will want to try Border Grill, which serves food from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales.” If you ask us, this is one of the best places in town for brunch. You can sit outside on the patio next to Mandalay Bay’s pool and enjoy unlimited small plates for $35. Another $10 gets you bottomless mimosas. Totally worth it. The brunch dishes include green corn tamales, bacon jalapeno PBJ, chicken and waffles, and machaca chilaquiles, made with smoked beef brisket, crispy corn tortilla chips, Mexican cheese and roasted chile cream sauce. Top it all off with churro tots – dulce de leche infused churros with cinnamon sugar, chocolate ganache and passion fruit puree.
Hussong’s Cantina at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place: Hussong’s Cantina, which is a landmark in Ensenada, Mexico, claims to be the spot where margaritas were invented by bartender Don Carlos Orozco in 1941. With a claim to fame like that, how could we not include them on our list? Hussong’s has been party central for visitors to Ensenada since 1892. The Las Vegas branch hasn’t been around quite that long but they serve up the same festive atmosphere, famous margaritas and a plethora of tequilas as the original. The food is an equal match to the steady flow of tequila. The delicious cuisine includes tacos, enchiladas, nachos with bubbly cheese and taquitos.
Javier’s at Aria: Aria has brought a little piece of Mexico to Las Vegas with Javier’s. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant serves authentic Mexican cuisine derived from generations of co-founder Javier Sosa’s family recipes. The menu includes seafood, steaks, pork, chicken and vegetarian options. Try the mouthwatering carne asada, made with a New York steak, prime center cut, grilled and served with a pasilla chile stuffed with cotija and Monterey Jack cheeses. If you can’t decide on just one dish, there are combination plates featuring tacos, enchiladas, chile rellenos and more.
Besides going for the food, you should go to check out the décor at Javier’s. Each culturally inspired decoration and piece of furniture was custom-made for the restaurant, including hand-crafted pottery from Guadalajara, Mexico. If you’ve got a group, Javier’s can accommodate you in style. The restaurant has a gorgeous private dining room with seating for 20. The walls are covered with shimmering abalone tiles and the ceilings feature hand-carved wooden ornaments and beautiful agave-leaf inspired chandeliers.
The highlight of the décor is the world’s largest piece of chainsaw art, spanning 25 feet. 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 by artist J. Chester Armstrong using a chainsaw. The intricate design illustrates the Mayan creation myth blended with modern Mexican history and incorporates hundreds of Día de los Muertos-inspired skeletons.
Pink Taco at Hard Rock Hotel: A slight Central American-Caribbean fusion makes this menu interesting. Sure, it has all the classics — a great guacamole, enchilada, etc. — but also house specialties like sabana de pollo and a special marinated carne asada.
Appetizers include a churrasco skewer, made with grilled shrimp, steak and chicken served with chili butter, and bacon-wrapped jalapenos, stuffed with blended Mexican cheese and smoked ranch.
Be sure to try the trademark pink taco, which includes homemade corn tortillas and black beans topped with chicken, salsa, pickled onions and avocado.
Want to eat healthy? Pink Taco has items like the tostada salad, served with shredded salad, chipotle dressing and your choice of chicken or vegetables. Want to eat the complete opposite of healthy? Challenge yourself or your friends to the Ultimate Burrito, which weighs in at more than 3 pounds with chicken or steak, refried beans, Mexican cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico and lettuce.
Doña Maria, 901 S. Las Vegas Blvd.: This restaurant has been a favorite in Las Vegas for more than 35 years. It’s where you go if you want cooking like your grandma’s cooking. Doña Maria is famous for their tamales, which come in a variety of flavors. Red features pork in a mild sauce, green is chicken in a spicy sauce, cheese is made with Monterey jack and green chiles and there’s even a sweet tamale for dessert with pineapple and raisins. The tamales are sold single, by the half dozen or dozen. The restaurant also serves things like tacos, enchiladas and burritos but let’s face it, you’re going here for the tamales.