The talk over which spots to incorporate on our record of finest Mexican eating places was as sizzling as habaneros. Meals writers are passionate by default and doubly so when dashing to the protection of their favourite lengua tacos or most prized tamales. So we laid a number of floor guidelines to slim the choices: no Tex-Mex or hybrids of any type (that doesn’t imply we don’t love you, Superica and Taqueria del Sol), no tacos-only joints, and no letting Buford Freeway hog your entire highlight (although it may).
Reading: Best mexican food around me
Nonetheless, the record was robust to compile, and as a lot as we would enjoyment of letting the controversy rage for, oh, the remainder of the yr, we figured you’re getting hungry.
P.S. Although it’s a hike, we recommend you begin with our No. 1 decide. It was the simplest consensus we reached; our lower-ranked picks, as you may guess, had been hardly unanimous.
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10. Mi BarrioEarlier than you begin complaining concerning the bland guacamole or uninspired enchiladas, enable us to make the case for Mi Barrio. The meals isn’t distinctive, however the dive-bar vibe and chill AF (however nonetheless pleasant!) service is sort of superb—particularly on fast-gentrifying Memorial Drive. Moving into this roadside shack is like stepping again in time to when this a part of city had severe edge. (R.I.P, Lenny’s.) Plus, the chips are sizzling and contemporary, the housemade salsa has ample kick, the margaritas are huge, and the pork tamales are honest-to-god good, with spicy hunks of meat properly tempered by candy masa. 571 Memorial Drive, 404-223-9279
9. Nuevo Laredo CantinaOne go to to Nuevo Laredo, and whether or not you’re in or out. Lengthy waits (generally as much as two hours on weekends), pre-mixed margaritas, large plates of meals, and a raucous ambiance in a campy setting won’t attraction to purists. However its legions of followers will defend it to the loss of life. Attempt the signature brisket barbacoa, the divine Holy Tacos (crammed with mashed potatoes, white cheese, onion, and cabbage), and the sloppy and oh-so-fun lobster tacos. 1495 Chattahoochee Avenue, 404-352-9009.
8. Rreal TacosFormer fine-dining chef Adrian Villarreal jumped into the crowded casual-fare area with this contemporary taqueria that pays homage to his Mexican roots. The tacos hit all the suitable notes, with impeccable substances (grilled fish, carnitas, beef barbacoa, al pastor seasoned with pineapple-smoked chiles) stuffed into three totally different sorts of tortillas. You can also’t go fallacious with considerate sides like vegan guajillo bean soup and kale salad with chayote, or with the every day specials and housemade agua frescas. 100 Sixth Avenue, 404-458-5887
7. Taqueria CuernavacaThe intoxicating odor of carnitas is the very first thing that hits you as you stroll by way of the door of this tiny grocery store with its hidden, makeshift taqueria within the again. Along with a big selection of tacos (breakfast ones, too), you’ll discover tostadas heaped with a ceviche of candy, plump shrimp; a bowl of rooster soup with skinny however aromatic broth and a hunk of corn on the cob; and tender rooster tamales that just about at all times promote out. 5000-C Roswell Highway, Sandy Springs, 404-236-0022
6. Tacos Linda VistaYou may order (scrumptious) tacos at Tacos Linda Vista, after all, however you don’t need to. Not within the temper for handmade tortillas full of delicate shredded cabeza or tender lengua? Nicely, there are platters of mole poblano over rooster and crimson enchiladas, quite a lot of soups equivalent to caldo de res, Americanized dishes together with wonderful nachos and large breakfast burritos, and, for the vegetarians, flautas crammed with beans as an alternative of meat. This Roswell spot is the sort of place you’ll be able to take anybody. 10495 Alpharetta Freeway, Roswell, 678-352-0990
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5. Mariscos El VenenoLike a Mexican Pink Lobster, solely spicier and quirkier, this humble seafood restaurant has a cult following. You’ll usually discover giant teams converging to devour large platters of fried snapper; bowls of soups brimming with shrimp, crab, and mussels; and fats goblets heaped with seafood and avocado cocteles. Mariachi present up at common intervals; the tumblers of micheladas contribute to the jollity; and other people from varied backgrounds blow a ton of money on oysters on the half shell, fried shrimp, and stuffed crab claws. Watch out for the home habanero salsa (the “venom” within the restaurant’s identify) served with the complimentary marlin tostadas initially of the meal—and don’t go away earlier than shopping for some sweets from the ambulant churros man. 5082 Buford Freeway, Doraville, 770-986-9568
4. El Rey del TacoWhether or not you’re right here for a fast lunch or a late-night taco run, you must stick round for a bit and benefit from the festive vibe at this Buford Freeway mainstay, which is at all times embellished for no matter vacation of the season. El Rey del Taco, which implies “the king of tacos,” lives as much as its identify with an exhaustive record of choices, together with chivo (goat), cabeza (beef cheek), and carnitas (slow-cooked pork). However there are tons of different choices as properly, from sizzled meats a la plancha to greater than three dozen seafood dishes. Professional-tip: Ask for the handmade tortillas (“tortillas hecho a mano”); they value a little bit additional, however they’re value it. 5288 Buford Freeway, Doraville, 770-986-0032
3. Tacos la VillaThis could be the third finest Mexican restaurant within the metro space, nevertheless it’s undeniably the house of the perfect tacos. Tucked away subsequent to a Japanese restaurant in a nondescript strip mall in Smyrna, this taqueria is at all times full of people that’ve been tipped off to these inimitable tacos, from spicy lamb to crumbled chorizo. The richness of every filling makes for a beautiful counter to an acidic salsa or pickled carrots from the salsa bar. Flautas, tamales, nachos for the children, and platters together with every day specials spherical out the menu. However come on; you’re right here for the tacos. 2415 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna, 770-951-0415
2. Taqueria San PanchoThe specialty at this Tucker taqueria is value a cross-town drive throughout rush hour: tacos al vapor, a hard-to-find model of steamed taco. The steam seals the perimeters of the tortilla, leading to a creation that appears a bit like a taco calzone. San Pancho’s fillings embody every part from cow’s brains to beef cheek, however in the event you aren’t feeling adventurous, they serve many different dishes together with a selfmade, fried-hard shell taco, tortas, burritos, and Mexican breakfast. 4880 Lawrenceville Freeway, Tucker, 770-493-9845
1. Taqueria La OaxaquenaYou may struggle us on this in the event you insist, however you gained’t change our minds that that is the most effective regional Mexican restaurant within the metro space—which makes it the most effective, interval. Oaxaca is taken into account the culinary capital of Mexico, and the Oaxacan specialty that chowhounds have raved about for years at this Jonesboro hotspot is the tlayuda: a big grilled tortilla coated pizzalike with refritos, string cheese, avocado, lettuce, and your selection of meat (pork sluiced in chile is tops). You’ll additionally uncover a few of the best tacos on the town; handmade corn tortillas are folded round delicacies equivalent to stewed beef cheeks, tripe, and pork al pastor. Hen tamales, flavored both with mole or salsa verde, have a surprisingly delicate texture. Huaraches, the sandal-shaped boats of masa dough, are chic loaded with wealthy goat meat. Our favourite latest discovery: a burrito full of carnitas that blasts the palate in all the suitable methods. It doesn’t matter what you order (and you must order all of it), you’ll be able to’t go fallacious. 605 Mount Zion Highway, Jonesboro, 770-960-3010
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