Best mexican food el paso

El Paso, Texas is known for its best Mexican food. The city is filled with authentic restaurants and fun activities to enjoy the local culture.

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Tacos of each possible selection. Soups wealthy with tomatoes, chiles, and tomatillos. Maíz-focused tortillas and avenue meals. These are among the many scrumptious Mexican meals specialties that await within the west Texas metropolis of El Paso.

Often known as the Mexican Meals Capital of America, El Paso has loads of attributes to again up that declare: Not solely is it the lone main metropolis within the Lone Star State to be situated instantly on the U.S./Mexico border, however El Paso sits simply throughout the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, the most important metropolis within the Mexican state of Chihuahua (and arguably the birthplace of the margarita cocktail).

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With a mixed inhabitants of greater than two million, the border cities of El Paso and Juarez have a thriving meals scene that mixes the tacky/peppery flavors of Tex-Mex with the salsas, corn masa, and beans of conventional Mexican delicacies.

From the fashionable downtown eateries to the fast-food taco spots to the native mainstays, I discovered stellar Mexican delicacies in El Paso on my current go to — together with the whole lot from inventive corn dishes to nearly each number of taco recognized to man.

Based mostly on my favorites and the suggestions of native consultants, listed here are 9 of the most effective Mexican specialties to attempt in El Paso, and the place to seek out them.

1. Esquites (Road Corn) — ELEMI

Corn is a staple of Mexican delicacies, and the downtown cocina ELEMI performs that up by specializing in the heirloom forms of native maíz (corn) from sustainable farming communities in Mexico. The cool little spot situated on El Paso’s Kansas Road cooks and grinds maíz each day, “evoking techniques both past and present,” says its web site.

For a scrumptious pattern of ELEMI’s native maíz, I liked the esquites, a deconstructed model of Mexican avenue corn that options younger tender Mexican corn imported weekly and cooked with conventional herbs, chiles, candy cream butter, and garnished with lime aioli.

Professional Suggestions: ELEMI was featured on Padma Lakshmi’s Style the Nation tv present, which targeted on the café’s El Campesino tacos, made with confit portobello mushrooms, grilled eggplant, avocado, queso, and black beans in blue-corn tortillas.

The normal elotes dish consisting of corn that’s roasted on the cob after which slathered in mayonnaise-based cream sauce and lined in chili powder, cheese, and lime, can sometimes be present in avenue carts close to the worldwide border in El Paso and Juarez.

Chicken tortilla soup and shrimp tacos at Mamacita’s in El Paso, Texas.
Hen tortilla soup and shrimp tacos at Mamacita’s (Picture Credit score: Cindy Barks)

2. Hen Tortilla Soup — Mamacita’s

As a fan of flavorful Mexican soups, I usually order variations of caldo de camarón (shrimp/seafood soup) or rooster tortilla soup when it’s on a restaurant’s menu — particularly throughout chilly climate.

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Regardless that the temperatures have been removed from chilly after I visited El Paso in late June 2021, I used to be glad I took the recommendation of the pleasant server at Mamacita’s and ordered the rooster tortilla soup as a starter. The wealthy tomato-based broth and plentiful chunks of rooster breast have been scrumptious, however the soup’s toppings of crispy tortilla strips, sliced tomatillos, radishes, and avocado actually set the dish aside.

Professional Tip: Mamacita’s restaurant is situated on the bottom ground of the hip Resort Indigo on Kansas Road in downtown El Paso. Together with conventional fare just like the tortilla soup, its menu options quite a lot of revolutionary Latin American-inspired dishes, akin to avenue corn risotto croquettes, mushroom/goat cheese empanadas, and poblano mac n’ cheese.

3. Queso Fundido — Tacos Chinampa

Few dishes say Tex-Mex like melted cheese dip, and for El Paso-style queso fundido, locals head to Tacos Chinampa. A variation of the favored queso dip, fundido is understood to be a bit extra flavorful, with chile peppers including further zest.

The small regional Tacos Chinampa chain has a number of places all through El Paso, every providing a full menu that options starters just like the queso fundido, together with genuine tacos and Tex-Mex specialties like quesadillas, chiles rellenos, flautas (rolled tacos), and grilled fajitas.

Professional Tip: Like different conventional El Paso/Juarez taquerias, Tacos Chinampa is understood for serving baked potatoes as a aspect dish with its tacos.

4. Brisket Machaca — Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant

Movie star chef and Meals Community star, Aarón Sanchez, received his culinary begin cooking in El Paso, so when he phrases a neighborhood dish the most effective ever, foodies hear. KiKi’s Mexican Restaurant seems frequently on lists of the most effective Mexican eating places in El Paso, with the meat machaca plate because the star.

The braised-beef dish was Sanchez’s selection on an episode of the Meals Community present, Best Factor I Ever Ate. The specialty dish incorporates a mixture of beef, onions, tomato, cheese, chile, and eggs — all smothered in chile con queso (chile with cheese).

Green chile chicken enchiladas at L&J Café.
Inexperienced chile rooster enchiladas at L&J Café (Picture Credit score: Cindy Barks)

5. Inexperienced Chile Hen Enchiladas — L&J Café

For an additional native favourite on the El Paso meals scene, head to the homey L&J Café for a spread of Tex-Mex specialties like beef and rooster fajitas, chile con queso, and steak tampiqueña (grilled steak served with inexperienced chiles, refried beans, and shredded cheese).

After I dined at L&J, my server really useful the inexperienced chile rooster enchiladas, which turned out to be a deliciously decadent dish that includes stacked corn tortillas, roasted inexperienced chiles, and tender rooster, all lined in a inexperienced chile sauce and melted cheese.

Professional Tip: Count on to attend in line to get seated on the super-popular L&J Café. On my Saturday afternoon go to in late June, I had a wait of about 40 minutes. I used the time to discover the historic Concordia Cemetery — a Texas State Historic Website that’s situated simply throughout the road. The cemetery is the resting place for hundreds of early west Texas residents — together with everybody from infamous 1800s-era gunslinger John Wesley Hardin to Buffalo Soldier veterans of the Indian and Spanish-American wars.

6. Barbacoa Tacos — Tacotote

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Historically constructed from cuts of beef cheek, barbacoa is a southwest Texas custom that’s rooted within the farm and ranch tradition. The meat is seasoned with daring Mexican spices earlier than being gradual cooked — typically in an in-ground pit or out of doors oven — after which shredded or chopped.

Tacotote, a regional chain of eating places in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, originated in Juarez, simply throughout the U.S./Mexico border from El Paso. In keeping with its web site, the chain’s meals relies on household recipes handed down from the matriarch (Abuelita Dora) in Juarez. The primary United States restaurant opened in 1994 in El Paso and the chain has since grown to 10 places in Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Barbacoa is simply one of many half-dozen meat selections supplied at Tacotote — often served family-style. Prospects select from beef fajita, adobado (marinated) pork, adobado rooster, beef sirloin, brisket, and shrimp, that are served on platters for 2 or 4 together with sides, tortillas, and salsas.

Facet selections vary from baked potatoes to charro beans to refried beans to Mexican-style rice. Salsas are available in plenty of conventional varieties, together with tatemada (charred chile), jalapeño, cambray (contemporary tomato and chile), roja (pink), and pico de gallo. Salsas at Tacotote are sometimes supplied at a handy salsa bar.

7. Rolled Tacos — Chico’s Tacos

Rolled tacos, also called taquitos or flautas, are a specialty of lots of the Mexican eating places and taco joints in El Paso. As soon as once more, celeb chef Aarón Sanchez weighed in on the place to seek out the most effective of the most effective.

Calling Chico’s Tacos “an institution” in El Paso, Sanchez says the rolled tacos, crammed with seasoned floor beef, deep fried, after which doused in a particular tomato-based sauce, make for “the most messy wonderful dish you’ve ever had.”

8. Margaritas — Los Bandidos De Carlos & Mickey’s

Though the origin of the margarita cocktail is open for debate, one of many widespread theories is that the tequila-infused beverage was created by bartender Pancho Morales in Tommy’s Place Bar in Juarez, simply throughout the Rio Grande from El Paso.

At present, El Paso followers of the tart icy drink head to Los Bandidos de Carlos & Mickey’s for the hometown mainstay’s well-known “Texas-sized” cocktails. The informal restaurant can be recognized for its informal Mexican delicacies selections like quesadillas, chile con queso, and chiles rellenos.

Jarred salsa at the El Paso Downtown Artist & Farmers Market, Texas.
Jarred salsa on the El Paso Downtown Artist & Farmers Market (Picture Credit score: Cindy Barks)

9. Salsa — El Paso Downtown Artist & Farmers Market

Lovers of inventive salsas will discover loads to pattern on the El Paso Downtown Artist & Farmers Market within the Union Plaza.

If you happen to’re out there for one thing fully completely different, try the sales space for Salsas Mi Alma, the place one of many specialties is the Connoisseur Seed Salsa that includes a mix of crunchy almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, and sesame seeds preserved in a flavorful oil.

Salsas Mi Alma options 9 different freshly-made blends as properly — various in spiciness from fiery scorching to gentle.

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Cucumber sticks and cucumber lemonade at La Placita Café, El Paso, Texas.
Cucumber sticks and cucumber lemonade at La Placita Café (Picture Credit score: Cindy Barks)

Professional Suggestions

  • If an off-the-cuff lunch or night snack is so as, cease by the cute little La Placita Café within the San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso. For one thing gentle on a heat night, I liked the cucumber sticks dusted with flavorful chili powder and the cucumber lemonade. The stand additionally gives a spread of border tacos, scorching canine, and candy crispy churros.
  • With its thriving eating, arts, and historical past scenes, El Paso makes for a terrific vacation spot go to, or a cease on a nationwide park highway journey. For concepts on native points of interest, see 10 Implausible Issues To Do In Historic El Paso, Texas, and for highway journey inspiration, see Nationwide Park Street Journey: 7 Best Stops From White Sands To Huge Bend.

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