The Best Mexican Restaurants in Every State

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The food Americans have missed the most during long months of not dining out — and most look forward to eating again when restaurant-going gets back to normal — is Mexican, according to figures compiled by DoorDash, the nation’s largest food delivery service.

In addition, says the company, three Mexican-style dishes were among the 10 most often ordered items for home delivery in the first six months of this year — breakfast burritos, spicy shrimp tacos, and chicken fajitas.

If any further proof is needed that we love Mexican food in this country, Mexico came in second only to Italy as the country with the best food overall, according to Ranker readers responding to a survey the site conducted last year. And Mexican is the second most popular “ethnic” cuisine in the United States after Chinese — and the number-one favorite in some 27 states — according to an analysis of Google searches for various cuisines conducted by the website Chef’s Pencil.

Of course “Mexican” can mean different things to different people: sea urchin tostadas with bone marrow salsa at Cosme in Manhattan; black mole enchiladas with chorizo at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles; a five-item combination plate at the nationwide Chevy’s Fresh Mex chain; even a keto salad bowl with adobo chicken at the ubiquitous Chipotle or a never-in-Mexico creation like a Quesarito or a Crunchwrap Supreme at the local Taco Bell. (These are the top 15 Mexican chains in America.)

In this listing of the best Mexican restaurant in every state based on Yelp scores, 24/7 Tempo has included establishments of every type — elegant contemporary restaurants, family-style neighborhood places, bare-bones counter-service establishments. Some specialize in the cuisines of specific regions of Mexico. Some offer the standard fare we’ve come to expect, but done particularly well. Some take the Mexican flavor palate as an inspiration and invent dishes of their own. 

These restaurants range from the casual to the sophisticated, the Americanized to the authentic, but every one is a place you’ll want to try.

At this writing, the restaurants listed are all open on at least a limited dine-in basis, unless otherwise specified. However, the food service industry is in constant flux in this COVID-19 era, with local regulations frequently changing and establishments responding to challenges in various ways — including, in some cases, suddenly closing down. (These are the 50 most popular restaurants that won’t reopen after the pandemic.)

Bear in mind that, even under the best circumstances, menus may be limited and hours may be curtailed — and websites and social media pages aren’t always updated promptly. Call first, then, before heading to one of these superior Mexican restaurants.