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Mar 15, 2004 09:00 PM

Need the BEST Mexican Restaurant in Naples Fl???

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We are going to Naples for the day and wanted to have Mexican food for lunch..
Can anyone recommend the best place to go in Naples??

We will be around 5th ave and also Old Naples but we will have a car and can drive anywhere....


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  1. I Haven't tried it yet, but there has been a new ad on the radio lately for a restaurant called 'Cilantro Tamales'. Supposedly all the cooks are actual Mexican housewives. If you go, let me know how it is. Other than that, I have been to most of the rest of them and would not recommend any one of them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SPARK

      My husband, who is from Naples, recommends Meson Ole, on the corner of 22nd Ave N and US 41.

      We're wondering where Cilantro Tamales is?

      1. re: Linda B

        Sorry it took so long to get back to you. The ad says it is just south of Immokalee Rd on US41. I still have not made it there yet!!!

    2. There are several mexican places here, few are worthy
      of a mention on chowhound. The only ones we ever consider returning to are: La Bamba, Cilantro Tamale
      and Taco Ardiente. The first two have table service,
      Taco Ardiente is food in a basket, but really good and fresh. Chicken burrito with the cabbage and the quesediah (can't spell it, but know how to order it)
      are worth eating. Stay away from the nachos, cheeze whiz...........
      Cilantro's is on the north trail, La Bamba is Pine Ridge road and airport, Taco Ardiente is Pine Ridge and north trail.

      2 Replies
      1. re: newt

        I'd forget the mexican food and have lunch at Grouper and Chips. The best grouper sandwich and many other
        dishes. On the Tamiami Trail, close to Old Naples/5th Ave.

        1. re: newt

          We tried La Bamba and were not impressed--the food is American Mexican, not authentic, and was ridiculously salty. Ick. I can't wait to try Cilantro Tamales...everyone says it's great.

        2. newt is probably right....went to cilantro tamale and the food was so salty it was inedible.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mzim

            We like Cilantro Tamales quite a bit and eat there often, usually ordering their signature Cilantro Tamale; a corn-husk-wrapped tamale stuffed with cheese and cilantro. They also make several types of tamales. Very good. I have to say, though, that occasionally one of the dishes is over-salted. I don't like too much salt, so this really bothers me. I don't know why this happens, but fortunately it's only the occasional item that is too salty. Still, there is no excuse for that. We keep coming back, though, and are usually happy with the food.

            1. re: TomOHaver

              Cilantro Tamales has excellent chips and two salsas that are served in a neat molcajete kind of thing. The overall food it OK. I prefer La Bamba for dinner. They have two locations, one on Airport Road near the courthouse and one on Pine Ridge Road and Aiport Road. Meson Ole has been consistently awful for Mexican food in my experience. Their Spanish food is almost edible.

          2. I love Cilantro Tamales, heard great things about Iguana Mia but haven't tried it yet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lexpatti

              Iguana Mia is good, but not great. OK for a casual meal, but not if you are looking for something outstanding.

              1. re: lexpatti

                Cilantro Tamales in Bonita Springs has closed. There is one in Naples Park. Google it.

                I like La Bamba in Estero, Florida at the Miromar Outlets Mall.

              2. IMHO, I thought Iguana Mia was horrid. Cilantro Tamales is ok. The problem is there's nothing really authentic that I've found, which is a shame because of the large Mexican population. It could be there's some tiny, hidden place cooking with real lard that we haven't discovered. I would 2nd the recommendation of Newt and have the best fried grouper of your life at Grouper & Chips.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RevrendAndy

                  RevrendAndy, I completely agree with you on Iguana Mia, and I found Cilantro Tamales to be astoundingly unimpressive. I won't return to either. I just moved here from Memphis, TN where we have a surprisingly large population of Mexican Americans. We have some of the very best Mexican restaurants in the nation, if you ask me. I am still looking for a Mexican restaurant here in Naples that is actually good enough to frequent. If anyone has any other suggestions, I am all ears!