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best mexican food in indianapolis?

I have been very disappointed so far. I have lived here for two years, and YUCK.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Have you tried Pancho's near 70th and Michigan?

    1. nope! I haven't seen it, either. We live near Wynnedale, across the river from the art museum so I'm on michigan rd all the time.

      I'll have to look for it though. Thanks!

      1. It's in a little strip mall -- the one that almost looks abandoned just south of 71st. I am told by those who know that it is quite authentic -- I just know that it is delicious!
        There are several other taquerias in that area, but that's the only one I've tried.

        1 Reply
        1. You've got 2 really good Mexican place right there on Michigan.

          Huachinango is a new place at 79th and Michigan. It's on the left side of Michigan as you head north. It's only been open a couple of months so they just have a temporary sign up at the moment. They specialize in fish and seafood dishes but have a full range of other dishes. We ate there last night and had a great meal. Good fresh salsa and chips to start. We both had a bowl of the shrimp soup to start. A delicious spicey broth with vegetables and lots of shrimp. Very good! My wife had a whole red snapper (their specialty) preparation (they have several) and I had the carne guisada, a variation of the standard carne asada. The owner makes a good margarita, too.

          Another place at 8421 Michigan Rd is Los Llanos. It's been a few months since we ate there so I can't remember exactly what we had, but I do remember being very impressed with the meal.

          If you are looking for authenticity, try the new Oaxacan taqueria in the small food court at the front of the Saraga internantional grocery store. The last time we were there I had cabeza tacos and my wife had wonderful tamales. I've also had very good lengua tacos there, as well.

          1. Pancho's is excellent and quite authentic. This family run business has also opened a second location on the northside - corner of 96th and Allisonville. Menu and staff are the same at both locations.

            I also enjoy La Margarita - especially the nopalitos! It's now locatd around 86th and Meridian. Always very reliable from a food standpoint, but the margaritas leave something to be desired.

            An interesting note on the new Huachinango - depending on your ethnicity, you get a different menu. A good friend (Mexican) and her husband (Caucasian) were provided distinctly different menus that were more than just "translational differences." Both found the food to be exceptional.

            1. I have to disagree about Huacinango. We had an absolutely horrible meal there. When I tried to assess where things had gone so wrong, because it all looked promising, I decided that the food was comparable to food prepared in tourist hotels found in the coastal regions. The garnishes, the tableclothes, the service, it all reaked of food that catered to the unknowing North American tourist of the 50's and 60's who, while on vacation was served -- bastardized versions of classic regional Mexican dishes, and executed by a less than accomplished hotel "chef". It was so bad, I would only go back if someown treated me, and then I would still hesitate.
              As for what is "good" mexican around here, I am still looking.

              1 Reply
              1. re: squashblossom

                El Sol seemed to be the place during the ninties until last year. Check out La Parada for more authenticity on the near east side of downtown. I believe it's on New York Street and it sets in front of the hispanic grocery, sharing her name. great atmosphere...if it's Mexican you're looking for!!

              2. Taco Loco a.k.a. Don Taco at 10th and Bozart next to the Emerson is a great place on the Eastside for authentic tacos, tortas, etc.

                1. Here are two.

                  The Tamale Place at Rockport and Lynhurst is to die for, take out only and they often run out early in the day so call ahead. You can also order tacos to be made while you wait to eat in the car on the way home to eat your tamales.

                  Adobo on E. 82nd Street, the food is way above average and the tequila list is worth the price of admission all by itself

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gargantua

                    I second The Tamale Place recommendation and I've been there as early as 1 pm and they've run out of tamales!

                    I'm also a big Acapulco Joe's fan.

                    Also try LaBamba - several Indy locations - "Burrito's as big as your head" and they're outstanding. How authentic? how often do you find tripe or tongue on a menu?

                    El Sol de Tala was overrated - went there three times and the meat was like shoe leather and no flavor.

                    1. re: Spoonula

                      I definitely agree with El Sol being overrated, as they tried to grow and the dollar signs left them with putting out mediocre food for the past 3 years. I wouldn't call acapulco Joe's Mexican at all, definitely Tex Mex for Indiana...maybe! Did not know La Bamba served tripe and tongue! I love tongue tacos, especially street style!

                  2. Indy's Mexican offerings have grown exponentially in the past decade, much to my delight and relief.

                    Panchos is, indeed, very good.
                    La Frontera on West Washington near downtown.
                    El Sol Azteca on West 38th (between the Peruvian place and the Ethiopian place). Killer tacos de bistec, gringo-friendly but the food's the real deal.
                    La Guanaquita was a Salvadorean place that had the best sopes and tortas in the city...supposedly they are re-opening on W 38th at some point, so keep an eye out.
                    El Sol de Tala supposedly re-opening on E. Washington soon, also a pretty good place.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Hissica

                      I have Hissica to thank for introducing me to La Guanaquita, located around 30th and Lafayette, about four years ago, and it quickly became my favorite Mexican place in town. I went there in June after a long absence and saw that there was still a restaurant there, but it was now called Guatelinda. Maybe it's the same owners or personnel because the food tasted just as good. I recommend the tortas, sopes, pupusas and especially, the empanadas. Oh, and don't be afraid to try lengua as a meat. It tastes like a tender pot roast...'cept better.

                      Has anybody heard what happened to Los Llanos at 84th and Michigan? That was one of my recent favorites. There was a legal notice in the window saying the landlord took possession of the business or something. That place was great...and very clean.

                    2. Lanlords around that area have renigged on leases, mostly due to having legal pressure for supporting possible illegal workers or fringe businesses. They've pressured landlords with the threat of fines and possible criminal action if illegal activity is found there. Possible hiring illegal workers/illegal acts. My uncle rented a building in that area and was shut out of his for similar reasons. I'm not saying that is THE reason, just that it seems to be consistent with what my uncle experienced.

                      Skip Acapulco Joe's at all costs. The salvadorean place was awesome, go there if it reopens. El Sol Azteca is good. La Bamba's is good if you are in the mood for take out.

                      1. We've here from Texas for about 6 years and have generally not been impressed by the Mexican Food. But, then, don't expect the best Clam Chowder west of Boston or Newport and don't expect good Mexican food north of Dallas! Having said that, I would recommend El Torito on 86th near the fashion mall. It is in what used to be the Keystone Grill. A little more up scale (yeah, I know it sounds like a taquerita) than most strip center places, but the food is excellent. For the strip center variety, we have found they are pretty much all the same. Cozumel on Pendleton Pike is about as good as we've found in that category. Check it out: http://www.etgrill.com/menu.asp

                        1. Mexican in Indianapolis without the "Hoosier Adaptations": GAUNAJUATO on 30th and Shadeland (northwest corner---orange building). Unassuming location but this market/taqueria cannot be matched throughout all of INDY. Their produce is pristine and Meat counter the absolute best! Tripe, beef tongue and heart, any foot imaginable amongst all of the more common cuts. The place is clean and bustling on a daily basis, meaning your purchase will be fresh. Plus they cook up tacos, tortas, burritos as big as your head with an emphasis on AUTHENTICITY!! No americanization here. They even sell pink cowboy boots. What's not to like about that! I've only enjoyed tripe once my whole life and that was at a fine dining restaurant...until this place served up a fried version that literally looks and tastes like chicken fried calamari! Amazing quality as is the price. $3.50 for tortas that taste like the best tenderloin sandwich in indiana. Of course washing it down with a bottled coke, consisting of REAL SUGAR, is only appropriate.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: napolean

                            Totally Agree with Napolean regarding Gaunajuato. Check out my blog, click archive and the review with pics will be there. Tamale Place is getting a lot of good press as well.

                          2. Those with a lighter appetite could try the Taco salad for $6.75 while those with heartier appetites could go for the Veggie or Chicken Fajita Burrito, both topping out at around $7.85 or so. Be sure and save room for fried ice cream (this always appealed to our kids) or the superb Flan. Typical appetizers include Guacamole dip and queso dip but I always live daringly and order the ceviche and yes.
                            Special features: reasonable prices, authentic Mexican drinks like Margaritas made with Agave juice or other ingredients and an a la carta menu for those watching their budgets.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jennismortal

                              jennismortal: Where exactly are you talking about? I'm confused.

                            2. I also like Adobo Grill. I realize it's a chain, but the atmosphere is really good and I love hte food. I just with they were still up on the north side so I don't have to drive downtown...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: laurayumyum

                                Check out The Tamale Place at the intersection of Rockville Rd. and Lynhurst Dr. They make their masa, sauces and fillings from scratch and have mild, spicy and sweet tamales. The seasonal pumpkin tamales are definitely worth a try. You can sit at a counter or carry out.