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Good Mexican Food near Biltmore/Phoenix

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I am staying at the Biltmore in Phoenix and am looking for good quality (no chains) tacos, enchiladas and chili rellenos, and also Margaritas within walking distance of the Biltmore. Any ideas?

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  1. The Arizona Biltmore is somewhat isolated on its lush grounds, so no restaurants of any type are within immediate walking distance. If you are willing to walk up to a mile, you can walk to the Biltmore Fashion Park mall and the business district at 24th and Camelback. While you'll find lots of restaurants there, none will be independent Mexican restaurants. The area is just too upscale for most mom-and-pop places.

    If you want non-chain Mexican, you'll need to rent a car, take a bus, or use a taxi. One place that would be fairly close to the Biltmore via bus or taxi is El Napolito at 24th and Thomas (two miles south of Camelback). I haven't made it there yet, but I've been hearing good things.

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    1. re: silverbear

      That would be my recommendation. Don't be turned off my the dingy-looking strip mall location - the food is outstanding and CHEAP. Not sure they do margaritas as I've only gone at lunch time. I do know, however, that Ajo Al's (16th St/Camelback, probably still too far for walking) does make some killer ones.

    2. I'll second El Nopalito for excellent 'hole-in-the-wall' find for Mexican food.

      1. There's Sam's Cafe at the Biltmore Fashion Park, too. It's a chef-driven chain with just a few locations. Some may find it a bit corporate in feel, but I've never been unhappy with the food there. They have great margaritas -- I like the blood orange, though that may be seasonal. I also like the little white chocolate tamale they bring you with the check.

        2 Replies
        1. re: themis

          I like Sam's, but I consider it more contemporary Southwestern than authentic Mexican. Still, I don't think it gets the respect it deserves, so I'm glad you mentioned it. It may be the best choice for the OP if proximity to the Biltmore resort is the highest priority.

          http://www.canyoncafe.com/azbiltcente...

          I think the Biltmore resort will drive guests to the Biltmore shopping center at no charge.

          1. re: silverbear

            I forgot all about Sam's, but although it is more contemporary, I think it would be the best place for the OP. Love that white choc tamale and their sweet potato chips!

        2. Sam's makes great nachos!! They add queso fresco, which people rarely do! The cinnamon sugar chips they serve are fabulous too. However salsa is quite weak, which is why I don't go.