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Jan 18, 2008 05:22 AM

best mexican in dallas?

I'll be in Dallas, staying at the Fairmont, and want to find the best Mexican food -- doesn't matter if its expensive or cheap. Just longing, from the wilds of Canada, for great Mexican food.
Those in the know: what's your first stop for Mexican in Dallas?

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  1. Birdwillie,

    First in the search you need to be a bit more specific. Are you looking for mole, tacos, enchiladas, tortillas hechos a mano (hand made tortillas), tamales. There are separate places each for these dishes

    I am sure most will agree (expensive) Lanny's Kitchen (Grandson of Joe T Garcia) on 7th Street in Ft. Worth (Inside Joe T Garcia's Restaurant). Worth the drive over there. Some say it is the best Mexican in Texas of course there might be arguments on that!

    If you are looking for closer to your hotel I would suggest El Ranchito in Oak Cliff along Jefferson. The neighborhood is predominately hispanic and there are many eateries but I can attest to the greatness of the grilled cabrito! It will also be less expensive than Lanny's.

    Fuel City - Industrial Blvd (Dallas), unfortunately there is no website but in one of last year's Texas Monthly magazine they named the picadillo taco the best in Texas. I can also attest to the greatness of these tacos and at $1.25 a piece worth it! It is on the south side of downtown almost due south from your hotel along Industrial Blvd.

    Tamales - Most would probably say La Popular Tamale House on Columbia

    A local new anchor on our top rated newscasts has two places she likes each for different size tamales (I have tried neither). Ranchero Restaurant & Bakery on 7406 Harry Hines Blvd (west of your hotel) and Panaderia Mexicana 727 S. Cockrell Hill Rd in Oak Cliff (southwest of your hotel). Maybe someone from the CH Dallas crew can chime in on these

    Tortillas Hechos a Mano - Well reading Scott's post on Maple Ave places I would have to go with either El Camaron both Salvadoran and Mexican items on the menu or Esquivels almost under Dallas North Tollway and Maple both have fresh handmade tortillas!!! That is a true find in Dallas!

    6 Replies
    1. re: soulslinger

      I second El Ranchito and Fuel City. Be warned though that Fuel City has nowhere to sit inside so you would be eating in your car or taking it to go, but their tacos are the best I've had in Dallas. They also have corn in a cup with mayo, queso fresco and hot sauce which is delicious....

      My other recommendation is Cafe San Miguel at 1907 N. Henderson. Really nice atmosphere and great food. My favorite dish is La Tampiquena, a grilled tenderloin strip steak with a cheese enchilada. Their ceviche is also really good. You can view their menu at

      1. re: lckeating

        I second Cafe San Miquel. I love their enfrijoladas de cagrejo (crabmeat enchiladas), and they have fantastic hand-made corn tortillas and wonderful guac.

        1. re: Dallas Alice

          Third CSM. Everything I've ever had there has been delicious.

          Never understood the hype over Javier's-- it's fine. And I secretly dislike Chuy's-- I've never liked anything I ordered there enough to want to order it again, and the wait on weekends is killer no matter what size our group is.

          1. re: vktp

            I'll third Cafe San Miguel. They have excellent food.

            1. re: dalaimama

              Heck - I'll fourth Cafe San Miguel. Everything is delicious . . . love their braised short ribs (but don't get it on your shirt - it'll be stained forever), killer homemade corn tortillas and guacamole, killer ceviche etc. One draw back is how darn loud the place is. It's a fun scene - just be prepared to SPEAK UP!!

      2. re: soulslinger

        has your list changed since then? This is 2014 now so i want to make sure these are still the best recommendation.

      3. Definitely Javier's without a doubt. Great atmosphere near Uptown (5 minutes from the Fairmont). Classy, "be and be seen" crowd and authentic gourmet Mexican cuisine. Service is flawless. Javier works the room like a gracious host. The margaritas and salsa are wonderful!

        9 Replies
        1. re: jcwasserman

          Tupinamba, Dallas, across from Jesuit Prep School, on Inwood just north of Forest and just south of LBJ FWY. I've just recommended this place to Londoners searching (I believe) for "the genuine Texas experience". Great Tupy tacos, wonderful atmosphere, great prices (especially at lunch), and wonderful folks. Check out my review on my Food Czar blog. (December posting).

          1. re: Thefoodczar

            I have to say if it's Tex-mex you are after then you can't beat Herrera's. I also really love Chuy's on Knox Henderson, but their foord is a little more New mexican style. Both places are cheap and really really good. Chuy's also has great margaritas

            1. re: Analisas mom

              I agree with vktp. I've never had a dish I liked at Chuy's. Herrera's is a different story. Pretty good chow, there.

              As to the dispute on Javier's, I find that it's OK, but nothing to write home about once you get past their chips.

              3408 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074

          2. re: jcwasserman

            I am complete disagreement with jcwasserman about Javier's. I have just moved to Dallas from Mexico, I am American. The food is Americanized. The service is awful we were rushed from the moment we entered the door. It was a race just to keep up with the person seating us. It was as if they had a mic under the table the drinks came out so fast. Then worst of all the waiter took our appetizers away as we were eating so he could shove the entree under our noses. One guest was in mid bite as the unfinished app was removed! Every one had the same vegetables, frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I ordered the cajeta crepe for dessert and was very dissapointed to find the cajeta was from a squeeze bottle.
            I found it over all not Mexican but Mexican American, expensive for what you received and you just cannot explain the service. The decor is interesting but just when were zebras and bears running free in Mexico? Perhaps it represents the Spanish aristocrats that used to rule Mexico and in a sad way still do. But lets not get into politics!
            I don't have a suggestion for great Mexican here in Dallas, as I am only on my third week here. I will try the other suggestions in the postings and hope for much more authentic food.

            1. re: elizalil

              elizalil, would you try El Fuego in Richardson (Plano/Campbell) and let us know what you think?

              Our neighbor who used to live in Mexico highly recommends it.
              We don't like Americanized Mexican (I loved Mexican food in Mexico City.
              )My partner thinks this is the best Mexican food he's ever had.

              They have gorditas, sopes, etc. Just discontinued molletes, my favorite, unfortunately. I love their flour tortilla quesadillas. Most people order their lunch specials--all you can eat on the weekends.

              1. re: kuidaore

                I have read many reviews of El Fuego and I would also recommend this place also. I have been trying to get out to Richardson to try it out.

                1. re: soulslinger

                  Tried El Feugo.....the best mexican in Dallas....there wasn't anything I didn't picky mother even liked it a lot!!

              2. re: elizalil

                I could not agree more. Javier's is the most overrated resto in the city. The food is Americanized and the service is horrible. I alway feel like they are trying to turn tables there. If I'm going to spend $100 for dinner, I want a little relaxation with it. We went in the other night for late night drinks and did not want to be in the back bar which was a zoo, so we asked if we could be seated at a table so that we could talk with our guest from out of town. That waiter must have asked us what we wanted to eat 4 times when we told him we were there just for drinks. The dining room was mostly empty, BTW. He was rude as hell, too. My best Mexican would go to Cafe San Miguel.

                1. re: elizalil

                  I wanted to chime in here about Javier's. Having lived in the Phoenix metro for the past ten years, I've had both great gourmet and cheap Mexican, and can't for the life of me understand why Javier's is viewed so highly in Dallas. Every trip out, it seems, someone in my family who lives there suggests we visit, and inevitably we return to the same packed parking lot, rushed and confused service and just plain mediocre food. Sure, I LOVE the humidor and lounge (and the fact you can smoke INSIDE, something we do not have in PHX), but I haven't found much else to like.

              3. If you want to try Tex Mex food, which is the favorite type of Mexican food in this area, go to the original El Fenix, which is also downtown, and order the cheese enchilada plate, corn tortillas, and guacamole...Have a couple of top shelf margaritas, and you're set...oh and you might want to call a cab back to the hotel, depending on your tolerance for tequila.....LOL

                1 Reply
                1. re: jinet12

                  I have to chime in and support your reccommendation of El is almost always overlooked , because it's been around so long and because it has multiple locations . But , if you just pay attention to the food , theirs is very , very good .

                2. Mi Cocina (several locations around town) is a owned by a Dallas family and has delicious, simple Tex Mex. Try a Mambo Taxi (margarita with sangria swirl) and anything on the menu and you won't be disappointed.

                  1. Avila's,a little gem on Maple:

                    Avila's Mexican Restaurant‎
                    4714 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX
                    (214) 520-2700