Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Feb 21, 2008 10:10 AM

Best Mexican & Margaritas in DC Metro?

I'm in DC regularly for business, and I find myself always on the lookout for good mexican food and margaritas. I've tried Oyamel, Mixtec, Rio Grande, and Austin Grill. Oyamel was good but it felt like they tried way too hard. Egg foam on a margarita? Come on...I'm from Texas. Mixtec was recommended as more authentic, which it was, but their food wasn't that good and their margaritas were undrinkable. Rio Grande and Austin Grill are uninspiring chain restaurants. I can find food that mediocre back home.

Surely there are other options? Isn't there someplace with a full bar (with good tequila options) that serves good, authentic Mexican food? Price isn't an issue. It can be nice and expensive, or it can be a dive. I just am hungry for high-quality, delicious Mexican food in a place where I can get a good margarita. Any ideas? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've been hearing interesting things about Casa Oaxaca and am intrigued by "Cazuela de Queso con Salsa y Chapulines"

    varied comments on the board:

    1. what about alero? i know it is your average ol' chain but i think it fits the bill as far as yummy margaritas and good tex-mex food. very low key establishment as well, which IMO should always accompany margaritas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: polly parker

        I like the Dupont location of Alero the best. Fajitas and margaritas there - can't go wrong.

        1. re: MDoodle

          I agree... and their Chiles en Nogado is truly delicious... :)

      2. >>Rio Grande ... are uninspiring chain restaurants. I can find food that mediocre back home.

        If from TX, RG is just Uncle Julio's.

        Can't vouch for the Rita's, but the places in Bladensburg are generally regarded as the true Mexican (recent link below). No Rita's for sure, but Pepito's in Adam's Morgan and Gaithersburg, and finally TECC in Arlington.

        These are for the basics. If you're wanting to specify a particular style or region of Mexico, just specify and it may be around here. Folks from LA rarely seem to be happy with the offerings, for instance. And in general the true Mexican population is thin - not true for Salvadoran, Bolivian, Peruvian...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          I'm not a margarita drinker, but I do know the places in Bladensburg. I doubt that they have that kind of a liquor license. His best bet is probably Austin Grill.

          1. re: Dennis S

            Just to post on an appropriate thread - we finally have made our way through a decent portion of Teocalli's newly expanded - and more authentic - menu. Last night I had the bistec encebollado, my wife had pechuga de pollo, and we got some yuca con chicarron as well. First, everything was very good. The stand-out though was the cabbage with the yuca. My God - the stuff was insanely good. The yuca itself was a bit too bland and dry, the pork was good, but I think I'm ordering sides of the cabbage now every time I go!

            Anything off the expanded menu takes time - about 15 minutes. Also, even if you order something that you'd think would come off the line, I think it's specially prepared. I had a chimichanga a few weeks back and the chicken was not the chicken off the line (which is good).

            And as a note, they have sopas as well but I haven't gone there yet.

          2. I don't know about the food, but the margaritas at Tortilla Coast are quite good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HilkaryIC

              TC's food is nothing special, but the room is lively.