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Ghetto Mexican places in Phoenix/Tempe?

I'm looking for real hole in the wall places for good cheap authentic Mexican food. I'm really new to the area and I'm just an intern, so I'm low on cash.

I don't care about the decor at all. The ghetto-er the better. I'd prefer it if the clientèle was close to 100% Mexican. Some of the best Mexican I've had was in Tuscon... pozole at a small run down place that had plastic chairs and tables and that had a front door that didn't lock. Sonoran style hot dogs in a place that was basically a tent with the chef singing old world Mexican songs. Amazing stuff. Throw any cut of meat at me. Stomach, tongue, testicles, head meat, whatever.

Tempe would be preferred.

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  1. I'm not crazy about the casual use of the word "ghetto" as an adjective, but that's a topic for another time and place.

    Here are some places that might fit your needs:

    Guerrero's -- little place along Apache near the 101 Freeway in Tempe
    El Napolito -- very cheap and very good in Central Phoenix @ 24th St & Thomas
    Tortas El Guero -- Mexican sandwiches in Central Phoenix
    Tortas la Presa -- same as above
    Tacos de Juarez -- on edge of Downtown
    La Tolteca -- on Van Buren just eas of Downtown

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    La Tolteca
    1205 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

    Tortas El Guero
    2518 N 16th St Ste 2, Phoenix, AZ 85006

    Tacos De Juarez
    1017 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

    Tortas La Presa
    1811 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ

    Guerrero's Mexican Food
    2148 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

    3 Replies
    1. re: silverbear

      Seconding El Nopalito and adding a place link for it. Damn good tacos for very little money.

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      El Nopalito
      2831 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

      1. re: silverbear

        Tortas El Guero also has a location in Chandler on Arizona Ave and Galveston. It's really, really good.

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        Tortas El Guero
        611 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

        1. re: silverbear

          yup! Tortas el Guero is pretty good. the old Torta la Pressa on 7th St. and Dunlap has now changed it's name to Los Reyes de la Torta and it is THE bombest IMO!!! the house torta is recommended. and the tacos.... mmmm.......

          Tolteca is muy bien also. Carolina's is decent too.

        2. Also, how can I forget Carolina's in south Phoenix. That might come the closest of all to being in a neighborhood with some characteristics of a ghetto.

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          Carolina's Mexican Food Restaurant
          1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

          1 Reply
          1. re: silverbear

            silverbear..
            How can you forget Carolina's?
            Best 'ghetto' dive Mex out of the bunch.. ; )

          2. Definitely Suzie's Mexican Cafe on University just east of Price. It's a hole in the wall with the best food. Their Pozole is great too!

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            Susie's Mexican Cafe
            2405 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

            1 Reply
            1. re: scorpioscuba

              Good call on Suzie's! Been too long since I've been.

              I will also throw out: Espo's, in Chandler; the town of Guadalupe; and the whole stretch of Thomas between 35th and 74th aves. Never a disappointment.

            2. There is a little hole in the wall called Sabroso's on the SWC 48th St & Southern on the Tempe/ Phoenix border. I used to live on thier breakfast burritos. Haven't been in a while, tho.

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              Sabroso Mexican Food
              4705 E Southern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85042

              1. Asadero Norte De Sonora
                122 North 16th St
                Phoenix
                (602) 253-4010

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                Asadero Norte De Sonora
                122 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  bump for me favorite place in all of phoenix. everyone who likes meat must eat here and order the parillada.

                2. I really like Vaqueros Carne Asada at 1821 W Southern Avenue (basically the southeast corner of the intersection of 19th ave and southern). Portions are huge, and the flavors are great.