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Dec 30, 2009 06:36 PM

AUTHENTIC Mexican in Mesa?

Apologies if this has been covered on this board - I've looked but haven't found it.

I'm looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant in the Mesa area. Last time there, relatives brought me to Tia Rosa's - which is NOT what I'm looking for. I would love to find a place where Mexican folks themselves go. Something real, not gringoized.

Any thoughts?

Thanks from the Pacific Northwest.

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    1. Mexican food varies by region, so "Authentic Mexican" is actually somewhat vague. I'm not very qualified to judge what is authentic, but, if you think a valid test of authenticity is where Mexican folks tend to go, I have some suggestions.

      Pro's Ranch Market is a grocery store noted for its food court. I haven't been to the Mesa location, myself. I always enjoy going to the Phoenix location.

      I haven't been to El Tlacoyo in quite a while, but, I was the lone Gringo on my last visit, and the place was packed. It is hidden behind a convenience store. It might be a good idea to call before making the trip, just because I haven't been there for a while, and so many restaurants have failed in the past couple of years.

      El Tlacoyo
      2535 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Phoenix Ranch Market
      1118 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ

      1. If Mesa-adjacent will work, you might want to try Restaurante Huachinango in southeast Scottsdale. Definitely a (clean, well-lit) hole in the wall, definitely run and patronized by Mexicans, definitely not gringo-ized. The restaurant focuses on Pueblan style dishes. I generally order a huarache or a tlacoyo there. No sides necessary, as either of these is quite filling.

        Restaurante Huauchinango
        7620 E Mckellips Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

        1. Mariscos Sinaloa, on the SE corner of McKellips & Gilbert, is just one mile away from Tia Rosa's and offers a much more authentic experience. They serve great Mexican seafood in a fun environmnet -- usually ranchero music is blaring from the speakers, and sometimes a band out on the patio. Mexican folks do indeed go there; lots of families, couples, guys just getting off work. Not a lot of English spoken, but that lends to the fun of it, although the last couple of times we've been, what appears to be a new manager who speaks very good English has been on duty.

          My favorites at Mariscos Sinaloa are the 'chicarrones' (fish), coctel de camaron or mariscos, huachinango filet (done in your choice of styles - breaded, broiled, veracruz style, and several others) and camarones al chipotle. Husband loves the arroz marinero (with a variety of seafood). Most entrees are served with a side of rice, salad and sliced fried potatoes. Service can be slow, but very friendly.

          Going down Gilbert road to Broadway, Taquitos Jalisco is on the SE corner. We haven't been there in probably close to a year, but it is also very authentic, and very good. (

          If you drive along Main Street near downtown Mesa, you're bound to find many other places that fit the bill as well. Buena Suerte!

          2 Replies
          1. re: MesaChow

            Thanks everyone! We're headed down today and are looking forward to it.

            1. re: Jeffo405

              Please be sure to report back with where you end up, how you liked it, and if you discover any new gems!

          2. The original comment has been removed