Las Vegas is not short of the best Mexican Restaurants in the world. You will not miss any Mexican delicacy in the big Nevada City regardless of the season. However, which ones are truly the best in the region? Does it even matter which Mexican Restaurant you visit in Las Vegas?
It is hard for the common folk to tell the difference between good Mexican restaurants and bad ones. The menus are usually filled with items that are made to look like authentic Mexican cuisines when in reality they are Americanized Mexican foods. Needless to say, you will need our expert level knowledge to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Our best Mexican Restaurants in Las Vegas list will highlight a few things you will need to consider before visiting a Mexican restaurant. It will also highlight the best Mexican joints in Las Vegas; whether it’s at the Strip, near it, or all the way in Downtown Las Vegas.
Keep in mind that these restaurants are subject to closure or relocation, therefore ensure you check in with the included contact information for any current updates.
What Makes for a Great Mexican Restaurant?
Fake Mexican restaurants are in plenty. There is literally no region with multiple Mexican restaurants that will miss a fake. So, what do we mean by a fake Mexican Restaurant? A fake Mexican restaurant is one that serves Americanized versions of the same Mexican food. They are a knock-off of the real thing, made to resemble and give you the same experience without the correct taste or ingredients.
The sad part about the knock-off menus is that it can be quite hard to identify them since fake restaurants may sometimes call themselves authentic. Here are the few signs you want to keep an eye on for you to identify an Americanized Mexican restaurant:
- The menu includes fajitas – Contrary to popular belief, fajitas aren’t authentic Mexican foods. Fajitas are believed to have come from Texas in the 1930s. The meal began as a payment method to Mexican cowboys from Americans who butchered cattle to make the dish. Fajitas can therefore be referred to as a Tex-Mex dish at best.
- The menu doesn’t have any corn tortillas – Corn tortillas are stapled Mexican dishes that will most likely not be present on an Americanized Mexican restaurant. The fake ones will usually have flour tortillas instead to provide a similar experience without the authenticity.
Moreover, if the tortillas do not taste fresh then beware. Fresh corn tortillas should not feel rubbery or store-bought. The corn tortillas are usually made fresh by hand or bought from an authentic tortilleria.
- The menu only has one salsa – The bare minimum in a real Mexican restaurant when it comes to salsa is the option of red and green salsa. Most authentic places will have more than the two but watch out for those with just one.
- A lot of random Spanish dishes – Menus with items like Mucho Taco Grande and Ole Burrito are not to be easily trusted. These restaurants are aiming to use words that will make every dish sound Mexican and that is a red flag. Real Mexican joints will have real Mexican food names that won’t be confusing or feel exaggerated.
- Tacos look like salad and have a lot of cheese – A lot of cheese is a sign of an Americanized Mexican restaurant. Real Mexican places will use small portions of cheese just to add flavor. Moreover, if the taco looks like a salad with lettuce and tomato then it is not a real taco.
- Lack of cilantro on the menu – There is no Mexican menus without cilantros. It is the most staple item in the Mexican food list which originated from Spain to Mexico a long time ago. It is present in many meals including tacos and enchiladas.
- Tacos can be bought in hard shells or other non–taco forms – Real Mexican tacos are made of corn tortillas, have soft shells, and filled with onions and cilantro. Yes, there are variations but anything that does not include the above items does not count as an authentic Mexican taco.
These are just the few things to look out for. Other considerations may include too much decorations that try to portray the Mexican culture, American items such as chips on the menu, and American drinks such as American Coke or Pepsi.
Best Mexican Restaurants in Las Vegas
1. Border Grill – Mandalay Bay
- Address – 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119 at the Strip
- Business hours – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Saturday to Sunday
- Website menu – Border Grill
- Telephone number – (7020 632-7403
Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is one of the most popular places to dine at the Strip. The restaurant includes catering for celebrations, party on wheels trucks for private events like weddings and birthdays, and dine in. It serves modern Mexican foods that are made by Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
Border Grill was started as one of the first regional Mexican cooking restaurant back in 1985. The dishes in the hotel are inspired by cooks from Oaxaca to Mexico City, Yucatan coast, Tijuana, and Baja coasts. The Chefs, Mary and Susan, are award-winning curators who have played a huge role in popularizing the Mexican cuisines.
Their menu includes tacos made of hand pressed corn tortillas with organic rice and black beans. The lunch shared starts include border guacamole, queso fundido, green corn tamales, plantain empanadas, and tortilla soup. The tortas include chicken poblano torta, Mexico City Torta, and Chile Relleno burger.
Another plus at the Border Grill is the Vegan Dining month menu. The menu includes plant based and meat-free options that are served during the first month of each year. A part of the proceeds from the month are happily donated to the Churchill Foundation which helps in supporting all breeds. The dessert option for the vegan month is apple pie and the entrees include meat nachos, wild mushroom tacos, and smoked tofu enchiladas.
2. El Dorado Cantina
- Address – 3025 Sammy Davis Jr Dr Las Vegas, NV 89109
- Business hours – Open every day for 24 hours
- Website menu – El Dorado Cantina
- Telephone number – (725) 208 – 1903 (Southwest), (702) 333-1112 (Tivoli Village), and (702) 722-2289(The Strip)
El Dorado Cantina is an authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant that has several locations in Las Vegas, the main one being at The Strip. Some of its most praised dishes include the street tacos, carne asada burrito, chicken enchiladas, and pulled chicken burrito.
The restaurant was opened in 2014 and has since received many awards and accolades such as the 2018 Best Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. All the foods are made fresh on a daily basis without the need for canned products or the use of microwaves. This helps the customers to eat dishes that have all the nutrients intact for a better Mexican food experience.
The Las Vegas strip menu includes vegan, vegetarian, gluten-friendly, and spicy options. You will find the tableside Guacamole that goes for just $18, chicken taquitos that go for $13.50 and beef taquitos for $15.
The signature tacos include the likes of filet mignon which comes with two tender prime filet tacos, house-made chimichurri sauce, micro cilantro, and crispy onion. Other tacos include the lobster taco, grilled mahi, shrimp taco, crispy fish taco, and lettuce wraps.
- Address – 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S at the Strip in ARIA resort and casino
- Business hours – Monday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Website menu – Javier’s
- Telephone number – (866) 590-3637
Javier’s Mexican restaurant is located at the ARIA resort and casino in City Center. The authentic Mexican restaurant is self-proclaimed to provide you with the finest foods of Mexico. Javier’s is popular throughout the US with its Southern California locations being the most visited and praised.
The Las Vegas location has one of the largest selections of fine tequilas and consists of a main dining room, al fresco patios, a bar, and a few intimate and private dining rooms. Enter the premises to have fun with hand-shaken margaritas, craft cocktails, and several selections of fine wine.
Javier’s only uses sustainable seafood to make dishes like the camarones Al Mojo De Ajo, Callitos Mazatlan (fresh wild scallops), enchiladas pueblo, camerones con rajas, and Salmon Al Sarten.
The salads on the menu include the house salad that has house ranch dressing, Javier’s Special house salad with shaved parmesan, enslada de asada, and Javier’s Chopped salad that has fresh greens, cucumbers, avocado, roasted corn, tomatoes, and champagne vinaigrette.
4. Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina
- Address – 9640 W Tropicana Ste 101, Las Vegas
- Business hours – Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Wednesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Website menu – Juan’s
- Telephone number – (702) 823-1400
The inspiration that led to the development and progress of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas and Cantina came from traditional Mexican cuisines. Some of these dishes include the Carnitas, Chile Rellenos, Enchiladas de Mole, and the beloved fajitas. Their menu consists of vegan foods, vegetarian, marinated meats, and lots of authentic Mexican desserts.
The dinner menu is served daily and after 3 p.m. on the weekdays. The dinner options are vast with appetizers like the Quesadilla, Queso fundido, Queso Dip, Shrimp cocktail, and taquitos rancherito. The ensaladas include grilled vegetable salad, shrimp ceviche salad, taco salad, and the JFFC’s salad which comes with your choice of chopped pollo asado or steak with rice and beans, or seasoned steamed vegetables filled with mixed greens.
The lunch menu consists of a lunch drink that goes for $2.49 and lunch margarita special of 12 oz for $4.29. The appetizers and salads are similar to the dinner menu. The lunch flaming fajitas come with grilled onions and bell peppers that are garnished with sour cream. The fajitas are also categorized into different lists depending on your meat/non-meat preference: vegetarian for $10.99, chicken for $11.49, pork for $12.29, and shrimp for $12.99.
5. Hussong’s Cantina – Mandalay Bay
- Address – 3930 Las Vegas Blvd S Ste 121B, The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay
- Business hours – Open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Website menu – Hussong’s Cantina
- Telephone number – (702) 632-6450
Hussong’s Cantina is named as the home of the original Margarita. The story goes that a bartender at the original location founded the drink by mixing equal parts of Tequila, lime, and Damiana. The drink was then offered to Margarita Henkel, the daughter of the German Ambassador to Mexico. The drink became popular due to its initial impressions by the fair lady and hence the name, margarita.
It was established in 1892 back in Ensenada where it was famous for being ‘the bar that built a town’. It was a place that was famously visited by movie stars, gunslingers, and revolutionaries. Over the years, the owners have opened multiple locations one of which is at Mandalay Bay.
The menu has the original margarita which is made of Sauza Blue Reposado Tequila, Agave Nectar, and fresh squeezed lime juice. You will also find specialty tacos like the Baja shrimp that has beer battered shrimp, corn tortillas, cabbage mix, pickled red onions, and micro greens.
6. Casa Don Juan
- Address – 1204 S Main St, Las Vegas, Downtown
- Business hours – Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Website menu – Casa Don Juan
- Telephone number – (702) 832-4498
Casa Don Juan is located in Downtown Las Vegas where the cultural hub of the city exists. This authentic setting is complemented by the excellent customer relations that Casa Don Juan is known for as well as speed of service and consistency in delivering great fresh Mexican foods.
The appetizers include camarones mariposa that is made in shrimp butterfly style, camarones ahogados (shrimp with lemon), Queso Cheese Dip, and many more.
7. Casa Calavera – Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
- Address – 4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas at the Virgin Hotels
- Business hours – Sunday to Thursday 11:30 am to 10 pm, Friday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 11pm
- Website menu – Casa Calavera
- Telephone number – (702) 522-8000
The most praised items on the Casa Calavera menu include the carne asada, shredded beef, coconut tres leches cake, chicken tacos, huevos rancheros, grilled shrimp and baja fish. The happy hours at Casa Calavera starts from 3 pm and ends at 6 pm from Wednesday to Monday while the live music performances are only on Sunday at 12:30 pm and Friday from 8 pm.
Casa Calavera has a taco Tuesday that run from 3 pm to 6 pm and brunch every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. You can opt to order your food to be undercooked or have raw/undercooked ingredients at the restaurant which makes it more convenient.
The tacos include roasted chicken tacos, shredded beef, pork carnitas, portobello and rajas, carne asada, grilled shrimp, baja fish, guacs, classic-V (tomatillo, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime), pomegranate-jicama, and chipotle bacon.
8. Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar
- Address – 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd at the Strip
- Business hours – Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 10 pm, and Friday to Saturday from 8 am to 11 am.
- Website menu – Chayo Mexican
- Telephone number – (702) 691-3773
Chayo mixes the innovative Mexican fare with a lot of authentic and traditional Mexican dishes to give you a world class experience. One of the unique aspects of the restaurant is their bottomless mimosa that you can get for $25 from 9 am to 1 pm every day. Keep in mind that there is a 90-minute limit to the offer and you must purchase an entrée first.
The menu consists of delicacies such as the chayo quesadilla which has Mexican cheese blend, roasted chiles, cilantro cream, and pickled vegetables. You can also get the Queso dip that has Mexican cheese fondue, roasted chiles, and tortilla chips. The burritos include chicken, carne asada, and grilled shrimp burritos. There are only three fajitas for the lunch menu – carne asada, grilled shrimp, and spiced chicken.
9. Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria
- Address – 8125 W Sahara Ave Ste 110, Las Vegas
- Business hours – Monday from 1 pm to 9 pm, Tuesday to Thursday from 12 pm to 9 pm, and Friday to Saturday from 12 pm to 10 pm
- Website menu – Salud
- Telephone number – (702) 665-6423
Salud’s is the place to be for unique and hard to find tequilas and mezcals. Here, you will find the Reposado Tequilas and Mezcals that is aged from 2 months to one year in barrels that are made of wood, quite a rare breed of tequila.
The restaurant is operated by Mark Rich and his wife Summer Rich who bring a unique margarita experience in combination with a modern dining with a Mexican twist. This is seen in their assortment of drinks and foods. The dishes include appetizers like the octopus Salteado (grilled octopus with Romesco lime sauce), classic guacamole, street corn chorizo stuffed jalapenos, and more.
10. La Comida
- Address – 100 S 6th St Las Vegas
- Business hours – Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 9 pm
- Website menu – La Comida
- Telephone number – (702) 463-9900
Last but not least on our best authentic Mexican food restaurants is the LA Comida. La Comida, similar to Salud’s Mexican bistro, adds a twist of modern flavors and American styles to their menu despite having authentic Mexican dishes. It does not take away from the traditional foods as some may think since the additional dishes and some familiarity to new diners.
A fan favorite at the restaurant is the Mexican street corn that comes with tortilla soup. You can also enjoy the wild mushrooms and oven-roasted poblano peppers that are mouth watering and to die for.
The above list will give you an amazing taste of Mexican cuisines in a memorable and exciting environment. Below are some of the other few restaurants in Las Vegas that you may want to check out to get Mexican delicacies and a vibrant ambience.
- Mariposa Cocina and Cocktails
- Las Cazuelas
- Tacos El Gordo
- Lindo Michoacan
- El Segundo Sol
- Nacho Daddy
- Ghost Donkey