Top 12 Best Mexican Food in El Paso

Sitting along the Rio Grande across the border from Mexico, El Paso seamlessly fuses American and Mexican cultures into a vibrant community pulsing with history. This cultural blending infuses local tastes visible on menus across the West Texas city flaunting its spectacular borderland setting against a rugged desert backdrop.

#Restaurant NameSpecialty
1L&J CaféNew Mexico-style enchiladas
2Tacos Y Mas24/7 taco service
3Taqueria El ToroSpecialty tacos
4Lucy’s RestaurantTex-Mex and Mexican plates
5Lick It UpPlant-based Mexican cuisine
6Rosa’s CantinaTraditional Mexican dishes
7Kayla’s Custom Cakes & MoreMexican sweet treats
8Forti’s Mexican Elder RestaurantAuthentic Mexican cuisine
9TacoholicsUnique taco varieties
10The Pizza JointMexican-inspired pizzas
11Coffee BoxCoffee with Mexican influence
12Ice Billion Berg Dessert CafeDesserts with a Mexican twist

From hearty homemade tamales filled with tender meats to sizzling fajitas served crackling hot, El Paso’s beloved restaurants do Mexican cuisine right.

Local chefs put their signature touch on classics passed down over generations. Creative gringo spots add clever fusion spins to beloved staples creating Tex-Mex masterpieces. High quality ingredients and skillful traditional preparation take already delicious dishes to new heights.

But with so many recommendations for best Mexican food in El Paso, where should hungry visitors even begin their journey to discover authentic flavors? This guide showcases 12 can’t-miss restaurants offering killer Mexican eats spanning tacos, enchiladas, mole, margaritas, and more to satisfy any craving.

Just come hungry and say “gracias” when they’re wiping the last bit of savory sauce from an emptied plate.

L&J Café

Name and Location: L&J Café is located at 3622 E Missouri Ave in El Paso, Texas in the Mission Valley neighborhood.

History and Significance: Serving El Paso since 1927, L&J Café is the oldest Mexican diner in town, known for outstanding enchiladas and famous margaritas attracting visitors from all over to experience this historic eatery and watering hole.

What to Expect: Guests enjoy scrumptious Tex-Mex meals like enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas in a casual funky setting filled with character. Their margaritas are considered among the best in the Southwest, made from scratch using a secret family recipe.

Visitor Information: L&J Café is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm. Cash only. Street parking is available in the area.

This tiny historic spot attached to an old adobe building sums up the delicious contradictions that define El Paso’s distinctive border culture. Famously featured by travel and food personalities like Anthony Bourdain, L&J Café draws hour-plus waits for their mouthwatering New Mexico-style enchiladas buried under oodles of melty cheddar. But the no-frills family-run cafe with just a few tables keeps alive old traditions serving the best food found anywhere.

House specialties everyone raves about feature blue corn tortillas made fresh next door layered with white cheddar then smothered in red and green chili sauce.

Tacos come neatly wrapped bursting with spiced ground beef, chicken or succulent carne adovada. And don’t skip dessert – their divine sopaipillas with warm honey will have you swearing off churros. Squeeze in line at this ageless El Paso legend for a taste locals proudly share with visitors as a badge of honor.

Tacos Y Mas

Name and Location: Tacos Y Mas has two locations at 7930 N Mesa St and 6500 N Mesa St in West El Paso.

History and Significance: Open since 2010, Tacos Y Mas has earned a following for its consistently well-executed breakfast tacos and expansive menu offerings including fantastic lunch specials, all made with the freshest ingredients.

What to Expect: This counter-serve restaurant dishes out amazing tacos, tortas, quesadillas, burritos stuffed with all meat options – including delicious barbacoa, breakfast plates, menudo and more daily prepared items at affordable prices.

Visitor Information: Tacos Y Mas is open daily 6am through 3pm. Cash-only establishment with no indoor seating. Call-in orders for faster service.

The bright pink and green paint may catch your eye, but the heavenly smells of sizzling meats tickle the senses even more when walking by this unassuming street shop in Kern Place.

Like any good taco stop, Tacos Y Mas keeps it simple yet totally satisfying with steamy corn tortillas piled high with your choice of protein like juicy al pastor, spicy shrimp or earthy lengua.

Quick yet flavorful bites like chunky guac, zesty ceviche with mango and creamy queso fresco ramp up the freshness. If still hungry, grab a massive burrito or some satisfying nachos layered with shredded chicken. And true border beverages like Mexican Coke, Tecates in the can or fruity aquas frescas hit the right thirst-quenching notes.

When cravings call at odd hours, Tacos Y Mas stays busy 24/7 as a prime spot for dependable late night tacos in El Paso drawing loyal regulars and new amigos alike.

Taqueria El Toro

Name and Location: Taqueria El Toro has two locations at 855 Sunland Park Dr and 6313 N Mesa St in West El Paso, TX.

History and Significance: Family-owned since 1993, Taqueria El Toro is acclaimed as the originator of gorditas in El Paso, crafting freshly-pressed masa pockets daily filled with tender meats slow-roasted over oak embers to bring depth and smokey flavors in an inviting gem striving to honor authentic border traditions.

What to Expect: Patrons order classic tacos, empanadas and their gordita signature specialties brimming with al pastor, chicken tinga, chicharron or pureed frijoles paired with handmade salsas, cebollitas, onions for a true homemade cuisine experience.

Visitor Information: Taqueria El Toro is open 8am to 6pm daily with both locations offering casual counter seating though the N Mesa venue has a larger dining room. Cash only.

Serving up specialty tacos named after Mexican pop culture icons, the no-frills Taqueria El Toro keeps hungry locals returning almost daily to this colorful little Shapiro-Colonial joint.

Bright murals honoring lucha libre wrestlers and mariachi musicians set the playful mood as guests pull up plastic chairs to foldout tables beneath the gleaming trompo cooker slicing al pastor.

Everyone falls for the fabulous tacos campechanos with both succulent grilled arrachera steak and spicy chorizo sausage tucked inside double corn tortillas. Their signature Rodriguez taco piles slow-cooked barbacoa beef between lightly grilled panels with diced raw onion and cilantro leaves for a tantalizing texture.

If you’re extra famished, upgrade your meal with custom-made extremadamente large burritos packed tight with all the fixings. And don’t overlook refreshing options like mangonadas, fruity licuados or Mexican sodas to wash it all down. Grabbing delicious tacos for just $1.50 each at this totally authentic joint makes for the best bargain in El Paso.

Lucy’s Restaurant

Name and Location: Lucy’s Restaurant has two El Paso eateries located downtown at 1305 N Oregon St and in the far east at 13460 Sparks Dr.

History and Significance: Since 1978 Lucy’s has stayed committed to their vision of giving customers quality Mexican dishes made from only the freshest ingredients and authentic recipes. They take particular pride serving the best chiles rellenos in El Paso.

What to Expect: Feast on beautifully presented plates like stuffed sopapillas, spinach enchiladas swathed in creamy sauce, tender carnitas and their much-lauded chiles rellenos oozing oaxaca and jack cheese with fluffy battered shells begging to be sliced into.

Visitor Information: Lucy’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 7am to 9pm. Reservations recommended for downtown location which has limited seating.

Tucked in a strip mall near UTEP, Lucy’s humble little diner dishes out delightful renditions of comforting Tex-Mex and Mexican plates that keep loyal regulars returning daily.

This family-owned fixture in central El Paso for over 30 years elevates basics like enchiladas, fajitas and flautas into craveable works of art.

Their incomparable cheese enchiladas blanketed in renowned red Lucy’s sauce will have you questioning all past versions. Baked chicken flautas and crisp beef tacos deliver flawless execution. Hearty options like smoky chile verde burritos or the massive combinacion dinner platters ensure even big appetites leave happy.

While the delicious food remains unchanged over generations, Lucy’s friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices make visitors feel like family right away. Swing by this unassuming local legend to enjoy top notch southwestern soul food flawlessly prepared.

Lick It Up

Name and Location: Lick It Up frozen yogurt shop is located at 9398 Viscount Blvd at the corner of Viscount and Gateway East in East El Paso.

History and Significance: Founded 2011, Lick It Up lets customers create fresh frozen yogurt masterpieces by choosing flavors and loading up toppings at a transparent price. Their award-winning froyo emphasizes freshness using pure cane sugar and milk without preservatives or stabilizers.

What to Expect: Guests mix and match rotating froyo flavors like Dutch chocolate and cake batter then finish off cups with heaps of candies, fruit, nuts and sauces from classic Oreo crumbles to local caramel, churros and tres leches cake pieces.

Visitor Information: Lick It Up self-serve frozen yogurt shop is open 1pm through 10pm Monday to Saturday and 1pm to 9pm on Sundays.

As a funky late night destination for homemade ice cream, yogurt and other sweet treats, Lick It Up entices crowds with an eccentric atmosphere matched only by decadent flavors.

The neon lit shop celebrates 1980s hair metal bands with portraits of spandex-clad icons plastered across brightly painted walls. Upbeat nostalgic tunes encourage customers to let loose while enjoying creamy delights.

But beyond the quirky decor, Lick It Up continuously rotates inventive frozen dessert options keeping the menu fresh and exciting to balance cherished standbys. Generous sundaes come crowned with zany toppings like Flaming Hot Cheeto crumbs or crushed candy pieces that playfully mess with sweet and spicy notes. Staff gladly offer samples so you can taste before committing to a cup or cone.

When only something really sinful will do, bring friends along to split their XXL Kitchen Sink challenge. Late night foodies love concluding rowdy evenings out on the town enjoying this über-indulgent treat.

Rosa’s Cantina

Name and Location: Rosa’s Cantina is found at 3454 Doniphan Dr in Canutillo outside El Paso, just off I-10.

History and Significance: Inspiring the famous 1973 Marty Robbins song “El Paso”, Rosa’s Cantina has been an obligatory watering hole for locals and travelers since first opening in 1935, drawing generations to enjoy icy mugs of beer and Tex-Mex plates in an authentic border saloon.

What to Expect: Modern visitors belly up to the historical U-shaped bar or grab a table to sip frosty brews and dig into nachos, fajitas and jumbo burritos while listening to live country bands or mariachi crooners nightly entertaining as they have for over 80 years.

Visitor Information: Rosa’s Cantina serves lunch and dinner daily. Adult admission is $8 per person weekends when live music plays. Cash only.

No trip to the borderlands would be complete without hoisting a drink at the iconic Rosa’s Cantina where cowboy crooner Marty Robbins famously met trouble in his classic country ballad “El Paso”. While the structure housing the beloved bar dates back over 100 years, the boisterous watering hole took the name Rosa’s in 1943 yet remains the ultimate destination for tourists and locals alike chasing Wild West romance under strands of twinkling fiesta lights.

Beyond its reputation as a glittery monument to the days of rancheros and gunslingers, Rosa’s slings up satisfying Tex-Mex plates perfect alongside a cold bottle of beer, margarita or shot of Cuervo Tradicional tequila. Their puffy cheese crisps immediately satisfy chips and salsa cravings. Hearty options like combination plates loaded with tamales, enchiladas, rice and beans will tame even the rowdiest late night appetites.

Rosa’s Cantina proudly embraces its mythic status as a real-life cultural touchstone where dreamers and schemers fueled by bravado keep the jukebox playing as the booze flows under the bright neon cactus. Because everyone deserves to walk in the footsteps of legends before last call eventually always comes.

Kayla’s Custom Cakes & More

Name and Location: Kayla’s Custom Cakes & More is a bakery located downtown at 210 Anthony St in El Paso, TX.

History and Significance: Established in 2015, Kayla’s has earned acclaim for owner Kayla Orrante’s artistry crafting utterly gorgeous custom event cakes plus delectable cookies, cupcakes and more baked goods with artistic passion as she strives to make every dessert exceeding client expectations.

What to Expect: Patrons can select from Kayla’s opulent cake creations highlighting elegant fondant details, colorful sugar flowers, and decadent flavors – or order custom designs while savoring amazing frostings and fillings that elevate her sweets to heavenly status for any occasion.

Visitor Information: Kayla’s downtown El Paso bakery operates Tuesday through Saturday. Cakes and treats should be ordered at least 48 hours in advance by contacting Kayla’s via their Facebook page.

Wandering along Mesa Street through the eclectic Kern Place neighborhood, the divine aromas escaping from Kayla’s will lure you right into this delightful bakery café like a charming fairy tale scene.

As a crafter of custom cakes, the artistic confectioner excels at perfectly balancing visual dazzle with layers of moist cake and luscious frosting.

But on the daily you can visit Kayla’s cute shop to pick up exquisite cupcakes, cookies, bars and other tempting goodies to enjoy right away instead. Their flaky empanadas come stuffed with sweet apples, savory meats or molten chocolate. Empowering messages decorate each scrumptious bites like edible affirmations. And full cafe service lets you pair your pastry with steamy coffee drinks, fruit smoothies or Italian sodas.

With charming garden patio seating out front, Kayla’s Custom Cakes & More attracts a cheerful neighborhood crowd savoring conversation and craveable sweets steps from home. Once you try, resisting repeat visits back for more proves impossible.

Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant

Name and Location: Forti’s Mexican Elder is located at 3011 Magruder St in El Paso’s Mission Valley neighborhood near historic sites.

History and Significance: Serving the area since 1980, family-owned Forti’s specializes in hard-to-find regional Mexican delicacies and preparation styles honoring Elder family heirloom recipes that highlight the incredible breadth of authentic border cuisine through age-old cooking traditions.

What to Expect: Adventurous diners can expand their Mexican food definitions by sampling house specialties like cow cheek barbacoa consome, chicken mole oaxaqueño, or duran spawn ala veracruzana cooked to order alongside traditional niche dishes awaiting discovery.

Visitor Information: Open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner plus Saturday/Sunday lunch. Cash only establishment with takeout available. Call-ahead seating encouraged as capacity is under 50 guests.

At this beloved family-run restaurant in business over 50 years, guests become honorary relatives the moment they walk through the doors. Expect friendly teasing from the staff and maybe tighter hugs as the night goes on.

But beyond the warm hospitality, Forti’s remains the ultimate neighborhood gem to enjoy classic Mexican and New Mexican cuisine just like mama used to make.

Their standout chile colorado burrito packs a slow simmered punch of hearty flavors diners crave all week long. Combo plates allow sampling enchiladas, tacos and tamales all in one go. Daily lunch specials like Menudo or Pozole satisfaction stick-to-your-rib cravings with magic spoonfuls found only here. Such soulful dishes forged over generations deliver comfort alongside full flavors.

Swing by Forti’s to pull up a seat at one of El Paso’s finest family tables where strangers become life-long friends over meals that make every gathering feel like the good times.


Name and Location: Tacoholics is an acclaimed taco fusion eatery located downtown at 302 S El Paso Street in El Paso, TX.

History and Significance: Founded 2011 by owner Sara Castillo, Tacoholics quickly earned a following melding border and modern flavors using seasonal ingredients in creative handhelds plus wings, salads and sides prepared daily showcasing a passion for innovative tastes without shortcuts.

What to Expect: Foodies can expand their taco expectations by biting into options like Korean beef bulgogi, chicken tikka masala or their award winning shredded pork pastor loaded with scratch-made condiments on house corn tortillas, chips and salsas.

Visitor Information: Tacoholics downtown location is open 11am to 8pm Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards accepted. Street and paid parking lots available nearby.

The name says everything visitors need to know about this wildly popular taco shop with two locations thriving thanks to ravenous repeat customers. Tacoholics proudly proclaim “We’re Crazy About Tacos!” through an extensive menu of creative options elevating basic fillings into heavenly flavor journeys inside warmed double corn tortillas or crunchy shells.

Their spicy shrimp tacos deliver sweet ocean notes that beautifully contrast rich Valentina cream sauce and salsa. Grilled mahi mahi or beer-battered cod add delightful marine textures to selections. Even vegetarian-friendly halloumi cheese tacos satisfy with zesty brilliance. And extra-hungry addicts can tackle XXL Frito pie chimichangas or two-handed loaded burritos when only a true coma-inducing feast will cut it.

With homemade salsas, addictively crispy fries, and other perfect sides alongside tasty tacos, quesadillas, and nachos, Tacoholics earns its namesake status as an irresistible spot for taco lovers chasing their next fix.

The Pizza Joint

Name and Location: The Pizza Joint is located at 9028 N Loop Dr in the Amigo Plaza strip mall in Northeast El Paso, TX.

History and Significance: Opened 2015 by Army veteran Mark Pittman, The Pizza Joint has cultivated local fame for serving New York-style thin crust pizza and classic Italian dishes prepared with meticulous devotion by their small staff daily featuring premium ingredients hand-picked to mimic old world quality.

What to Expect: Customers feast on 18-inch coal-oven baked behemoth pizzas, wings, pastas, subs and salads crafted with care using recipes forged in Brooklyn’s best pizzerias ensuring genuine flavors shine through every focused bite.

Visitor Information The Pizza Joint is open 11am until 9pm Tuesday through Sunday. Delivery available within limited area through online ordering.

Sometimes nothing but gooey, cheesy pizza perfection will properly feed the soul on those evenings we need real comfort food.

Tucked away in Sunset Heights, the aptly named Pizza Joint rolls out hearty pies with creative south-of-the-border inspired toppings perfect for just such occasions. Housed in an former fast food building, this laid back pizzeria slings specialty slices and whole pies to enjoy in the retro-hip dining rooms or to grab carry out on the way home.

With the motto “Pizza Is Our Passion”, their bubbly sourdough crusts get loaded up with unexpected toppings like spiced chorizo sausage, tender barbacoa or seasonal vegetables from the farmer’s market. Hearty chicken bacon ranch and fan favorite taco pizzas become instant classics with one bite. Those opting for build-your-own get lots of choices to pile it on high just how you like it.

Offering big flavors at family-friendly prices, Pizza Joint gives El Paso an irresistible spot where great pizza at times simply can’t be beat.

Coffee Box

Name and Location: Coffee Box is a specialty roastery and coffeehouse located downtown at 210 E Franklin Ave in El Paso, TX.

History and Significance: Founded in 2014 by husband and wife baristas Mark and Sandra Walthour, Coffee Box pours cups and brews cold drinks showcasing direct trade bean varietals the couple sample on origin trips ensuring unmatched freshness and ethical partnerships underpin each cup’s flavors.

What to Expect: Patrons can “choose their brew” from numerous pour over, cold drip, espresso and clover machine options revealing tasting profiles preferred bean growing regions and methods provide before selecting signature sandwiches and pastries to accompany morning or afternoon beverage interludes.

Visitor Information: Coffee Box is open daily from 7am to 5pm. Street metered parking available though garage parking further away provides best downtown options.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Mills Plaza building Downtown rises one of El Paso’s favorite local cafes serving award-winning coffee drinks, baked goods and artistic ambiance. Suspended track lighting hovers above Coffee Box’s sleek booths and conversation nooks where friends gather to debate politics or simply catch up. Rotating gallery walls exhibit works by talented regional artists free to admire while you refuel caffeine levels.

In addition to expertly prepared lattes, americanos, cold brews and other coffee essentials, Coffee Box dazzles the sweet tooth with heavenly housemade muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls irresistible alongside your custom beverage. Their markets also carry specialty whole bean bags from the best independent roasters across the Southwest.

For a soothing chilled treat as the desert heat swells, don’t overlook their fabulous affogatos pouring bold espresso shots over vanilla gelato ice cream for an invigorating boost. However you take it, Coffee Box brews up good times in downtown El Paso.

Ice Billion Berg Dessert Cafe

Name and Location: Ice Billion Berg Dessert Cafe serves Taiwanese shaved snow treats at 5101 Gateway East Blvd in East El Paso’s Pebble Hills area.

History and Significance: Since 2018, Ice Billion Berg Cafe crafts ultra-fluffy shaved ice desserts made to order featuring fresh fruit and decadent toppings using family recipes specially sourced from Taiwan where this snowy confection has been perfected as an iconic street food and dessert.

What to Expect: Customers select ice cream base and fruit flavors watching staff delicately shave frozen blocks into ethereal mounds before topping towering creations with everything from boba pearls to chocolate popcorn, cheesecake chunks, sweetened condensed milk and azuki beans.

Visitor Information: Ice Billion Berg is open 1pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday, 1pm to 10:30pm Fridays/Saturdays and 1pm to 9:30pm on Sundays. Cash or credit cards accepted.

Over the top sweet creations drawing lines out the door, the whimsical Ice Billion Berg Dessert Cafe delights kids and kids-at-heart with colorful frozen desserts turning favorite flavors into edible art.

Husband and wife owners Doris and Chuy take ice cream to imaginative new heights crafting photogenic specialty treats perfect for celebrating special occasions or just beating the hot weather with friends.

While they offer familiar options like shakes, banana splits and root beer floats, the signature creations steal the show. The Cookie Overload tops crumbled cookies, toffee and spices over your frosty base. Vibrant Sweet Planet Bowls layer cake cubes, fresh fruit and candy pieces that play sweet and tangy notes with each bite. Decadent flavors like Oreo cheesecake and mild horchata ice cream keep devotees returning through the seasons.

Part toy shop fantasy, part neon carnival, Ice Billion Berg provides smiles with every spoonful. Plan to stay awhile playing games or posing for photos to spread the sugary joy even further.


From hole-in-the-wall taquerias hand rolling corn tortillas to high end restaurants artfully presenting southwestern fusion, El Paso’s dining scene celebrates its distinctive border culture through Mexican cuisine.

Vibrant Mom and Pop shops keep traditions alive perfecting time-honored staples generation over generation with love and skill. Creative newcomers put playful spins on familiar dishes exposing global influences through exciting ingredients and spice blends.

Across the city’s lively neighborhoods, homey cafes and bustling bistros tempt hungry patrons to pull up a seat at the table to share sincere tastes of this community’s compassionate soul. For the best authentic Mexican food in El Paso that graces plates and feeds hearts, just follow the savory scents until you arrive someplace that feels a little bit like home even so far from the places life began.

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