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The Tampiqueña Plato special at Tenoch in Boston.
The Tampiqueña Plato special at Tenoch in Boston.
Tenoch/Facebook

15 Outstanding Mexican Restaurants In and Around Boston

Tacos, tortas, mondongo, and huaraches make Mexico feel much closer than it is

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The Tampiqueña Plato special at Tenoch in Boston.
| Tenoch/Facebook

Though Boston lies a long way from Mexico, quality Mexican food is easier than ever to find in the city. With tortas, tacos al pastor, pozole, and more, the Boston area has plenty of options. Additionally, there are always new taquerias opening and making waves, like Cambridge’s new Mex taqueria and bar with its exceptional rooftop.

Here are 15 reliable options for Mexican food in the Boston area.

As always, if we’ve missed a good one, let us know at boston@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tacos Lupita

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Lynn’s petite Mexican cafe has showcased authentic Mexican dishes like masa-covered huaraches, tacos stuffed with options like beef tongue and chorizo, and more in its no-frills counter-service spot since 2003. Weekends bring out the best with specials like atole de elote (a warm, sweet beverage often sipped over breakfast) and mondongo (a labor-intensive tripe soup thought to cure hangovers).

Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos Lupita

Tenoch Mexican

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For ten years, sibling owners Alvaro and Andrés Sandoval have set a high standard with Boston’s most cherished tortas — soft, warm telera bread stuffed with flavor-packed carnitas (or choose from nearly a dozen other options), beans, chipotle mayo, tangy pickled onions, fresh avocado, and gooey Oaxacan cheese. The menu also includes stand-out tacos, burritos, Mexican beers, and more. The mini-empire now includes outposts in Boston’s North End, Somerville’s David Square, as well as crimson taco trucks roaming on the Greenway in Boston, at Harvard Square in Cambridge, and near South Station in Dewey Square.

La Victoria Taqueria

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Hefty tortas stuffed with savory items like Mexican sausage and melted cheese on yeasty rolls fly out of the kitchen at Veracruz-born Alex Barrientos’s speedy taqueria. Meanwhile, tilapia tacos, a favorite, are laced with chipotle mayo, bright salsa verde, and crunchy cabbage and radishes. Note that La Victoria is temporarily closed on Sundays.

Esquite Mexican Street Food

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The menu at this colorful taqueria has expanded a lot since the days when it peddled Mexican-style corn from a roving cart, but the yellow studs still play a starring role on the menu with options ranging from a simple buttered corn kernels to the elote loco with mayo, salsa negra, ketchup, mustard, and salty cotija cheese. Meanwhile, saucy tortas are another hit.

corn at Esquite.
The menu has expanded since Esquite peddled Mexican-style corn from a car, but the yellow studs still figure prominently on the menu.
Esquite/Facebook

Rincon Mexicano Somerville

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Lots of people visit Rincon for the meaty birria tacos that arrive at the table with rich consomme ladled into little cazuelas de barro, but the seafood dishes at this tiny, family-run Somerville taqueria might be the unsung heros with fried fish or fried shrimp tucked into soft tortillas and dressed with chipotle mayo and cilantro pesto. A recently added bar pours Mexican cocktails and imported beers. (Note that the $1 taco deal on Tuesdays is available for dine-in guests only.)

Cozy in a space that formerly housed a juice bar in Union Square, Barra packs a big, refined punch into its small digs. Green light seems to lift a galvanized metal bar in this hip space while tightly composed plates remind diners that Mexico is much more diverse than the loaded platters of beans and rice at many local restaurants let on. On the menu, diners find triangle-shaped corn pockets filled with refried beans and Oaxaca cheese alongside cactus salad and grasshoppers. Cochinita pibil in banana leaves tastes like the Yucatan; spicy grilled octopus meets black aioli on a crunchy tostada; and an espresso martini is made with rumchata. Plus, a divine selection of mezcal and tequila helped earn this bar Eater Boston’s award for best new bar in 2021.

Taquería Jalisco

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Taqueria Jalisco feels old-school, with menu items illustrated with photos of the dishes, but that’s just why people flock there. Birria tacos, invigorating pozole, and more fill this menu of outstanding Mexican flavors.

Angela's Cafe Eagle Hill

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In East Boston’s sunshine yellow Mexican cafe, the elaborate mole poblano is a treasured tradition passed down from the restaurant’s late matriarch’s own mother. Meanwhile, the cafe serves warming pozole, chilaquiles, and seasonal dishes like chile en nogada (a fried poblano pepper filled with picadillo, covered in walnut cream sauce, and jeweled with shiny pomegranate seeds). There’s plenty of booze to wash it down — such as a coconut margarita, Mexican coffee, and a dulce de leche martini.

Taqueria Mexico

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For nearly a quarter of a century, owners Rogelio and Maria del Refugio Serratos have brought the Central Mexican cuisine they grew up with to Boston. Inside a homey little jewel box off the main drag, diners crowd around tables heavy with steaming bowls of bright pozole and plates of gorditas, tortas, and tacos stuffed mightily with lengua, carnitas, chorizo, and more.

Taqueria El Amigo

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Hardly noticeable, this tucked-away, miniature taqueria serves big flavors and often buzzes with people clamoring for a taste off its authentic Mexican food menu. Tacos are filled with tongue, cheek, and more.

Villa Mexico Cafe

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It’s hard for other restaurants to keep pace with Villa Mexico founder Julie King, who has been running her lauded taqueria for over 20 years as one of the very first authentic Mexican spots in the Boston-area. While cooking out of a gas station years ago, King gained a following for gas station burritos and ink-hued salsa negra, which is available to take home by the jar.

El Centro Mexican Restaurant

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The color-splashed dining room at El Centro radiates warmth with Mexican art, housemade tortillas, and pours of micheladas. Raised in the north of Mexico in a family with restaurants in Hermosillo, Mexico, chef and co-owner Allan Rodriguez lays the table at El Centro with dishes from his home state of Sonora — like carne asada tacos and caramelos (tacos made with grilled beef and topped with melted Chihuahua cheese), as well as moles inspired by those found in Oaxaco, and street snacks from central and southern regions of Mexico.

Chilacates Amory St

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Chilacates first debuted in Jamaica Plain in 2015 and now has locations sprinkled across Greater Boston where diners dig into tacos cradling tender, slow-cooked meats like al pastor. The rapid growth of the Boston-born mini-chain earned it a nod from Eater Boston for empire-building in 2019.

Raymundo Bakery & Taqueria

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This tidy Mexican bakery and taqueria opens early (7 a.m.) most days with freshly baked Mexican pan dulce. Do know that the menu ranges from Mexican to Guatemalan standards (like a satisfying beef soup rich with garlic and chiles, and hearty with meat, carrots, and potatoes).

La Taqueria

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Bringing coastal Mexican flavors to two Boston-area locations, this sleek taco spot serves traditional Mexican tacos alongside some that stroll confidently away from the usual, with fillings like Cajun shrimp. The menu includes plenty of salads for lighter options.

Tacos Lupita

Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos Lupita

Lynn’s petite Mexican cafe has showcased authentic Mexican dishes like masa-covered huaraches, tacos stuffed with options like beef tongue and chorizo, and more in its no-frills counter-service spot since 2003. Weekends bring out the best with specials like atole de elote (a warm, sweet beverage often sipped over breakfast) and mondongo (a labor-intensive tripe soup thought to cure hangovers).

Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos from Tacos Lupita.
Tacos Lupita

Tenoch Mexican

For ten years, sibling owners Alvaro and Andrés Sandoval have set a high standard with Boston’s most cherished tortas — soft, warm telera bread stuffed with flavor-packed carnitas (or choose from nearly a dozen other options), beans, chipotle mayo, tangy pickled onions, fresh avocado, and gooey Oaxacan cheese. The menu also includes stand-out tacos, burritos, Mexican beers, and more. The mini-empire now includes outposts in Boston’s North End, Somerville’s David Square, as well as crimson taco trucks roaming on the Greenway in Boston, at Harvard Square in Cambridge, and near South Station in Dewey Square.

La Victoria Taqueria

Hefty tortas stuffed with savory items like Mexican sausage and melted cheese on yeasty rolls fly out of the kitchen at Veracruz-born Alex Barrientos’s speedy taqueria. Meanwhile, tilapia tacos, a favorite, are laced with chipotle mayo, bright salsa verde, and crunchy cabbage and radishes. Note that La Victoria is temporarily closed on Sundays.

Esquite Mexican Street Food

corn at Esquite.
The menu has expanded since Esquite peddled Mexican-style corn from a car, but the yellow studs still figure prominently on the menu.
Esquite/Facebook

The menu at this colorful taqueria has expanded a lot since the days when it peddled Mexican-style corn from a roving cart, but the yellow studs still play a starring role on the menu with options ranging from a simple buttered corn kernels to the elote loco with mayo, salsa negra, ketchup, mustard, and salty cotija cheese. Meanwhile, saucy tortas are another hit.

corn at Esquite.
The menu has expanded since Esquite peddled Mexican-style corn from a car, but the yellow studs still figure prominently on the menu.
Esquite/Facebook

Rincon Mexicano Somerville

Lots of people visit Rincon for the meaty birria tacos that arrive at the table with rich consomme ladled into little cazuelas de barro, but the seafood dishes at this tiny, family-run Somerville taqueria might be the unsung heros with fried fish or fried shrimp tucked into soft tortillas and dressed with chipotle mayo and cilantro pesto. A recently added bar pours Mexican cocktails and imported beers. (Note that the $1 taco deal on Tuesdays is available for dine-in guests only.)

Barra

Cozy in a space that formerly housed a juice bar in Union Square, Barra packs a big, refined punch into its small digs. Green light seems to lift a galvanized metal bar in this hip space while tightly composed plates remind diners that Mexico is much more diverse than the loaded platters of beans and rice at many local restaurants let on. On the menu, diners find triangle-shaped corn pockets filled with refried beans and Oaxaca cheese alongside cactus salad and grasshoppers. Cochinita pibil in banana leaves tastes like the Yucatan; spicy grilled octopus meets black aioli on a crunchy tostada; and an espresso martini is made with rumchata. Plus, a divine selection of mezcal and tequila helped earn this bar Eater Boston’s award for best new bar in 2021.

Taquería Jalisco

Taqueria Jalisco feels old-school, with menu items illustrated with photos of the dishes, but that’s just why people flock there. Birria tacos, invigorating pozole, and more fill this menu of outstanding Mexican flavors.

Angela's Cafe Eagle Hill

In East Boston’s sunshine yellow Mexican cafe, the elaborate mole poblano is a treasured tradition passed down from the restaurant’s late matriarch’s own mother. Meanwhile, the cafe serves warming pozole, chilaquiles, and seasonal dishes like chile en nogada (a fried poblano pepper filled with picadillo, covered in walnut cream sauce, and jeweled with shiny pomegranate seeds). There’s plenty of booze to wash it down — such as a coconut margarita, Mexican coffee, and a dulce de leche martini.

Taqueria Mexico

For nearly a quarter of a century, owners Rogelio and Maria del Refugio Serratos have brought the Central Mexican cuisine they grew up with to Boston. Inside a homey little jewel box off the main drag, diners crowd around tables heavy with steaming bowls of bright pozole and plates of gorditas, tortas, and tacos stuffed mightily with lengua, carnitas, chorizo, and more.

Taqueria El Amigo

Hardly noticeable, this tucked-away, miniature taqueria serves big flavors and often buzzes with people clamoring for a taste off its authentic Mexican food menu. Tacos are filled with tongue, cheek, and more.

Villa Mexico Cafe

It’s hard for other restaurants to keep pace with Villa Mexico founder Julie King, who has been running her lauded taqueria for over 20 years as one of the very first authentic Mexican spots in the Boston-area. While cooking out of a gas station years ago, King gained a following for gas station burritos and ink-hued salsa negra, which is available to take home by the jar.

El Centro Mexican Restaurant

The color-splashed dining room at El Centro radiates warmth with Mexican art, housemade tortillas, and pours of micheladas. Raised in the north of Mexico in a family with restaurants in Hermosillo, Mexico, chef and co-owner Allan Rodriguez lays the table at El Centro with dishes from his home state of Sonora — like carne asada tacos and caramelos (tacos made with grilled beef and topped with melted Chihuahua cheese), as well as moles inspired by those found in Oaxaco, and street snacks from central and southern regions of Mexico.

Chilacates Amory St

Chilacates first debuted in Jamaica Plain in 2015 and now has locations sprinkled across Greater Boston where diners dig into tacos cradling tender, slow-cooked meats like al pastor. The rapid growth of the Boston-born mini-chain earned it a nod from Eater Boston for empire-building in 2019.

Raymundo Bakery & Taqueria

This tidy Mexican bakery and taqueria opens early (7 a.m.) most days with freshly baked Mexican pan dulce. Do know that the menu ranges from Mexican to Guatemalan standards (like a satisfying beef soup rich with garlic and chiles, and hearty with meat, carrots, and potatoes).

La Taqueria

Bringing coastal Mexican flavors to two Boston-area locations, this sleek taco spot serves traditional Mexican tacos alongside some that stroll confidently away from the usual, with fillings like Cajun shrimp. The menu includes plenty of salads for lighter options.

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