The Salsa Is About to Hit the Fan: Here's the Full List of Our Fifty Best Mexican Restaurants in Texas
Mon November 15, 2010 8:06 pm

Every five to six years (starting in 1999), this magazine has published a roundup of the best Mexican restaurants in Texas. Our December issue marks the third edition of that opinionated, subjective, and controversial list.

First, a few words of explanation: The headline on this story is "LET'S HAVE MEX-TEX." Meaning what, exactly? Meaning, this list is not your father's Tex-Mex. As I wrote in the intro, "Mexican food is the richest, most dynamic native cuisine in Texas, and it's getting more Mexican all the time."

So while we have tacos and enchiladas in green sauce and flautas galore in the story, we also have tlayudas ("Mexican pizza") and huitlacoche (corn fungus) and nopalitos (cactus). And while we have some well-loved familiar faces on the list, we also have some newcomers that you've probably never heard of.

And--this is where we're going to get in trouble--we've left out of the top fifty some of the most hallowed names in all of Texas Mexican food-dom. Not because we don't love them--indeed, the most famous of the famous are enshrined in our "Yellow Cheese Hall of Fame." And not because we don't love our huevos rancheros and macho nachos--after all, this is Texas--but because our story is looking toward the future, not the past.

If you're a subscriber, you should be getting the magazine this week. If you're not, you can pick one up on the newsstands. (Subscribers will be able to read the whole story online when the December issue goes live on the website; nonsubscribers, sorry, but you'll have to wait three weeks.) In the interest of getting folks' adrenaline pumping, though,I'm publishing the full list (without write-ups) now.

AUSTIN
Curra’s Grill
El Mesón
El Naranjo
Fonda San Miguel (in top five)

Garrido’s
La Condesa
Manuel’s
Takoba
BROWNSVILLE
Taqueria Rico’s

DALLAS
Avila’s
Café San Miguel
Cuquita’s (in top five)

Gloria’s
Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano
Nuevo León
Tipico’s
Urban Taco
Veracruz Cafe

EL PASO
Forti’s Mexican Elder
H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop
Tacos Santa Cecilia

FORT WORTH
Benito’s
Esperanza’s
Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana
Paco & John

Salsa Fuego (in top five)

HOUSTON
Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen
Gorditas Aguas-Calientes
Hugo’s (in top five)

Irma’s
Jarro Café
Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
Pico’s Mex-Mex
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen
Teotihuacán Mexican Cafe

LAREDO
El Meson de San Agustin
Fonda Don Martin
Palenque Grill (also in McAllen)
Zaragoza Grill, La Posada Hotel

McALLEN
Costa Messa
El Pastor
Palenque Grill

SAN ANTONIO
Cascabel Mexican Patio
Cielito Lindo
El Siete Mares
Guajillo’s
La Fonda on Main
La Gloria Icehouse
Mary Lou’s Café y Cocina Mexicana
Rosario’s
SoLuna (in top five)

The End.

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