The Salsa Is About to Hit the Fan: Here’s the Full List of Our Fifty Best Mexican Restaurants in Texas

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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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