Houston - Favorite Mexican Restaurant?

OK, so here’s the deal, in Houston there’s a lot of good Mexican food. Tex-Mex, Gulf-Mex, Taco Trucks, Authentico, etc.

I don’t want to quibble about semantics. We all know what we’re talking about.

So let’s have your three favorites. When you want whatever version of “Mexican” appeals to you, where you gonna go?

In no particular order:

Lopez for carnitas, cheese enchiladas, beef rib tacos.

Mexico’s Deli for cream of poblano soup, breakfast tacos, tacos pastor, tortas.

Tejas for cheese enchiladas, stuffed redfish, habanero hot sauce.

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Again, since I’m out in Katy, have to work on what I’ve got out here. Will say that, thanks to a recommendation from JC (I think it was) tried the crab enchiladas at El Tiempo and really loved them. And Mexico’s Deli and that cream of poblano soup was fabulous.

However, out here in Katy, Tony’s is my far-and-away favorite. Do need to point out that, according to owner/manager at the Katy Tony’s, they have no connection with the other Tony’s restaurants in the Houston area. So I’m not recommending any location other than the Katy one on South Mason Road.

I’m back as jcostiones and it was the nachos, frijoles del lado, on the side beans for all you gringos out there.

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Three favorites? How 'bout thirty? I’ll fan out from my WNW swankienda.

Carniceria, Pancho’s Meat Market on Long Point. A working knowledge of Spanish is pretty much a must. Favorites, carnitas, asado de puerco and fajitas for the grill from the market. Atmosphere, scruffy inside and out. The wifeacita didn’t want to go in at first. Clientele, local Mexican-Americans often in Texans and Astros gear, immigrantes, and a white guy, me.

Old school Tex-Mex, El Gallo on Gessner and Hammerly. My favorites are beef and chicken enchiladas, and chile rellenos, which they readily admit are stuffed bell peppers, they remind me of moms’. The salsa is a puree and not very spicy, but I love it and spoon it on everything. Wash everything down with a cold Carta Blanca in an icy mug.

Taco place, Laredo Taqueria on Washington. Really big, cheap, delicious tacos worth standing in line for. Favorites, asado de Puerco, spicy fajitas, and anything fresh from the cocina.anything grilled

East End, Merida just west of the former original Ninfas. We usually just get the super nachos with chorizo beans on the side.

Far east end, Harrisburg and 77nd, El Jardin. Carnitas, anything grilled. Mariachas on weekends with lots of locals.

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Välkommen Senor Ostiones. I think we’re going to have a slurpin’ good time here.

Although I have no idea what the OP is talking about and would much prefer to quibble, here goes:

I swore off Tex-Mex about a half dozen years ago, figuring I’d had enough of it in my life and what with all the other great cuisines to try here in Houston. Actually, for years leading up to that, I had indulged very infrequently. The only Tex-Mex I go to these days (and I haven’t been in a couple of years) is El Real and I only go for the classic dishes section of the menu which recreates the dishes from some classic Tex-Mex joints of the 30s and 40s (before my time). It’s the best Tex-Mex I’ve ever had, certainly better than what was available in the small home town where I was first exposed to Tex-Mex when it was just known as Mexican food.

In thinking about this thread I also realized in recent years I have mostly gone to taquerias, carnicerias and taco trucks. I wish I could be more familiar with the offerings at some of our more upscale interior Mexican eateries like Hugo’s, Caracol and Cuchara, but I’m not. And for some reason, many of the taquerias I’ve frequented have either changed hands or gone out of business. But the great taco trucks seem to persevere.

I like El Ultimo on Long Point; anything on the truck is good but they have some items not found that often, like orejas (ears) and cachete (cheek) that are really a treat.

Likewise at Tacambaro, behind Canino’s, most anything is good but they have the famous Mollejas (sweetbreads) and I have also liked the Buche (which I’ve been told means pig’s esophagus), although its not the best I’ve had - that’s one taco truck that’s disappeared.

Tacos Tierra Caliente, on W. Alabama, is perhaps the most famous taco truck in town and has great barbacoa but there are many trucks in town who do a great job with that. Another I like is El Mapache on Gulfton where they also do great tortas.

For Pollo Asado (en estilo Monterrey) I like the El Norteno units on the west side or the La Silla units on the east side.

For breakfast tacos, the Super Bacon at Villa Arcos on Navigation is the best there is (that’s not a truck, btw).

Closer to home, the mobile Tacos La Bala on S. Post Oak has much of the great stuff from the La Bala brick and mortar locations and is more convenient to me. I like the Al Pastor and Cochinita Pibil and Pollo Asado.

That and Amigos Supermarket on W. Bellfort are probably the two Mexican places I’ve frequented the most in recent years, partly just because of proximity. While I wouldn’t urge people to drive half way across town for Amigos, I go there for the platillos. It’s the best taqueria-in-a-carniceria I’ve found in this part of town. Most of their mains are good; the refritos unfortunately are as runny as any I’ve ever had but the arroz is always good, the tortillas are hecho a mano and awesome and they have the best tamales I’ve found on this side of town.

Is that three yet? I forgot to count.

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I almost went to the El Norteno mothership on Gessner and Long Point esta manana pero I didn’t feel like waiting around in the rain. The last time I was there some guy ordered veinte tres medio pollos, I assumed for a work crew as he drove away in a gigantour f350ish truck. We always get extra ordenes of the delicious beans. They used to sell grilled pork ribs fin de semana but I haven’t seen them in awhile.

I’ve been checking in with acquaintances as the end of the year rolls around, having lunches, mostly at unremarkable places. But a friend mentioned he hadn’t had Tex-Mex in quite a while so we met at Lopez.

After just a couple of bites of his cheese enchiladas, his bellwether dish at a new Tex-Mex place, he said he’d be coming back to try more of the menu.

I usually go for one of the combo plates myself but decided to try the carnitas on the rec above - excellent choice. And a heck of a lot more food than I expected - I’ll be having carnitas tacos tomorrow.

Everything was excellent. I didn’t care much for the paper thin chips which would barely hold any of the thin salsa but in order not to seem rude, I ate half a basket anyway. I guess I haven’t been there more than once in 15 years; my folks used to love it, especially the setting. The new building isn’t quite as nice as I remember the old one.

But, thanks for the rec on the carnitas. Next time I’ll try the carne guisada.

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Recommended! It’s really good.

(But not as good as mine!) :wink:

Had lunch with the posse at El Palenque on Westheimer at Walnut Bend last Saturday. We had been there a few times before and “The Posse” is particularly enamored with the table salsa and the margaritas. (Especially the margaritas.)

Li’l Bro had been there most recently and suggested the Tacos a la Plancha. The dish consist of three crispy tacos with rice and beans. The tacos are made from soft corn tortillas which are lightly pan fried before being stuffed, (as opposed to pre-made crispy “taco shells”). These are excellent. As noted, we’ve eaten there a few times before, (did I mention that my cohorts love the margaritas?) but I always had some combo plate or other. I thought it was good but not outstanding.

These tacos were outstanding.

You can get them with shredded beef or shredded chicken, or for a slight upcharge shrimp or fajita beef or grilled chicken, (chickens don’t have “fajitas”!).

Broseph and I each had two chicken and one beef and both renditions were excellent. Mom had the fajita beef, also excellent.

They have two other locations up north somewheres.


My Bestest Tex-Mex is expanding to 2 locations after 39 years in the same single location. Joining up with mattress Mac out at the Grand Parkway, who looks like he could benefit from some Lopez food.

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I went back recently with some friends. They wanted to treat me to dinner for my birthday and they’re not adventurous eaters so I picked something safe. One guy lives about a half mile from there and says he goes once a week at least and has in the past eaten there 5 times a week. Always gets the Ocampo dinner. Everybody at the table got the Ocampo dinner. I had really been craving a crispy taco but didn’t care for their version so I’ll be making some at home.

The Mina is my order, the taco is the least favorite item on the menu but I’m not a taco person generally.

I used to order a combo that had ranchero beef with onions and one flauta, they took it off the menu and I miss it, even though they say I can still order it by name. Right now I can’t remember the name.

I could eat there 5 days a week! We used to go once a week but life has gotten too busy to drive the 15 miles or so in heavy BW8 traffic for dinner that much anymore.

Today only

Emailed this to a couple of acquaintances; thanks will be forthcoming I’m sure.

Just so happens I went to lunch today with the guy I introduced to this place a couple of months ago. We considered Lopez but I was craving soup (and salad) so we went to Sweet Tomatoes.

Probably really crowded anyway!

“Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” Yogi Berra

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Not to dredge up an old thread, but I’m going to… dredge up an old thread.

I just gotta say… my meal at Caracol last September was one of the best meals I’ve had in the past 2… maybe 3 years. No joke. It was spectacular. The kind where you can’t stop eating because everything tastes so damn good.

And while I don’t live close (I’m in Austin) you can bet that I’ll be going there again next time I’m in Htown.

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Hey, thanks for the comment. I’d eat at Hugo’s every day if I could. Same owner. Next time you’re in Houston, let me know. We’ll get together again for sure!

Absolutely! I’m gonna hang in this little board and see what’s up :slight_smile:


I hafta admit I wasn’t wowed by Hugo’s and never been to Caracol. Frankly I didn’t find the food all that nuanced.

Yeah! I Know, right?!?

Maybe it was an off day.

Since I made the OP above, one of my favorites has closed, (Tejas). I think Joe just decided to retire and so I guess he’s somewhere on the coast wetting a hook. (If you ever went to Tejas, you know what I mean.)

Mexico’s Deli is still great. Alex started the place with Mexico City style tacos and tortas. Just fantastic. Alex passed away after a severe auto accident a few years ago, but his daughters carry on and not much else has changed.

Lopez is … well… it’s LOPEZ. It is seemingly eternal. I would suggest that it stems from an extra helping of love in every dish.

I would “suggest” it’s love, but I “suspect” it’s an extra helping of lard! :wink:

And honestly, I still like Molina’s, Los Tios and Lupe Tortilla.

I’m not a huge fan of El Tiempo but y’all seem to like the crab and shrimp and I rarely order seafood at a Mex joint. (I want LARD!)

And cheez.

I’ll still recommend El Palenque also. Everything I’ve had there was good.

Welcome Malarkey. You may know my mom. I’ve heard her invoke your name frequently my whole life! I’ve wondered why no one from Austin, (or Dallas/Ft Worth, San Antonio, Temple, Waco, Corpus Christi, Amarillo, El Paso or Laredo) had found their way here yet.

As an aside, may I suggest to @HO that they change the name of this forum to Houston “/” Texas or even just Texas. I don’t think the PTB know how insecure the rest of Texans are of the awesomeness that is Houston. :grinning: