Mexican food is one of those things that once you get the craving, nothing else will do. I don’t know what it is, but there are few things quite as satisfying as the perfect plate of slow-cooked pork carnitas, the perfectly crafted taco, or a burrito bursting with authentic flavors. Fortunately, Richmond is packed full of outstanding Mexican restaurants, so you’ll have no problem satisfying your cravings. But first, you’ll have to narrow down the options.
To help you find that one special place that will become your go-to whenever the Mexican food cravings hit, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the Richmond area. Of course, favorite foods are always a subjective topic. So it’s only fair that we let you know what we considered when choosing our favorite Mexican restaurants:
- Authentic dishes and flavors
- A wide array of menu options
- Reasonable pricing
- Fast service
Ranging from small hole-in-the-wall taquerias with subtle surroundings and mouth wateringly authentic dishes, to larger, more flamboyant establishments with equally delicious food, the following five spots checked every box on our list. If you haven’t already already picked your favorite Mexican restaurant, give these a try and let us know what you think! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
5. Tres Machos
For a Mexican restaurant that offers a little bit of everything, Tres Machos is a one-stop shop. Quality ingredients, authentic flavors, a family friendly environment and prices that are hard to beat combine to make this restaurant a North Chesterfield favorite. With a warm, friendly environment that serves up consistently tasty dishes, Tres Machos is a family-owned restaurant that stays true to their roots, always offering great food at great prices. With genuine Mexican flavors, from the house made chips and salsa to the tender Carne Asada, Tres Machos will keep you and your family coming back time and again.
Why we love them: While the façade may be a little unassuming (it’s located in a strip mall), Tres Machos offers an interior that is cozy, cheerful and inviting. With warmly lit booths and a colorful artwork that is a feast for the eyes as much as the food is a feast for the belly, Tres Machos is the kind of place that makes you feel at home from the start. But just in case we haven’t sold you on them quite yet, keep in mind that every Tuesday is Margarita Night and on Wednesday, kids eat free from the kids’ menu!
11521 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
(804) 464 1571
Lalo’s Cocina (which means “kitchen” in Spanish) has only been on the Richmond dining scene since November 2014. But in less than three years, they have quickly made a name for themselves with high quality ingredients that translate into flavor-packed, traditional Mexican dishes. Now touted as one of the top Mexican restaurants in Richmond, Lalo’s started as the brainchild of Eduardo “Lalo” Macias, who perfected his style and recipes as the owner of The Patron Mexican Restaurant in Mechanicsville. With an extensive menu, and we do mean extensive (even the online menu includes 20 different categories), there’s no question that every one in your family will find a favorite.
Why we love them: Located in the heart of Richmond on West Broad Street across from the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Lalo’s offers delicious food, reasonable prices and outstanding service. And all of this is great, but when it comes to Mexican food, what really matters is authenticity. And authenticity is exactly what you’ll fine at Lalo’s Cocina. Born in Mexico and raised in California, Lalo combines 20 years in the restaurant industry with a lifetime of experience creating genuine Mexican flavors. And it show in every dish – from the sizzling hot fajitas to his specialty El Guarache, a gordita flatbread topped with meat, vegetables, a house-made crema fresca and cheese.
2617 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Here’s what you won’t find at Taqueria Panchito – frills, gimmicks, glitz or glamor. But you will find insanely good tacos. Like…insanely good. Considered some of the best tacos in the city, these tasty treats are packed with flavors from your standard pollo al carbon (charcoal cooked chicken), carnitas (pork) and pescado (fish), to the more “exotic” menu options like Lengua (beef tongue), tripa (tripe) and cabeza de res (beef head). Of course, if tacos aren’t your thing, then choose from fajitas and burritos served with shrimp, beef, pork or chicken – or go with other traditional Mexican favorites like enchiladas, huevos rancheros, or grilled steak, carne asada. No matter what you order, the salsa bar featuring fresh, house made salsas ensures that you’ll always get the perfect spice for your palate. But more importantly, you’ll get real Mexican food, served in a fast, friendly environment.
Why we love them: It’s hard to pick just one reason to love Taqueria Panchito, but if we had to start somewhere then $1 taco Wednesdays seems as good a place as any. On any given day, three tacos for $6.99 is a good deal. But $1 per taco? That’s hard to beat, especially when the tacos really are that good. With counter service, simple booths and no fancy accoutrements, I would say that you’re getting what you pay for…but let’s be honest. You’re getting so much more.
6531 Midlothian Tpke
Richmond, VA 23225
If you’re looking for genuine Mexican food with genuine Mexican flair, then save yourself some time and start your search at Tio Pablo Taqueria. Chances are, your search will stop right where it starts. In addition to traditional favorites like chiles rellenos and quesadillas, Tio Pablo’s serves tacos, tostadas and gorditas with an option of 11 different filling combinations that are simply out of this world – or at least out of this country. Choose from the Al Pastor (grilled achiote-marinated pork with pineapple), the de Nopales (sautéed cactus with tomatoes and jalapenos), or the de Camrones (sautéed shrimp with garlic, tomatoes and avocado) – just to name a few. Priced at only $3 for a single taco, tostada or gordita or $10 for a plate (two of your chosen main and two sides), you can’t beat the flavors or the prices. But the real clincher? Every single item on the menu is gluten-free, so that no one has to miss out on Tio Pablo’s goodness.
Why we love them: We love that Tio’s doesn’t try to impress with overdone décor. They let their food do the talking – and what is says is simply delicious. Tio also has gotten rid of their communal table but replaced it with many tables to improve seating. But trust me, once you taste the food, you won’t mind if you’re sitting, standing or walking in circles.
1703 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23223
Some places are always busy because they are a well-known chain or they have some kitschy gimmick that crowds come to see. Others draw the crowds because the food is just that good. Pepe’s falls in to the latter group without a doubt. Some will claim it’s the incredibly fresh chips and salsa, other will say that they come back time and again for the white sauce alone. But whatever your reason, there’s no denying that this southside favorite is the place for authentic Mexican flavors, reasonable prices and some of the friendliest service around. With a menu that includes all the classics, along with a few customized favorites, Pepe’s is the kind of place that will have you thinking about their food long after your plate is empty.
Why we love them: Pepe’s offers a modern, hipster vibe, while at the same time maintaining their genuine Mexican style. This is not an easy balance in our book, but somehow Pepe’s does it with ease. Starting with an open, slightly industrial setting that ends up feeling like an authentic cantina, they carry on their combination of new and old with a menu that serves up traditional dishes along side fresh innovations like The Goatocado – a burrito stuffed with housemade potato casserole, black beans, avocado, smoked gouda, fresh zucchini and spinach, chipotle dressing and spicy sriracha. It’s modern meets traditional – and the results are mouth wateringly delicious.
9550 Midlothian Tnpk N.
Chesterfield, VA 23235
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