If you asked many Americans what their favourite type of food is, a huge proportion of them would probably say Mexican. The country’s proximity to the United States means that there are thousands of restaurants across the states serving a variety of takes on Mexican cuisine, ranging from places that focus on classic dishes to chefs who push the boundaries of flavour and combine American recipes with Mexican ingredients.
Of course, nowadays the popularity of a restaurant doesn’t solely depend on how good the food is. Customers are looking for Instagrammable decor and meals that not only taste delicious but will also look good on their social media.
We used TripAdvisor to put together a list of hundreds of Mexican restaurants across the USA and then found out how many photos had been tagged on Instagram in each location using the app’s geotag feature. The top 100 results were used to create this guide to the best Mexican restaurants in the USA according to the Instagram users who snapped pictures of their food and friends before digging in.
Top 10 Mexican Restaurants in the USA
1. Javier’s, Newport Beach, California – 61,790
The location ranking in the top spot for the most Instagrammed Mexican restaurant in the USA was Javier’s, with a whopping 61,790 photos tagged here.
Javier’s is a chain of Mexican restaurants in the USA that prides itself on its rich heritage and dedication to cooking up authentic Mexican dishes and serving them in friendly, ambient surroundings. Its restaurant in Newport Beach offers an authentic dining experience with both indoor and outdoor options, including a stunning patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
It’s not just the impressive views and elegant decor that gets so many people taking pictures in Javier’s however. The restaurant is dedicated to only serving the freshest and tastiest ingredients across their entire menu, and every dish is served up with an immaculate presentation to showcase the incredible care that goes into the cooking here.
The final highlight of Javier’s that features heavily in their Instagram tags is the restaurant’s impressive selection of tequilas: one of the largest on the West Coast. If you’re after an exceptional, hand-shaken margarita to accompany your meal, you’re certainly in the right place.
View this post on Instagram
2. Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar, Snowmass Village, Colorado – 52,974
Next on our list is Snowmass Village’s Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar, coming in second place with 52,974 tagged photos on Instagram.
Snowmass is one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado all year round, so it’s no surprise that one of the most Instagrammed Mexican restaurants is just off the slopes in Snowmass Village. Venga Venga serves up authentic Mexican food to the skiers, snowboarders and other intrepid explorers seeking sustenance after getting out and about in the area, and has won the ‘Best of Snowmass’ award in multiple different categories for three years running.
The restaurant has a casual atmosphere that is still full of fun, with colourful indoor dining spaces and an outdoor deck with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. You can cosy up beside the fire pits outdoors in the winter and warm up with the spicier items on the menu, or enjoy a cool margarita in the sunshine over the spring and summer months.
Venga Venga has an extensive lunch and dinner menu featuring all of the classic Mexican favourites, accompanied by an impressive drinks menu that has over 75+ tequilas and mezcals. Whether you’ve come for cocktails or fajitas, you’ll want to get your phone out to capture the impressive surrounding scenery and the colourful food and drink brought to your table.
3. Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, San Antonio, Texas – 51,892
Coming third place in the USA’s most Instagrammed Mexican restaurants is Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, with 51,892 pictures tagged in this location.
Tex-Mex is a classic culinary combination, and this historic bakery and restaurant in San Antonio has been serving up specialities that draw from both Mexican and Texas’ “Tejano” culture for the last 80 years. Mi Tierra has been open since 1941 and is still owned and operated by the same family, now seating up to 500 diners as well as serving passers-by from the bakery.
No matter what time of day it is, you can visit Mi Tierra to enjoy a wide range of Tex-Mex classics and speciality dishes, as the cafe is open 24-hours. Inside is classic, colourful Mexican decor which features prominently in the location’s tagged photos, including a mural by recognised artist Robert Ytuarte, who is also a San Antonio native.
4. La Esquina, New York City, New York – 50,599
La Esquina in New York City ranked fourth place, tagged in 50,599 photos on Instagram.
When you look at the photos of La Esquina Brasserie, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most-snapped spots for Mexican food in the USA. An upscale restaurant hidden under a taqueria in Soho, Manhattan, La Esquina is a seriously cool place to eat that took NYC by storm when it was first opened.
There is a walk-in cafe above ground serving the same, high standard of authentic Mexican food, but if you want to get the real experience it’s worth trying to wrangle yourself a table to dine underground. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a speakeasy at La Esquina, except the speakeasy offers taquitos, enchiladas, fajitas and as many varieties of tequila as you’ll ever need on a night out.
Expect a lot of colour, noise and laughter here. It’s one of New York’s best spots for Mexican food and drink.
5. El Vez, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 39,745
In fifth place on our list is El Vez in Philadelphia, which has been tagged in 39,745 photos at its location on Instagram.
It could be the food, the interior design or the lively atmosphere that makes El Vez such a popular place to eat. The restaurant describes itself as Mex-Eclectic, taking elements of both Mexican culture and flashy, Las Vegas style to offer a truly unique dining experience
With cosy booths, a menu that features classic dishes and unexpected twists on Mexican cuisine, and one of the best and biggest selections of tequila in all of Philadelphia, this is a brilliant place to eat and drink if you’re looking for somewhere bright and colourful in the city.
6. Cafe Coyote, San Diego, California – 37,105
Coming in at number six, Cafe Coyote in San Diego has got 37,105 photos tagged at its location on Instagram.
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican flavours in San Diego, Cafe Coyote is the number one spot to visit. Voted Best Mexican Restaurant for 18 Years in a Row, it’s found in the Walking District of the city’s Old Town and has been open 365 days a year for breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1989.
With charming decor both inside and out on the patio at this restaurant, Cafe Coyote has been featured in thousands of Instagram photos highlighting the exceptional food, cocktails and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant’s ‘Perfect For Two’ margarita has been snapped a significant number of times, although whether you decide to share or just enjoy it all to yourself is up to you!
7. Guelaguetza Restaurante, Los Angeles, California – 30,318
In seventh place with 30,318 tagged photos is LA’s Guelaguetza Restaurante.
Guelaguetza is known as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, so it’s no surprise that it features so highly on our list. This family-owned eatery focuses on sharing traditional Oaxacan culture through the food and drink that they serve in a wonderfully colourful setting right on the edge of Koreatown in the city.
The restaurant is most famous for its delicious mole, but the owner also recently won the James Beard award for the American Classics category, which is one of the most prestigious culinary awards in America. It’s a restaurant perfect for family, friends and couples, offering classic Mexican cooking, a welcoming atmosphere and various events throughout the year.
8. Green Lemon, Tampa, Florida – 24,211
In eighth place on our list is Green Lemon, which has been tagged in 24,211 Instagram photos.
The Green Lemon is a colourful and modern Mexican restaurant in Tampa on the coast of Florida, incredibly popular for both its decor and the brilliant food on offer. Part of the state’s Ciccio Restaurant Group, there’s an emphasis on fun and flavour with classic options like burritos and tacos along with signature ‘fiesta bowls’.
Cocktails and margaritas are also stars of the menu at Green Lemon, including some impressive 60oz options that you’ll see in many of the restaurant’s tagged Instagram photos. Whether you’re visiting for food or to sample the drinks menu, it’s a very ‘grammable location that gets rave reviews from all of its customers.
9. Old Town Mexican Cafe, San Diego, California – 20,578
Back again in San Diego, Old Town Mexican Cafe is number nine in the rundown of the best Mexican restaurants in the USA, tagged in 20,578 pictures on Instagram.
For classic Mexican food in Old Town San Diego, this restaurant should be top of your list. Open since 1977, the Old Town Mexican Cafe has been serving customers for over 40 years and has got a reputation as the best place for tortillas in San Diego, with many people claiming they are the best in the world.
You can see these world-renowned Mexican staples being prepared in the window of the restaurant, where crowds have been known to gather to watch the food being prepared by the expert chefs. Everything served at the Old Town Mexican Cafe is made by hand, following authentic recipes and enjoyed in warm, homely surroundings. Be sure to try their Taco Tuesday event, or sample their particularly famous molcajete.
10. Oyamel, Washington DC – 20,167
Finally, the tenth most Instagrammed Mexican restaurant in the USA is Oyamel in Washington DC, tagged in 20,167 photos.
The ethos behind Oyamel is to combine classic Mexican cooking with the urban energy of Mexico City. Founded by influential chef José Andrés, the restaurant has won plenty of acclaim for its food, including a mention on the Michelin guide.
Located in the Penn Quarter of DC, customers come in their hundreds to enjoy the exceptional small-plate Mexican cuisine, butterfly-themed decor and impressive drinks menu that features many unique margaritas. It’s a great place for dining or enjoying drinks with a handful of delicious side dishes, and the vast number of Instagram photos taken here only support what a brilliant experience is had by all who visit.
The Top 100 Best Mexican Restaurants in the USA
|Rank||Name of Restaurant||Location||Photos Tagged Here|
|1||Javier’s||Newport Beach, California||61,790|
|2||Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar||Snowmass Village, Colorado||52,974|
|3||Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery||San Antonio, Texas||51,892|
|4||La Esquina – SoHo||New York City, New York||50,599|
|5||El Vez||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||39,745|
|6||Cafe Coyote||San Diego, California||37,105|
|7||Guelaguetza Restaurante||Los Angeles, California||30,318|
|8||Green Lemon||Tampa, Florida||24,211|
|9||Old Town Mexican Cafe||San Diego, California||20,578|
|10||Oyamel Washington||DC, District of Columbia||20,167|
|11||Casa Guadalajara||San Diego, California||19,567|
|12||SOL Mexican Cocina||Los Angeles, California||17,626|
|13||Mercado||Los Angeles, California||17,455|
|15||Saint Anejo||Nashville, Tennessee||16,074|
|16||El Compadre||Los Angeles, California||16,012|
|17||El Camino||Delray Beach, Florida||14,956|
|19||Javier’s||Las Vegas, Nevada||13,779|
|20||Blue Plate Taco||Santa Monica, California||13,324|
|21||Lupe Tortilla’s||Houston, Texas||13,306|
|22||La Puerta||San Diego, California||13,197|
|23||Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina||San Antonio, Texas||12,598|
|24||Gracias Madre||San Francisco, California||12,525|
|25||Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina||San Antonio, Texas||12,521|
|26||Red Iguana||Salt Lake City, Utah||12,492|
|29||Las Casuelas Terraza||Palm Springs, California||11,828|
|32||Rosie’s||New York City, New York||11,231|
|33||Taco Maria||Costa Mesa, California||11,112|
|34||Casa Enrique||Queens, New York||10,930|
|35||Casa Sanchez||Los Angeles, California||10,896|
|36||Casa de Bandini||Carlsbad, California||10,642|
|37||Tacombi – Nolita||New York City, New York||10,058|
|38||Nacho Daddy Downtown||Las Vegas, Nevada||9,876|
|39||Oh Mexico||Miami Beach, Florida||9,855|
|40||Lolo||San Francisco, California||9,529|
|41||Besito Mexican||Tampa, Florida||9,504|
|42||Fonda San Miguel||Austin, Texas||9,461|
|43||Mercado||Santa Monica, California||9,368|
|44||Johnny Sanchez||New Orleans, Louisiana||9,256|
|45||Puesto||San Diego, California||9,198|
|46||South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar||San Clemente, California||8,745|
|47||Blue Adobe Grille||Scottsdale, Arizona||8,742|
|48||Cholos Homestyle Mexican Restaurant||Oahu, Hawai||8,525|
|49||Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen||Orange, California||8,363|
|50||Casa de Reyes||San Diego, California||8,269|
|52||Bone Garden Cantina||Atlanta, Georgia||8,170|
|53||Barrio Cafe||Phoenix, Arizona||7,959|
|54||Meso Maya Comida y Copas||Dallas, Texas||7,920|
|55||Luna Modern Mexican Restaurant Rancho||Cucamonga, California||7,883|
|56||Besito Mexican Restaurant||Roslyn, New York||7,822|
|57||La Cocina Restaurant||Española, New Mexico||7,757|
|58||Taco Mamacita||Chattanooga, Tennessee||7,494|
|59||Tropisueno||San Francisco, California||7,446|
|60||Mi Dia From Scratch||Grapevine, Texas||7,279|
|61||La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant||Griffin, Georgia||7,159|
|62||Las Hadas Grill||San Diego, California||7,138|
|63||La Hacienda de San Angel||Orlando, Florida||7,058|
|64||El Barrio||Birmingham, Alabama||7,031|
|65||El Bucanero||San Antonio, Texas||6,968|
|66||L & J Cafe||El Paso, Texas||6,846|
|67||Nopalito||San Francisco, California||6,792|
|68||Las Casuelas Nuevas Greater||Palm Springs, California||6,776|
|69||El Alma Cafe||Austin, Texas||6,773|
|70||Fonda Don Chon Restaurant||Covina, California||6,716|
|71||Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina||Gatlinburg, Tennessee||6,693|
|72||Frida’s Beach House||Maui, Hawaii||6,594|
|73||Toloache||New York City, New York||6,570|
|74||The Shed||Santa Fe, New Mexico||6,567|
|75||Tequilas Restaurant||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||6,485|
|76||Anejo||New York City, New York||6,476|
|77||Agave Azul Cocina Mexicana||Orlando, Florida||6,443|
|78||Agavero Cantina||Lilburn, Georgia||6,236|
|79||Cafe Pasqual’s||Santa Fe, New Mexico||6,206|
|80||Tres Hermanas Mexican Restaurant||Sacramento, California||6,164|
|81||Bonito Michoacan Mexican Restaurant||Las Vegas, Nevada||6,082|
|82||El Puente Family Mexican Restaurant||Capon Bridge, West Virginia||5,986|
|83||Cantina Laredo||Chicago, Illinois||5,979|
|84||Red Iguana 2||Salt Lake City, Utah||5,926|
|85||El Tiempo Cantina||Houston, Texas||5,804|
|87||Ortega 120||Redondo Beach, California||5,793|
|88||Miguel’s Cocina||Coronado, California||5,765|
|89||Nuevo Laredo Cantina||Atlanta, Georgia||5,755|
|90||Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill||Tampa, Florida||5,752|
|91||Fish Gaucho||Pasa Robles, California||5,621|
|92||Comedor Guadalajara||Phoenix, Arizona||5,611|
|93||Luna Modern Mexican Kitchen||Corona, California||5,604|
|94||Pancho Villa Taqueria||San Francisco, California||5,561|
|95||Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant||San Diego, California||5,481|
|96||La Comida||Las Vegas, Nevada||5,451|
|97||Gringos & Mariachis||Bethesda, Maryland||5,294|
|98||Talavera Cocina Mexicana||Coral Gables, Florida||5,246|
|99||Añejo Mexican Bistro & Tequila Bar||Cape Cod, Massachusetts||5,236|
|100||Sayulita||South Glastonbury, Connecticut||5,228|
Source: The Travel Aisle