In 2014 Mexican food became the third most popular US menu type, beating out hamburger. Around that time Mexican restaurants only made up about 8 percent of the restaurant landscape here in the country. Long story short...Americans, especially St. Louisans, go nuts over Mexican food! So, in this article we decided to countdown our Top 10 Mexican Restaurants in the Greater St. Louis Area!
# 10 Las Palmas
When I was in college at UMSL, friends and I would always frequent Las Palmas off Woodson road in North County. The staff was friendly, the décor was folksy, the food always splendid, and the drinks affordable, especially for a college student! Unfortunately that location is permanently closed, but Las Palmas is still open at their other location in Maplewood as a relaxed storefront bar/eatery that serves typical Mexican bites, great drinks, and sports on TV.
#9 El Maguey Mexican
Located in South County at Concord Plaza, the most controversial thing about this restaurant is everyone arguing how to pronounce the name. They have been family owned and operated since 1994, offering authentic Mexican food with a fun ambiance and flair. If you're in the area stop on in for an after work margarita and enjoy a variety of dishes from taco salads to spinach enchiladas.
#8 Atomic Cowboy
If someone mentions Atomic Cowboy to me I think of all the times I've spent dancing my keister off till early in the morning while listening to incredible live shows. I sometimes forget that their menu is top notch Mexican cuisine! Atomic Cowboy has a variety of Mexican and vegetarian choices such as, specialty tacos, street tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and chimichangas. Visit this location for the food and stay for the music, it is a win win!
#7 Amigo Joe's
Located on The Hill, Amigo Joe's sticks out amongst all the Italian restaurants scattered around the area. Their prices are low but that does not mean that they lack in quality. They use quality daisy sour cream instead of cheap imitations. Their tortilla chips are made from the more costly tortillas for better flavor. Their Carne Asada is char grilled, while the fried chicken is marinated and pressure fried. The owner, Joe, makes it clear that they do not cut costs in purchasing to compromise the quality of the food, and that him and his staff will do what is necessary to provide you with great food!
#6 Tower Taco Restaurant
Cherokee Street is no stranger to Mexican cuisine. Tower Taco shines there, paying special attention to detail. Handmade corn tortillas, hand-smashed guacamole, & 100% Blue Agave Tequila, are just a few of the little details that equate to the BIG difference at Tower Taco. Legend has it that they offer the best margarita in St. Louis, also known as "The Tower Tranquilizer". This restaurant is one of the many reasons you need to explore Cherokee Street!
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#5 Mission Taco Joint
This one is a given, everyone here at Underground St. Louis has always been a big fan of Mission Taco. They have locations here in Soulard, Delmar Loop, Central West End, Kirkwood, St. Charles, and even Kansas City. The Tilford brothers have definitely cemented their position as the number one place for Mexi-Cali street food here in St. Louis, serving West Coast style street tacos and pouring beers from STL’s favorite craft breweries.
#4 Chimichanga's Mexican Restaurant
Anyone who says that St. Louis is not diverse has clearly never drove down South Grand Boulevard. It is a melting pot of restaurants, bars, and shops with influences from different cultures around the world. One of these that sticks out is Chimichanga's Mexican Restaurant. Serving Mexican and Spanish cuisines, any reviews online constantly rave about this location. If you are in the area we definitely recommend checking it out!
#3 La Vallesana
Dubbed the "best Mexican Restaurant on Calle Cherokee" on their website, La Vallesana has been in the area since 2003. Originally starting off as an ice cream shop, La Vallesana now features a full bar and restaurant, with indoor seating and two outdoor patios. Talk about working your way up in the world. This restaurant contributes to atmosphere on Cherokee and is one of the many crown jewels of the area.
Located off of Geyer Ave in Soulard, Chava's has been around since 2006. "Chava" is the nick name for Salvador, a Guadalajaran native who is the source of the restaurant's recipes and the owner's grandfather. Chris Ybarra (owner) realized that Soulard was sort of lacking in any real ethnic cuisine and decided to open up Chava's. Today the location has a huge fan based and is praised for the originality of the food.
#1 Mi Ranchito
Drum roll please...our number one spot on this list of top 10 Mexican Restaurants in the Greater St. Louis Area is Mi Ranchito! Located off of Kingsland Ave in University City, it is tucked a way in a strip mall but don't let that fool you, this place is always packed, especially on the weekends, and for good reason. Their menu is stacked with many Mexican staples such as, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, carnitas, chile colorado, and chori pollo, a grilled chicken breast topped with chorizo and melted cheese.. They have affordable lunch menus and are well-known for their shrimp dishes and mammoth Margaritas!
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Located on the same block as Amsterdam Tavern on Morganford, Tre Equis is a bar that also features food from Locoz Tacoz. The Locoz Tacoz menu features tacos, of course, which are available with your choice of meat as a street taco (corn tortilla) or gringo taco (flour taco). Fried-fish tacos are also available.
Located at 630 North and South Rd, the owners of Frida's, Natasha & Rick, decided to recently open up a Mexican restaurant next door. Rick was born in a border town just across from Matamoros, Mexico and Natasha's love for authentic Mexican cuisine came from the decade she lived in Chicago.
Located on Cherokee Street this Mexican chain features burritos, fajitas & a tequila bar in an informal setting. They also have Supermarket at this location for all of your shopping needs!