Updated May 2, 2024 - Food and Drink

14 must-try Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in Charlotte

noche bruta

Noche Bruta at HEX in Camp North End. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

After some intense debate and a whole lot of tacos  — here are 14 of the best Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in Charlotte.

Of note: These restaurants are in no particular order.

Tamales la Pasadita

The vibe: Tucked away on The Plaza is some of Charlotte’s best Mexican food — no frills, just really good food. They serve everything from tortas to desayunos (breakfast dishes) to tostadas, in addition to tamales and tacos.

What to expect: Tamales, of course, plus tacos, tortas, tostadas and desayunos (breakfast dishes).

Pro tip: Go easy on the red sauce if you aren’t a fan of heat.

  • The online menu is different from what you can order at the restaurant.
  • They operate under the LLC Taqueria Gaviota Latina LLC, which is what you'll see on your receipt and their website.

Stop by: 3112 The Plaza, next to Mattie’s Diner.

  • Open Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm.
Tamales la Pasadita tacos
Tamales la Pasadita tacos. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Tacos el Regio

The vibe: Pork spins vertically on a spit behind the counter. A Charlotte FC scarf hangs on the wall to your left as you walk in, over a row of framed soccer jerseys, and there’s soccer on the TV as you head into the main dining room. The restaurant is an ode to Monterrey, Mexico, and it sits in a shopping center near Albemarle Road Park.

Dig in: Tacos, tacos, tacos. The gringa (marinated pork and melted cheese on a large flour tortilla) is one of their most popular. We also tried taco de trompo (marinated pork on a corn tortilla with pineapple and onion) and the taco de chicharrón (pork skins with salsa verde on a corn tortilla).

  • Wash it all down with a guava agua fresca (fruit water).

Stop by: 8829 E W.T. Harris Blvd.

  • Open Thursday and Sunday 11am-10:30pm; Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm.
Tacos el Regio
Tacos el Regio. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Taquería los Altos

The vibe: Another east Charlotte gem with authentic Mexican food.

Dig in: Chips and salsa, but not just any chips and salsa — salsa de molcajete. Be careful. It has a kick. Go for the fresh guacamole and a few tacos, like al pastor (marinated pork), asada (steak) and pollo (chicken). Definitely try quesabirria, served with three tacos, which include cheese, cilantro, onions and beef.

Stop by: 8625 Monroe Road

  • Monday-Wednesday 11am-10pm; Thursday 11am-4pm; Friday 11am-10pm; Saturday-Sunday 10am-10pm
Taquería los Altos
Salsa de molcajete $6.95; fresh guacamole $5.99 small/$8.99 large; tacos start at $2.50 each; chimichanga $10.99; quesabirria $13.99. Taquería los Altos. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Three Amigos

The vibe: This is a Plaza Midwood staple. The restaurant group’s brands include Sabor Latin Street Grill and La Caseta.

Dig in: Try the enchilada verde — three tortillas filled with chicken covered with a green salsa, queso fresco, onion, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and avocado.

Location: 2917 A Central Ave.

Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30am-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-9pm.

enchilada-three-amigos-mexican-restaurant-charlotte-nc
Tacos plates are $15 and include two tacos with rice and beans; enchilada verde $14; chimichanga plate $15. Photo: Axios archives

Paco’s Tacos and Tequila 

The vibe: A solid Tex-Mex restaurant with several tequila options. It’s part of the FS Food Group, which also owns Mama Ricotta’s, Midwood Smokehouse and YAFO.

Dig in: Order the Outlaw steak fajita – a giant portion of wood-grilled marinated skirt steak cooked to order on a wood-burning grill ($38).

Stop by: 6401 Morrison Blvd.

  • Open Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm
pacos tacos enchiladas
Takeout from Paco’s. Axios archives 

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant

The vibe: If you're looking for a cozy hole-in-the-wall with free chips and salsa and a whole menu devoted to birria options (like birria pizza and ramen), get to Maria's ASAP.

Dig in: The quesabirria (obviously). Don’t forget to dip it in the beef broth.

  • Maria’s also has a vegan menu.

Stop by: 5234 South Blvd., near the South Boulevard and Tyvola Road intersection.

Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:30am-10pm

quesabirria
Stuffed with a beef and cheese stew, the quesabirria is more of a fork-and-knife kind of dish than what you see on TikTok. Axios archives

Superica

The vibe: This Atlanta-based Tex-Mex restaurant has two Charlotte locations, one in South End and another in South Charlotte's Strawberry Hill.

Dig in: The chile con queso, a yellow American cheese sauce with poblano, onion, jalapeño and fire-roasted tomato salsa. 

Stop by: 101 West Worthington Ave. in the Design Center in South End, and in Strawberry Hill, 4223 Providence Road.

  • Open Monday-Friday 11am-2:30pm; Dinner Monday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday 5-11pm, Saturday 10-11pm and Sunday 10am-10pm.
superica food
Photo: Axios archives.

Anita’s Mexican Grill

The vibe: What this beloved authentic Mexican lacks in frills it makes up for in authenticity.

  • The menu hangs behind the counter with prices written on paper and taped next to the dish. All dishes are served inside styrofoam. If you're dining in, it's styrofoam with the top cut off.

Dig in: Speedy Gonzalez combo — taco, enchilada, rice, beans, chips and salsa. Other popular Anita’s orders include their #8 burrito, chicken or beef quesadilla and rice; and the #13 taco salad with chicken or beef. All combos are served with chips and salsa.

  • Of note: As of May 2024, Anita's doesn't have an active website. The menu (and combo numbers) may not match what we've previously reported.

Stop by: 2904 Yorkmont Road

  • Open Monday- Friday: 11am- 2:30pm; Saturday: 11am-1:30pm.
lunch-special-at-anita's-mexican-grill-charlotte
Anita’s popular Speedy Gonzalez combo. Photo: Axios archives

Que Fresa

The vibe: A vibrant taqueria and bar in Wesley Heights by the same owners as Que Onda.

Dig in: Order the bang-bang camarones (shrimp) for an appetizer and at least a few of their 15 specialty tacos.

  • If you want something sweet, opt for the cuatro leches — it’s a four-milk sponge cake with strawberry, dulce de leche and whipped cream.
  • On Fridays, you can get a large house margarita for $6.

Stop by: 1500 W Morehead St.

  • Open Tuesday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday 11am-9pm.

What's next: Que Fresa will open a second location in Uptown in the new Duke Energy Plaza sometime in 2024.

Bang Bang Camarones. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios Charlotte

Maíz, Agua, Sal (MAS)

The vibe: Maíz, Agua, Sal — or MAS for short — is a Mexican-inspired tortilleria and agave bar by the owners of Craft Tasting Room and Lincoln Street Kitchen and Cocktails.

Dig in: Its food menu consists of tacos made with house-made tortillas and flavors like al pastor (shaved off the trompo and tacos al vapor (steamed tacos with shredded beef filling).

  • There are also authentic Mexican dishes like pozole, mole, carnitas and gorditas.
  • The cocktails are mezcal and tequila-focused (we're talking nearly 200 different bottles of mostly agave spirits from Mexico).

Stop by: 1018 Jay St.

  • It's open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 8am-9pm Tuesday-Thursday, 8am-10pm Friday, 10:30am-10pm Saturday and 10:30am-4pm Sunday.
MAS
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Azul Tacos and Beer

Steps away from MAS, there's Azul — a recently-opened Mexican restaurant serving Mexican street food — like tacos, burritos and loaded nachos — (plus lots of cervezas) in a casual setting on Thrift Road.

Dig in: We ordered the California burrito, street tacos, quesabirria tacos, Mexican rice and refried beans.

  • The aqua frescas ($5.95) are massive. Don't sleep on 'em.

Stop by: 2122 Thrift Road, across from Pizza Baby.

  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-9pm.
azul
Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Noche Bruta (inside HEX Coffee Kitchen & Natural Wines)

The vibe: On the weekends, Camp North End coffee shop HEX transforms into Noche Bruta, a Mexican restaurant from chef Hector Gonzalez-Mora, previously of El Toro Bruto at Resident Culture South End.

Dig in: Noche Bruta offers traditional Mexican fare like guacamole, salsa and chips, churros with dulce de leche and ribeye tacos.

  • You can pair the food with wine, or one of the wine cocktails that HEX's co-founder Chandler Wrenn created, like the broken-down Margarita and Paloma (made with white wine) or the Mexican Sangria.

Stop by: HEX Coffee, Kitchen and Natural Wines is at 201 Camp Road.

  • Open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-10pm.
tacos
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Dos Caminos

The vibe: The popular NY-based Mexican restaurant opened its first North Carolina location in Uptown with a sweet outdoor patio and multiple dining rooms.

Dig in: Expect upscale Mexican cuisine and street food plus a lengthy cocktail menu with plenty of tequila-based drinks.

  • Pro tip: Dos Caminos offers food specials Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and 9pm-close at the bar and patio. You'll find items like chips and guac, queso blanco and taquitos de pollo for $10 and other shareable dishes like fries for $8 and quesadillas for $15.

Stop by: 601 S Tryon St. near Museum of Illusions and Brown Bag Seafood.

  • Open Sunday-Thursday from 11am-10pm and Friday-Saturday from 11am-11pm.
tacos, chips and guac
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Puerta

The vibe: This fun Mexican restaurant quickly became one of Charlotte's best new restaurants when it opened in 2023 with its tequila and agave-focussed spirit menu.

Dig in: Puerta's menu is inspired by various regions in Mexico and includes dips and salsas, soups, salads, empanadas, pork belly chicharron, entrees and seven tacos ($7 each or a $16 taco plate which includes rice and beans).

  • Tequila is the focal point of the drink menu, with five types of margaritas and six signature cocktails.

Stop by: 1961 E. 7th St.

  • Open Sunday-Wednesday from 5-11pm, Thursday-Saturday 5-midnight and Saturday-Sunday from 11am-3pm for brunch.

Go deeper: Mexican restaurant Puerta opens in the former Stanley space in Elizabeth

Editor’s note: This story was first published in 2018 and was last updated in May 2024. 

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