What do you love about Tex-Mex food? Is it the blend of spices? The rich flavors? Or the homely feel of a one-pot chili con carne. Or perhaps you’re just on the lookout for somewhere new to try or to take your date out for an exciting or romantic meal.
We have picked out some well-known and some not-so-well-known Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston that we think to serve the best Tex Mex style dishes.
Which Places Have The Best and Most Authentic Tex-Mex Dishes in Houston, TX?
We have looked at a vast array of restaurants and picked out the ones we think are up there with the best.
We’ve looked at various dietary preferences, budgets, and services, to make sure you find the right place for you and enjoy every bit of your experience.
On that note, let’s head straight in and see what we thought was the best Tex-Mex food in Houston, Texas.
1. Marco’s Pepper Grill
|Address||4313 Stonewall St, Houston, Texas, USA|
|Food||Loaded fries, jerk chicken, pasta jambalaya etouffee|
|Our Recommendation||Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken and Shrimp|
Established in 2012, Marco’s Pepper Grill introduced an exciting fusion cuisine, combining Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex, and Cuban influences. It re-opened as a food truck in 2020 and has continued to grow its multicultural menu.
Despite this being a takeaway venue and not a sit-down restaurant, the food is delicious and meets high-quality restaurant standards.
The flavors in all dishes are insane, and the perfectly seasoned chicken certainly packs a punch. The menu is small, but this only means you won’t be as stuck for choice.
The Rasta Pasta, which consisted of jerk chicken and shrimp, was served in a coconut alfredo sauce, peppers, onions, cilantro, and lime.
On average, the prices for the main courses are between $13.00 and $20.00, despite the small menu, there are options for vegetarians too.
|Address||2706 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098|
|Food||Tacos, burritos, fajitas, salads, and soups|
Chuy’s restaurant is an exciting Tex-Mex restaurant providing tasty dishes, all homemade and fresh. They have specialist people working all day long, who make every single tortilla from scratch, by hand, using homemade dough, and all of their produce is fresh, including all of their meat and vegetables.
Chuy’s restaurant was actually the first to introduce the blue tortilla to central Texas. These are very popular and are an eye-pleaser on the plate.
Amongst many tasty dishes, we found the Chuychangawhat to be one of the best items on the menu. It was a flour tortilla with roasted chicken, cheese, green chilies, and cilantro; deep-fried and served with a choice of homemade sauces and a big scoop of sour cream. Plus, the chicken was tender but crispy with a sour taste.
The prices here are reasonable, you can expect to spend, on average, around $10.00 for the main course, and the portion sizes are large.
There is a children’s menu and plenty of choices for vegetarians, such as vegetarian enchiladas. It was added with a blue corn tortilla, spinach, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, roasted green chilies, onions, and corn. Even if you’re not veggie, these are good options, as the flavors were fabulous.
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3. Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe
|Address||1511 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009|
|Food||Stuffed peppers, pork loin, fajitas, shrimp cocktails, homemade tortillas|
|Our Recommendation||Carnitas De Puerco|
Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe is a long-running establishment that produces homemade food and authentic Mexican cuisine. They have four locations throughout Houston.
When we visited the Airline establishment, we were pleasantly surprised with the food quality we received, and even more so with the huge portion sizes.
The restaurant itself has a real Texas home feel when you walk in, with the authentic atmosphere of a Mexican cafe. The service was brilliant, and the staff was friendly and enthusiastic about their menu.
One of the stand-out dishes was the Carnitas De Puerco. It consisted of succulent pieces of pork loin, served with tomatillo sauce, avocado, sour cream, onions, avocado, charro beans, rice, and a homemade tortilla. The whole combination worked perfectly and the pork melted in your mouth.
They also have a great selection of parrillada sharing plates. They each are recommended to serve two people, but the sizes are so large you could probably serve 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you and your fellow diners are.
For example, one of the platters, the Parrillada Mia, priced at $49.99, had on it, chicken fajitas, a Pescado Veracruz (fish,) sauteed with garlic, wine, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and green and black olives, and 8oz grilled sirloin steak; all topped with shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, and Teotihuacan’s house sauce.
There are four other of these platters to choose from, and they are all incredibly generous in size. It is a very meat-focused restaurant with limited options for vegetarians.
The prices are good for what you get, and you should expect one of the dishes from the main courses to only cost you an average of $15.00. But bear in mind there will most likely be a take-out for you at the end of your meal.
4. The Original Ninfa’s
|Address||2704 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 7700|
|Food||Ensyladas, tamales, tacos, fajitas, breakfast tacos|
|Our Recommendation||Ninfas Award-Winning Fajita Burger
Established in 1973, The Original Ninfa’s was created by “Mama Ninfa.” He started the restaurant by grilling sirloin steaks and serving from the family’s tortilla factory; these were soon to become the famous fajitas that Ninfa’s serves today.
Among the other tasty dishes, our suggestion would be the burgers. It is undeniably the best one we have ever tasted. This recipe came to the chef in a dream, and boy, it was a dream to eat! You can see why this burger has won awards. It consisted of juicy ground and diced fajita beef which was perfectly seasoned, grilled onions, avocado, chipotle aioli, cheese, and served with seasoned potato wedges.
This isn’t the only thing they’ve been rated for, as they have also been in the press for celebrity chef visits. Being one of Houston’s best restaurants, there was also an article on their fantastic breakfast tacos.
Now, when it comes to the price, it is slightly higher than you’d expect for your standard fajitas and tacos, but rest assured, this place is far far above “standard.” You can aim towards spending an average of $20-$30 for the main course.
There are plenty of options for veggies too.
5. Cyclone Anaya’s
|Address||309 Gray St Ste 111, Houston, TX 77002|
|Food||Quesadillas, nachos, ceviche, empanadas|
|Our Recommendation||Brisket Tacos|
Cyclone Anaya’s is a family-run restaurant running for 50 years, since 1972. The former wrestling champion’s family has been serving Texas, providing an authentic taste of Mexico in warm and welcoming surroundings.
Here you can get brunch, lunch, and dinner. When we visited, we went at dinner time, and we chose a variety of dishes. The one that stood out the most for flavor was the Brisket Tacos,
The Smoked Brisket was astonishing, as the brisket beef just melted in the mouth. Flavored with ancho and guajillo pepper broth, spicy slaw, and pickled onions, it was a great experience, and we wanted more. These were only priced at $15.00, which we thought was a brilliant price and would go as far to say we’d have paid more.
If you’re sharing, they have some great varieties of sharing platters, one of these that we tried was the combo Fajita Al Carbon. You can choose from medium, large, and family sizes depending on the number of people at your party. The prices here range from between $7 and $26 for something off the main course menu.
There are plenty of options here for all diners with any preference, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. If you can’t find what you want on the menu, the servers are extremely accommodating.
6. Luna y Sol Mexican Grill
|Address||2808 Milam St suite g, Houston, TX 77006, USA|
|Food||Tacos, burritos, chimichangas,|
|Our Recommendation||Street Tacos with mixed fillings|
If you hunt for an authentic taste of Mexico in Texas, they would have to find this tiny “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant. If you weren’t actively looking for this place, you might well miss it, even walking right past. Which is what we’re here for.
This place was worth tracking down. Some of the food here could even be described as fine dining, Tex-Mex style, which is unusual with this style of cuisine.
All the food here is prepared and cooked to order, using some of the best and freshest ingredients, which are all sourced locally.
Their menu is varied, with the classic dishes you’d expect, such as their tacos and fajitas, and also, some of their own recipes, unique dishes, using flavorsome combinations that you won’t find anywhere else.
The street tacos were up there with the best. They are fun to create and exciting to eat, with many fillings to choose from. You select them individually and can have as many as you like, for yourself, or share with your whole party. This makes it a unique and personal experience. And if you are dining on a budget, you keep the ordering to a minimum while still trying a varied amount of dishes.
Talking of prices, most dishes here are around the $10.00 mark. So not at all over-priced despite the quality of food. The service was also very friendly, and everyone was smiling, welcoming, and extremely helpful.
Read More: The Best Tacos in Houston You Must Try
7. Picos Restaurant
|Address||3601 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098|
|Food||Cheviches, steak, quail, soup, salad, fajitas
|Our Recommendation||Codorniz A La Parrilla
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Mexico in Texas surroundings – the Picos should be somewhere on your bucket list. The chef here was raised in Mexico and learned his culinary skills in Mexican cuisine from his family over the 19 years.
Here you can get breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and they have a happy hour on certain days where you can get deals on drinks and selected menu items.
One of the dishes we recommend is the Codorniz A La Parrilla. It is bacon-wrapped quail, served with grilled onions, poblano peppers, tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, Mexican rice, and a choice of either frijoles charros, refried pinto or black beans. The portion size was great, and everything was cooked exquisitely.
There is a good choice for vegetarians and a vast drinks selection. We recommend you try the cocktails. They have some great ones, such as the Pina Mango Smash and the Spicy Pepino Reta, to name just a couple.
This is a higher-priced restaurant compared to others in our guide, so perhaps somewhere you would come for a special occasion or a treat. But as previously mentioned, they do have the Happy Hour options, where you can get some terrific deals if you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative. Be sure to check their website for up-to-date hours.
They also have some excellent burgers on offer.
After concluding our guide on the best places to find Tex-Mex food in Houston, TX, we hope that we have helped you to narrow down the options of where you might pay a visit next.
If you enjoyed reading through this guide, how about you bob over and check out some of our other helpful reads about dining out in Houston, such as 7 Best Diners and Drive-Ins in Houston, Texas and 6 Best Mexican Food in Houston, TX