Top 10 Salt Lake City Mexican Restaurants

Without fail one of  the most popular and favored genre of food across the board is Mexican. And after talking the foodie talk and figuring out what people go bananas for, we’ve come to the simple conclusion just about everyone loves Mexican food. Period. This post is a summation of the best Mexican food in Salt Lake City, with everything from strictly authentic to upscale Mexican dining. Please note that the original post has been revised and updated. Godspeed and Viva Mexico.

10. State Street Tacos

In truth, there is no restaurant called State Street Tacos, but if you’re looking for one of the most inexpensive and authentic taco experiences in Salt Lake City, hop on down to 800 south and State Street. You’ll notice at least two (sometimes three) taco carts on the corner of the ever deteriorating Sears. We’ve tried several taco carts in the Salt Lake Valley and feel like these are some of the best. The taco carts offer a variety of items including quesadillas, burritos, and such, but the best menu item across the board are the tacos with carnitas. Absolutely divine.

9. Frida Bistro

Mexican with flair and a killer tagline … “Make love to our food”. Owner Jorge Fiero takes pride in using local ingredients and bright, colorful flavors in every dish. This beautiful restaurant is located on the outskirts of downtown Salt Lake City and has now been open for several years. The entree pictured above is the Salmon Malinche from their lunch menu: grilled salmon on a corn tamale with saffron butter and sliced avocado. Foodie tip: make sure to order one of their homemade lemonades (my pick- raspberry rosemary)!

Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar (Frida Bistro)

545 West 700 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 801-983-6692

8. Taqueria El Rey De Oros (CLOSED)

Visit Taqueria El Rey De Oros for some of the most delicious, flavorful, inexpensive pockets of Mexican heaven. They have a simple menu filled with tortas, burritos, and tostadas. But our absolute favorite option are the tacos and sopes (think thicker tortilla made with masa served with similar toppings to a taco). Try this spot next time you’re looking for one of the quick, easy, and inexpensive options for best Mexican food in Salt Lake City.

Taqueria El Rey De Oros

157 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 801-322-3176

7. Rio Grande Cafe

Rio Grande is housed inside the historic railroad station, originally built in 1910 and used for the Denver Rio Grand and the Western Railroad. Think cheesy tex-mex type entrees, all generous with the cheese and you have come to the right place. Our favorite menu is the Santa Fe enchiladas- layered blue corn tortillas filled with shredded beef and cheese, served with refried beans and rice.  We are happy to rerort that despite recent change in ownership (now run by the same people that own The Dodo and Porcupine Pub), the food still tastes fantastic and the changes in the restaurant and menu items are barely noticable. Don’t forget a couple of coins for the jukebox.

Rio Grande Cafe

270 S Rio Grande St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 801-364-3302

6. El Paisa Grill

Who doesn’t love a hidden gem? El Paisa Grill is located in West Valley smack dab in the middle of various warehouses. It’s cozy and colorful interior is family and group friendly as well as for date night. Start with the Tostada Ceviche Pescado- citrusy and packed with flavor, it’s piled high with tangy, delicious seafood. For entrees try the pechuga a la parrilla (charbroiled chicken breast), the enchiladas Guadalajara, or their popular molcajete supreme. Great portions, friendly service, and food that’s worth a visit!

5. Chile Tepin

One of the relatively newest installments to Salt Lake City’s Mexican food scene is Chile Tepin, a bright and vibrantly decorated restaurant located on the corner of 300 west and 200 south where Cafe Trang was previously housed. Skip the a la carte menu items (not our favorite) and go straight for the molcajete on the “Especially de la Casa” menu- one of the best we have ever tried! The carne asada, pollo asado, and camaron served in a green tomatillo and cactus sauce is simply delicious.

Chile-Tepin

307 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 801-883-9255

4. Alamexo Mexican Kitchen

Alamexo is in a beautifully naturally-lit Mexican restaurant in the heart of Salt Lake City. It’s the perfect spot for when you want to chow down on chips, salsa, and enchiladas but with elevated ingredients and atmosphere. Two things you must order: the table side guac and the enchiladas suizas. You’ve never had guacamole so perfect in your life and the creamy decadence of the enchiladas will leave you licking your plate clean.

Alamexo Mexican Kitchen

268 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 (801) 779-4747

3. Lone Star Taqueria

Featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and voted best fish tacos in the state of Utah multiple times. We swoon over their lard fried tortilla chips and wouldn’t pass up one of their fish tacos or quesadillas for anything. Great vibes and perfect for a grub stop after a long ski day in Big Cottonwood Canyon. A list on the best Mexican food in Salt Lake City wouldn’t be complete without Lone Star.

Lone Star Taqueria

2265 Fort Union Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121 801-944-2300

2. Chungas

Chungas is one of the most underrated restaurants in Salt Lake City and the best authentic Mexican restaurant in Salt Lake City. They’re located in Rose Park and make some of our favorite Mexican food in the city. We love several of the menu items but noteworthy are the tacos al pastor- spit roasted marinated pork served with cilantro, onions, and sweet pineapple. The textures and flavors in combination will literally blow your mind. Don’t forget the guacamole.

Chungas

180 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 801-953-1840

1. Red Iguana

Red Iguana is our top pick for the best Mexican food in Salt Lake City and is also a consistent mention on our list of Top 15 Restaurants in Salt Lake City. We go here for special occasions, not so special occasions, and the occasional takeout. Both locations are always packed (for good reason) and not even a full mile from each other. Their servers do an excellent job at directing you through their gargantuan menu, but some of our favorites include the Puntas de Filete a la Norteña (pictured above and their number one selling dish), Tacos Don Ramon, and the Tacos a la Iguana.

Red Iguana

736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116 801-322-1489

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    1. That sounds delicious!! Can’t say I’ve ever had it Mucker’s Style. Do you have to order it that way? Or is that what they’re normally bringing out to me? Mmmmmmm.

  1. Great list! There’s quite a few on here that I haven’t tried, so I’ll definitely have to check them out now. I’m kinda sad that El Chihuahua didn’t make the list though!

  2. My husband and I tried Alamexo for our anniversary tonight on your recommendation. It was amazing!! Most of the others are on our top places to eat but we hadn’t been there yet and it did not disappoint!! Thanks for your recommendation!

    1. Hey Becca! So glad you liked it and happy anniversary! It’s definitely a special occasion spot but I’m glad you had a good time and hope you enjoyed some table side guac 🙂

  3. Another one you might want to try is Cancun cafe. They have amazing Mexican food. Everyone I have taken there has loved it and has taken their friends back. It is located on 885 East 3900 South.

  4. La Hacienda in Draper has the best chimichangas! Their Spanish rice, as well as their in house salsa and chips are amazing as well.

  5. If you are willing to take a drive to Spanish Fork you can get some of the greatest salsa I have ever tasted at Casa Salza. It is avocado based and super yummy!!

  6. Hours recently changed at Hector’s–10:30am-8pm, closed Sundays. No more late-night burritos for me! 🙁
    (Still worth it though. The tortillas are so good, I’d eat them plain!)

  7. Por favor a real foodie would never list Red Iguana as number 1! I kid, I kid! Great list! A lesser known personal favorite of mine is Mi Lindo Nayarit off of 1300 S and State Street!

  8. I just don’t get Red Iguana. I have been there a couple of time over the years because friends HAVE to go there and every time I just find it unremarkable.

    I look forward to trying some of the other Mexican restaurants that I have not eaten at yet.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lisa! To each their own! I know that everyone doesn’t love Red Iguana but lucky there are so many other great spots. Hope you like some of the others on my list. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. SO glad to see Chungas on your list. Their El Pastor tacos (and nachos and burritos and etc…) can’t be beat in the Salt Lake area! The people that work there are so friendly, too. It’s located in an off-beat neighborhood, but don’t let that fool you. It’s clean and they have a great place to eat outside.

  10. We love Mexican food (and have recently moved here from Denver )especially when paired with a really good margarita. Anyway to let me know which of these Mexican restaurants offer margaritas?

    1. Hi Renee! I’m not a drinker so I can’t tell you which of them have margaritas but I’d assume that most of them do! I have linked to all of the restaurant websites at the bottom of each section. 🙂

  11. Hi Brooke, I understand this post is really old, but I’m new to your blog. I am absolutely living it! Thanks so much for your hard work and efforts. I wanted to ask if you ever get to the west side of the valley? It seems all of your recommendations (at least a good portion) are downtown or on the east side. I don’t want to sound biased, or judgemental, but I, personally, would appreciate some places to try a little closer to home (currently Kearns). Being another predominant Latino community, we have a lot of really great Mexican restaurants. Obviously none as yummy as Red Iguana, but one favorite is Acapulco on 4700 S 4000 W. Fiesta Ole (fast food) has great crisp burritos, meat, chicken, or bean. Also, I can “testify” El Chubasco in Midway/Heber is amazing!! Anyway, thanks for your time!

    1. Hi Marissa- thanks so much for the kind words! It’s true that a lot of our recommendations are closest to downtown. While there are some great places to eat in other parts of the valley, this is where a lot of the good food is. I’m so excited to try Acapulco and Fiesta Ole! Really appreciate you sharing those recs. Love El Chubasco in Park City 🙂 It’s on my list of best restaurants in PC.

  12. I am a huge Mexican restaurant fan and love that there are so many options around me. One thing that I always looking for is good queso. Do you know of anywhere that has really good queso?

    1. Hi Michael! I just spent over a year in Austin and have really come to love delicious queso! Unfortunately, I haven’t tried any in Salt Lake City though. I’ll let you know if I come across any!

  13. El Reyes De Oros has several more locations, but they have one is West Jordan and Kearns. We eat there regularly. Ana, one of the cooks makes the best tacos.