While there are countless Mexican restaurants up and down the Wasatch front, only a select few make the grade, but which are worth your dining dollars? The following is our pick of the very best Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.
On our list is something for everyone. From refined fine dining through to drive-thrus and the best spots for authentic tacos.
1 – Red or Blue Iguana
People often ask, which is best, Red Iguana or Blue Iguana? In truth there’s no wrong answer here. Whatever you pick you’re in for a delicious meal. The two restaurants where indeed related way back when, but are now separate businesses. Red is the more famous of the two with a brace of locations on the NW side of the city. Blue is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.
2 – Taqueria 27
Taqueria 27 is the work of Todd Gardiner, former head chef of downtown SLC’s Z’Tejas restaurant. After years running the kitchen for the chain eatery, Gardiner struck out on his own terms. The 27 in the name derives from a Gardiner family lucky number, but luck is far from needed when you put out cuisine like Taqueria 27 does: elevated, refined and darned delicious.
While the menu covers many bases, the focus is on gourmet street style tacos. Choose from selections like Citrus Pork Carnitas ($6 for two, slow roasted and shredded, charred tomatillo salsa, pickled red onion, cilantro and chicharones) or Duck Confit ($6.50 for two, succulent duck with fire roasted veggies, chipotle crema and crispy leeks) while musing over T27’s extensive tequila options.
1615 S Foothill Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
3 – Santo Tacos
Santo Tacos in the Rose Park area of SLC takes authentic stere-style tacos – indoors. Inside the modern and hip space you can enjoy your tacos rain or shine. You’ll find everything from carne asada through al pastor, not to mention more exotic selections such as tripe, tongue and cactus.
910 N 900 West, Salt Lake City
4 – Chunga’s
Regulars come back time and again, and often for one item in particular: al pastor. Chunga’s luscious rotisserie roasted and seasoned pork is available in a range of dishes – burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas – even nachos.
Chunga’s is open six days a week, at 11 p.m. on the weekends, for whenever those al pastor cravings hit.
80 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
5 – Taqueria Los Lee
You’ll find multiple generations of the family that run this restaurant in South Salt Lake – welcoming diners into their space to enjoy their home style cooking. Pull up a chair and dive into a menu that’s as crazily affordable as it is fresh and vibrant. You’ll feel right at home.
2646 700 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
6 – Hector’s
On the East side of Salt Lake City is this fast casual Mexican restaurant that is packed to the rafters at all hours. Locals flock here for the wallet friendly eats that are freshly made daily, and stacked high.
It’s almost impossible to leave Hector’s hungry or with much less cash than you started. The restaurant also has a drive thru window as well. Side note, that’s always packed too.
2901 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
7 – La Frontera
With multiple locations across the Wasatch Front, La Frontera has been making Utahns happy for decades. The concept is simple: the menu is huge, the prices are low, the service is quick. Stop by any La Frontera and you’re sure to find pretty much any dish you want. And if you can’t decide, yep, there’s plenty of combo options too.
8 – Red Iguana
Easily the most famous Mexican restaurant in town, if not Utah itself – is the Red Iguana. Featured on TV, and just about every single foodie publication worthy of merit, the Red Iguana, owned by the local Cardenas family, has served hungry Salt Lakers with award wining Mexican food for over two decades.
What brings regulars back time and again, causing queues lining up around the building? For one, a range of seven moles, each unique and spectacular in its own right. If you’re the indecisive type you can even get a free Red Iguana mole sampler plate before choosing. And that’s just the start – Chile Colorado ($11.49), Puntas De Filete A La Nortena ($15.99), Cochinita Pibil ($13.99) – the list goes on and on, just like the queues outside the front doors.
736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
9 – Julia’s Mexican Food
A hidden gem. Authentic tastes of Michoacan and Zacatecas. Absolutely amazing and authentic; just a few of the ways Julia’s is described by locals who wax lyrical over this hole in the wall spot. Make sure you hit the ATM before you drop by, Julia’s is a cash only operation.
51 S 10th W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
10 – Chile-Tepin
This downtown SLC restaurant is one of the most popular downtown dinner spots. The menu is packed with favorites but also has a range of more adventuresome dishes such as mole, molcajetes and a parrillada platter of meats for two.
307 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Have we missed someone off of this list? If you have a suggestion for this page, perhaps something interesting and unique off of the beaten path let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share!
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