The Raleigh NC Food Guide: Mexican FoodSaturday, July 16, 2022
Updated: July 16, 2022
1. Lobos Tacos y Pupusas
Recently Raleigh was voted the #2 Food truck scene in the United States. The food truck scene is everywhere here, but it's very low key and unforced. Up and down major streets, there are food trucks, especially those with Mexican food. I expect many still start appearing on this list, but the big call out goes to this truck on Glenwood, in the corner of a gas station parking lot. The staff was generous and gave my kids suckers. The burritos were hot and delicious, and their tacos were incredible. Most authentic tacos we've had here. They also have the native favorites like cabeza and lengua. They even have guaraches, which I'm personally looking forward to trying.
2. Dos Taquitos
This place is one of the the closest Mexican restaurants to our house. It is also the best. It has quirky decorations that not only look authentically like central Mexico, but it also feels comfortable, homey, and like a local family restaurant.
The food is great - it centers along what I would call mainstream Mexican food - enchiladas, mole, chiles rellenos, and more. I have gotten something different each time I visit, and I have been impressed with their ability to step up the dish and make it restaurant-class.
If you're there, they have chickens! They don't use the eggs in the restaurant, but they do keep them, and can be picked up for free.
3. La Santa Modern Mexican Food
We've only been here once, but we want to go back. The food isn't perfectly authentic, but the flavors are spot on. Their menu has a little bit of something for everyone - from burritos to mole.
Typical of our visit was my mole dish. The chicken was broken up a little chunkier than you would find at a mexican household, but the mole flavor was one of the best I've had. Well done.
The decor is very professional — a far cry from Dos Taquitos, but it does make a good impression.
This place does get full and has a wait list, so plan ahead.
First of all, don't go the to one in Cary. It's not unique, it's located in suburbia, and Alex had a bad time here.
These are probably the best tacos we've had in Raleigh. The tortillas were well-prepared, and each taco had a unique pairing of meat, toppings, and salsa. Each was unique, and worth the money.
This place also gets very busy. Plan ahead with a reservation!
5. Bronco Tacos
This place just cropped up in west Raleigh. We went for lunch and got a mix of tacos, nachos, and tortas. The results were a little mixed.
First, the torta. I got a chorizo torta. It was the best torta I have had in years. The beans, chorizo, lettuce, and jalapeños were fantastic.
The tacos were made with supermarket-grade tortillas, which is not great for $4 tacos. The meat was hit and miss - carne asada was good quality and topped appropriately with onion and cilantro. We got an al pastor taco and the meat was not well marinated. (It also did not come from a spinning tower of meat.)
The nachos were interesting. My niece enjoyed them, but putting shrimp in nachos is not my jam.
This place is on the far side of town from us, and we've been to it a few times when we were at a nearby Walgreens getting our COVID shots! Their burritos are good, but they're a little flat. If you're up for burritos alone, this is a great place to eat.
We like Chuys, but this is definitely TexMex to us, and therefore not super Mexican. The enchiladas are good - but they get spicy. Their salsa is really great.
The location overlooks a great open area, which is nice. The outdoor seating is great. The service is really good - our servers have been some of the best. However, this assumes that you can even get parking. The North Hills area where it is is nice and walkable, but the parking can be really frustrating. So while the restaurant is nice, I may not go there more because of the parking.