5 best Mexican restaurants in Charlotte

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After some intense debate and a whole lot of enchiladas — here are the 5 best Mexican restaurants in Charlotte.

Honorable mentions: RuRu’s, Cantina1511, Azteca, Vida, Miguel’s, Tacos El Nevado, La Unica and Que Onda. 


Paco’s Tacos

Casual Tex-Mex joint with over 100 tequilas near SouthPark Mall

Must-order dish: Outlaw steak fajita – giant portion of wood-grilled marinated skirt steak cooked to order on a wood-burning grill ($20). Fajitas are served with onions, green peppers, charro beans, lettuce, red rice, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños, shredded cheese, Mexican butter and warm homemade flour tortillas.

Money:$$. Most dishes are in the $10-$15 range.

Agenda pro tip: If you’re a queso person, give their Volcano Queso a shot – blend of cheeses melted with pineapple, jalapeno bacon, onions and poblano peppers ($10).

Location and hours: SouthPark. Open daily, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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Bar area at Paco’s Tacos in SouthPark


Superica

Trendy Atlanta-based Tex-Mex restaurant from chef Ford Frye

Appetizer: Skip the guacamole and go with the queso fundido – broiled Monterey Jack and Chihuahua cheeses, served with warm tortillas and salsa cremosa ($10). Watch: Ted & Katie’s cheese pull challenge.

Cocktail: Go with the Matador – El Jimador Blanco, pineapple, lime, cilantro, served up ($10) or the Red Headed Stranger – Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, Campari, fresh grapefruit ($11).

Money: $$$. Most entrees range from $18-$38, fajitas $20-$28, enchiladas $13-$15 and tacos $13-$16. You get it, it’s not a cheap Mexican spot.

Location and hours: South End in the Design Center. Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.- 10 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.- 11 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.

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Superica bar area at 6:15 p.m. on a Friday evening. You get it, it’s popular.


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Sabor Latin Street Grill

Locally owned, fast-casual spot with authentic menu offerings from countries such as El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Columbia

Must-order dish: A mountain of nachos with refried or black beans, queso, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole, plus your choice of a protein.

Healthy pick: Quinoa Avocado Bowl ($7.95) – quinoa and brown rice with avocado, grilled vegetables and cilantro lime yogurt sauce.

Street food: Arepas, Gorditas, Elote Locos, Empanadas, Carne Asada Fries, and Yuca Sabrosa.

Money: $. Most dishes are under $8.

Daily specials: They’re awesome. $1 Taco Tuesday, kids eat free Wednesday, $5 mojitos Thursday, $5 margaritas on Friday, and $1 tacos from 3-5 p.m. in the afternoon Monday-Friday.

Locations and hours: Sabor Latin Street Grill has 10 locations and another on the way in Uptown. Hours vary depending on the location.

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Anita’s Mexican Grill

No-frills, authentic Mexican joint with nonexistent decor that shares a parking lot with the BP gas station.

Must-order dish: Speedy Gonzalez combo ($5.25) — 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 (perfect amount of spicy).

How it works: The menu hangs behind the counter with prices written on paper and taped next to the dish. Anita’s offers 21 different combos. All dishes are served inside styrofoam. If you’re dining in, it’s styrofoam with the top cut off.

Money: $. Almost everything is $7 or less.

Layout: It’s clear that any upfit was from a previous restaurant tenant. Inside, you’ll find about a dozen tables and a counter that wraps around the restaurant. It’s tight inside so many customers choose to go with takeout.

Location and hours: 2904 Yorkmont Road. Monday- Friday: 11 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., Closed Sunday.

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Anita’s popular Speedy Gonzalez combo. [Agenda related story: Hidden gem: 5 quick takeaways from my first visit to Anita’s Mexican Grill]

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Counter at Anita’s Mexican Grill – menu board above and area for items like rice and beans inside the display case


Three Amigos

Classic low-key, neighborhood Mexican restaurant.

Must-order dish: Enchilada Verde ($9.49) – three tortillas filled with Chicken covered with our green salsa, queso fresco, onion, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and avocado.

Money: $$. Dishes are about $10.

Daily specials: Kids eat free on Monday, $2 Dos Equis Bottles on Tuesday, All you can eat enchiladas on Thursday, $5 large house margaritas on Friday and $6 nacho supreme on Sunday.

Location and hours: Plaza Midwood – 2917 A Central Avenue. Monday-Thursday: 10:30 a.m.- 10 p.m., Friday- Saturday: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).