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Las Vegas's best Mexican restaurants

Turn up the heat with our guide to Las Vegas Mexican restaurants

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Tequila isn't the only Mexican specialty to be found in Las Vegas. Mexican restaurants both cheap and opulent dot the city, serving everything from the usual fast food suspects—burritos, tacos, the works—to spicy tamales and elaborate carne asada. And then there's China Poblano, the Cosmopolitan's in-house eaterie, which offers an improbable but eminently palatable fusion of Chinese and Mexican cuisines. In short: you won't get bored with Vegas's Mexican cocina.

China Poblano

Critics' pick

Hands down, China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan offers the most unlikely menu pairings you’ll find. You may ask yourself where Chinese and Mexican cuisines intersect, but you’ll have to visit China Poblano to get that answer. The important thing is that it does work, and fantastically well. With a variety of small-plate meals from Viva China tacos to the fabulous Shrimp Mojo, each dish is an unexpected, and exciting, combination.

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The Strip

Lindo Michoacan

Critics' pick

Las Vegas’s favorite neighborhood Mexican, Lindo is housed in a colorful, bigger-than-it-looks building on Desert Inn Road, and is busy at virtually all times of day. The lunch specials are good value, but dinner is more enjoyable, with the menu of standards brought to life by an atmosphere that’s never less than lively. There are two other Lindos in the city, one on the west side (10082 W Flamingo Road, 838 9990) and one in Henderson (645 Carnegie Street, 837 6828).

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East Las Vegas

Diego

The experience at MGM’s lively cocina starts as soon as you see the bold colors and backlit tequila-bottle tower. Traditional Mexican recipes are exemplified and often modernized; Oaxacan carne asada (mesquite-grilled, chile-marinated beef), Yucatan-style braised pork, cactus and tequila salsa, and so on. Start with the crab tostadas and, if you want to keep your meal simple, grab the "enchilada style" burrito.

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The Strip

Agave

This 24-hour cantina has emerged from its honeymoon period as a gathering place more than a restaurant. The menu reflects the adventurous decor, which offers a central Mexican vibe via imported Guadalajaran fixtures. Dishes such as goat tacos and a chile relleno stuffed with rock shrimp complement the numerous tequilas. The secluded patio is a wonderful spot to while away a happy hour.

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Las Vegas

Border Grill

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, formerly of TV’s Too Hot Tamales, offer an interesting take on Mexican food in this laid-back joint. "Modern Mexican cuisine," according to them, is earthy, light and healthy—not the spicy, dairy-laden dishes most familiar in the U.S. Their classic dishes bear this out—the quesadillas are a great call—and the Sunday brunch, served until 3pm, should not be missed.

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The Strip

Doña Maria’s

The prices are good and the location is central, but Doña Maria’s is very popular with the city’s large Mexican community for one reason above all others: the loud and occasionally boisterous place offers some of Vegas’s best Mexican food. The tamales (spicy chopped meat and ground corn, served in a corn husk) are the real draw, but the tortas (sandwiches) and fiery salsas help keep the place busy.

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Downtown

Zaba’s Mexican Grill

¡Aye-aye-aye! Part of the ever-growing trend of burrito and taco chains, Zaba’s is as fresh as salsa fresca, with tender grilled meats and delectable guacamole. The decor is stark but the selections are miles away from fast food, despite the speed with which they’re prepared. Five other locations are scattered throughout the city. ¡Muy delicioso!

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East Las Vegas
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