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Ribeye taco at Publico
Photograph: Brian Samuels Photography

20 best Mexican Restaurants in Boston for Tacos & Burritos

Here’s where you should go to get your fix of best south-of-the-border dishes in Boston.

JQ Louise
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Cheryl Fenton
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Whether it’s a simple plate of enchiladas and rice or tortillas wrapped around marinated Yucateca-style pork with a side of sweet plantains, there are plenty of eateries around Boston with true south-of-the-border flare. Restaurants are as varied as Mexican fare itself, with everything from traditional hearty entreés to the best tacos in Boston (spoiler alert: you don’t have to wait until Tuesday). Whatever you’re craving, the city’s best Mexican options are happy to welcome you. Wash it all down with a tequila drink as strong or frosty as you please. And if you start your feast by diving head first into a basket of chips and salsa, who are we to judge? These are the 20 best Mexican restaurants in Boston. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best Mexican restaurants in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • East Boston
  • price 1 of 4

This tiny, family-owned space in Eastie’s Day Square is both authentic and inexpensive, which is the mark of a true taqueria for most Mexican street food enthusiasts. Soft corn tortillas are stuffed with spectacular, slow-cooked proteins like shredded beef, chicken, adobo pork, beef tongue or cheek. Fans of the currently ultra-trendy specialty birria can rejoice: This place also sells these extra-cheesy tacos and customary side of rich broth for dipping. Homemade salsa and refreshing aguas frescas round out Taqueria Jalisco's solid menu of traditional, affordable fare.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 1 of 4

El Pelón Taqueria has been a Fenway food staple for years. The small, cheerful space gets jam-packed with people before Red Sox games, as fans eagerly pile in to grab a quick bite to eat before the opening pitch—or snag a to-go order to take into the park (yes, you can bring your own). Loyal customers tend to stick to the basics like fried plantains and the house tacos, which come in pairs and are filled with outstanding proteins like crispy, spicy cornmeal-crusted fish.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • price 2 of 4

This Arlington spot—which also boasts outposts in Belmont and Beverly—is celebrated amongst serious Mexican food enthusiasts for its use of top-notch ingredients and family recipes. Its claim to fame lies with its flavorful, juicy, slow-cooked meats—including traditional Mexican chorizo, al pastor and beef tongue—that are then stuffed in tacos, tortas and burritos, and scattered atop platos of authentic rice and beans. While everything on the menu is a knock-out, the standout here is the surtido taco, a tortilla packed with every tasty part of the pig—even the fatty bits and skin. Savor this meaty, spicy, drippy, delicious specialty and you'll be a total La Victoria convert. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4

While tacos typically serve as the bar for most Mexican joints, this local chain stands out mainly because of its incredible tortas. Tenoch is known for dishing out tasty, traditional Mexican pressed sandwiches made with Telera (similar to a French roll). A torta from Tenoch—which has locations in Medford, Somerville, Melrose, Boston's North End and Cambridge’s North Point—is stacked with your choice of savory meat or veg, before being topped with a generous amount of Oaxaca cheese, chipotle mayo, onions, avocado and tomatoes. Sandwiches aside, you'll still find those tacos, quesadillas and burritos here, too, along with Mexican sodas for the full experience.

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Tacos Lupita may not have the pizzaz of other places throughout the city, but it makes up for its lack of fanfare (and margaritas) with some of the most legit Mexican food around. Its simple, straightforward menu includes authentic burritos and tacos, which are filled with savory meats ranging from chicken and pork al pastor, to chorizo and beef tongue. On the weekends, it even upholds the Mexican tradition of serving mondongo, a labor-intensive tripe soup that’s believed to be the ultimate hangover cure. With a bare-bones interior and counter service, it’s not exactly a lively sit-down establishment, so just plan on taking all of your delectable dishes—and maybe a horchata or Jarritos—to go.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Boston
  • price 2 of 4

This popular Cal-Mex hangout in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood—and its second location in the South End—gets packed with young residents from around the area. The menu is focused on slightly elevated tacos, which range from the familiar (carne asada and confit pork carnitas) to the creative (fried scallop and chili tofu with fresh peaches). Refreshing cocktails are a must here, and the bar offers a lengthy list of margarita flavors, including hibiscus, coconut, and lime leaf and ginger.

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These bullet-shaped burritos in silver foil packaging are credited with initiating Boston’s burrito boom. But don’t expect a phonebook-sized menu from this beloved locally owned/operated institution. The tightly edited list boasts only four core items - burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and Mexican bowls. And given Anna’s popularity (the chain just celebrated its 27th birthday), that’s clearly all they need to keep six locations packed with fans. Although Anna’s doesn’t serve beer at their locations, they did have a limited edition Jamaica Sour collab with Harpoon Brewery.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 1 of 4

Be prepared to wait in line, as Felipe’s is almost always packed, and for good reason. This Mexican eatery believes in the importance of authentic recipes and fresh ingredients. Everything in house is made from scratch throughout the day to ensure prime freshness. When the weather is warm enough, folks flock to Felipe's roof deck—the perfect place to split some nachos amongst friends and sip on one (or two) of the bar's prickly pear margaritas. 

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Chef Colton Coburn-Wood’s Mexican-inspired cuisine is a playful interpretation of tradition—seafood, steaks, pork, lamb, and chicken turning to ingredients such as habanero, cocoa, chipotle, adobo chile, passionfruit, and guava to create spicy, smoky, and sweet possibilities. The local organic corn tortillas are the perfect vehicles for carne asada, duck carnitas, and grilled swordfish, while braises and roasts take several days to perfect. The new late night taqueria/margarita menu doesn’t disappoint, and missing out on their famous smoked jalapeño guac is a crime.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Consider this Seaport staple (and its new Burlington location) an "elevated fiesta.” Paying homage to their traditional roots, Rosa Mexicano delivers all the spice while incorporating regional accents into every dish through classic preparation, grilling, and seasoning. Even tableside guac gets an upgrade – the founder’s decades-old recipe topped with grilled pineapple, bacon, or lump crab. The house-made mole is crafted over three days using 26 ingredients; and authentic dishes include tacos, huaracheenchiladas, quesadillas, and a Parrilladas Mexican-style mixed grill heaped on a sizzling platter for sharing.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Somerville

Paola Ibarra and Yhadira Guzmán bring the brightness of their beloved Mexico City to Somerville’s Union Square with Barra. This eatery may be small on space, but it’s big on acid and is sure to leave patrons’ taste buds tingling—whether it’s with its guacamole piled onto freshly fried chicharrón, its cactus salad or its aguachile. Alongside a selection of top-notch tacos and seasonal tamales, diners can sip on flights of the finest mezcal, refreshing pints of michelada and margaritas rimmed with chapulines for a truly Mexican touch.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Downtown
  • price 1 of 4

Some of the city’s best Mexican food was once served out of a Beacon Hill gas station. Julie King gained a huge cult following for her tamales, flautas and grilled burritos, and, after the gas station closed in 2013, she secured a new space near the waterfront. Devotees still flock to this downtown joint, where only the classics are served—all prepared in traditional Mexican fashion and made to order.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

The Painted Burro definitely doesn't stick tradition, but its menu of Mexican-inspired fare is still delicious. This stylish Davis Square eatery (and its new location in Waltham) serves classic dishes—just not in the way your abuelita would. Tacos are a favorite amongst the collegiate and yuppy populations frequenting this hot spot, with tortillas stuffed with modern takes on traditional fillings (i.e. swordfish al pastor). Other staples include chips and guacamole topped with chunks of pork belly and cherry tomatoes, as well as the street cart roasted half-chicken marinated in achiote and fresh citrus, served with kale and fried plantains, creamy poblano rice and tamarind butter.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Lolita Cocina offers tasty Mexican-inspired cuisine—with a side of nightlife. This Fort Point hot spot is popular amongst young professionals with a taste for tequila. The menu features Mexican-fusion bites like Maine lobster-topped guacamole, spicy mushroom empanadas and street corn cauliflower tacos. The late-night menu is surprisingly robust, best enjoyed with your third marg and bumping music courtesy of a live DJ.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 2 of 4

Lone Star caters to the young and hip crowds of Allston and Cambridge, with a cool vibe and plenty of cheap (but still super tasty) eats. Grilled street corn, refried bean tostadas and habanero-spiced chicken wings are popular offerings. On the taco front, the kitchen's hand-made masa harina corn tortillas stuffed with slow-cooked pork carnitas or mesquite-smoked beef barbacoa make for an incredible bite. The upscale bar gets bonus points for the solid tequila and mezcal lists. Also worth noting: This place serves frito pie straight from the bag, as well as highly dippable birria.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Central Sq
  • price 2 of 4

This spirited Central Square spot puts its own spin on Mexican favorites, including tortas and tostadas. Its selection of tacos are all made using corn tortillas that are ground and pressed in house, with fillings spanning from smoked tofu to pulled pork. Its sides are just as diverse, ranging from the creative (like the lobster bacon street corn) to the pretty customary (such as its fried yuca and chicharron). Come summertime, the 100-seat patio right on Mass Ave is the place to be.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

This Back Bay mainstay is a dinner date favorite, thanks to its bright but cozy brownstone space filled with bold-colored walls and tiled tables. The tacos here are never a bad idea, and its signature plates (like the puerco adobado en chipotle y naranja—pork tenderloin marinated in oranges, tamarind and smoked chipotle peppers) are bursting with flavor and just begging to be paired with a strong margarita. In the summer, Casa Romero's serene back patio, adorned with hanging plants, is an intimate retreat beloved by all.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

El Centro pulls double-duty as a higher-end sit-down spot that also happens to be a great takeout joint. Its cozy, exposed brick space in the South End is lively and bright, letting you indulge in eavesdropping and a few well-made margaritas. The food is straightforward and crowd-pleasing, with favorites including freshly made guac (topped with chorizo, if you so desire), chimichangas, chicken mole and no fewer than 10 different tacos. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • South Boston
  • price 3 of 4

Tacos and raw oysters on the same menu? Yep, this Southie spot makes it work. The kitchen cranks out tacos with a modern and relatively Americanized spin, filling tortillas with the likes of blackened tuna, chipotle cauliflower and pesto chicken. Purists may balk at dishes like its Maine mussels bathed in a ghost pepper tequila broth, but it’s nothing a few coconut margaritas can’t fix.

Sol Azteca
Photograph: Courtesy Sol Azteca

20. Sol Azteca

One of Boston's original Mexican restaurants, Sol Azteca (914 Beacon St) sits right on the Brookline-Boston border, near the St. Mary's T stop. Friendly servers patrol the colorful environs, and when the weather permits, patrons spill out onto the sidewalk. Traditional dishes (camarones tampiquenos or the puerco en adobo) jockey for attention with a number of vegetarian options, award-winning sangria, fruit-flavored margs and more.

More fiery flavors in Boston

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