9 of the best places for Tex-Mex and Mexican food in Houston

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Houston residents are more than spoiled with Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants on every corner. Whether it’s a taco truck, a little cafe in the corner of a strip mall or high-end establishments, one is never too far away from classic food that allies the south and north of the border.

Summer has officially arrived in Houston, meaning heat, sweat and poolside drinks. But there’s still room for cheesy enchiladas and queso—perhaps washed down with a tasty margarita, though.

Cool off and heat up at these neighborhood restaurants for Tex-Mex and Mexican food in Houston.

100% Taquito

The first thing you notice when you walk into 100% Taquito is the decor, the second is the food. They’re both loud and vibrant, and in the case of the food, absolutely delicious. Don’t underestimate the selection by the name: While you can (and should) load up on rolled tortillas three at a time, don’t miss 100% Taquito’s sopes, which are piled with fajita meat, shrimp or chicken. Don’t sleep on the fresh hot chips and dip—whether you’re a queso or guacamole enthusiast—served in huge paper bags.

Find it: 3245 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77027
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Bodegas Taco Shop is a go-to in the Museum District.

Bodegas Taco Shop is a go-to in the Museum District.

Photo by: Andrea R/Yelp

Bodegas Taco Shop

Bodegas Taco Shop isn’t exclusively Tex-Mex, but it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite in the Museum District after a day exploring the museums, Houston Zoo and Hermann Park. While their tacos made right at the bar, chips and queso and guacamole are excellent, the restaurant also offers soft, sweet plantains with sour cream and fried yucca with amazing chimichurri. And, of course, margaritas.

Find it: 1200 Binz St #160, Houston, TX 77004
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Chapultepec Lupita serves hearty plates of Mexican food.

Chapultepec Lupita serves hearty plates of Mexican food.

Karis N. via Yelp

Chapultepec Lupita

Picture this: It’s 3 a.m., you’ve just finished dancing the night away at Barbarella’s, and you would absolutely kill for a chimichanga. Enter Chapultepec. This Montrose staple is in a seemingly endless house on Richmond, offering Tex-Mex fare at all hours of the night (and all day, for that matter). Don’t want Mexican food after a night out? No problem—try their house salad or hamburger alongside your margarita while you grab the aux on the TouchTunes jukebox.

Find it: 813 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77006
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

A Trompo taco from El Taconazo. 

A Trompo taco from El Taconazo. 

Que N. via Yelp

El Taconazo

It’s easy to miss El Taconazo as you speed down Fulton Street in the Northside, but once you stop in, you’ll come back again and again. You better know what you want to order once you get to the front of the often-long line. The food comes out fast, though, served fresh from the parrilla. The location doesn’t offer seating, but you can enjoy a great quesabirria, lengua taco or plato especial and an horchata while sitting in the trunk of your car watching the light rail go by.

Find it: 4003 Fulton St., Houston, TX 77009
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-midnight; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.

El Tiempo Cantina on Navigation's picturesque storefront.

El Tiempo Cantina on Navigation’s picturesque storefront.

El Tiempo Cantina

El Tiempo Cantina


Classics are classics for a reason, and El Tiempo is no exception. Founded in 1998, El Tiempo is the brainchild of Roland Laurenzoyes—yes, the Ninfa’s Laurenzos, and the son of Mama Ninfa herself—and his son, Dominic. The chain operates locally, serving fajitas, enchiladas, tacos al carbon and other essential Tex-Mex bites.

In recent years, El Tiempos have popped up across Houston, and 13 restaurants now stand from The Woodlands to League City (as well as a pop-up at Minute Maid Park), so luckily, you’re never too far away.

Find several locations and hours here.

La Guadalupana serves some of the best migas in Houston.

La Guadalupana serves some of the best migas in Houston.

Emma Balter

La Guadalupana Bakery and Café

Tucked in a tiny retail strip on Dunlavy Street, La Guadalupana is the go-to spot in Montrose for breakfast with a little bit of spice. The restaurant serves Tex-Mex and Mexican breakfast staples like migas, tortas and chilaquiles until 2 p.m., and operates as a Mexican bakery, to boot. Don’t leave without ordering their to-die-for cinnamon coffee, and be sure to get there early on Saturdays and Sundays, as the wait list gets long.

Find it: 2109 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

La Mexicana is a popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

La Mexicana is a popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Mark G. via Yelp

La Mexicana

Standing on the corner of Montrose and Fairview for decades, La Mexicana serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for those who can’t get enough of their queso blanco and guacamole. The restaurant is particularly famous for its sopes—thick corn cakes topped with beans and meat—and its carne asada. Honorable mentions go to La Mexicana’s desserts like tres leches, flan and churros, which are worth stopping in for even after a meal elsewhere.

Find it: 1018 Fairview St., Houston, TX 77006
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

La Mexicana has been around since 1982.

La Mexicana has been around since 1982.

Yelp Houston

La Tapatía

Beloved by college students, families and everyone in between, La Tapatía‘s mutiple locations in the Houston area offer a fantastic happy hour menu and stay open late. The restaurant serves some of the best nachos in Houston, where seared pieces of juicy steak and chicken take center stage on crisp tortilla chips. Or, pair one of their parrilladas—fajitas served on tabletop grills with all the fixins—with a jumbo mango margarita with chamoy and a tajín rim.

Find several locations and hours here.

Chicken and beef combination fajitas from The Original Ninfa's on Navigation.

Chicken and beef combination fajitas from The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation.

Yaning L. via Yelp

The Original Ninfa’s

Last but most certainly not least, favored by every Houstonian, old and new: Tex-Mex stalwart Ninfa’s. In 1973, “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo ostensibly invented what we now know as fajitas when she wrapped a strip of juicy grilled beef inside one of her legendary tortillas. The rest, as they say, is history. The original location on Navigation Boulevard still stands, and was joined by the Uptown outpost that opened in 2019, plus plenty of franchises across the city.

Find it: 2704 Navigation Blvd., Houston, TX 77003
Hours: Monday-Thursday. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.



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