Best of Boston

2004 Best Mexican Restaurant, Affordable

José’s Mexican Restaurant

If you find that the barmaid at this piñata-colored cantina doesn’t speak English, don’t worry—”margarita” is the same in any language. Friendly and laid-back, José’s draws a chatty family-type crowd from surrounding North Cambridge, from Harvard profs to techies. The menu, to take out or eat in, boasts fine turns on the usuals—enchiladas verde doused with a lemony spicy green sauce and chips, salsa, and guac that make regulars coo—and those aforementioned margaritas will have you speaking Spanish by the third sip. “Una más, por favor!”

131 Sherman St., Cambridge, 617-354-0335,