Where to Find the Best Mexican Food in Boston Right Now

From Eastie pozole to North End tortas, Somerville tacos, and beyond.


SHREDDED PORK TACOS AT JOSE’S IN CAMBRIDGE. PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE for "A Chef’s Guide to Mexican Food"

Shredded pork tacos at Jose’s in Cambridge. Photo by Chelsea Kyle for “A Chef’s Guide to Mexican Food

Snobs from Los Angeles or Austin may disagree, but Boston’s Mexican food scene is on fire–thanks to classic and adventurous spots serving everything from grilled ox-tongue quesadilla, to achiote-roasted salmon. You just have to know where to look. Here’s where to find some favorite joints catching our eye right now, as well as the all-time best with their availability updated for the COVID era. [Last updated: November 10, 2020]

Angela’s Cafe

This beloved pair of East Boston restaurants continues to serve some of the city’s best Mexican cuisine after the passing of chef-matriarch Ángela Atenco López earlier this year. Puebla-born López established and perfected the wide-ranging menu, which covers tostadas, tamales, tacos and more, but the place might be most famous for the mole poblano, made with a recipe passed down by her mother. We’ve no doubt Angela’s will carry on that legacy of love for food and family.

131 Lexington St., East Boston, 617-567-4972; 1012 Bennington St., East Boston, 617-874-8251, angelascafeboston.com.

Photo courtesy of Cosmica

Cósmica

One of the newest Mexican restaurants in town, Cósmica opened inside the South End’s boutique Revolution Hotel just before the COVID-19 pandemic came crashing down. So if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, pull up a seat on the spacious patio, where chef Colton Coburn-Wood (who previously made a splash at Yellow Door Taqueria) offers up Cal-Mex cuisine with a focus on tacos and rice-and-bean bowls—from crispy haddock wrapped in a corn tortilla with pineapple jam and “umami bomb salsa,” to helpings of cheesy lamb quesadillas. Wash ’em down with boozy slushies, such as the frozen mango margarita.

40 Berkeley St., Boston, 617-313-7878, cosmicaboston.com.

loco taqueria

Tacos at Loco. Photo provided

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

For obvious reasons, restaurants are a bit less boisterous at the moment, but this tequila-soaked hangout is still one of the neighborhood’s most popular places in Southie’s twenty- and thirty-something social scene. Why? Probably has something to do with the nontraditional, funked-up food—like the “Chiquita banana French toast” with cinnamon creme anglaise, or fried Brussels sprouts covered in creamy avocado dressing—as well as the kicky cocktails: Try the Smokeshow, mezcal with yellow chartreuse and hibiscus syrup. To-go taco boxes and margarita kits, meanwhile, help us bring the party home.

412 W Broadway, South Boston, (617) 917-5626, locosouthboston.com.

Sol Azteca

The lovely, mosaic tile-covered patio—charmingly tucked off an alleyway—is now equipped with plenty of heat lamps, so expect Sol Azteca to keep us warm and well-fed as the weather cools. And whether you hit the sunny deck or just grab a table inside, there’s plenty of spicy plates to ignite fire in your belly: grilled pork with smoked chipotle pepper salsa, grilled haddock in jalapeño salsa, and sauteed mole shrimp, to name a few. If you need to douse the flames, reach for a carafe of signature sangria.

914 Beacon St., Boston, 617-262-0909, solaztecaboston.com

Chef Carolina Curtin's new menu at Yellow Door Taqueria goes beyond tacos.

Photo courtesy of Yellow Door Taqueria

Yellow Door Taqueria

Street corn smothered with chipotle aioli and spices is the proper way to start any meal at this pair of Cal-Mex taquerias; once you’ve licked your chops clean, move on to house made corn tortillas filled with chili barbecue duck, scallops with pickled jalapeño, or seasonal offerings like winter squash with cinnamon coconut crema. Margaritas, meanwhile, come in a host of flavors, from lime leaf and ginger to spiced pineapple—but all the cocktails are top-shelf: Be sure to sample the “Waking Up in Tijuana,” which offers roasted pecan- and butter-washed tequila with banana, cold brew coffee, cinnamon, and mole bitters.

345 Harrison Ave., Boston, 857-239-9276; 2297 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 857-267-4201, yellowdoortaqueria.com.

Casa Romero Boston

A pair of margaritas from Casa Romero. / Photo via Facebook

The 15 Best Mexican Restaurants in Boston

You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find best Mexican food in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and on-site dining. Watch this space for more updates!

Casa Romero

Status: Open for Tuesday through Sunday for indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery. 

Though it’s been around for 45-plus years, this Back Bay spot—accessed through an alley entrance—still feels like a hidden gem. You’re here for hearty entrees, like smoky chipotle and orange-marinated pork tenderloin, broiled stuffed shrimp with funky huitlacoche sauce—and a margarita, of course.

30 Gloucester St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-536-4341, casaromero.com.

Chilacates

Status: All locations are open daily for takeout; the Roxbury location also offers indoor seating; the South End location, meanwhile, offers outdoor seating. 

It’s a testament to the quality of this Mexican street-food spot that it has grown to five locations (and counting) just four years after it debuted in Jamaica Plain. Carnitas burritos or picante chicken tinga are our go-tos, but try the soft and savory beef lengua tacos, or as enchiladas drenched in fresh salsa verde. Don’t overlook the cooler, stocked with house-made flan, and refreshing drinks like agua de jamaica and horchata.

224 Amory St., 617-522-6000; 658 Centre St., 617-522-4500, Jamaica Plain; 1482A Tremont St., Mission Hill, Roxbury, 617-238-5437; 275 Shawmut Ave., South End, Boston, 857-350-3292; 4257 Washington St., Roslindale, 617-477-9094; The Street, 33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-608-3356, chilacates.mx.

El Centro

Status: Both locations are open daily for takeout, as well as indoor and outdoor dining; the South End location also offers delivery via UberEats. 

The Sonoran chef behind this South End-born favorite knows real carne asada. The tender beef is served a varieties of ways, always with fresh accompaniments, like roasted tomato salsa. Chef-owner Allen Rodriguez has since expanded his homestyle fare with a location in Dedham Square.

472 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-262-5708; 338 Washington St., Dedham, 781-461-6177; elcentroinboston.com.

CARAMELOS TACOS AT EL PELON TAQUERIA. / PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE for "Your Seven-Point Taco Crawl Game Plan"

Caramelos tacos at El Pelon Taqueria. / Photo by Chelsea Kyle for “Your Seven-Point Taco Crawl

El Pelon Taquería

Status: Both locations are open daily for takeout, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

There’s a reason that crowds still line up at this pair of Mexican spots in Fenway and Brighton: Loaded Caramelos tacos (tender skirt steak with an ample dollop of guacamole) are a must-order, though Momofuku chef David Chang is partial to a burrito.

92 Peterborough St., Boston, 617-262-9090, 2197 Comm Ave., Brighton, 617-779-9090, elpelon.com.

Jose’s Mexican Restaurant

Status: Open daily for takeout, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

The Central Mexican cuisine at this vibrantly old-school spot truly satisfies, especially the balanced and spicy enmoladas (chicken mole). But we keep coming back for the huge and tasty margaritas.

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

Tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar.

Tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar. / Photo provided

Lone Star Taco Bar

Status: Both locations are open daily for takeout and delivery, as well as outdoor dining; Allston location offers indoor dining, as well. 

Deep Ellum owners Max Toste and Aaron Sanders created the Southern California-Texas-Mexican street food spot they wished to see in Boston. With Dallas spicy beef, smoky brisket barbacoa, jalapeño corn cakes, and house-made Mexican-style sausages, Allston and Cambridge are better for it.

479 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-782-TACO, 635 Cambridge St., East Cambridge, 857-285-6179, lonestar-boston.com.

The Painted Burro

Status: All locations open daily for takeout and delivery as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

Chef Joe Cassinelli’s take on Mexican food is a little out of the ordinary: You might spot garlic mojo- and avocado-doused street corn, or charred octopus tacos with toasted almond mole. In Brookline and the South End, the sibling Burro Bar has laid-back bocadillas (small bites), more queso fundido options, and new ceviches.

219 Elm St., Davis Square, Cambridge, 617-776-0005, thepaintedburro.com, 1665 Beacon St., Washington Square, Brookline, 617-277-0427, 1357 Washington St., Boston, burrobarbrookline.com.

Rincón Mexicano

Status: Open daily for takeout, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

Chef-owner Lorenzo Reyes toiled in kitchens across the city for more than 20 years before opening his own restaurant in 2014. The family-run spot is cheap, friendly, fresh, and authentic. Try the pozole, the house molcajete, a mix of roasted beef, chicken, and shrimp with Oaxacan cactus; or just stick with a hefty taco trio in delicious house-made tortillas.

99 Broadway, , 617-776-1200, rinconmexicanosomerville.com.

Sabroso

Status: Boston location open Monday through Friday for takeout and delivery; Somerville location open daily for takeout and delivery, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

Giant burritos are the reason the line is always so long at this Financial District lunch spot. We’re partial to the fresh shrimp. Guacamole comes standard, but pro tip: Ask for a drizzle of jalapeño ranch, too. The food truck company recently opened a second brick-and-mortar at Assembly Row, which also offers beer and wine.

2 Oliver St., Boston, 857-991-1015; 475 Revolution Dr., Somerville, sabrosotaqueria.com.

Taco Loco Mexican Grill

Status: Open daily for takeout and indoor dining.

It’s been a counter-service go-to for more than two decades, thanks to right-priced delights like over-stuffed burritos, cheesy and fried flautas, perfectly chewy papusas, and chicken that is tender and juicy, no matter how it’s served.

46 Broadway, East Somerville, 617-625-3830, tacolocorestaurant.com.

A VARIETY OF TACOS FROM TAQUERIA EL AMIGO, IN WALTHAM. / PHOTOGRAPH BY TOAN TRINH for "Cheap Eats in Boston from A to Z"

Tacos from Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham. / Photography by Toan Trinh for “Cheap Eats in Boston from A to Z”

Taqueria El Amigo

Status: Open Monday through Saturday for takeout and outdoor dining. 

This tiny spot is way off the beaten path, even for Waltham. But fruity al pastor pork tacos with arbol chili salsa—four come per order!—are worth the trek. There’s a surprisingly deeply-flavored cheese quesadilla, less-seen proteins like rich beef cheek, and chunky, fresh guacamole, too. Road trip incentive: This (previously cash-only) hidden gem now accepts plastic payment.

196 Willow St., Waltham, 781-642-7410.

Soup Pozole

Pozole at Taqueria Jalisco in East Boston. / Photo by Toan Trinh for “Cheap Eats in Boston from A to Z”

Taqueria Jalisco

Status: Open daily for takeout. 

Marinated carnitas tacos are a must at this low-frills Eastie mainstay, but don’t overlook traditional comforts, like the pozole rojo, a porky stew with hominy and vibrant red chilis.

293 Bennington St., East Boston, 617-567-6367, Facebook.

Tenoch torta

Tenoch torta. / Photo by PJ Couture for “Best Sandwiches in Boston

Tenoch

Status: Open daily for takeout only. 

There are mouth-watering tacos, tostadas, tamales, and other antojitos on the menu at this growing food truck and takeout empire, but the specialty is loaded tortas. Choriqueso, with Mexican sausage and gooey Oaxacan cheese; pescado; and pollo empanizado (fried chicken) are all unique delights. The sandwiches come on fresh telera bread with beans, avocado, and a slick of chipotle mayo. Looking for a more formal dining experience? Tenoch owners Alvaro and Andres Sandoval are opening a sit-down restaurant and tequila bar in Medford, called El Tacuba.

24 Riverside Ave., Medford, 781-395-2221, 382 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville 617-764-1906, 3 Lewis St., North End, Boston, 617-248-9537, tenochmexican.com.

Tu y Yo

Status: Open daily for takeout, as well as indoor and outdoor dining. 

This longstanding Somerville spot is not your average taco joint—though they do offer an authentic grasshopper version. Try the camaron con pulpo (shrimp with octopus) with a smoky, garlicky mojillo sauce.

858 Broadway, Somerville, 617-623-5411, Facebook.

Villa Mexico Cafe

Status: Open Monday through Saturday for takeout and delivery, as well as outdoor dining. 

Mexico City-style grilled burritos, unique black salsa, and house-made sweets (including free cookies on Fridays!) are great. But proprietor Julie King, aka Momma King, who first opened her homestyle takeout spot nearly 20 years ago in Woburn—and once operated it out of a Beacon Hill gas station—is a friendly professional who makes dining here a true joy.

121 Water St., Boston, 617-957-0725, villamexicocafe.us


This post has been updated in November 2020.