The Best Mexican Spots According to a Local
Growing up in Tucson, there was one thing that was always certain — there’s always going to be some incredible Mexican food. It doesn’t take long to realize there’s quite literally a Mexican spot on every corner...from taco stands to food trucks, to fast-casual to high end, there is delicious food for days!
Tucson is also home to a few different styles of Mexican food, including Sonoran style and northern Mexican, as well as more Americanized options. This list is based on my personal favorites and what I grew up eating.
Of course, every local has their own (usually strong) opinions about the best food, but truthfully, it’s hard to go wrong! I’d love to know the best Mexican spots you’ve found in Tucson and what your go-to dish is.
Barista Del Barrio
There’s nothing better to beat the Sunday Scaries than a greasy, filling, flavorful breakfast burrito. In my opinion, breakfast burritos are one of the best foods. Not only can you eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack, it covers all the main food groups — protein, carbs, bacon.
Barista Del Barrio is one of my personal favorites for a breakfast burrito. I like to do a burrito with egg, potato, & bacon/chorizo. They have a myriad of burrito fillings to choose from, including beans, ham, sausage, soyrizo, & even vegan hemp tamale.
For me, I usually eat half my burrito at one time then save the rest for later, as breakfast burritos are often the size of my head, but instead of giving you a massive burrito that’s hard to eat, Barista del Barrio makes orders with 2 smaller burritos. Personally, I am a huge fan of this- so much easier to eat & share! Barista del Barrio is located at 1002 N. Grande Ave and is open Tuesday-Sunday. Check out their menu here.
Seis Kitchen has my heart. There are a few locations around town, one of which was across the street from my old apartment, and you can bet I ate there way more than I’d like to admit. I’ve tried nearly everything at Seis: from salad to quesadillas, tacos to burritos, it has all been fantastic. They even have a delicious horchata.
Seis is more of a fast-casual style. You order at the front counter then take a number. The ambiance is relaxing and there is also a nice patio to enjoy. Seis is even open for breakfast and let me tell you, their chorizo tacos are literally amazing. Let’s not forget happy hour! Seis has a great happy hour, with $6 margaritas and $2 tacos. My mouth is already watering. Check them out at the Joesler Village and in the Mercado San Agustin, or order online here.
Charro Steak & Del Rey
For your next date night or birthday dinner, Charro Steak & Del Rey is the perfect upscale, Mexican-inspired downtown spot to check out. Charro Steak & Del Rey is part of Flores Concepts, which owns some of Tucson’s most notable restaurants, including El Charro, Charro Vida, & Barrio Charro.
Charro Steak & Del Rey offers delicious, juicy cuts of steak, a selection of mouth-watering seafood, alongside Mexican-inspired side dishes, like the papas de la casa and chilli verde mac & cheese. When I went, my family and I all ordered steak that was perfectly cooked and seasoned, as well as enough side dishes and appetizers to go around. The serious brussels and Charro fries were my personal favorites, but we all left with happy tummies!
The downtown location makes it a great place for out-of-town visitors or the start to a saucy date night. Check out their menu here or stop by the restaurant on Broadway.
Whenever someone asks my favorite Mexican spot in Tucson, my first response is always BKs. It isn’t the fanciest or oldest, but BKs has always been one of my go-to spots. They have incredible carne asada that is absolutely amazing in a taco or caramelo. Their other meat options, like cabeza and chicken, are always delicious as well.
They also have an extensive salsa bar, so guests can load up their tacos with all the salsa, lime, and cabbage their heart desires. For those that drink, Bks has a killer margarita, as well as plenty of fun drink options and a quaint patio to enjoy them on. Last but not least, BKs has a drive-thru! Why would you ever go to Taco Bell when BKs has a drive-thru?!
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’d recommend canceling your lunch plans & heading to BKs. They have a north & south location. Check out their menu here.
El Taco Rustico
I tried El Taco Rustico for the first time just a few months ago and it’s safe to say it’s now one of my favorite spots! I was seeing quesabirria tacos all over TikTok and was searching for a spot in Tucson to find them. Quesabirria tacos are made by taking slow-cooked, juicy birria & placing them on a corn tortilla dipped in consommé, the birria cooking liquid, along with cheese, & fried until the outside is slightly crispy and the cheese is melty.
They are served with a side of the consommé for dipping. They are like a delicious, greasy, meaty hybrid of a taco and a quesadilla. I tried quesabirria tacos for the first time at El Rustico, and I was blown away! El Rustico is known for having some of the best tacos in Tucson and they did not disappoint.
Located down Oracle on the side of the street, El Rustico can be easy to miss but it is truly a hidden gem. In fact, I might have to make my way there for some quesabirria tacos for dinner! Check out their website & please try the tacos- you won't be disappointed!
For a lighter, healthier spin on Mexican food, Café Tumerico is always amazing. Tumerico focuses on vegan and vegetarian food. They use fresh, local ingredients in a creative way. The menu is ever-changing, but every dish is incredible.
I tried jackfruit tacos that tasted so much like meat, I had to double-check! They transformed the jackfruit into a savory, flavorful, filling that reminded me of a traditional pork dish, but they were completely vegan! Tumerico has two locations, one on 4th ave and one on 6th.
Tumerico is unbeatable for anyone plant-based. Even for the biggest meat eater, I would recommend checking it out, you’ll be surprised! Check them out here.
You can also catch them at La Chaiteria, which is their most recent location and has options for omnivores.
I find myself at Guadalajara Grill, or Guads, as the locals say, at least once a month. Whether I’m meeting friends to share a giant Guadalajarita margarita or enjoying fajitas at dinner with my family, Guads is one of my go-to spots.
They have an extensive menu, including molcajetes that are served in a steaming volcano rock bowl! I personally love the fajitas, house-made guacamole, or the pork chili verde enchiladas. One of my favorite parts of the meal is the complimentary salsa that is made tableside! They also often have lie mariachi music, which makes for an unforgettable dining experience!
They have two locations, one on Prince and one on Oracle. I would recommend making a reservation on their website before you visit, it is definitely popular!
Before I worked at La Suprema, I worked with my mom in her law office downtown, and every single Tuesday without fail we celebrated taco Tuesday by getting tacos from Street Taco for lunch.
Street Taco is Chipotle-esque. There is a food line and you see your food being made on the spot. You can choose your toppings and options similar to at a Chipotle. They have tacos, burritos, tortas, quesadillas, nachos, and sonoran hot dogs, of course! The options for fillings are plentiful, including asada, pollo asado, al pastor, carnitas, shredded beef, fish, and veggies. The carne asada is fantastic, whether in a torta, quesadilla, or taco topped with lime, onions, and cilantro. The complimentary chips pair perfectly with any of their homemade salsas.
With a few different locations around town, they are a great spot to check out! View their menu here.
Now it's your turn! We know this list isn't complete without YOUR favorite places for authentic Sonoran cuisine. Let us know where we should go next in the comments below.