BBQ and Kansas City, Jambalaya and New Orleans, Coffee and Seattle, Mexican food and Tempe. Some things just go together.
Tempe, Arizona has a wealth of Mexican food eateries, from quick-service options like Maskadores Taco Shop, to delicious newcomers like Barrio Cafe at Tempe Marketplace, to mainstays like Rosita’s Mexican Food and Casa Reynoso that have been in Tempe for decades. It’s hard to choose a favorite, so here is a list of Tempe’s most beloved Mexican restaurants. And, you’ll get the inside scoop about the dishes that the Tempe Tourism Office team order again and again.
3138 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85282 | (480) 966-0776
One of the most crave-worthy Mexican restaurants in Tempe is Casa Reynoso. This family-owned business is an extension of the family’s first venture into the restaurant business in Globe, Arizona. Now solely located in metro Phoenix, the Reynoso family continues to do what they do best – share their family recipes with all of us. You’ll have trouble deciding between their carne asada dishes, chimichangas, tacos and burros. But, one way to sample their best menu options is combination #8: an enchilada, burro and chile relleno. Que rico!
Tempe Marketplace | 31 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 912-4052
Incredible food, delicious cocktails and live music? Say no more! We recently caught mariachis serenading guests of Barrio Queen Tempe and we loved every minute of it! The menu is full of recipes rooted in the rich history of Mexico’s vibrant barrios (“neighborhoods”), and the flavors are made possible by using fresh, quality ingredients from local farmers. They also have an extensive tequila and mescal list to choose from and award-winning table-side guacamole that is a must try!
1214 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480)-446-8226
101 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480)-839-8226
With its counter-service, colorful décor and ample seating, this is a great spot for families who love Mexican food! First opened in 1986, you can enjoy heirloom recipes perfected by Isabel Vasquez, the first owner’s Abuela. Try tacos, enchiladas, tamales, delicious burros or Los Especiales! You’ll eat like you’re part of the family at Somburros.
Maskadores Taco Shop
1721 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 284-7000
818 W. Broadway Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282 l (480)-366-4094
If you’re looking for a really good local taco shop, Maskadores is the place to go. Known for their delicious street tacos, they have many meat choices and even more toppings to choose from. I would also recommend the wet burrito, a bit on the spicy side but with great flavors. The salsa bar features several homemade varieties, so choose as much salsa as your heart desires. Don’t forget to leave room for a churro (or three). The walls are painted and decorated with the maskadores – which makes for a fun atmosphere.
Macayo’s Mexican Food
650 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 967-2552
The first branch of the Macayo’s restaurant chain opened in Phoenix in 1946, beginning a legacy of quality food in a family atmosphere. Guests can still enjoy their signature family recipes today! Don’t miss out on their mini chimis, Macayo’s Original Chimichangas or any of their burro options.
1006 E. Warner Rd. #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 474-4328
Ghost Ranch serves modern Southwest cuisine fare for happy hour and dinner from Monday to Friday and weekend brunch. They also offer a full menu of beer, wine and cocktails inspired by the multicultural history of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico. Their team knocks it out of the park with a delicious menu featuring items like cowboy steak, green chile burgers, tacos, Aztec Cake (which is like a perfect marriage between enchiladas and a casserole) and Chimayo chile braised-pork enchiladas. The lineup also includes Grilled Rainbow Trout, vegetarian options, salads and Rancho Papas, a creamy side dish with a hint of spice. The staff is always very friendly and the interior is full of the most beautiful Southwestern decor.
Los Reyes de la Torta
1528 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 491-1314
It’s hard to choose from their menu of authentic, straight from Mexico City tortas, tacos, burritos and chilaquiles. And, I can’t eat quite as much as Adam from Man v. Food when he ate their Torta Del Rey complete with five types of meat. But, one of our favorites is the Mexicana Torta. It’s filled with flavorful grilled steak cooked with onions and jalapenos, pico de gallo, avocado and refried beans with salad on the side. Thankfully, guests can choose from their regular size and the mini. The mini certainly isn’t calorie free, but there’s a little less guilt.
Rosita’s Fine Mexican Food
960 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 966-0852
Rosa Keeme’s dream of opening up her own restaurant came true in 1963 when the first Rosita’s opened its doors in Tempe. Now, the second and third generations of Keeme’s families continue to serve some of the best Mexican food in town. Located on University Drive and Hardy, Rosita’s has an extensive menu of South of the Border fare, including mole, enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitas and tamales. Their house specialty is the “Rosita’s Special,” a large flour tortilla filled with melted cheese and your choice of green chile with beef, seasoned chicken, red chile with beef or shredded beef.
Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
1706 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 838-1005
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Suite #567, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 838-9610
Garcia’s has been a local favorite for years; once you visit, it is easy to see why. They serve delicious Mexican food at affordable prices. We’re big fans of their lunch specials like the Fajita Quesadilla, and we also recommend their Chile Rellenos, Grilled Margarita Chicken Burro and the Tilapia Pacifica. Don’t forget to check out their long list of margaritas too. From the Blackberry Citrus to the Coco Motion, you’re sure to find your new favorite.
222 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 699-0922
Located on the north end of Mill Ave in Downtown Tempe, Loco Patron features a fantastic outdoor patio and delicious food to go with it. Order a fresh squeezed margarita (choose from 11 cool options) to go with your street cart tacos. Several large TVs abound for sports lovers, and the huge bar is ready for every type of drink order. Loco Patron is open late until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and until midnight on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup
505 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 279-5080
A funny name with a good story: The term “Gadzooks” originated from the owner, Aaron Pool’s roommate. When Pool’s roommate opened the fridge and saw his leftovers were eaten, he would yell, “Gadzooks!” You probably won’t bring home leftovers if you eat at Gadzooks — their food is that good. You can make your own enchiladas here by choosing your meat or vegetarian options, opting for red or green sauce (insider tip – order it “Christmas style” to get both), and then choose your toppings like cheese, guacamole, cabbage and more. Their menu also includes tacos, tortilla soup and other tasty items. Don’t skip the pumpkin cookies! It makes for the perfect ending to your meal.
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 456-3761
Located inside Arizona Mills, this family-owned eatery showcases raspados, a Mexican-style shaved iced drink made popular in Michoacan, Mexico. The owner and his family are from Michoacan and that’s what inspired their restaurant’s menu of authentic raspados, sopes, gorditas, caldos and more flavorful dishes. They use 100% natural ingredients (fresh fruit and not syrup). Order a fresh Tamarindo Obispo with shaved ice, fruit, lechero (condensed milk) and ice cream. Or order a more traditional raspado without the ice cream. Mango, Coconut and Strawberry are all very popular.
The Paleta Bar
521 S. College Ave., Unit 107, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 265-8948
Indulge in authentic, fresh, gourmet Mexican ice pops along with premium dipping and toppings that offers endless combinations. Also, try their fresh Elote or Dorinachos and wash it down with an Aguas Frescas!
2714 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ, | (480)-393-3652
If you’re looking for delicious, authentic Mexican snacks – Raspalicious has you covered! Try traditional Raspados, shake, crepes, Elote, Tosti Maiz or Tosti Loco and more.
If we don’t mention your favorite dish or your favorite Tempe Mexican restaurant, please tell us what we’re missing. We’d love to add to our list of favorites.
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