Many popular “Mexican” foods are actually Tex-Mex. Burritos, nachos, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas, and hard-shell tacos are some of the most common Tex-Mex foods. You can find this mouth-watering culinary hybrid all over the U.S. However, it is most popular in Texas, especially in the state’s westernmost city, El Paso. There are more than twenty restaurants that serve Tex-Mex in El Paso alone.
Tex-Mex cuisine is a unique blend of Mexican and Southwestern American food. The key difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine is the ingredient list. Mexican dishes often feature queso blanco and mole, a rich sauce. On the other hand, Tex-Mex food uses ingredients like beef instead of pork or chicken and wheat flour instead of corn. Other quintessential Tex-Mex ingredients include cheddar cheese, black beans, and canned vegetables.
Authentic Tex-Mex in El Paso Texas
El Chihuahuita’s Tacos Al Pastor
If you’re looking for welcoming Tex-Mex restaurants in El Paso with both a homey feel and out-of-this-world Tex-Mex food, then dine at El Chihuahuita’s Tacos. Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., this Tex-Mex joint serves delicious tacos, awesome menudo, and a plethora of other scrumptious Tex-Mex goodies.
6200 Montana Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79925
L&J Café, a fourth-generation, family-owned restaurant continues its family tradition by serving some of El Paso’s best Tex-Mex dishes. This restaurant is so popular amongst locals and visitors that it was voted “El Paso’s Best Mexican Restaurant”.
Despite this accolade, L&J Café “has set the standard for home-cooked comfort food since the 1920s…[and]…always satisfies popular demand for delicious borderlands food.”
L&J Café is near many centrally located hotels in El Paso, including Holiday Inn Express El Paso-Central and Hotel Indigo: El Paso Downtown, two stylish hotels in downtown El Paso that blend Mexican and American cultures. Hotel Indigo’s contemporary design and architecture are perfect for relaxing or taking part in the lively downtown scene. Also, the Indigo’s fifth-floor outdoor pool rivals other popular scenic viewpoints in town.
3622 E Missouri Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79903
With over 30 years of experience serving quality Tex-Mex in El Paso, Jalisco Café has “built up a customer loyalty that is matched by a few other restaurants in El Paso.”
Located in one of the city’s most historic areas, Jalisco Café gives off a nostalgic early 20th-century vibe. But don’t let the antiquated décor and ambiance fool you! Jalisco Café offers daily specials that keep loyal patrons coming back for more.
One of these dishes is the “Caldo de Res”. This Mexican beef soup, like most dishes served at Jalisco Café, is cooked according to the “El Paso style of Mexican food”. This means flavorful salsa with less garlic.
1029 E 7th Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79901
Forti’s Mexican Elder
For over 40 years, Forti’s Mexican Elder has served some of the most satisfying Tex-Mex in El Paso. Over the years, this long-established restaurant has expanded to three times its original size and staff. The original restaurant only had a sizeable dining room, kitchen, office, and restroom.
Owners David and Consuelo Forti have done more than a fabulous job at serving specialty dishes like huevos divorciados, rib-eye steak served with two eggs any style, and many other traditional Tex-Mex favorites.
321 Chelsea Street
El Paso, Texas 79905
So in short, if you’re visiting the westernmost city in Texas, dine at any of these restaurants for some of the most memorable Tex-Mex cuisine in the nation.
What’s YOUR favorite Tex-Mex dish?
Danielle Desir is a financially savvy traveler, 5x author, and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast here.