If this sounds like you and you are around DC, then you’re in a treat of the century. In addition to being the nation’s capital, it’s also home to some amazing Mexican restaurants. From smooth, modern spots to savory, no-frill taco joints, there is something for everyone when it comes to Mexican dishes. And just in case you’re wondering, quite a couple of these spots serve plenty of juicy quesabirria tacos that will not only leave you satisfied but are also great to take photos for those to flood their Insta feed with food photos.
So the next time you go for a day out in Washington, check out these popular Mexican restaurants.
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3710 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 habanerodc.com
Modern Mexican eatery serving homemade tortillas and pitchers of margaritas & sangria!
If you’re in DC, taco is a must-try. And there is no better place to grab authentic Mexican cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients from the streets of Puebla than at Taqueria Habanero.
When you come here, you will notice the unique writings on the back of their shirts that refer to them as 99% Mexican. Why, because they are above the border.
The menu is quite extensive with delicious options such as house-made tortillas, craft cocktails, and over 14 different tacos daily including Tinga poblana, campechanos, chapulines “grasshoppers” straight from Oaxaca, and more. The team here hand prep each of the marinades, sauces, and tortillas from scratch.
They also serve house dishes include Fajira mixta, Camarones enchipotlados, and grilled chicken breast, sesame seed, Pueblan style mole, and Mexican-style rice and beans. Chips and salsa are on the house if you order for the first round. Make sure you also try one of their signature wines and cocktails to go along with your tacos.
401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 oyamel.com
A lively, upscale restaurant known for serving creative Mexican fare and an extensive cocktail and wine menu!
Arguably Washington’s most influential chef Jose Andres never fails to deliver when it comes to food. At Oyamel, you will find a lively dining room matched by the creativity of the menu and cocktail list that features antojitos (Mexican small plates), tacos, and ceviches, plus unique margaritas, in addition to an impressive list of wine, mezcal, and tequila.
The menu also features made-to-order decadent guacamole and zippy ceviche and graduates to dishes like chicken tamales. They have also introduced a brunch taco, a taco de papas con chorizo made up of house-made pork fat flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, potato, chorizo, refried black beans, and a tomato-serrano salsa.
Don’t sleep on the desserts when you visit Oyamel! And their boozy hot chocolate is a must-try every time.
98 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024 mividamexico.com
Cozy restaurant serving high-end Mexican fare in a vibrant bi-level setting with glamorous waterfront views!
On any day, it’s hard to not get carried away by the spectacular waterfront dining options at Mi Vida. And master chef Roberto Santibanez has something for everyone, whether you come here for brunch, lunch, or even an upscale-casual dinner.
Located in the Wharf are in D.C., Mi Vida is a spectacular Mexican spot that serves all flavors of Mexico in a cool setting. The restaurant is more than your normal pretty perch to drink (although the mezcal cocktails and mango margaritas served in skull-shaped mugs are quite tempting). Enchiladas de mole negro is a great try, especially when served with roasted corn esquites or fried plantains. If you’re a taco fan, you will have a blast feasting on Pescado with crispy cod, pickled cabbage, spicy Mexican tartar sauce, Arugula, avocado-jalapeno salsa, and tomato salad.
Seafood is also another huge attraction here especially because of the crab and shrimp empanadas as well as a tuna ceviche in the chipotle-orange marinade. Don’t forget to grab their delicious margaritas and tequila to go along with your meal.
1102 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003 tacocitydc.com
Casual Mexican eatery that serves delicious and mouth-watering tacos!
When you think about Mexican dishes, what comes into mind is tacos, and it’s not a bad thing. While tacos are the main staple when it comes to Mexican fare, they’re part of a wide variety of food that Mexico has to offer.
Between the Navy Yard and Marine Barracks sits a hidden gem that serves fresh Mexican cuisine you will love. Inspired by the Aztec/Mayan culture, the team at Taco City has created a brand image that represents the culture of Mexico as seen by the Quetzalcoatl here. The homemade corn tortillas just strike differently at Taco City where tinga de Pollo (shredded chicken, pickled onion, aioli, and cilantro), and chilorio de res (braised beef, pickled habanero, avocado sauce, and cilantro) really shine.
You can also try the small plates especially guacamole with fresh avocado, pico de gallo, lime juice, and queso fresco, as well as the enchiladas that come with mushrooms, beef, or chicken plus black beans, mole poblano, crema, white rice, and queso fresco. They are extremely comforting and restorative.
13050 Fair Lakes Shopping Center, Fairfax, VA 22033 guaposrestaurant.com
Large portions of Tex-Mex classics and delicious margaritas await you at this family-run restaurant!
Nothing beats a great dining experience, and especially when there are tacos involved. At Guapo’s Restaurant, there’s plenty to enjoy. The enchiladas that contain two corn tortillas rolled perfectly to your liking and covered with melted cheese and served with refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, lettuce, and sour cream is a great way to start your lunch. The Fajitas come on a sizzling platter just the way you like it with a bed of sauteed green peppers and Spanish onions.
The Guapo’s combination served during brunch goes perfectly well with a plate of guacamole, Mexican rice, pico de gallo, and refried beans. If you love seafood, then you will have a great time feasting on the Spanish-style mariscada with a seafood stew of shrimp, scallops, squid, fresh salmon, and clams. Order one of their delicious sides and desserts to enjoy along with your food. Don’t forget to one of their generously sized margaritas, served frozen or on the rocks.
1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 espitadc.com
Stylish, Modern Cantina serving Southern Mexican fare and lots of signature cocktails on the menu!
The sleek, upscale restaurant is popular for dishing out authentic Southern Mexican dishes. It’s a perfect spot for folks who like margaritas served with a side of tacos.
At Espita, happy hour and brunch are what really stand out. People flock here to try out their classic margaritas made with tequila Blanco, lime juice, triple sec, and nogave while snacking on small plates such as mejillones (chilled mussels and cucumber salad, cilanthro oil, guajillo crema and herbs) and tocino (40z of slab bacon rubbed in achiote and honey, chiles).
This spot is also synonymous with Mezcal, especially during happy hour. The Mexican smoky spirit is perfect for sampling individually or in a group and pairs perfectly with fresh salsa verde or tacos.
924 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001 taqueriaxochi.com
A lively bistro serving authentic Mexican fare and a large selection of margaritas, tequila, and signature cocktails!
Let me start by saying that the food at Taqueria Xochi is super delicious. So, when you come here you can expect to find something extremely tasty right off the bat. It’s bursting with a vibrant atmosphere and décor that makes it a perfect spot for a day out or even a gathering.
The menu is equally extensive with plenty of Puebla-style Mexican sandwiches, and other authentic Mexican dishes like Mixiotes, Cemitas, steamed lamb with barbacoa-type flavors, and of course the popular tacos. The platters especially the 15 or 30 tacos options are a great selection to try if you come here as a group.
They also have a late-night menu where you can order favorites such as tortilla chips and guacamole or salsa that comes with freshly made to order guacamole crumble queso fresco and a choice of house-made salsas. Be sure to grab one of their specialty drinks to enjoy along with your meal. It’s totally worth it.
Mexico is quite far from D.C., but that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy an authentic Mexican meal while in the nation’s capital. Surprisingly, there are plenty of appealing Mexican spots, where you can grab all the tacos you want to drink into delicious margaritas and tequila all night. This list covers some of the best Mexican spots you must try out when you’re in Washington. Why not try a couple of them and let us know which one really stands out!