Whether you enjoy a weekly Taco Tuesday or love dining on delicious classic Mexican dishes any night of the week, you know that finding the perfect local restaurant is key.
While most cities have at least a few authentic Mexican restaurants to choose from, everyone has a favorite.
If you've moved to a new city or are just visiting, finding the spot that's the favorite with locals is a great way to make sure you're going to have a great dinner or a night out with friends. Knoxville and its many surrounding suburbs offer no shortage of Mexican restaurants. But while many are hits, some fall a little bit short. To help you avoid disappointment and make sure that you get to enjoy your favorite dishes and staples the way that they should be enjoyed, we've ranked the top 5 Mexican restaurants in the city.
While each of these is great for enjoying yourself, they are also a great choice when you're looking for the perfect restaurant to purchase a gift card to when you need a gift for a friend or family member. With a virtual Giftya card, you can give your friends or loved ones not just a meal, but an excuse to get out and spend time together.
If you're looking for the perfect Mexican restaurant to enjoy in Knoxville, keep reading to learn a few of the best.
1011 N Roane St, Harriman, TN 37748
From sizzling fajitas to hearty steaks, this hometown staple is a hit with locals, but perfect for visitors as well. Whether you want a relaxing evening out or a place to gather with family and friends, El Cantarito Mexican Restaurant is a great choice. Their meny is filled with classic, hearty Mexican dishes, made fresh and served hot. Friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere mean that this small restaurant is often packed—but don't worry, they're already building a larger location! Their new restaurant will even feature outdoor seating.
"Recently moved to the Knoxville area from upstate NY and tried El Cantarito II in Harriman this evening. I have visited 4 other local Mexican restaurants and this is the best by far. My date had a shrimp quesadilla, rice, and refried beans and I had carne asada tacos and refried beans. Everything was amazing and the beans were the best I have ever eaten. My date had a jumbo margarita and I had a diet soda. Both drinks were massive. The beans were so good we ordered additional sides to take home. When they brought those to the table they added in chips and salsa. They are building a new restaurant next door and they need it. While we were there the parking lot never emptied. When you serve good food with quality service that happens. This will definitely be a regulate stop." -Yelp Review
While not a full-service restaurant, this incredible bakery still deserves a spot on the list of top venues serving up Mexican food in Knoxville, Tennessee. La Flor Mexican Bakery specializes in authentic Mexican pastries, cakes, and other sweet treats. Simple and delicious, these treats are the perfect fun treat or comfort food. La Flor also creates customized cakes great for celebrating any special occasion. This bakery is cash only, so come prepared!
"You've never been to La Flor? I thought you were a cool happenin cat. Well worry not my man, because I'll show you the way. Its simple, Mexican pastries and some cakes and flan. The first thing you need to know is that this place is cash only, so grab some paper my friend. The second is that the place is owned by a nice lady and her husband, and they are old school, they don't speak much english. But not to worry buddy, because all you have to do is pick up a tray and fill it with whatever you want before taking it to the counter to pay, she'll do the rest. What's that you say? You don't know what is what? Its true that they are labeled in Spanish but you can tell a lot by eyeballing it. Still unsure? You are probably reading this review from a smartphone my man, use it. Back in the day if someone wanted to know if they would like something they just bought it and tried. You can use two bucks to try something can't you buddy? If you can't then you probably should be paying your rent instead of buying sweets. And for you spanish speakers, they can take custom orders of cakes to be made at a later date like the coveted Tres Leches. Dig in and bring milk!" -Yelp Review
If you didn't know that it was there, you might drive right by this small, non-descript restaurant. Though the crowded parking lot might cause you to pause. This popular local favorite might not look like much, but it's serving up delicious Mexican classics in a friendly atmosphere. Their tacos are a top seller and come topped with a pile of fresh, bright green cilantro.
"This is the best Mexican food I have had in Knoxville. I can't believe it's so close by and I never realized you can get good food here and sit down and eat it too. Hole in the wall that is definitely worth giving a try. Right next to McDonald's on Chapman Hwy closer to the bridge. When you go in, seat yourself. It's also a store, so turn left when you walk in. There are 2 doors but only the one to the store is opened." -Yelp Review
Another hometown staple, Los Trios Mexican Restaurant is known for its fast, tasty dishes. Perfect for a quick lunch or filling dinner, you'll find a full selection of fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, hearty entrees, and more. Wash down your food with an oversized margarita, or share a round with friends for a memorable evening out!
"Tried it for the first time today for lunch . The chips and salsa bar was great. I had the special Pollo Suprema which is grilled chicken topped with red sauce and queso served with beans, rice, and tortillas. It was a great dish. The chicken was cooked perfect and tasted great with the red sauce / queso. The beans and rice were high quality too. I definitely recommend this place and will be back" -Yelp Review
Yet another hometown staple, Amigo's Mexican Grill offers a more modern feel, but with the same classic staples you love, done right. Plus, the outdoor patio is perfect for eating outside on a sunny day. Your canine companion can even join you!
"I'm so glad we came to enjoy our lunch here! We are passing through on our way back home after a wedding and want something more than fast food. We called ahead and explained that we were traveling with our dog and asked if he would be allowed to join us on the patio. They said yes. When we pulled up the building looked repurposed from a previous building which gave us our doubts but so glad we came! The staff is extremely friendly and even brought out a water bowl for our dog. We already had one but it's the thought and effort that counts! The food not only looks amazing but tastes just as good! If we were locals we would come all the time but we are super excited to make our way home!"-Yelp Review
If you love Mexican food, you know that when a restaurant doesn't nail your favorite dish, it's a major disappointment. Luckily, Knoxville offers plenty of options to choose from when you want a delicious meal and friendly service. Buy a GiftYa card for a friend—and maybe one for yourself, too!