Treat Yourself to Some Tasty Tex-Mex Dishes in Houston

Houston is home to a variety of fun and inventive Tex-Mex restaurants.

Houston is a bustling and vibrant city that offers a diverse selection of interesting restaurants. Tex-Mex, in particular, is popular among Houston residents. Whether you’re craving some al pastor tacos or you want to treat yourself to some churros, you can easily find a high-quality Tex-Mex restaurant that exceeds your expectations. Not sure where to go first? Check out our top 7 Tex-Mex restaurant picks in Houston now!

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1. El Tiempo Cantina

Popular Tex-Mex restaurant in the Upper Kirby area offering fresh meals made from scratch

Rise and shine! Start your day with a plate of the Huevos a la Mexicana. Image courtesy of Yelp

3130 Richmond Ave. | Upper Kirby |

Located in Upper Kirby, El Tiempo Cantina is a popular destination for fresh and inventive Tex-Mex dishes. For over 65 years, Houston residents have flocked to El Tiempo Cantina for its energetic atmosphere and delicious meals. Guests can stop by for either lunch or dinner. But no matter when you come, you can rest assured you’ll be treated to one of the best meals of your life. 

Classic Tex-Mex dishes like ground beef enchiladas and spicy shrimp fajitas can be found on the menu. Thirsty? Treat yourself to a margarita! It’s time you treat yourself after such a long year.

“This exact location has been a long time favorite. The frozen margaritas are fantastic and I love the crab/shrimp enchiladas and the crab/shrimp quesadillas. Pre-Covid, I loved dining in because the waitstaff was always so great and inviting, and evening meals on the patio (especially when they had mariachi bands) was great fun. This time around, I had takeout fajitas, which were delicious as usual.” - Yelp Review

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2. Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila

Friendly Tex-Mex restaurant known for its phenomenal service and delicious meals

Escalante’s offers a fine selection of Tex-Mex dishes. Image courtesy of Yelp

6582 Woodway Dr. | Memorial |

Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila is a popular Tex-Mex restaurant located in the Memorial neighborhood. The restaurant offers a nice balance of contemporary dining and rustic elegance. While Escalante’s does offer an elevated dining experience, you don’t need to worry about wearing a suit or dress to this popular restaurant. 

As for the food, Escalante’s serves enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and other classic Tex-Mex dishes. Like any good Tex-mex restaurant, Escalante’s also offers a full drink menu featuring craft margaritas. Pro tip: the restaurant’s special guacamole, queso, and chips are perfect for enjoying alongside your margarita. 

“High quality Tex-Mex done right, the staff is always friendly and they take the proper precautions to keep everyone safe. The food is always on point, I have never been disappointed with a meal in the 26 years that I've been going there. Though it can be a bit expensive, you do truly get what you pay for.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila.

3. Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

Charming, old-school spot open for breakfast through dinner

You can find classic Tex-Mex dishes like the Chimichanga at this popular cafe. Image courtesy of Yelp

1511 Airline Dr. | The Heights |

Looking for a casual, no-frills spot to enjoy some delicious Tex-Mex dishes? Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe is the perfect place for enjoying a quick, laid back meal with friends and family members. This popular chain has three locations across Houston. Each branch offers an impressive selection of fresh and authentic Tex-Mex dishes. Daily specials for $10.99 are also available Monday through Friday, and include popular dishes like the Pechuga Gratinada and Fajita Azteca. 

“The restaurant had a great vibe and the staff was very friendly. They paid great attention to Covid 19 precautions and were very sanitary and respectful. The food was wonderful. I loved their chile rellenos! My wife tried the beef soup or sopa de res which is her personal favorite, and it was great. We would definitely return.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe. 

4. Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

Neighborhood restaurant known for its homemade enchiladas

If you’re not sure which enchilada you want to get, just sample a few different ones! Image courtesy of Yelp

6401 Woodway Dr. | Memorial |

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen is one of the biggest Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston. With locations in both the Eldridge and Woodway neighborhoods, Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen is easily accessible to thousands of residents around the city. Even if you have to travel a bit far to get to Sylvia’s, you won’t regret the longer trip. 

Sylvia’s usually offers a brunch buffet featuring an omelette, street taco, and made-to-order breakfast station. As of now, it is suspended. But you’ll want to make sure you stop by for brunch once it reopens. 

“The service and food was great. I ordered the four mini enchiladas which you can get four different kinds so it was nice to try different ones. My dad got the fajitas which he said was well flavored and had lots of grilled onions (which he loves).” - Yelp Review

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5. The Original Ninfa's

Tex-Mex restaurant in the Warehouse District serving some of the best fajitas in Houston

Their fajitas come out sizzling. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2704 Navigation Blvd | Warehouse District, Second Ward |

Located in the Warehouse District, The Original Ninfa’s is another popular destination for delicious Tex-Mex meals. 

The Original Ninfa’s was created in 1973 by “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo. Her husband had just passed away when she started serving grilled skirt steak from her family’s tortilla factory. She called it “Tacos al Carbon.” This popular dish soon became the basis for her flourishing restaurant. Ninfa Laurenzo has since passed, but executive chef Alex Padilla has since taken over the restaurant. Nowadays, thousands of customers from all over Houston head to The Original Ninfa’s to enjoy its famous Tex-Mex meals. 

“Hands down my favorite Mexican restaurant in Houston and my first stop every time I come home to visit. I even ask family and friends to bring me food whenever they travel to visit me in DC. I have tried the majority of the menu but my favorites are the combination fajitas, caldo xochitl soup, and queso flameado.” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Original Ninfa's. 

6. La Mexicana

Charming and quaint Mexican restaurant offering an appetizing selection of authentic dishes and cocktails

Treat yourself to a plate of the Huevos Rancheros. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1018 Fairview St. | Montrose, Fourth Ward | 

La Mexicana is an unfussy, no-frills restaurant where you can find some of the best Tex-Mex foods in Houston. Since 1982, thousands of Houston residents have considered La Mexicana to be the best Tex-Mex restaurant in the city. While not everyone will agree with this sentiment, many will confidently say that La Mexicana deserves the recognition it has. The second you step in, you will be in awe of the electric atmosphere and mouth watering smells that envelope the restaurant. 

“I like this place! Friendly hostess that greets you and sits you down promptly. I've sat inside and outside at this restaurant and I like both depending on my mood. Most of the waiters are nice and tend to your table properly. My glass is never empty and the chips are always full. The frozen margaritas are strong, and the mimosas are good with breakfast. The menu is huge so you'll be able to find something you enjoy eating.” - Yelp Review

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7. Hugo’s

Upscale, contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant located in Montrose

The well-crafted presentation of their plates set Hugo’s aside from many other restaurants in the area. Image courtesy of Yelp

1600 Westheimer Rd. | Montrose |

If you’re looking for a more upscale destination, Hugo’s is the way to go. This elegant Tex-Mex restaurant offers a spacious and open atmosphere for guests who want to dress up a little. A full service bar is also available for those who just want a drink and a small plate. Many of the restaurant’s famous wine and cocktails are available during Happy Hour. As for the food, you’ll find savory meals like the Chuleta De Puerco, Chile Relleno, and Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo on its selective menu. If you’re sweet tooth is begging you for a dessert, we recommend ordering the Tres Leches or Churros Rellenos Con Dulce De Leche. 

“Hugo's is a Houston staple, and I have grown to love them even more during quarantine. I have tried several take-out margarita kits, and Hugo's take-out margaritas are the best I've tasted so far! Their lamb barbacoa that we tried most recently was delicious, and I am a long-time fan of the goat, too. We can't wait to dine at Hugo's in-person again (especially for their fantastic Houston Restaurant Weeks menus in August), but until then, we remain pleased with their superb take-out options!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Hugo’s.

Houston boasts a fine selection of Mexican restaurants. Which ones do you plan to visit next? Let us know in the comments!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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