Photo credit: AZ Food and Wine
One of the greatest joys of living in the Valley is the abundant offering of Mexican restaurants throughout the city. We know most people agree that there is really never a bad time of day for enchiladas and a margarita. Living in Arizona, residents are blessed with great Mexican food thanks to the close proximity to Mexico and the overall Hispanic influence throughout the state. Many of the owners and chefs of the Mexican restaurants in Phoenix have Hispanic heritage, and they are able to bring their own authentic recipes to their restaurants.
The other great thing about Mexican food in Scottsdale is that there are an abundance of options, so you can pick from a variety of restaurants based on your mood. From street tacos to a high-end Latin dining experience, the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas have you covered for every type of culinary experience.
Experience Tapas Style Small Plates at SumoMaya
Photo credit: Stag & Hen
SumoMayo is the spot to go when you are looking for an out of the box dining experience. This fun and trendy restaurant is located off of Scottsdale Road and is only a short drive away from Old Town. This location makes it a great spot to go prior to a night out on the town.
Behind the delicious food at SumoMaya you will find Chef Lorenzo López, who creates meals that blend together two unlikely cuisines: Mexican and Asian food. While this may sound a bit unusual, the combined influence of both Latin America and the Far East allows for him to create truly one-of-a-kind meals.
At its core, SumoMaya is all about fresh and seasonal fusion cuisine. When you visit, you can expect a high-end tapas style meal experience. It is also recommended to order family-style at SumoMaya, so bring all your friends!
Enjoy Modern Latin Cuisine at The Mission
Photo credit: OpenTable
The Mission is a classic Scottsdale restaurant staple for good reason. It is always a great spot to take out of town guests or to recommend for anyone visiting the area. The food is delicious, and the restaurant offers an upbeat and fun atmosphere. They now have two locations, with the original one being in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, and the other being a large two story restaurant in Kierland Commons with a great patio.
The Mission’s website mentions that they offer a “sophisticated yet casual allure that seamlessly blends with old world charm.” In short, you will enjoy wonderful modern Latin cuisine at either location. The food is in a mid-range price point, and you can expect to get an entree for around $30. If you go, the guacamole and pork shoulder tacos are two of the most highly rated items on their menu.
Something to know is that The Mission can be quite loud and boisterous the later you go in the evening, so if you are looking for a quieter dining experience, it is better to go during lunch. Not only will it be less crowded, but you can appreciate the unique interior design of the restaurant during the daylight hours.
Try the Guacamole at Barrio Queen
Make sure to bring a big appetite when you visit Barrio Queen, because you are going to want to try everything on the menu! This Arizona staple offers an assortment of Mexican style street food options. They now have seven locations spread across the Valley, making it convenient to go no matter where you live in the city.
Barrio Queen also offers to-go food, but it’s worth dining in the restaurant when you get a chance. The interior design of the restaurant is modeled after traditional Day of the Dead decor, which makes for a very cool dining experience.
This is a more moderately priced restaurant, and has something on the menu for all dietary restrictions. No matter if you are vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan, Barrio Queen can accommodate your request. If you get stuck trying to pick between their numerous taco options, order a taco sampler for the table! One reason Barrio Queen remains an iconic restaurant staple in Scottsdale is their guacamole with pomegranate seeds. While you might not typically see it served this way, once you try it, you will want to add pomegranate seeds to your guacamole at home too!
If you are looking for a fun place for happy hour, this is also a great spot. From 2 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday, you can get discounts on their food and drinks. They even offer a great deal for their special: the People’s Margarita and two tacos for $12! You can’t beat that offer.
Experience 70 Years of Tradition at Los Olivos Mexican Patio
Photo credit: Los Olivos Mexican Patio
Los Olivos Mexican Patio is a quaint spot that first opened in 1947, making it an Arizona dining icon for over 70 years. The restaurant was initially opened by the Corral family, who are natives from Mexico. Several generations of the family have maintained the restaurant throughout the years, and you can truly taste the authentic flavors at Los Olivos. This restaurant offers a casual and family-friendly environment, perfect for getting together to enjoy a fun meal with friends.
The third generation of the Corrals runs Los Olivos now, and they have continued their family traditions throughout the years. You can see their attention to detail in the handpicked chandeliers and decor throughout the restaurant. The restaurant motto is: “Esta es su casa y vuelvan pronto,” or in English, “This is your home, please return soon!” Some of the best items on the menu include the charbroiled quesadillas, shredded beef tacos, and sopapillas.
Visit the Adorable Diego Pops
Photo credit: DiegoPops
If you are in the mood for a more casual Mexican cuisine dining experience, try Diego Pops. All of their recipes are made from scratch, and the whole Diego Pops menu takes a creative spin on the cuisine. You’ll find reimagined Mexican favorites like brussel sprout nachos and a watermelon and cotija salad.
All of the food at Diego Pops tastes super fresh, and you won’t want to leave their adorable interior space. The decor is designed to be photographed, with brightly colored furniture and neon signs throughout the restaurant. This is the perfect spot for a lunch date with friends or for a big group gathering.
Visit the Award-Winning Cocina Madrigal
Photo credit: Cocina Madrigal/ Telemundo
Cocina Madrigal is a short drive outside of Scottsdale, located in South Phoenix. It’s worth the car ride, as it was named one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States by Forbes and listed as one of the best places to find tacos in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure.
The good news is that Cocina Madrigal lives up to the hype. You might miss this unassuming spot if you didn’t know what you were looking for, but the five star reviews tell you everything you need to know about your experience at Cocina Madrigal. Try the prickly pear margarita, which is always a local favorite, and the wild mushroom enchiladas.
The next time you are craving Mexican food, consult this list to pick out the spot that best fits your outing. Whether you want something with fast service, a trendy spot, or if you want to experience something with more creative flair, Scottsdale’s Mexican restaurant scene has a little bit of it all.