Ten Best Mexican Restaurants in St. Louis

mexchavas.jpg
       Chavas has ten flavors of margarita. | Madelaine Azar

Within the last few years, St. Louis has been lucky enough to experience an explosion of Mexican cuisine, with new restaurants popping up offering both authentic and modern options. Cherokee Street in particular has gained a well-deserved reputation for serving as the epicenter, but our collective craving for chips and salsa, taqueria fare and top-shelf margaritas has spread out across the city -- by the time you read this, a new taco shop will have probably opened up. In fact there are so many worthy contenders for Best Mexican, we had tough time selecting our ten favorites. Nevertheless, here's a helpful list of places to start.

See also:
- First Look: Mission Taco Joint Preps Fresh Tortillas and West Coast Inspired Mexican Food in the Delmar Loop
- One Nation, Under Tacos: How Mexican food conquered America
- Gringo Could Use a Refresher Course on Mexican

Chava's
(925 Geyer Avenue; 314-241-5503)

Fresh salsa and tortilla chips in abundance get things started, and ten different margarita flavors get it finished. Chava's menu keeps things short and to the point: tacos, a fajita platter, a burrito, an enchilada, a tostada and the like. The fajita platter and its close appetizer cousins (fajita quesadilla and fajita nachos) are sizzling-steak standouts, as are tacos de Guadalajara, a pair of flash-fried flour tortillas clamped around seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a clever blend of grated Monterey and Parmesan cheeses. One of our favorite dishes here, though, is the vegetable quesadilla. Literally bursting with veggies, this baby packs flavor. You'll find carrots, zucchini, green beans, onions, baby corn and red, yellow and green peppers.

See also:
-
Soulard: A Glutton's Guide to St. Louis' Funnest Neighborhood
- #77: Vegetable Quesadilla at Chava's

mexlavallesana.jpg
       Good food isn't hard to find on Cherokee Street. | Madelaine Azar


La Vallesana

(2801 Cherokee Street; 314-776-4223)

Next time you find yourself sitting on La Vallensana's outside patio watching the residents of Cherokee Street stroll by, order up tacos al pastor: that's smoked pork, grilled pineapple, onion and cilantro on corn tortillas topped with fiery red or green salsa -- trust us on this. But if you can't live by tacos al pastor alone? Try a burrito with spicy chorizo or an overfilled torta sandwich that deliver the goods and then some. Finish up with a dish of homemade ice cream or paletas, sweet Mexican popsicles made with fresh fruit that will cool off your taste buds.

See also:
-
Cinco de Cherokee: An Updated Guide to Restaurants on Cherokee Street
- Pack a Restaurant Picnic for Your Next Visit to Busch Stadium

Location Info

Venue

Map

Chava's

925 Geyer Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

La Vallesana

2801 Cherokee St., St Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Mi Ranchito

887 Kingsland Ave., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

Milagro Modern Mexican

20 Allen Ave., Webster Groves, MO

Category: Restaurant

Nachomama's

9643 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, MO

Category: Restaurant

Siete Luminarias - CLOSED

2818 Cherokee St., St Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

La Tejana Taqueria

3149 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Maryland Heights, MO

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria El Bronco

2817 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria El Bronco

2817 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Mission Taco Joint

6235 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
38 comments
Chris Price
Chris Price

agreed, hoss. also don carlos didn't make the list. it is right across the street from la vallesana on cherokee and california. awesome!

Craig Mitchell
Craig Mitchell

I've been meaning to try some of these places. The only one I've been to is Lily's which is in my neighborhood. It's hard to find good Mexican in STL, much less authentic (I lived in Chicago for 3 years, easy to get authentic there.) There are so many average-to-mediocre Mex places here. El Maguey, El Nopal, Chimichanga on Grand etc. La Tropicana in S.City was fairly good. By the way, isn't this the 3rd time the RFT has posted this? :)

Terry Moore
Terry Moore

The Ultimate Margarita at Amigo Joe's is liquid gold at a value. No, I don't work there, but drink two, and it's all good in the neighborhood!

den14fun
den14fun

Real burritos do not need rice as a filler!!!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

This list is bullshit! Where is taco bell!?

masgfd
masgfd

Where is Tower Taco on this list?!

florib1
florib1

Tower Taco  should be on this list !!!! 

Elise Bordes Aasgaard
Elise Bordes Aasgaard

Jesda--I try to do all of my shopping and dining out in the city proper. County living (without our wonderful city services) really sucks (as the article you posted shows--YIKES!) Our 1% city tax is worth *every* penny! And the food is deliciously spicy at El Maguey in South city.

stl6165
stl6165

Your survey sucks!  What about Amigo Joes?

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

El Sewage Backup. Service at the one in Chesterfield on Olive was awful and the food was terribly bland.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Meh. Too much Mexifusion bullshit. Give me a burrito with rice and meat. I'm a simple man who doesn't have time for foodie nonsense.

Elise Bordes Aasgaard
Elise Bordes Aasgaard

Have you been to Gbric in South city St. Louis? Great Eastern European food!

Renate Kheim
Renate Kheim

Where is the German or East European Cuisine, like we have in other big cities,like Denver???

Elise Bordes Aasgaard
Elise Bordes Aasgaard

Karyn--Well, where we stayed in Mexico was way off the beaten path--no phone, no computers, no website, etc. We were the only American tourists there. The rest were all Northern Europeans. :)

Karyn Hernandez
Karyn Hernandez

even in mexico they make tex mex not real mexican food to please the tourist lol

Karyn Hernandez
Karyn Hernandez

all my faves are on the list!! no text Mex real Mexican food (y)

John_Moyle
John_Moyle

You Missed one.   Chimi's ( http://chimisstl.com/ ).  Their food is fabulous, their prices are beyond reasonable and the staff is as great as it gets.   I've eaten at their Overland location on Woodson Road several times and don't even think about going elsewhere anymore.

Elise Bordes Aasgaard
Elise Bordes Aasgaard

El Maguey is the only St. Louis Mexican restaurant that makes food spicy, the way Mexican food should be. I like the one in South city. And Chimi's would be my second favorite--also not on the list. Therefore, this list is bogus IMO.

Robin Gray
Robin Gray

Can you get Lily's to give up their secret ingredient in the margaritas?

Robin Gray
Robin Gray

Really? That's not real Mexican food...

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...