With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, aren’t we all in the mood for a little Mexican cuisine? Here’s your Haute 5 guide to some of the best restaurants serving Mexican dishes both modern and traditional around town.
Blanco Tacos & Tequila
A Fox Restaurant Concepts venue, this place markets a sleek image but can most definitely deliver. The grilled fish tacos are excellent, simple yet well done, and the house specialty, the beef enchiladas, are perfection, featuring braised short rib meat with ancho chile sauce and lots and lots of flavorful cheese. And as far as settings go, it doesn’t get much better than Blanco’s oversized booths, open windows and elegant lighting.
Blanco is located at 6166 N. Scottsdale Road in the Borgata in Scottsdale
Founder and owner Azucena Tovar opened Los Sombreros in 1994 and has been serving Phoenicians her delicious guacamole and queso fundidos ever since. We highly recommend the Lamb Adobo dish, which is braised Colorado lamb shank in an oh so sweet and spicy anco chile sauce that will tantalize your taste buds. And of course, the guac and the Tamal de Chocolat are absolute musts to start and finish your meal. When you’re in the mood for authentic, traditional Mexican food, but would rather sit down and relax of instead of hit up a streetside taco stand, Azucena’s your girl. Let her people take care of you.
Los Sombreros is located at 2534 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale
Serving modern Mexican cuisine, Padre’s has received rave reviews from media outlets across the Valley, and ours will be no different. Two words: Pollo Relleno. A favorite among regular and one-time patrons alike, Padre’s take on this classic dish features a tender and juicy chicken breast slathered in a spicy cream sauce and stuffed with caramelized onions, goat cheese, corn, and poblano peppers – an indulgent treat for sure. In addition to its menu of cuisine featuring interesting and unexpected flavor combinations, Padre’s also serves a plethora of margaritas and other mixed drinks and cocktails. There’s even a selection of bourbons.
Padre’s is located at 1044 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix
A relative newcomer to the Phoenix restaurant scene, The Mission technically serves cuisine from a number of Latin regions, including South America, Central America, Spain, and Mexico, but it does them all equally well. Using French cooking techniques, Executive Chef Matt Carter has created a number of gourmet Mexican dishes, such as a zesty pozole with red chile and smoked pork, hominy, avocado, and lime juice, as well as tacos with handmade corn tortillas and a unique roasted corn gordita. But here the presentation is equally as enthralling as the menu. The dining areas are elegant, with charming details, dark wood accents, and plenty of candlelight for nighttime ambiance.
The Mission is located at 3815 N. Brown Avenue in Scottsdale
Barrio Cafe may not look like much from the street, but inside, it has a lot to offer. Owner and Executive Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza was raised in California, but before becoming a chef, traveled throughout Mexico for nearly two years in order to learn more about her Mexican heritage and culture, and of course, the food. Coming from this background, she injects her creations with her own interesting perspective then on just what traditional Mexican food should taste like. The chef says Barrio serves cuisine more reflective of Southern Mexico, where the dishes aren’t as hot or spicy as in Northern Mexico, so if you like things on the milder side, this could be the place for you.
Barrio Cafe is located at 2814 N. 16th Street in Phoenix