Best Tex Mex Restaurants in Houston

Best Tex Mex Restaurants in Houston

Photo of Houstonia Magazine

Finding the best in a city blessed with hundreds of Tex-Mex establishments was no easy task (especially on our arteries), but we did it, eating our way across Houston until we’d found the following favorites.

11 Places
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    Though we could do without the valet service (this is Garden Oaks, after all), TONY’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT is forgiven—it’s just trying to take care of loyal customers the best way it knows how.
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    The cheap, strong margaritas and overflowing parrilladas of grilled meats don’t hurt either. For those in the mood for fare that’s a bit lighter, the snapper al cilantro in a meunière sauce remains one of the best choices in town.
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    As you might expect, SYLVIA’S ENCHILADA KITCHEN is known for owner Sylvia Casares’s elegant enchiladas—most named after towns in South Texas—but we’re equally fond of her home-style video soup.
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    We love it—especially the cumin-heavy Enchiladas-A-La-Taylor, a house specialty that tops cheese enchiladas with chile con carne, more cheese, then plenty of diced white onions.
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    We love the basics here, which are often the toughest things to get right: tableside guacamole, beef fajita nachos, and—naturally—the fajitas themselves.
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    The matriarch of Tex-Mex in Houston is still going strong in its original home on Navigation, where Mama Ninfa Laurenzo started a 10-table restaurant in the front of her tortilla factory in 1973.
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    “A Houston tradition since 1941” reads the menu at MOLINA’S, which has been guided by three successive generations of the eponymous family.
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    We love the enchiladas de rancho topped with a zesty red salsa, fried potatoes, and fried carrots, not to mention the old-school Texas Combo, complete with cheese enchilada, tamale, and a crispy beef taco.
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    Though the Ninfa’s name is nowhere in evidence, EL TIEMPO—run by Ninfa Laurenzo’s oldest grandson, Domenic Laurenzo—can’t help but betray its heritage.
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    There, a die-hard old-school aesthetic is waiting for you—plates of San Antonio–style puffy tacos and chile gravy–topped tamales.
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    The gorgeous, neon-lit 1960s-era signage outside El Patio signal to diners that this Tex-Mex stalwart has weathered the years with grace and charm.
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