New Orleans has never really been known as a destination for real-deal Mexican food, but the selection has been growing over the past few years. While many of these places may not be considered authentic, it doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious and a good time! I don’t know about you, but I’ll take tacos and margs any way I can get them.
Barracuda has been one of my favorite additions to the city since they opened last year. It has the vibe of a trendy Austin taco spot with lots of cute outdoor seating and the freaking best breakfast tacos in the city. They also have a pretty sweet happy hour from 3-6:30 p.m Tuesday – Friday.
Juan’s Flying Burrito
If you’ve been to Juan’s, you know it’s not authentic Mexican, but that’s simply not what they are trying to be and that doesn’t mean it’s not ridiculously delicious. Juan’s is the place to go when you need a cheese and carb fix (and are not watching your calorie intake). Some of my favorite dishes are the Juan’s Taco Salad (not a healthy salad), the Mardi Gras Indians Tacos and the Polle Verde Enchiladas. They also have four locations throughout the city now!
I forget about Del Fuego too often, but the small taqueria on Magazine Street shouldn’t be forgotten. Their elevated takes on Mexican street food and margaritas are some of the best. One of my favorite things to order is the loaded guacamole. You can customize your toppings from pepitas to roasted poblanos, bacon and chicharonnes. They also have a big outdoor patio great for groups when the weather is nice!
The latest addition to the taco scene, Val’s is another trendier option that the owners of Cure recently opened on Freret Street. With that said, you already know their drinks are legit. The taco menu is simple, but full of flavor! They also have killer elotes, which I can never say no too.
Espíritu is one of the trendier spots that is a bit more authentic, but that’s not to say they still don’t have local twists on their menu like the drool-worthy crawfish queso. If you are into mezcal, they have the largest mezcal selection in the city. The restaurant is actually owned by a certified mezcalier and they hold weekly mezcal tasting events.
Taqueria Guerrero on Carrolton in MidCity is a no frills spot serving authentic, homestyle Mexican dishes. Their menu goes way beyond tacos with dishes like tamales, pupusas and baleadas. They also have a BYOB policy so if you want margs, be sure to pick one up on your way!
El Pavo Real
This colorful neighborhood restaurant in Central City is simple, but one of the best. Everything on their menu is amazing, but I especially love doing a casual brunch here. The chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and inexpensive, but delicious cocktails are the perfect way to cure a hangover or start a party 😉
This one is a hidden gem that Alessandra and I stumbled upon one night in the French Quarter. We couldn’t stop going back for their jalapeño margs (SO GOOD if you can handle the spice) and the guac. They are open until midnight which is great for late night cravings!
Speaking of off the beaten path, I don’t even know that I would call Rosalita’s a restaurant. It’s more of a window down an alleyway in the Bywater. Sure, maybe not ideal for a date night, but it’s an adventure and OMG the tacos have to be the best in the city. Their hours are sort of weird so make sure you check that they are open before you head there.
Galaxie opened last year in an old gas station in the Bywater. The menu is simple, but delicious. The funky vibe and cocktails keep me coming back for more!