The best bets for Mexican fare in 5 Atlanta neighborhoods

9:47 a.m. Thursday, May 5, 2016 Atlanta Food & Drink
Becky Stein
Pork Pibil Tamale with banana leaf-braised with bacon-corn masa, green chile sauce, crema and pico de gallo at Alma Cocina. (BECKY STEIN/special)

There’s a little holiday called Cinco de Mayo right around the corner. Yes, we know that this is not a traditional holiday in any way, but we will always take advantage of a day to dive into our favorite Tex-Mex fare, whether that be cheese dip or enchiladas. From taquerias on Buford Highway to patio heaven in Inman Park, here are some favorite neighborhood gems serving up tacos, margaritas and more. 

Downtown Atlanta has seen a renaissance of dining destinations as of late. No longer is it just restaurants that are convenient if you are around from business or  visiting. One of the better spots is Alma CocinaThe menu combines both Mexican fare with that if the American Southwest with great skill. Located in the beautiful 191 Peachtree building, it has both indoor and atrium seating that makes it perfect for happy hour margaritas and a leisurely lunch over tamales. Be sure to check out the seasonal guacamole that changes out toppings like roasted squash and fresh corn.

There one place, and one place only for Mexican food in Grant Park and that’s Mi Barrio. You’ll find it on the corner of Boulevard and Memorial. It’s a bright red building and inside is some of the best Tex-Mex you’ll find in this city. Strong margaritas, amazing tortas and fresh tortillas make it a force to be reckoned with. On Saturdays they make a pozole that will become a tradition.

Don’t discount delivery as second-rate cuisine. It’s been a long day, there’s no way you’re cooking, so you call up whatever’s convenient. Roswell residents have something Intowners can be supremely jealous of: Mr. Taco. Don’t let the name fool you, these are authentic tacos taken seriously. You can’t go wrong with the tacos (barbacoa are a favorite), but if you want something really fantastic, go with the Molcajete. Be warned: it’s a mountain of food, but you’ll never be happier after a climb.

If there’s one thing that goes with a pitcher of margaritas and a bowl of cheese dip, it’s the perfect patio. And if that patio is on the Beltline, you’re pretty much made. When we need all of the above, it’s Across The Street we go. This is a true neighborhood spot (the bricks on the patio were donated from neighbors) and it feels like home.

Best of all, the food delivers. Everything is made from scratch and with care. If you’re gluten-free, they will prepare your meal in a separate space. Order the goat cheese enchiladas stuffed with mango for a dish that is both rich and light.

Some of the best tacos around are found at a little taqueria on State Road 13 in Doraville called El Rey Del Taco. Opt for the handmade tortillas; they’re worth the extra money. The Al Pastor taco will arrive peppered with cilantro and served with side of grilled onions. Tucked into the soft, corn tortilla is tender caramelized pork prepared with a mixture of spices. One bite and you’ll be in love.

View full experience