22 Essential Mexican Restaurants in Cleveland You Should Have Tried By Now

Whether you're looking for a  burrito joint, a modern taqueria, traditional TexMex, or a modern, creative take on Mexican food, we have it in the Cleveland area. You just have to know where to look*.

 

*This slideshow is where to look.

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 Bomba Tacos And Rum
Multiple Locations 
Paladar Latin Kitchen served its first mojito in Woodmere a decade ago. Since then, owner Andy Himmel has added locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Next up for Himmel was Bomba Tacos & Rum, which started in Rocky River and has spread to Fairlawn. Those two Latin-themed taco and rum joints was recently joined by a third in Beachwood and you really have no excuse to hit one of these up because there’s gotta be one close to you.
Photo via Scene Archives

Bomba Tacos And Rum

Multiple Locations

Paladar Latin Kitchen served its first mojito in Woodmere a decade ago. Since then, owner Andy Himmel has added locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Next up for Himmel was Bomba Tacos & Rum, which started in Rocky River and has spread to Fairlawn. Those two Latin-themed taco and rum joints was recently joined by a third in Beachwood and you really have no excuse to hit one of these up because there’s gotta be one close to you.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Tapatias Taqueria
12501 Lorain Ave., Cleveland 
The great thing about this relatively new west side taqueria is the amount of different offerings available for your taco or burrito. Choose from chicken, steak, chorizo, carnitas, tripa, lengua, barbacoa or pastor. They also have a dozen delicious big plates built around items like grilled steak, whole fried fish and grilled shrimp all come with Spanish rice, refried beans and a short stack of warm tortillas. 
Photo via Tapatias Taqueria/Facebook

Tapatias Taqueria

12501 Lorain Ave., Cleveland

The great thing about this relatively new west side taqueria is the amount of different offerings available for your taco or burrito. Choose from chicken, steak, chorizo, carnitas, tripa, lengua, barbacoa or pastor. They also have a dozen delicious big plates built around items like grilled steak, whole fried fish and grilled shrimp all come with Spanish rice, refried beans and a short stack of warm tortillas.

Photo via Tapatias Taqueria/Facebook
 Tacos Mexicanos
223 Highland Rd., Macedonia 
Head out to Macedonia for one of the more beloved Mexican spots in town. And even though it has tacos in the name, this place is much more than that. Their bowls, topped with your choice of protein, and the fajitas are where it’s at. 
Photo via @Tacos_Mex_Macedonia/Instagram

Tacos Mexicanos

223 Highland Rd., Macedonia

Head out to Macedonia for one of the more beloved Mexican spots in town. And even though it has tacos in the name, this place is much more than that. Their bowls, topped with your choice of protein, and the fajitas are where it’s at.

Photo via @Tacos_Mex_Macedonia/Instagram
 Cilantro Taqueria
Multiple Locations
Fans of authentic Mexican and Cal-Mex food like tacos, tortas, burritos and bowls got a nice treat when this place opened in Cleveland Heights in early 2019, replacing a Chipotle. It’s rare to find real tacos al pastor in these parts, slabs of achiote and pineapple marinated pork layered onto a vertical spit, or trompo, that cooks as it twirls. In Salinas and elsewhere in California, the items often go by the name tacos de adobada. You can find them here, and they’re delicious.
Photo by Douglas Trattner

Cilantro Taqueria

Multiple Locations

Fans of authentic Mexican and Cal-Mex food like tacos, tortas, burritos and bowls got a nice treat when this place opened in Cleveland Heights in early 2019, replacing a Chipotle. It’s rare to find real tacos al pastor in these parts, slabs of achiote and pineapple marinated pork layered onto a vertical spit, or trompo, that cooks as it twirls. In Salinas and elsewhere in California, the items often go by the name tacos de adobada. You can find them here, and they’re delicious.

Photo by Douglas Trattner
 Luchita’s
3456 West 117th St., Cleveland
One of the oldest Mexican joints in town, this place has been serving up food from south of the border since 1982. Luchita's is well known for its signature mole sauce, served atop enchiladas, burritos and the classic pollo en mole poblano. The eatery excels at incorporating the rich flavors of ancho, chipotle and poblano peppers into various entrees, showcasing a complexity often lost elsewhere.
Photo via @ScottBeNimble/Instagram

Luchita’s

3456 West 117th St., Cleveland

One of the oldest Mexican joints in town, this place has been serving up food from south of the border since 1982. Luchita's is well known for its signature mole sauce, served atop enchiladas, burritos and the classic pollo en mole poblano. The eatery excels at incorporating the rich flavors of ancho, chipotle and poblano peppers into various entrees, showcasing a complexity often lost elsewhere.

Photo via @ScottBeNimble/Instagram
 La Plaza Supermarket
13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood 
All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. While they are best known for their tacos, the burritos are just as good at the most authentic Mexican spot in town.
Photo via Scene Archives

La Plaza Supermarket

13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood

All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. While they are best known for their tacos, the burritos are just as good at the most authentic Mexican spot in town.

Photo via Scene Archives
El Jalapeño’s
1313 W. 117th St., Cleveland
If you’re looking for an elevated version of traditional Mexican-American food, this spot on the Lakewood/Cleveland border is where to go. Try the camarones del pacifico, a dish of jumbo shrimp stuffed with jalapenos and chees all wrapped in bacon. Yum.
Photo via Scene Archives

El Jalapeño’s

1313 W. 117th St., Cleveland

If you’re looking for an elevated version of traditional Mexican-American food, this spot on the Lakewood/Cleveland border is where to go. Try the camarones del pacifico, a dish of jumbo shrimp stuffed with jalapenos and chees all wrapped in bacon. Yum.

Photo via Scene Archives
 El Taco Macho
1613 Mentor Ave., Paynesville
This hip Painseville taqueria opened in 2016 to much fanfare. They serve traditional tacos and also more modern ones. The quesadillas and burritos are delicious as well and the homemade salsas are *chefs kiss*.
Photo via El Taco Macho/Facebook

El Taco Macho

1613 Mentor Ave., Paynesville

This hip Painseville taqueria opened in 2016 to much fanfare. They serve traditional tacos and also more modern ones. The quesadillas and burritos are delicious as well and the homemade salsas are *chefs kiss*.

Photo via El Taco Macho/Facebook
 Momocho
1835 Fulton Ave., Cleveland
Clever cuisine, playful decor, and intimate surroundings make this "modern Mexican" eatery like nothing else in town. Don't come around looking for refried beans and rice; luscious lamb "adobo" and avocado-leaf-crusted tuna are more Momocho's style. Factor in the fruit-infused margaritas, chilada-style beers, and the smart array of tequilas, and even the fiercest bandito would happily pull up a chair at one of the best restaurants in town.
Photo via Scene Archives

Momocho

1835 Fulton Ave., Cleveland

Clever cuisine, playful decor, and intimate surroundings make this "modern Mexican" eatery like nothing else in town. Don't come around looking for refried beans and rice; luscious lamb "adobo" and avocado-leaf-crusted tuna are more Momocho's style. Factor in the fruit-infused margaritas, chilada-style beers, and the smart array of tequilas, and even the fiercest bandito would happily pull up a chair at one of the best restaurants in town.

Photo via Scene Archives
 El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery
170 East Washington St., Painesville 
We promise your trip to Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos.  The fresh tortillas combined with the brilliantly seasoned meats and expansive selection of garnishes combine to create an experience as authentic as it gets. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful. 
Photo via Scene Archives

El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery

170 East Washington St., Painesville

We promise your trip to Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos. The fresh tortillas combined with the brilliantly seasoned meats and expansive selection of garnishes combine to create an experience as authentic as it gets. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful.

Photo via Scene Archives