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Steak ranchero with rice and beans, a red drink, and tortilla chips
Steak ranchero at Lindo Michoacan.
Lindo Michoacan/Facebook

Try One of These 13 Great Off-Strip, Hidden Gem Mexican Restaurants in Las Vegas

Check out these standbys for a full roster of South of the Border fare

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Steak ranchero at Lindo Michoacan.
| Lindo Michoacan/Facebook

Mexican cuisine is one of those types of food everyone seems to have an opinion on. People tend to argue over which place has the best street tacos or enchiladas, which place makes the homemade tortillas, or even which place tastes the best. Fortunately, Las Vegas has a range of good burritos and tacos, as well as mulas, tlacoyos, and pelonas. These 11 spots feature a variety of Mexican restaurants, and while yes, some are more traditional than others, all satisfy that need for South of the Border fare.

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Mariscos el Diamante

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It should come as no surprise that seafood is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Locals swear by Mariscos el Diamante as the place for Mexican seafood. The menu swims with oysters, ceviche, and aguachiles that transport diners to the  beaches of Mazatlan. Diners can order a variety of Mexican beers, a Michelada, or get crazy with a mango-chelada. 

A plate of oysters
Ositones gratinados at Mariscos el Diamante.
Mariscos el Diamante/Facebook

Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant

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At Antojitos Sinaloa, the inspiration for the food is right in the name, the state of Sinaola, Mexico, in the northwest along the Gulf of California. While the menu features traditional Mexican dishes, Antojitos is known for its Sinaloa Tower with octopus, shrimp, ceviche, and topped with avocado and a special sauce. A lively party atmosphere gets diners up from their seats to sing and dance along to the live mariachis. 

A stack of seafood with avocado on top
Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant.
Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant/Facebook

Casa Don Juan

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Located in the heart of the Arts District, Casa Don Juan puts as much reverence for the culture into the surroundings as it does the food. Art celebrating Mexican artist Frida Khalo is as deliberate as the menu. One of the few spots to offer tamales by the dozen also offers a classic Mexican menu with soups, tortas, and tostadas on it. Three locations across the city feature this abuelita style of cooking.

A plate of shrimp salad on a green placemat
Camarones ensalada at Casa Don Juan.
Casa Don Juan/Facebook

La Casita de Doña Machi

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A sure way to know how legit a Mexican restaurant is to look for menudo. La Casita de Doña Machi not only has it, but its menudo is one of their most revered items, complete with quintessential radish, onion, and cilantro toppings. Try the restaurant’s homemade tortillas or chicken mole. La Casita de Do Machi is only open until 6 p.m. daily, except Sundays when it closes at 5 p.m.

A bowl of menudo with cilantro on top
Menudo at La Casita de Doña Machi.
La Casita de Doña Machi/Facebook

Los Antojos Mexican Restaurant

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Los Antojos may be small in size, but it certainly offers a mega Mexican mouthful of flavor. Fans rave about the menu of chilaquiles, sopes, and a variety of huaraches that remind them of dishes found in Mexico City. For those tried and true lovers of genuine Mexican food, Los Antojos even has manitas de puerco, pig’s feet, a staple in Mexican cuisine. Seating is limited but worth the wait in this friendly atmosphere.

Huarches
Huaraches at Los Antojos.
Los Antojos/Facebook

Mariposa Cocina & Cocktails

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Mariposa offers a contemporary take on traditional Mexican and South American food. The higher-class establishment’s cuisine is far from casual. Crab and lobster enchiladas, mole braised short ribs, and honey-glazed shrimp burritos help anchor this fusion fare with a classic taste of Mexico at the core. Cocktails such as the Prickly Pear Paloma and a happy hour DJ make this place better suited for a date night or a ladies’ night. Mariposa is about as high energy and la-tee-da as they come. 

A shrimp dish
Mariposa Cocina.
Mariposa Cocina/Facebook

Original Lindo Michoacan

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Much like menudo is a staple at most Mexican celebrations, so too is lengua (tongue). Lindo Michoacan has both on the menu for the traditionalists out there. Patrons can find their dishes found at Mexican homes such as goat burritos, nopalitos (cactus), and chile Colorado, as well as carnitas marinated in oranges and spices, then slow-cooked. With three decades of serving Las Vegas, Lindo Michoacan is the epitome of a family business with the Barajas family at the heart of this long time favorite. Enjoy the ambiance at any one of their three locations along with the comida at this long time Las Vegas favorite.

A plate of chile with rice and beans
Chile Colorado and chile verde at Lindo Michoacan.
Lindo Michoacan/Facebook

Milpa (cornfield) is a Mexican restaurant with a twist. It’s healthy Mexican food. Chef DJ Flores, a Las Vegas native who has worked all up and down the Strip with names such as José Andrés and Lorena Garcia before taking up residence in Mexico City, opened this gem in February. The menu features natural ingredients from local sources that together make dishes such as Milpa grain bowls with roasted corn, beans, quinoa, and other fresh vegetables. Or, have a try of a black bean tetela, green chorizo and lentils, or an avocado tostada from the brunch menu. For a little something sweet, how about a cup of cafecito with a concha? 

Milpa grain bowls
Grain bowls at Milpa.
Louiie Victa/Eater Vegas

Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina

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A Las Vegas Mexican staple, Juan’s Flaming Fajitas is best known for its, well, flaming fajitas brought right to the table. But, that is second only to the atmosphere with bright murals, live music, and a solid happy hour menu. Juan’s full menu is comprehensive and has just about every typical Mexican dish a diner expects. The original location sits on Tropicana Avenue on the westside with the newer location in Henderson on Water Street.

An oval plate of four street tacos with rice.
Tacos de la calle at Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina.
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina/Facebook

Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill

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Located in the Green Valley neighborhood of Henderson, chef Jose Rodriguez’s restaurant Chavelos offers a colorful and fiesta-like atmosphere. Known for its signature molcajetes available in both meat and seafood, this establishment is one of a few places on the list with vegetarian dishes on the menu. Dine on avocado tacos or opt for spinach and mushroom enchiladas. Patrons can also wet their whistles with a variety of Mexican tequilas on the outdoor patio.

A shrimp dish with rice and beans
Camarones rancheros at Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill.
Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill/Facebook

Las Cazuelas

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Las Cazuleas focuses solely on the cuisine from Puebla, a region southeast of Mexico City, and features Mexican fare such as enchiladas with mole poblano, corn tacos with citrus-marinated pork, huevos rancheros, and, of course, tacos. Do order elote, or corn on the cob, seasoned with chili powder, lime juice, and cotija mayonnaise, served on or off the cob.

Two corn tortillas with seafood
Tacos at Las Cazuelas
Las Cazuelas/Facebook

 Il Toro E La Capra

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Il Toro E La Capra is a blend of Mexican and Italian cuisine created by Javier Barajas. Barajas always envisioned opening an Italian restaurant with the classic Vegas feel of his favorite movie. “Casino.” The menu boasts Mexican food with an Italian lean. Find tacos, carne asada, and fajitas. But you can also find pizza topped with pulled pork carnitas.

Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos

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If you’re looking for tacos, load up on plates of carne asada, chicken, pork, and shrimp tacos, all over-stuffed and filled with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. True to its name, pair your meal with an agua fresca, with choices of strawberry, watermelon, pineapple, mango, chia lemonade, spinach, and cucumber.

Mariscos el Diamante

It should come as no surprise that seafood is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Locals swear by Mariscos el Diamante as the place for Mexican seafood. The menu swims with oysters, ceviche, and aguachiles that transport diners to the  beaches of Mazatlan. Diners can order a variety of Mexican beers, a Michelada, or get crazy with a mango-chelada. 

A plate of oysters
Ositones gratinados at Mariscos el Diamante.
Mariscos el Diamante/Facebook

Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant

At Antojitos Sinaloa, the inspiration for the food is right in the name, the state of Sinaola, Mexico, in the northwest along the Gulf of California. While the menu features traditional Mexican dishes, Antojitos is known for its Sinaloa Tower with octopus, shrimp, ceviche, and topped with avocado and a special sauce. A lively party atmosphere gets diners up from their seats to sing and dance along to the live mariachis. 

A stack of seafood with avocado on top
Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant.
Antojitos Sinaloa Mexican & Seafood Restaurant/Facebook

Casa Don Juan

Located in the heart of the Arts District, Casa Don Juan puts as much reverence for the culture into the surroundings as it does the food. Art celebrating Mexican artist Frida Khalo is as deliberate as the menu. One of the few spots to offer tamales by the dozen also offers a classic Mexican menu with soups, tortas, and tostadas on it. Three locations across the city feature this abuelita style of cooking.

A plate of shrimp salad on a green placemat
Camarones ensalada at Casa Don Juan.
Casa Don Juan/Facebook

La Casita de Doña Machi

A sure way to know how legit a Mexican restaurant is to look for menudo. La Casita de Doña Machi not only has it, but its menudo is one of their most revered items, complete with quintessential radish, onion, and cilantro toppings. Try the restaurant’s homemade tortillas or chicken mole. La Casita de Do Machi is only open until 6 p.m. daily, except Sundays when it closes at 5 p.m.

A bowl of menudo with cilantro on top
Menudo at La Casita de Doña Machi.
La Casita de Doña Machi/Facebook

Los Antojos Mexican Restaurant

Los Antojos may be small in size, but it certainly offers a mega Mexican mouthful of flavor. Fans rave about the menu of chilaquiles, sopes, and a variety of huaraches that remind them of dishes found in Mexico City. For those tried and true lovers of genuine Mexican food, Los Antojos even has manitas de puerco, pig’s feet, a staple in Mexican cuisine. Seating is limited but worth the wait in this friendly atmosphere.

Huarches
Huaraches at Los Antojos.
Los Antojos/Facebook

Mariposa Cocina & Cocktails

Mariposa offers a contemporary take on traditional Mexican and South American food. The higher-class establishment’s cuisine is far from casual. Crab and lobster enchiladas, mole braised short ribs, and honey-glazed shrimp burritos help anchor this fusion fare with a classic taste of Mexico at the core. Cocktails such as the Prickly Pear Paloma and a happy hour DJ make this place better suited for a date night or a ladies’ night. Mariposa is about as high energy and la-tee-da as they come. 

A shrimp dish
Mariposa Cocina.
Mariposa Cocina/Facebook

Original Lindo Michoacan

Much like menudo is a staple at most Mexican celebrations, so too is lengua (tongue). Lindo Michoacan has both on the menu for the traditionalists out there. Patrons can find their dishes found at Mexican homes such as goat burritos, nopalitos (cactus), and chile Colorado, as well as carnitas marinated in oranges and spices, then slow-cooked. With three decades of serving Las Vegas, Lindo Michoacan is the epitome of a family business with the Barajas family at the heart of this long time favorite. Enjoy the ambiance at any one of their three locations along with the comida at this long time Las Vegas favorite.

A plate of chile with rice and beans
Chile Colorado and chile verde at Lindo Michoacan.
Lindo Michoacan/Facebook

Milpa

Milpa (cornfield) is a Mexican restaurant with a twist. It’s healthy Mexican food. Chef DJ Flores, a Las Vegas native who has worked all up and down the Strip with names such as José Andrés and Lorena Garcia before taking up residence in Mexico City, opened this gem in February. The menu features natural ingredients from local sources that together make dishes such as Milpa grain bowls with roasted corn, beans, quinoa, and other fresh vegetables. Or, have a try of a black bean tetela, green chorizo and lentils, or an avocado tostada from the brunch menu. For a little something sweet, how about a cup of cafecito with a concha? 

Milpa grain bowls
Grain bowls at Milpa.
Louiie Victa/Eater Vegas

Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina

A Las Vegas Mexican staple, Juan’s Flaming Fajitas is best known for its, well, flaming fajitas brought right to the table. But, that is second only to the atmosphere with bright murals, live music, and a solid happy hour menu. Juan’s full menu is comprehensive and has just about every typical Mexican dish a diner expects. The original location sits on Tropicana Avenue on the westside with the newer location in Henderson on Water Street.

An oval plate of four street tacos with rice.
Tacos de la calle at Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina.
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina/Facebook

Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill

Located in the Green Valley neighborhood of Henderson, chef Jose Rodriguez’s restaurant Chavelos offers a colorful and fiesta-like atmosphere. Known for its signature molcajetes available in both meat and seafood, this establishment is one of a few places on the list with vegetarian dishes on the menu. Dine on avocado tacos or opt for spinach and mushroom enchiladas. Patrons can also wet their whistles with a variety of Mexican tequilas on the outdoor patio.

A shrimp dish with rice and beans
Camarones rancheros at Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill.
Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill/Facebook

Las Cazuelas

Las Cazuleas focuses solely on the cuisine from Puebla, a region southeast of Mexico City, and features Mexican fare such as enchiladas with mole poblano, corn tacos with citrus-marinated pork, huevos rancheros, and, of course, tacos. Do order elote, or corn on the cob, seasoned with chili powder, lime juice, and cotija mayonnaise, served on or off the cob.

Two corn tortillas with seafood
Tacos at Las Cazuelas
Las Cazuelas/Facebook

 Il Toro E La Capra

Il Toro E La Capra is a blend of Mexican and Italian cuisine created by Javier Barajas. Barajas always envisioned opening an Italian restaurant with the classic Vegas feel of his favorite movie. “Casino.” The menu boasts Mexican food with an Italian lean. Find tacos, carne asada, and fajitas. But you can also find pizza topped with pulled pork carnitas.

Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos

If you’re looking for tacos, load up on plates of carne asada, chicken, pork, and shrimp tacos, all over-stuffed and filled with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. True to its name, pair your meal with an agua fresca, with choices of strawberry, watermelon, pineapple, mango, chia lemonade, spinach, and cucumber.

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