Top 5 Authentic Mexican Restaurants

Authentic Mexican Restaurants

If you are a true Texan like me, you know the difference between “Mexican” food and real Mexican food. Sadly, Taco Villa and Rosa’s do not count! Here is a list of Lubbock’s best authentic Mexican restaurants:

Taqueria Jalisco

As one of my favorite restaurants, this joint is my go-to when I’m craving some tacos and margaritas! The food is reasonably priced, so you’re able to get more bang for your buck. The atmosphere is so enriched with culture, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Mexico! My suggestion: Carne asada tacos.

2211 Avenue Q
(806) 763- 7605

Picante’s

Much like Taqueria Jalisco’s, this restaurant offers great food at low prices.  The food is fresh and packed with flavor, telltale signs of authenticity. The service is excellent as well! Picante’s is also an excellent source for breakfast burritos. My suggestion: Gorditas or the Shrimp Rellano.

3814 34th Street
(806) 793- 8304

Cancun

This is one of my family’s “staples” for Mexican food! Straying far from TexMex, this restaurant features items that are considered traditional coastal Mexican. My suggestion: Domingo Special.

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7905 University Avenue
(806) 687- 9048

Nora’s

At first glance, this restaurant looks a little rough around the edges. You know what they say though: never judge a book by its cover! The food speaks for itself with bold and spicy flavors. The tortillas and chips are made fresh and the salsa is to die for. My suggestion: Red Raider Plate.

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4102 34th Street
(806) 771- 2047

Montelongo

This restaurant is located close to Clovis Road, but it is well worth the drive! The food is unbelievably good, and it is as close to authentic as you can get. Literally everything is made form scratch, including the chips. The chips are so thick, it’s hard to believe you’re eating just one! This one-of-a-kind restaurant is definitely worth a try. My suggestion: Beef nachos or the quesadillas. 

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3021 Clovis Road
(806) 762- 3068

Don’t agree?  Tell us your thoughts.

39 comments

  1. All great choices!

  2. Please add Joel’s they are awesome!!! Must try!!

  3. Teresa

    Gordito’s on 98th has great TexMex!

  4. kathy

    my top picks too they are all good

  5. Thank you all for your comments! Teresa, great suggestion! Glad you all like these as well

  6. Benjamin

    These really are Lubbock’s top 5! Montelongos trades spots with Cancun though, they have great beef.

  7. Veronica

    Great list!!! Except for Cancun’s, though – They wouldn’t make my list at all.
    I’m glad that you all listed actual AUTHENTIC mexican restaurants and not what almost everyone considers “authentic”. When I first clicked on the article, I for sure thought I was going to find “highly ranked” restaurant chains listed…but much to my surprise. 🙂

  8. downtown

    I would add El Paisano’s at 50th & L. I think it would fall under authentic more than tex-mex. Their salsa is killer, and they even sell it. The chips are fabulous and the margaritas cheap! 🙂

  9. Ruth

    I’m with Veronica…Cancun’s not so much. The other four are great, although not in that order for my tastes. For chain restaurants Rosa’s & Chuy’s are two that remain pretty authentic for as big as they’ve grown. Sadly, Josie’s would have made that list at one time, they are now just going downhill and I think Gordito’s on 98th leans more toward New Mexico style, imho. Good job choosing those.

  10. Ryan

    None of these restaurants are very popular or well known around town, but all are delicious! Truly an “authentic” mexican list.

  11. jon

    El Paisano’s is good and so is Jalisco’s. Unfortunately, when we see the health dept. scores for the places listed, it often ruins our appetites. We like Anna’s on South Indiana near Orlando’s. They tend to keep their health scores up. We also like the salvadorean food at El Salvador Pupuseria.

  12. Thank you for your comments! We couldn’t possibly choose which one was best out of all of these, so they are in no particular order. Thank you for your feedback!! 🙂

  13. Lubbock has so many great Mexican restaurants. These are all awesome suggestions!

  14. Elizabeth Ann

    Great article. Agree with writer that these restaurants are more the authentic type than TexMex. Looking forward to trying Montelongo.
    I would also add Jimenez.

  15. Thank you for your comment! I’ve heard Jimenez is great as well!

  16. Lisa

    Love all your picks for some truly delicious mexican food, and even your recommendations for each joint are spot on. I was never that big a fan of Cancun though. I’ve heard good things about Joel’s, so I need to try them out as well as El Paisano’s on 50th. Another “hole in the wall” you may not have frequented yet, it’s on 66th St, just West of the Kmart off University. It’s a small cozy place, with very unique delicious salsa, homeade chips, let me know what you think.

  17. Keith

    Definitely not Cancun and your #1 would change if you’d spent some time at Mar Y Tiera. They just changed the name and I’m afraid they’ll change the menu but that place is authentic all the way. Right down to the Spanish language soaps on the tv.

  18. Jennifer

    Taqueria Aútlan where Mar & Tierra used to be on 50th has the BEST real mexican-style tacos I have ever ate here in Lubbock. They have a great variety of mexican dishes and very friendly staff!! I Definitely recommend this restaurant.

  19. Isaac Caballero

    All these are good chocies with one exception. Nora’s!!! Found a roach in the beans on my plate and the staff didn’t seemed to care. Food for thought.

  20. Jeannette Diaz

    I’m originally from California, and I have to say none of the Restaurants listed are Authentic Mexican food, they are, however A mix between Mexican and Texan food. although they are good, I would not consider any of them authentic Mexican food.

  21. Sarah

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the food!

  22. Ben

    All of these places suck!!!!!!!!! For great mexican food try Anna’s!

  23. Alexa

    Hi, Ben!

    Thanks for the great comment.

    The LITL Team

  24. Kaitlyn

    El Ranchito Burrito is also amazing Mexican food in Lubbock.

  25. Krist

    Only Montelongos is worth going to. And that Mexican food is average compared to real Mexican food you get in California.

    Cancun and Jalisco are greasy Tex-Mex…Hence why Cancun on Slide closed.

  26. Manuel Chavez

    Aranda’s, Joel’s, Taqueria Autlan and El Ranchito. Over Cancun, Nora’s and Montelongos.

  27. MC

    Cancun does not make the list and Nora’s is bloody aweful – nothing authentic about queso in a jar – bluh! But El Ranchito is definitely on there!!!! And durangos is good too. Agree with the rest… Love Jaliscos and Montelingos, and Picantes is worthy

  28. drvega

    You left out Joel’s and Anna’s and El Paisano’s. Thoes other place I wouldnt even go to.

  29. Kris

    The only Mexican restaurant on this list worthy of an authentic title is Montelangos. LITL needs to try Autlan

  30. Richard

    We will see. I have lived on the border with Sonora for 20 years and may soon move to Lubbock.

  31. rick

    montelongos is the greatest cancun was and s a joke wouldnt recomend it to anyone will have to try durrangos eipasonos and joels

  32. Sheryl

    Seeing Californians commenting on these restaurants makes me laugh. I’m Californian, and don’t agree with you. Most of the restaurants in California are Mexican “light”. Mexican food varies by region. What you get in Tijuana, is much different than say Zacatecas or Nogales. I love the Mecican restaurants in south Tucson, but northern Arizona, not so much. Utah, meh, for the most part, but when I was a little girl in El Paso, there were great places. It’s a matter of taste, and region, but California, except for a couple of places in San Diego, didn’t press me much. Throwing California out there as the authority on Mexican food is way off base.

  33. Richard

    Hope your right. I’ll be moving there late this fall after living on the Arizona/Mexican border for 20 years. I grew up in Texas and not looking forward to Tex-Mex.

  34. Richard

    True about regional Mexican food. There are actually studies on it and any comments about “real” Mexican food are ethnocentric. Jalisco’s is good, Josie’s has been a pleasant surprize. I have many more to try. Definitely better than I expected.

  35. Addie

    Durangos and Jaliscos are the best Mexican food in town! The queso and chili rellanos at Durangos are some the best I have had. The mini pork tacos and queso rock at Jaliscos!

  36. Pabalo

    Durangos at Franfort and 50th have the best chili rellanos in town…..

  37. Felipe olivares

    You really have to give Taqueria Guadalajara a try its on 19th st on the east side of lubbock high school. Real authentic mexican food!

  38. Cindy

    What about Tacqueria Autlan? That seems to be on everybody’s Top 10 list. I’m here for just a few days, and would love to hit great Mexican more than I can say!

  39. Jose M

    New to the city from Colorado ,went to montelongos for the first time and think is going to be last,if that’s in the top 10 then all the mexican food here suck!!!

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