Updated: Mar 2
We are blessed with a great multitude of Tex-Mex options here in DFW. And that makes answering the question, "where should we go tonight?" one of the hardest things to do in these parts. Well, as it turns out, the best we could do was to narrow it down to 15 for you.
1. Las Palmas
"I don’t know why ’80s New Wave music reminds me of Tex-Mex, but it does,” Pasha Heidari, co-owner of Las Palmas, told D Magazine soon after this Uptown Tex-Mex paradise swung open its doors in 2019. And that explains the Las Palmas vibe. Bright and bold colors and tastes collide with classic Tex-Mex comfort, and the brothers Heidari bring a flair for fine dining that give Las Palmas an edge. Keep the Sparkling Palomas (our favorite drink on the menu) coming, please.
The Gospel of Gloria's has long since spread to the masses, with 17 locations now operating in the DFW area, but it's still a can't-miss for the Love List crew. DO NOT sleep on their brunch menu, where you can't go wrong with either the huevos con brisket or Valeria's breakfast tacos. The real ones will note that Gloria's cuisine is technically Salvadoran. Fun fact: you can most distinctly taste the difference between Salvadoran food and what is more commonly referred to as Tex-Mex in items like tamales, which come wrapped in banana leaves at Gloria's.
3. Doce Mesas
This place really straddles the line nicely between classic Tex-Mex and a more Coastal Cali vibe. The wrap-around patio is stunningly beautiful, and so are the drinks. We love Chico's Pacifico ceviche to start and the #1 (enchilada norteña, carnitas taco, red rice, black beans) for a main, which allows one to save plenty of room for pastel de leche before the eventual nap to follow.
4. Mi Cocina
Oh, MiCo. Your shrimp brochettes and your mambo limousines (why ride in a taxi when a limo is an option?) are permanent fixtures in our salsified, cheese-lined arteries. With 21 locations and a 30-year ongoing run in the DFW food scene, if you haven't enjoyed a Mi Cocina meal lately, one must ask oneself. Bro, do you even Tex-Mex?
5. E Bar Tex Mex
The greatness lies in the simplicity at E Bar. Try the pollo ala parilla at this Uptown honey hole and you'll see what we're talking about. They're not going out of their way to give you something you didn't ask for here. A E Bar, the understand the Tex-Mex assignment. And the $4 mimosas and bloodies at brunch never hurt anyone, either.
6. Mexican Sugar
Mexican Sugar describes its take on all our favorites as "sultry Latin comfort food," and now I think I'm in love. I'm all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves for a second. Ok, thanks for that. If you are a tequila connoisseur, or if you'd like to pretend you are, this is the place to do tequila things. With locations in Plano and Las Colinas, treat yourself to some beautiful Pan-Latin creations at one of the most unique spots on our list here.
Photo by: @javiersgourmetmexicano
As the only spot on this list with its own lounge and cigar bar (buy one from Javier, DO NOT bring your own, please), Javier's is a really unique Tex-Mex experience as well. There are some dishes pulled straight out of Mexico City, like the Filete Pimienta, which is smothered in cheese and this awesome black peppercorn sauce, while others represent the more well-known Tex-Mex flavors we've all come to love by virtue of our time in Texas. With more than 40 years under its belt in Dallas, Javier knows his audience and his audience knows they'll get a great meal at Javier's.
8. Uno Mas
The sign says it all, doesn't it? What else does anyone need in life? Something to wash it all down with, we suppose, which is where the drink menu comes into play at Uno Mas. Try an agave old fashioned and thank us later, or a Oaxacan Wolf for one of the most daring mezcal creations in town. For starters, the fundido is to die for, and for dessert, it's the brown butter cake for the win. In between, you can just close your eyes and point to anything. It'll be pretty great.
9. Desert Racer
When we talk about a pleasing aesthetic in the Tex-Mex game here in Dallas, Desert Racer takes it by a country mile. Try not to have fun and look super cute at your table on their patio on Baja Greenville (baja means lower — try and keep up). We dare you. It can't be done. We're trying a borracho brisket mission style burrito and a crispy cod poke style burrito on our next visit — you should too!
10. Jose on Lovers
Anastacia Quinoñes-Pittman, Executive Chef at Jose on Lovers, is a damn genius. Jose brings an authenticity to the scene here that few others can match, and this place is always hosting equally brilliant guest chefs for special events that make a trip down Lovers Lane more unique than ever. Jose was recently recognized as one of D Magazine's 50 Best Restaurants in Dallas — walking in the door here is truly an amazing experience, every time.
Mesero holds a special place in our little Love List hearts, with its beautiful table presentation and bold flavors. Five locations run up and down Greater Dallas from Victory Park to Frisco, and there's another one over Fort Worth way, too. We're big proponents of the spinach and artichoke-influenced Queso Mesero over the classic Queso Tejano, but that debate may not get settled until our next visit, when we plan to drink both straight from the bowl, for science. The salmon tacos and the loaded jalapeños win the day as well.
We love that such a variety of great Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes can fall under the great-big umbrella of Tex-Mex, and Bishop Arts' Veracruz Cafe stands as a testament to the breadth (and tastiness) of the genre. The blue corn enchiladas, the Xalapa-style chile rellenos and some of the best Mexican seafood this far inland make Veracruz a must. Veracruz has two more locations in Cedar Hill and Midlothian, too!
13. Herrara's on Sylvan
The mission statement is simple. Serve great on-script Tex-Mex classics with consistency and enough cheese to blow out a ventricle, and you too might be able to stay in business for 50 — yes, 50 — years in Dallas. The venerated Familia Ontiveros is continuing a true Texas tradition here in West Dallas, so stop in and say hello! Pro tip: on Wednesdays, you can grab a 13A (two cheese enchiladas with choice of chile con carne or queso, along with rice and beans) for an insane $5.99. Can't beat that with a stick.
Again with the sexy food. Eating at Tejas, another of Bishop Arts' finest, has been known to make it move, so be forewarned. But it's not just a pretty face. You can actually eat here and still call yourself a healthy person afterward in many cases, which doesn't seem possible when the scent wafts in your direction outside or when your order hits the table. The pork pibil enchiladas are just. so. good.
15. Meso Maya
It may not be a particularly Tex-Mex item, but you have to try the cochinita pibil at Meso Maya. In fact, you have to try the cochinita pibil at any place in town that does a good cochinita pibil, but to be honest there really aren't that many that do. For a refreshingly boozy drink, the avocado marg at Meso Maya is hands down one of the best margaritas in DFW.
Add it to the Love List!✨💕