Detroit is not too shabby when it comes to finding good Mexican food — we have Mexicantown, as well as countless other establishments. But where are the best places to go? Check out this list for the best Mexican restaurants in the Detroit area.
Xochimilco Restaurant
3409 Bagley St.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 843-0179

Your first stop for great Mexican food in Detroit, and rightly so, should be Mexicantown, and Xochimilco (or Xochi’s, as the locals call it) is the best place to go. Try the flautas, smothered in cheese if you like, with Spanish rice. Make sure to try some of the homemade tortilla chips, served with a variety of salsas. Xochi’s used to be cash-only, but now accepts credit cards. There is free parking in an adjacent street lot, as well.

El Barzon Restaurant
3710 Junction St.
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 894-2070
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El Barzon is unique in that it’s a mix of both Spanish and Italian food. Try any of its Mexican specialties, such as Mole Poblano, Pipian or Chile ‘n Hogada; there’s also tacos, tortas and tamales, if you want more of traditional dish. The restaurant opened in 2007, and it has a parking lot in the back for customers. Also make sure to check out its dessert menu, as it’s quite extensive and blends Mexican with Italian (tiramisu and more) dessert choices.

Isalita
341 E. Liberty St., Suite 2
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 213-7400
www.isalita.com

Isalita is not your typical “rice and beans” Mexican place, as the plates here are more like “tapas” — you should order a few to split among your party. In 2013, it was voted “Best New Restaurant” by Current magazine, as well as “Metro Detroit’s Best New Restaurants” by the Detroit Free Pressin 2014 it was voted “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Mexican Food” by the Michigan DailyStart off with the blood orange margarita ($9), and order a salsa trio ($6) for the table, which includes unlimited chips (but only one round of salsas). From there, choose from tacos (forest mushroom is divine), quesadillas or soup/salads. The dinner menu is more extensive than the lunch, as well. Isalita also offers “hora feliz” (happy hour) from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays in the bar area, as well as Wednesdays/Thursdays/Sundays from 4-6:30 p.m. in the main dining room; this includes $3 bottles of Mexican beer, $5 frozen/clasico margaritas, $4 sangrias and food specials that vary per day.

Related: Best Mexican Food Around Detroit

credit: Liz Parker

Mushroom tacos at Isalita (Credit: Elizabeth Parker)


Camelia’s Mexican Grill
1304 E. 11 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 544-8900

Camelia’s has two locations, near downtown Royal Oak (listed above) as well as Farmington Hills. This location is on 11 Mile between Main St. and Campbell, so it’s a little “off the beaten path” for those who don’t stray from the Main St. (downtown) area. Try the flautas, chicken fajitas for two, or the beef tacos; for dessert, Camelia’s offers fried ice cream. Tortilla chips are complimentary, as well, and come with mild and hot salsas. The restaurant was founded in 1998, and its Farmington location can be found at the corner of 12 Mile and Orchard Lake Road, if that’s closer to you than the Royal Oak location.

Border Cantina
21420 Novi Road
Novi, MI 48375
(248) 347-7827
www.bordercantina.com

Border Cantina also has two locations, in Novi near the Northville border (see above) as well as in Brighton. Its known for its fajitas, which come in large portions; check out the “especiales de la casa,” as well, which include flautas con guacamole, Cabo chicken, arroz con pollo and other dishes. Border Cantina serves complimentary tortilla chips and salsa, and also has a children’s menu (for kids ages 10 and younger), with all entrees priced at $3.99.

Related: Best “Taco Truck” Tacos in Detroit’s Mexicantown Area

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.

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