With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, the whole country is preparing itself for grand celebration and the delicious gift that is Mexican cuisine. That being said, there aren’t many places as blessed as Houston when it comes to our arsenal of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. Here are a few of our choices for the 5th of Mayo in Houston:
Known for its unique renditions of classic Mexican dishes, Hugo’s is a household name when it comes to Mexican cuisine in Houston. If accolades are any indication of the quality of a restaurant, prepare to be impressed. Chef Hugo Ortega, a 6-time finalist at James Beard Foundation Awards and recent winner of 2017 Best Chef in the Southwest, collects awards on a yearly basis! Located in the heart of Montrose, this modern take on beautiful Spanish colonial décor brings exciting and earthly flavors of Mexico to the table with authenticity and flair. On your next night out, come peruse a meticulously assembled wine list and selection of mezcal and dive into some savory duck carnitas.
Speaking of household names in Houston, The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation is truly the marriage of original and Tex-Mex in our city. Opened in 1973 as a tortilla factory, it was transformed into a full time restaurant soon after and this sacred place is now overseen by Chef Alex Padilla. Juicy and flavorful fajitas wrapped in fresh, made-from-scratch tortillas paired with excellent margaritas are a staple of meals at this rustic location. Very skilled staff and an always pleasant crowd make this Ninfa’s the perfect place for a relaxing meal. Enjoy the generous portions. 😉
Another Mexican restaurant conceived by Chef Hugo Ortega’s brilliance, Caracol is a vibrant and upscale location in the Galleria with an emphasis on seafood. Equipped with an oyster bar, formal dining area, private wine room, and a glorious wood-burning oven surrounded by a bed of ice playing host to fresh oysters, this location does much to catch the eye. All manner of enticing small plates and platters of whole-roasted catch grace the bar and tables as this lively locale brings in both business and social clientele. You cannot visit Caracol and miss out on the Ceviche! We implore you to try it.
Xochi is Houston’s latest, ambitious endeavor that puts Mexican cuisine in a spotlight where Chef Ortega brings his inventiveness to the table and focuses on the cuisine of Oaxaca. Are you seeing a trend yet? This man knows what he is doing. Xochi is a classy downtown restaurant adorned in Mexican folk art. If you haven’t had Ortega’s mole yet, this is the ideal place to have your first taste as he really unleashes his talent here. And if you have, you cannot miss this opportunity to have the exquisite variety offered. The desserts here are like works of art designed by Hugo’s brother, Ruben. Culinary excellence must run in the family… we are convinced he is a wizard with chocolate, so, save some room for dessert if you want to see what we all the fuss is about.
Lopez Mexican Restaurant, owned by Rodrigo Lopez, has been a staple of Mexican cuisine in Houston since 1978. It’s a truly family run restaurant with focus on service, value and cleanliness that attracts hungry Houstonians from all around. The location is adequately expansive to accommodate the large amount of visitors. The food served here leans more toward the Tex-Mex end of the spectrum but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. In particular, the enchiladas here are divine [look no further for Enchiladas Verdes topped with sliced avocados]! Once you’ve had them, you really understand why this restaurant is known for its loving attention to the quality of dishes.