Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2001

Neighborhoods

  • + Ahwatukee
  • + Anthem
  • + Apache Junction
  • + Avondale
  • + Buckeye
  • + California
  • + Carefree
  • + Cave Creek
  • + Central Phoenix
  • + Central Scottsdale
  • + Chandler
  • + East Phoenix
  • + El Mirage
  • + Fountain Hills
  • + Gilbert
  • + Glendale
  • + Goodyear
  • + Higley
  • + Laveen
  • + Litchfield Park
  • + Mesa
  • + Nevada
  • + New River
  • + North Phoenix
  • + North Scottsdale
  • + Out of Town
  • + Outside the Valley
  • + Palo Verde
  • + Paradise Valley
  • + Peoria
  • + Queen Creek
  • + South Phoenix
  • + South Scottsdale
  • + Sun City
  • + Surprise
  • + Tempe
  • + Tolleson
  • + Unknown
  • + Waddell
  • + West Phoenix
  • + Youngtown
Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Megalopolitan Life

People & Places

Shopping & Services

MORE

Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Authentic Mexican
El Tlacoyo
Photo by Meagan Simmons

Why is it Americans are so frightened when an ethnic restaurant promises to offer specialties of its homeland, then does? It's right there on the sign and menu at El Tlacoyo: "cuisine of Hidalgo," a state in east-central Mexico. This means scary-to-most-of-us goodies such as cheese crisp with brain, cactus soup, pork stomach tacos, beef head burros, head cheese tortas, marrow guts tacos and barbecued goat. A lot of this stuff is actually quite good, once we get past knowing what we're eating. Cactus soup is a marvelous orange broth with nicely bitter grilled nopal. Tlacoyo is a delicious casserole, layered with slabs of masa, queso fresco, white meat chicken, sour cream, cilantro and onion. And we're almost embarrassed to admit how much we enjoy goat -- mild, moist, barely gamy, and more smoothly flavored than beef. But if quesadillas con cesos (brain) causes a cringe, choose a more familiar authentic dish: whole-fried fish smattered with garlic and served with fries, rice, beans and tortillas. Whatever we choose, at El Tlacoyo, it's authentically delightful.

2535 E. University Dr., Tempe, 85281
MAP
480-894-9543
Readers' Choices

Best Margarita Spot
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Mexican Restaurant
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Salsa
Blue Agave Oyster & Chile Bar
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Readers' Choices

Best Breakfast Spot
International House of Pancakes
several Valley locations

Best Downtown Executive Lunch
Durant's
2611 North Central
602-264-5967

Best Romantic Restaurant
The Melting Pot
8320 North Hayden, Scottsdale
480-607-1799
3626 East Ray, Ahwatukee
480-704-9206

Best Healthful Eating
Pita Jungle
1250 East Apache, Tempe
480-804-0234
1949 West Ray, Chandler
480-855-3232

Best Late-night Meal
Denny's
several Valley locations

Best Outdoor Patio
Dos Gringos
4209 North Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
480-423-3800

Best Happy Hour
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
several Valley locations

Readers' Choice

Best Bakery
Paradise Bakery
several Valley locations

Readers' Choices

Best Classic Pizza
Papa Johns
several Valley locations

Best Desserts
Cheesecake Factory
15230 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-607-0083

Best Gourmet Pizza
Pizzeria Bianco
623 East Adams
602-258-8300

Readers' Choices

Best Barbecue
Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q
5012 East Van Buren
602-273-9148
2824 North Central
602-279-7911

Best Chinese Restaurant
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
several Valley locations

Best Coffee House
Starbucks
several Valley locations

Best French Restaurant
La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe
several Valley locations

Best Greek Restaurant
Greekfest
1940 East Camelback
602-265-2990

Best Indian Restaurant
Delhi Palace
5050 East McDowell
602-244-8181
16842 North Seventh Street
602-942-4224
933 East University, Tempe
480-921-2200

Best Italian Restaurant
Olive Garden
several Valley locations

Best Japanese Restaurant
RA Sushi Bar
411 South Mill, Tempe
480-303-9800
3815 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-990-9256

Best New Restaurant
Garduo's Margarita Factory
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Best Sandwich Shop
Subway
several Valley locations

Best Seafood Restaurant
Red Lobster
several Valley locations

Best Smoothie/juice Shop
Jamba Juice
several Valley locations

Best Southwestern Restaurant
Z'Tejas Grill
several Valley locations

Best Steak Restaurant
Outback Steakhouse
several Valley locations

X

Best Authentic Mexican: El Tlacoyo

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >