Best of Phoenix

17 Best Mexican Dishes in Metro Phoenix

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Best Torta: Gallo Blanco Gallo Blanco, located in the Clarendon Hotel, isn't the hole-in-the-wall kind of Mexican restaurant you usually look to for simple south-of-the-border cuisine. But that's part of the charm of chef Doug Robson's menu -- the restaurant's tacos, enchiladas, and tortas compete with some of the best. And when it comes to the Nacho Torta in particular, we're confident in saying it's the best Mexican sandwich in town. The hearty entrée is served on a fluffy telera sourced from La Sonorense bakery and comes loaded with excellent rib eye, the restaurant's addictingly good charred tomato salsa, fresh avocado, and not one, but two over-easy eggs. For smaller appetites, half tortas are available, though we usually go for a whole and save the other half for later.

Best Pozole: Los Taquitos For those who find it hard to swallow menudo, pozole is the route to take. Thick chunks of tender, flavorful pork, along with hominy float together in the bowls of fresh pozole at Los Taquitos. The aroma of the steaming soup fills the nostrils, making it hard to resist. Pozole is not found in many restaurants, nor is it readily available any time of the day. It's also not an easy soup to construct, so when we find someone who can put together pozole without skimping on any of the flavors and charging only $6 a bowl, we hold on to them.

Best Menudo: Rosita's Place No one likes being told that they can order menudo only on weekends. There are times when the day's events call for a soothing bowl of deep red or bright white menudo filled with fresh tripe and soft hominy. Rosita's Place knows about those days and caters to us the way we remember our grandmothers doing when we were young. The time spent on each batch of menudo is evident with the bold flavors that swirl in our mouth. Go ahead, squeeze a lemon wedge in it or toss some onion and cilantro -- maybe even oregano -- on top, but we guarantee that all you'll need are fresh tortillas to dip in the rich broth.

Best Mexican Seafood: Mariscos Altata To call Mariscos Altata loud doesn't do justice to the level of noise you're likely to encounter while dining at the West Phoenix restaurant. But if you're really looking to have top-quality Mexican seafood, then the impressive din will be worth enduring. The restaurant serves a large menu of dishes featuring shrimp, oysters, squid, scallops, and more. Your meal will always begin with chips, salsa, and a complimentary cup of briny seafood and vegetable soup that will likely leave you wanting more. One of the better entrée options is the shrimp cucaracha. Served with a side of red hot dipping sauce, it's a dish of grilled head-on prawns that arrive at your table looking like a plate of spindly insects.

Best Carne Asada: Asadero Norte de Sonora Much of the draw of this 16th Street spot is the whole grilled chickens, which will set you back less than $10 but easily can satisfy a whole family. And they're really good. But it's not the chicken that keeps us coming back. It's the carne asada. Whether we're taking out or dining in, we almost always get an order of Asadero's street-style tacos, which come in a variety of types, including lengua and al pastor. They're all solid options, but the carne asada is the best. The restaurant does an excellent job of producing flavorful, moist grilled steak, and we've yet to find a better option in town. You also can get your carne in burrito form, though we think the tacos allow you to better appreciate the meat inside.

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