Food Scene

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Tempe

BBQ and Kansas City, Jambalaya and New Orleans, Coffee and Seattle, Mexican food and Tempe. Some things just go together.

Tempe, Arizona has a wealth of Mexican food eateries, from quick-service options like Maskadores Taco Shop, to delicious newcomers like GuacStar, to mainstays like Rosita’s Mexican Food and Casa Reynoso that have been in Tempe for decades. It’s hard to choose a favorite, so here is a list of the most beloved Mexican restaurants in Tempe. And, you’ll get the inside scoop about the dishes that the Tempe Tourism Office team order again and again. If we don’t mention your favorite dish or your favorite Tempe Mexican restaurant, please tell us what we’re missing. We’d love to add to our list of favorites.

Casa Reynoso

3138 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85282 | (480) 966-0776
One of the most crave-worthy Mexican restaurants in Tempe is Casa Reynoso. This family-owned business is an extension of family’s first venture into the restaurant business in Globe, Arizona. Now solely located in metro Phoenix, the Reynoso family continues to do what they do best – share their family recipes with all of us. You’ll have trouble deciding between their carne asada dishes, chimichangas, tacos and burros. But, one way to sample their best menu options is combination #8: an enchilada, burro and chile relleno. Que rico!

Maskadores Taco Shop

1721 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 284-7000
If you’re looking for a really good local taco shop, Maskadores is the place to go. Known for their delicious street tacos, they have lots of meat choices and even more toppings to choose from. I would also recommend the wet burrito, a bit on the spicy side but with great flavors. The salsa bar features several homemade varieties, so choose as much salsa as your heart desires. Don’t forget to leave room for a churro, or three. The walls are painted and decorated with the maskadores all over the restaurant – which makes for a fun atmosphere. In addition to their south Tempe restaurant, they have a second Tempe location at 818 W. Broadway Rd.

Ghost Ranch

1006 E. Warner Rd. #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 474-4328
Ghost Ranch serves modern Southwest cuisine fare for happy hour and dinner, Mon.-Fri. and weekend brunch, lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. They also offer a full menu of beer, wine and cocktails inspired by the multicultural history of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico. Their team knocks it out of the park with a delicious menu featuring items like cowboy steak, green chile burgers, tacos, Aztec Cake (which is like a perfect marriage between enchiladas and a casserole) and Chimayo chile braised-pork enchiladas. The lineup also includes Grilled Trout, vegetarian options, salads and Ranchos Papas, a creamy side dish with a hint of spice. The staff is always very friendly and the interior is full of Instagram worthy photo spots.

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina

920 E. University Dr. #204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 219-9272
GuacStar joined the Tempe food scene in 2020 and we are sure glad they did. GuacStar offers a full menu of vegan and vegetarian items, specializing in Mexican comfort food classics. You wouldn’t believe that their Chicken Elote Tacos are plant-based which are made up of drunken seitan, roasted corn, red chile crema, and cotija. One of our favorite dish is their Enchiladas Calabacitas, it is so tasty and flavorful, made with roasted squach and zucchini, house-made rojo and verde sauce and cashew crema. You can’t forget their cocktail and margarita drinks of course, a perfect pair for these Mexican food classics.

Enchiladas Calabacitas

Macayo’s Mexican Food

650 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 967-2552
The newest Macayo’s location has opened near ASU and the 202 freeway. Same delicious food, brand new location! The first branch of the Macayo’s restaurant chain opened in Phoenix in 1946, beginning a legacy of quality food in a family atmosphere. Guests can enjoy their signature family recipes that are still available today. Don’t miss out on their mini chimis, Macayo’s Original Chimichangas or their any of their burro options!

La Fonda Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

1831 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ, 85283 | (480) 966-8001
La Fonda has been in Tempe since 1967, although they moved to their new location on Baseline just east of McClintock a few years ago. Their dishes with cheesy fundido sauce are very popular, but one of our favorite dishes is the carnitas with flour tortillas. The pork is juicy and tender, the tortillas are fresh and the salsa is excellent.

Los Reyes de la Torta

1528 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 491-1314
It’s hard to choose from their menu of authentic, straight from Mexico City tortas, tacos, burritos and chilaquiles. And, I can’t eat quite as much as Adam from Man v. Food when he ate the Torta Del Rey complete with 5 types of meat. But, one of our favorites is the Mexicana Torta. It’s filled with flavorful grilled steak cooked with onions and jalapenos, pico de gallo, avocado and refried beans with salad on the side. Thankfully, guests can choose from a regular size and the mini. The mini certainly isn’t calorie free, but there’s a little less guilt.

Rosita’s Fine Mexican Food

960 W. University Dr. #7, Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 966-0852
Rosa Keeme always dreamed of opening up her own restaurant and that dream came true in 1963 when the first Rosita’s opened its doors in Tempe. There are now three generations of the Keeme family, and even second and third generations of employee’s families, who continue to serve some of the best Mexican food in town. Rosita’s, located on University Drive and Hardy, has an extensive menu of South of the Border fare, including mole, enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitas and tamales. Their house specialty is the “Rosita’s Special,” a large flour tortilla filled with melted cheese and your choice of green chile with beef, seasoned chicken, red chile with beef or shredded beef.

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant

1706 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 838-1005
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir. #567, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 838-9610
Garcia’s has been a local favorite for years and once you visit, it is easy to see why. They serve up delicious Mexican food at affordable prices. We’re big fans of their lunch specials like the Fajita Quesadilla, and we also recommend their Chile Rellenos, Grilled Margarita Chicken Burro and the Tilapia Pacifica. Don’t forget to check out their long list of margaritas too. From the Blackberry Citrus to the Coco Motion, you’re sure to find your new favorite.

Garcia's at Arizona Mills
Garcia’s at Arizona Mills

Loco Patron

222 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 699-0922
Located on the north end of Mill Ave in Downtown Tempe, Loco Patron features a fantastic outdoor patio and delicious food to go with it. Order a fresh squeezed margarita (choose from 11 cool options) to go with your street cart tacos. Several large TVs abound for sports lovers, and the huge bar is ready for every type of drink order. Loco Patron is open late until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and until midnight on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Susie’s Mexican Café

2405 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 966-7091
Susie’s, located on University Drive between Dobson and the 101, has been serving Tempe’s Mexican food craving diners for 20 years. It’s not a fancy place, but that doesn’t mean that the food isn’t excellent. And, they even serve breakfast. Start your day off with the filling Huevos con Chorizo, 2 scrambled eggs with spicy chorizo and beans, a tortilla and rice or potatoes on the side.

Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup

505 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 279-5080
A funny name with a good story: The term “Gadzooks” originated from owner Aaron Pool’s roommate. When Pool’s roommate opened the fridge and saw his leftovers were eaten, he would yell “Gadzooks!” You probably won’t bring home leftovers if you eat at Gadzooks — their food is that good. You can make your own enchiladas here by choosing your meat or vegetarian options, opting for red or green sauce (insider tip – order it “Christmas style” to get both), and then choose your toppings like cheese, guacamole, cabbage and more. Their menu also includes tacos, tortilla soup and other tasty items. And if you have room for more, try their pumpkin cookies which are the perfect ending to your meal. So delicious!

Raspados Paradise

5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 456-3761
Located inside Arizona Mills, this family-owned eatery showcases raspados, a Mexican-style shaved iced drink made popular in Michoacan, Mexico. The owner and his family are from Michoacan and that’s what inspired their restaurant’s menu of authentic raspados, sopes, gorditas, caldos and more flavorful dishes. They use 100% natural ingredients (fresh fruit and not syrup). Order a fresh Tamarindo Obispo with shaved ice, fruit, lechero (condensed milk) and ice cream. Or order a more traditional raspado without the ice cream. Mango, Coconut and Strawberry are all very popular.

For more information about restaurants in Tempe, please visit the Food and Drink section of our website or call the Tempe Tourism Office at 800-283-6734.

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Best Mexican food in Tempe AZ
Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.