Best Mexican Restaurants in Little Rock

The Mexican food in Little Rock is mostly non-authentic Tex-Mex.  Even the "authentic" Mexican food isn't really.  I hear quite a few complaints that the food is authentic enough (aside from our many taco trucks).  On the other hand, we have pretty great Tex-Mex here.  These are my faves of the many Mexican eateries in our city. To me, Tex-Mex is hot, spicy flavors and dishes like enchiladas, fajitas and tacos. Authentic Mexican food is more bold than spicy and they have dishes like chile rellenos and Carnitas. Some places serve both types of food, and we do have a few places serving up truly authentic Mexican food.  You just have to know where to look.

  • 01 of 12
    Enchildas

    Senor Tequila is an authentic Mexican restaurant. They have a lot of dishes that you won't find elsewhere and they make some very good sauces to go with them.They tend to be a favorite among people who don't really care for Tex-Mex. Located on 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road, 224-5505.

  • 02 of 12

    Heights Taco and Tamale

    The New Satillo Plate
    ••• The New Satillo Plate. Amanda Galiano

    Heights Taco and Tamale offers a unique take on Mexican cuisine with  HT&T serves delta style tamales, complete with crackers and Southern style tacos, including a fried catfish taco.  Their tamales are great and I do enjoy their unique salsa and taco flavors.  Located on 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd., 663-9956. Open Tue.-Sat.

  • 03 of 12
    Burrioto
    ••• Chuy's Big as Your Face burrito with boom-boom sauce. Amanda Galiano
    Chuy's is a chain that originates in Austin and they have a quirky menu, fresh ingredients and a fun atmosphere.  They make their tortillas by hand, and most of their sauces are made fresh.  Try the chicka-chicka boom-boom. Moderately priced. Located at 1601 Chenal Parkway, 501-821-248.

     

  • 04 of 12

    Taqueria El Palenque

    This is probably the most authentic Mexican restaurant in central Arkansas and it's kind of a hidden gem. Not a lot of locals even know about it.  Think a great taco truck on steroids.  You've got to try their chimichangas.  Located at 9501 N Rodney Parham Rd.

     

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  • 05 of 12
    El Porton Cheese Enchiladas
    ••• El Porton Cheese Enchiladas. Amanda Galiano
    I like the food at El Porton and it's not pricey. They have a large selection of authentic dinners to choose from. The atmosphere leaves a little to be desired but the food is great. Located at 12111 W. Markham St., 223-8588. Open 7 days a week.
  • 06 of 12
    Local Lime
    ••• Amanda Galiano
    Local Lime is known for their tacos and margaritas.  They have an innovative menu, and great margaritas.  They have several varities of salsa you can order in a salsa sampler and excellent cheese dip.  They are a local favorite.  Located at 17815 Chenal Parkwy, 501-448-2226.
  • 07 of 12
    Cantina Laredo
    ••• Amanda Galiano

    Cantina Laredo ha interesting food with some unique dishes.  They are "upscale Mexican," which means they are kind of pricey, but the quality is pretty good. i enjoy their mole.  Located in Midtowne, on 207 North University Avenue, 501-280-0407.

  • 08 of 12
    Casa Manana Chicken Tacos
    ••• Casa Manana Chicken Tacos. Amanda Galiano

    Casa Manana has great food and a great deck. The food is more authentic than Tex-Mex and the service is always great. If the weather is nice, get a seat outside and enjoy a margarita.  Located at 6820 Cantrell Road, 501-280-9888.

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  • 09 of 12

    La Hacienda is a local of favorite for authentic Mexican food. If you think "authentic" Mexican is bland, try their spicy green salsa. The rest of their food is great too. The service can be hit or miss. They are moderately priced and open 7 days a week. They are located on 3024 Cantrell Rd. Call 661-0600 for more information or takeout.

  • 10 of 12

    Riviera Maya

    Riveria Maya Burrito
    ••• Amanda Galiano

    Reasonably priced authentic Mexican food (entrees around $7). They have great salsa and cheese dip. Nice atmosphere on the inside. Located on 801 Fair Park, 501-664-4800.

  • 11 of 12
    Mexico Chiquito
    ••• Mexico Chiquito. Amanda Galiano

    With a newer dine-in restaurant on Cantrell, a drive through at their old location (on Rodney Parham) and a new takeout on Markham, you're never far from Mexico Chiquito. They have decent food at decent prices. It's not the best but it is the place to go for a quick Mexican food fix. Dine-in on 13924 Cantrell, 217-0700.

  • 12 of 12
    Not just your typical Tex-Mex, they also have pasta, salads and sandwiches. They do traditional Tex-Mex well. Located on 811 Kavanaugh Blvd, 501-664-2068.