AgaveIf you check on a regular basis, then you’ve read the What’s Good reviews by our intrepid team of Intown food lovers.

We asked the reviewers to talk about their favorite Mexican or Tex/Mex restaurants in the metro. Participating in the round up: poet, Georgia Tech professor and self-proclaimed foodie Karen Head; graphic artist Thom Volarath; Wren’s Nest director Lain Shakespeare and INtown’s editor Collin Kelley, who never met an enchilada he didn’t like.

Of course, we couldn’t cover them all, so we want you – our faithful readers – to suggest your favorites. Visit our website, go to our Facebook fan page or send us a tweet to our Twitter account ( and tell us where you love to go for your taco and chips fix. You might see your name and suggestions in our September issue!

Nuevo Laredo Cantina
The Chattahoochee Avenue fixture often tops favorite lists in the city, and Karen Head couldn’t agree more. “Hands down the best Mexican I’ve had anywhere. The salsa is utterly addictive,” she said. “They also have fabulous tamales and excellent Mexican seafood dishes. My favorite is the chicken enchiladas with verde sauce.” We suggest you go early or for lunch, because the place is usually packed.

The Cabbagetown restaurant’s southwestern-inspire menu packs some Tex/Mex punch, especially the Cayenne Fried Chicken. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the Cayenne Fried Chick is so good it will make you snap into the fetal position,” Collin Kelley said. “You also can’t go wrong with the beef and pepper enchiladas and the tenderloin medallions.” They also easily accommodate vegetarians with choices that will satisfy any meat lover.

Taqueria del Sol
With three locations in Atlanta (Westside, Decatur and Cheshire Bridge Road) and one in Athens, the line at lunch can be daunting, but the staff knows how to get your order and get the food to your table quickly. The fish tacos are the star here. Lain Shakespeare said living so close to Taqueria del Sol is both a “blessing and a curse because every time I head out the door, the smell of brisket seems to waft my way.  Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I turn around, shove my way through the line, and saddle right up to the bar.” Thom Volarath concurred stating that the food is “consistently delicious and always affordable.”

Mi Barro
Nothing fancy at this Memoria Drive eatery, but the food is authentic and good, Head said. “The handmade corn tortillas are delicious. If you are feeling adventurous, they even have things like tongue and cactus. This place is particularly nice for families.” (404) 223-9279

El Azteca
There are a number of restaurants in the metro called El Azteca, but the one on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood is the one most people think of. It’s fast, tasty and reliably good, Kelley said. “The chips are hot, the cheese dip is creamy and has just the right amount of jalpeno peppers, the beef enchiladas are second to none and the margaritas are good, too.” The patio is often packed in good weather.

A relative newcomer to Inman Park, it’s already got a steady following of Tex/Mex fans. The carne a ala parilla (that’s grilled hanger steak) comes topped with a sweet corn chimichurri and jalapeno mac ‘n cheese and is impossible to finish in one meal. Luckily, it heats up nicely at home. The beef brisket tacos get a punch from the smoky red onions and chile salsa, while the fish tacos with poblano slaw are also recommended.

Thom Volarath named this city staple as one of his favorites, noting that it’s the “true definition of a local favorite and has a devoted Buckhead following. The food is always quick and delicious.” (404) 233-9244

Uncle Julio’s
Uncle Julio’s big dining rooms and giant portions make this the perfect weekend family restaurant, whether at the original Buckhead location on Peachtree Road or at the Perimeter. Juanita’s Platter – featuring two enchiladas, a crispy taco and a tamale could be a meal for two, Kelley said.

Original El Taco
Head recommends starting with the lime-salted corn chips and then try a Mexican pizza made on flatbread with vegetarian refried beans, tomato, avocado, radish, hot peppers and cheese. The wood-grilled fajitas with marinated steak or chicken are also recommended at this Virginia-Highland Tex/Mex outpost.

Bone Garden Cantina
Volarath likes the whimsical skeleton themed atmosphere of Bone Garden on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard on the Westside. “It’s great authentic Mexican menu that goes beyond the basic Speedy Gonzales of most restaurants,” he said. The Al Pastor taco (chopped, marinated pork with pineapple) and Pescado Negro with blackened tilapia are favorites.

Holy Taco
Kelley frequents this East Atlanta Village restaurant, known for its illuminated praying hands and giant patio. He loves the extra-thick chips and array of dips, plus an entrée of the carne salteado, which is sautéed skirt steak with a spicy Mexican sauce. With nearly 40 tequilas on the menu, a margarita is a must.

Hankook Taqueria
Okay, so this is a Korean taco joint, but Volarath said this Collier Road eatery has become a new favorite.  Volarath said: “The tacos are pretty self-explanatory. It’s meat, with sauce and veggies. What makes theirs different, are the Korean spices and flavors. I’ve tried all the tacos, but my favorites are the beef “Bul Gogi” taco and the fish “Saeng Seon” taco. The former is marinated in a mild spicy barbeque sauce and the latter is panko-crusted tilapia with a hoisin tartar sauce.” (404) 352-8881

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.