Best Mexican Restaurants in Gainesville, FL

Finding the best Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, FL can be hard work! But we’ve done the hard part for you – experience the definitive flavors of Mexican cuisine with a visit to our favorite spots.

Gainesville is lucky to have so many great mexican restaurants. Choosing which one to visit is always the hardest decision. More than just great food, many have a great festive atmosphere and attentive service that create a welcoming environment to make every meal special.

Join us as we explore these local Mexican favorites right in the heart of Gainesville!

mexican appetizer

Best Dine-In Mexican Restaurants to Enjoy A Margarita

Nopal by Cintron

Nopal by Cintron is a hidden gem that locals love. Located off NW 34th street, it’s outdoor patio looks out over a large wooded area making you feel like you’ve left the city.

While Nopal has many Mexican favorites, like their carne asada tacos, they also have fusion inspired dishes. Like the pork belly tacos, ribs with tequila lime BBQ sauce or chicken milanese with a creamy chorizo chipotle sauce.

Don’t forget to order their signature Frida margarita and save room for dessert. Their corn creme brulee is a crowd favorite. Their taco Tuesday specials are great deals with $3 tacos, $3 draft Modelo beer and $4 margaritas.

Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina

Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina is the perfect spot for a delicious and authentic Mexican meal. Their menu features a variety of dishes made with fresh ingredients, including their famous Nachos Peppers, Chicken Wings, and Quesabirrias.

They also offer daily specials like 2 for 1 Small House Margaritas and Small Drafts all day every day. Plus, they have an extensive Tequila collection to choose from!

The family owned restaurant is conveniently located in Newberry Square and offers friendly service that will make you feel right at home.

Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant

Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant is located in the Creekside Mall Taking over the old Calico Jacks Oyster Bar space. We loved Cjs and glad to see a new restaurant utilize the space to it’s fullest.

The owners have done a good job turning it into a lively Mexican restaurant and have also included outdoor seating in the front. They offer a wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, and classic favorites like chile rellenos and tamales.

For those looking for something a little different, Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant also offers unique dishes such as the Pollo Azteca (grilled chicken with roasted poblano peppers in a creamy sauce) and the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (shrimp sautéed in garlic butter).

No matter what you’re craving, Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant has something to satisfy your appetite. And don’t forget their drinks. A sampler of flavored margaritas was one of the highlights of our meal!

Las Margaritas

Las Margaritas offers up an authentic sit down Mexican dining experience with big portions and delicious chips and salsa. The restaurant has a festive atmosphere with brightly painted decor, and the menu includes classic cuisine and lots of different margaritas.

With margaritas in their name, you know they have the best in Gainesville. The hardest choice will be what to eat with your margarita. Their menu selection has so many choices including lots of vegetarian options.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable night with family and friends, Las Margaritas is the perfect place to go! With its great food and friendly service, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.

Linda Vista

Linda Vista, located in the Tower Square off Archer Rd, is a fantastic option for great mexican fare. While it’s unassuming exterior might fool you, it’s a quaint place to hang out and enjoy some truly great drinks and food.

With a wide variety of dishes ranging from appetizers to house specialties, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with friendly staff that will make you feel right at home.

Plus, the prices are very reasonable! Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a full meal, Linda Vista Mexican Restaurant has something for everyone.

La Fiesta

La Fiesta has been serving Gainesville since 1989 and is the OG for good mexican food here in North Florida. It’s a perfect place for a night out with friends or family. With its vibrant atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine, La Fiesta located right off I-75 and NW 39th avenue, offers something for everyone.

From tacos and burritos to enchiladas and quesadillas, there’s something for every taste. The restaurant also features a full bar with an extensive selection of tequilas, margaritas, and other cocktails. Plus, the staff is always friendly and accommodating.

Whether you’re looking for a casual dinner or an evening of fun and entertainment, La Fiesta has it all! You’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget!

Blue Agave Mexican Restaurant

Located near the Thornebrook area, Blue Agave Mexican Restaurant has something for everyone, from their signature margaritas to their mouthwatering tacos. Their menu features classic dishes like enchiladas, burritos, and fajitas and unique creations like the Cielo Rojo or Blue Agave’Rita.

The warm and inviting atmosphere, with plenty of seating for large groups or intimate gatherings. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or an evening out with friends, Blue Agave is the perfect spot to enjoy delicious Mexican food.

For vegans or vegetarians, they have one of the largest menu selections so you don’t miss out on all your favorite mexican cravings.

Boca Fiesta

Boca Fiesta is a must-visit restaurant to hang out downtown on their outdoor patio. With daily specials such as BOGO margaritas on Mondays, 2 for $5 tacos on Tuesdays, and $6 burritos/bowls on Wednesdays, there’s always something new to try.

Their $2 tequila, whiskey, and PBR specials are especially popular on Thursdays. The restaurant stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays.

Signature dishes include their famous tacos al pastor made with marinated pork and pineapple salsa along with their chile relleno burrito filled with roasted poblano peppers and cheese.

The Elote is a must-try dish that combines grilled corn with queso fresco, cilantro, lime juice, and chili powder. The atmosphere at Boca Fiesta is lively yet laid-back and the perfect spot to enjoy great food and drinks with friends.

Best Counter Service Mexican Restaurants

Cilantro Tacos

If you’re looking for delicious baja California Mexican cuisine,then Cilantro Tacos is the place to be. This counter service restaurant, located with Tioga, offers an array of signature tacos and other dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

From their Carne Asada tacos topped with melted cheese and fresh guacamole to their famous Pescado Frito tacos made with crispy fried fish and garnished with cilantro and limes, there’s something for everyone.

Not only is the food delicious, but it’s also affordable too! Cilantro Tacos will satisfy your appetite whether you’re in the mood for lunch or dinner.

El Indio Mexican Restaurant

El Indio Mexican Restaurant has been serving great quick affordable mexican since 1992. With two locations, you can get your Mexican food fix no matter where you are in the city. Their drive thru offers a quick option for a great mexican lunch.

The menu at El Indio features classic Mexican dishes made with authentic flavors and sauces. I highly recommend the breakfast tacos, which always remind me of Austin, the birthplace of breakfast tacos.

While they have an extensive mexican menu, including lots of vegetarian options, their North of the Border menu includes one of the best burgers and fries combo in Gainesville.

La Tienda

Located on SW 13th St, La Tienda has been a local favorite for a long time. You can find all your favorite Mexican dishes including tacos, burritos, tortas and more.

Their Birria tacos are fantastic! Not just a restaurant, they also have traditional Mexican groceries, breads and candies to take home.

The atmosphere at La Tienda is always welcoming and the service is always on point. Plus their portions are generous for the price. With rave reviews from everyone who visit, it’s no wonder why La Tienda is one of the most popular spots in Gainesville for Mexican food.

Munecas Downtown Taco Garden

Located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, Muecas Downtown Taco Garden offers delicious counter service with great outdoor seating overlooking the Bo Diddley Plaza.

Their tacos are some of the best in Gainesville. With flavorful combinations like the black and blue steak Taco or their vegan Volcano Tempeh Taco. Their taco tuesday specials with happy hour will be your new favorite hangout.

And if tacos aren’t your thing, we can’t be friends. But, you can still enjoy Munecas delicious salads, curry, fried rice and rice bowls all served with their delicious protein choices.

Speaking of happy hour, they have great weekly drink specials including bottomless mimosas on Sunday. What better way to end your week, than tacos and guava or mango mimosas!

Tacos 352

Tacos 352 hasn’t been here long, but they’ve made quite an impression as some of the best authentic street tacos in Gainesville.

Located close to Sante Fe College, Tacos 352 is a counter serve restaurant that offers up all your favorite Mexican street foods like tacos, street corn and aguas frescas. Try their birria tacos and horchata drink and leave room for churros!

If you’re looking for an excellent taco experience in Gainesville, FL then look no further than Tacos 352!

BONUS Mexican Restaurant

Chuy’s

We always like to showcase local restaurants rather than franchises or corporate chains but Chuy’s is an exception since we dined at the original in Austin Texas over 20 years ago and still go every time we visit family. We were so excited when we found out it was coming to Gainesville.

Chuy’s in Gainesville hasn’t disappointed us either. If you want a good idea of what tex-mex is all about, Chuy’s has you covered. With quirky designed decorations and great food, it’s a great place to share a meal with friends and family. Try the jalapeno ranch on anything and everything.

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Christina Harris Senior Content Manager

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