Cinco de Mayo comes but once a year, but the hunger for great Mexican food—and drink— is a craving that can strike at any time. Fortunately, the Charlotte region has a number of restaurants where the guacamole is fresh, the tacos are stuffed to capacity, and the margaritas just keep coming.
Upscale Mexican cuisine is the latest trend, with Cali-style fish tacos and tasting flights of top shelf tequilas making a splash, but the city still has plenty of traditional Mexican spots, often run by families that hail from south of the border, where you can score authentic enchiladas and a tasty tres leches.
With over 200 restaurants serving Mexican-style food in the region, we can't hope to review every one. We won't be talking about the national chains, such as On the Border and Chili's, although both have locations around the city, and serve some decent and reliable Mexican-style cuisine (as well as great margaritas).
And we won't be talking about the numerous taquerias that line Central Avenue and South Boulevard, where you can find the city's most authentic Mexican cuisine, prepared by and for our huge Latino community. There are bound to be many hidden gems, and we invite readers to comment and share about spots we've missed.
The recently renamed Crazy Taco (just down the hill from Krazy Fish on Central) looks like a good bet for authentic Mexican fast food.
Also, we're skipping the many burrito bars, where fresh, design-your-own burritos are available fast. Spots like Chipotle, Moe's, Johnny's Burritos in Uptown, Salsarita's and the venerable Phat Burrito are great bets for a fast meal—or a catered Cinco de Mayo party. And let's not forget the food trucks.