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A plate of grilled veggies, beans, and some sort of entree covered in a creamy sauce with three fried chips arranged on top like sails on a ship.
El Asador in Detroit.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

18 Great Independent Mexican Restaurants to Support Now

Classic tamal shops, steakhouses, seafood restaurants, and more

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El Asador in Detroit.
| Michelle and Chris Gerard

There’s always a good excuse to eat Mexican food. Detroit and Downriver are home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the state, and diners have been gravitating there for years in pursuit of their favorite taco spots and margarita slingers. From classic tamale shops to steakhouses, here are some of metro Detroit’s finest independent Mexican restaurants to support on May 5, Taco Tuesday, or any other day of the year.

A number of metro Detroit restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still many safety concerns and the state is advising that people avoid indoor dining, particularly for those who are not vaccinated. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the state of Michigan’s coronavirus tracker.

Where’s your favorite spot for Mexican food in Metro Detroit? Let us know at detroit@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Galindo's A Taste of Mexico

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13754 Fort St
Southgate, MI 48195
(734) 324-1141
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Downriver may not be well known as a dining destination, but it arguably has some of the state’s best Mexican food. Chef Galindo serves up a taste of his hometown of Mexico City. Ciudad de México is known for its food, particularly the torta, a sandwich served on an bolillo, and Galindo serves it a dozen ways, in addition to other Mexican classics. Online ordering is available.

2. Manuel's Taco Hut

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16806 Ecorse Rd
Allen Park, MI 48101
(313) 383-3030
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Manuel has drawn people to its dining room from throughout southeastern Michigan since 1987. Most customers go for the combo, which includes a taco, enchilada, tostada, burrito, or tamal. Carryout orders will be delivered curbside-only.

3. Mangonadas Del Barrio

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1210 Lawndale St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 724-6074
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A mangonada, the treat that the shop is named after, is a chilled fruit drink comprising of mangos, chamoy, chili powder, and lime juice, but the shop also offers ice creams, agua frescas, and Mexican street foods like Dorilocos. If you like sweet and decadent, take out the Gloria mangonada, which contains eggnog and sweetened milk. The fruit in the cup is as fresh as it gets. The sweet, spicy, and salty Mangonada Queen and Elote contains mangos, chili powder, lime and chamoy. with crushed Flaming Hot Cheetos.

mangonada with chilled mango and what looks like chili powder and lime juice Courtesy of Mangonadas

4. Loncheria El Parian

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4802 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

El Parian has a fleet of “do-not-miss” taco trucks in six locations throughout the neighborhood. For a sit-down meal and a full bar offering margaritas, pop by La Palapa del Parian, its brick-and-mortar spot. Brick-and-mortar temporarily closed due to fire damage.

The trailer for Loncheria El Parian on a sunny day on West Vernor.
One of the trailers for Loncheria El Parian on West Vernor.
Brenna Houck

5. El Asador Steakhouse

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1312 Springwells St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 297-2360
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This southwest Detroit gem is a great spot to splurge on a steak flavored with poblano pepper or savor a plate of grilled fish tacos. Reservations are a must for indoor dining or for seating — parties of four or more — in one of the all-season, enclosed outdoor luminaria. Trays to go at this halal spot are perfect for large parties.

Plates of rice, steak fajitas, and three bowls of soup with crisp tortilla curls on top sit at the window at El Asador steakhouse
El Asador serves rice, steak fajitas, and soup with crisp tortillas.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

6. La Terraza

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8445 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 843-1433
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For fine Mexican dining or a special occasion, head to La Terraza, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For service, order online.

7. Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado

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8065 w Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 652-5247
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This restaurant specializes in the cuisine of the Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states of Mexico.  One of the specialties is sushi, like the guamuchilitio, topped with eel sauce and avocado.

8. La Michoacana

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4336 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 438-6341
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This southwest Detroit dessert parlor is exceptionally popular on sunny days as families and kids stop in for scoops of ice cream and fruit popsicles. Neveria La Michoacana also offers Mexican street food snacks like Dorilocos and refreshing aguas frescas.

Three people holding up red, yellow and green colorful fruit popsicles
The parlor is popular on warm days, a perfect time for a fruit popsicle.
Courtesy of La Michoacana

9. Tamaleria Nuevo Leon

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2669 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-8066
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Mexicantown carryout restaurant Tamaleria Nuevo Leon has been serving tamales to Detroiters since the 1950s. The restaurant keeps the menu simple with fast, friendly service. During the week of Cinco de Mayo, all varies of tamales are available. Expect fillings like pork and chicken alongside rotating specials such as cheese-jalapeño tamales. This spot is cash-only. .

A girl in a white shirt and black jeans is shown mid-air jumping to hit a purple piñata in front of the white and red Tamaleria Nuevo Leon restaurant.
A girl breaks a piñata in front of Tamaleria Nuevo Leon.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

10. Taqueria El Rey

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4730 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 357-3094
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The first intoxicating whiff of Taqueria El Rey’s grilled chicken makes it abundantly clear why this West Vernor restaurant has been packed for 20 years. Order a whole or half grilled chicken complete with rice, beans, tortillas, and house salsas or mix and match the restaurant’s selection of tacos. It’s hard to go wrong here. Both dine-in and carryout are available.

A smiling woman in a takeout window at Taqueria El Ray
Taqueria El Rey
Michelle and Chris Gerard

11. Mi Pueblo

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7278 Dix St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 841-3315
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Mi Pueblo, a Mexican mainstay in Detroit, serves all the staples including California-style burritos, tostadas, chimichangas, and crispy gorditas. There’s even handmade corn tortillas. Amid the pandemic, there are cocktails to-go.

12. Taqueria El Nacimiento

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7400 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 554-1790
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This family-owned establishment is a Southwest neighborhood staple, not the least because it stays open late on weekends. True to the town of El Nacimiento, for which it’s named, the restaurant serves authentic Mexican food in a family friendly atmosphere. Strong cocktails also are served alongside options like steak fajitas, green salsa spare ribs, and whole fried fish. Dine in or carry out.

13. Taqueria Nuestra Familia

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7620 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 842-5668

With its colorful dining room accented by vibrantly illustrated tables and chairs, Nuestra Familia is a lively destination for Mexican cuisine in Detroit. Meals always start with a plentiful helping of chips and salsa. Customers favor the tacos prepared with handmade tortillas but the menu also features options like pozole, tortas, and fried fish. Tacos are available for carryout or delivery.

14. Sheila’s Bakery

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2142 Springwells St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 841-8480

The pastry institution is a destination for a quick breakfast snack and a coffee as well as a special occasion. Load up on all manner of fresh pan dulces — seasonal pan de muerto, chocolate-dipped orejas, gingerbread cochinitos, and more. 

15. M Cantina

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13214 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 399-9117
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Chef-owner Junior Merino brought this refined Nuevo Latino street food restaurant to Dearborn in 2017, and it became a sleeper hit. M Cantina serves a variety of tacos and tortas with fillings like duck carnitas and braised short rib alongside snacks like grilled elotes. The menu is halal and showcases a variety of fresh juices. Due to limited restaurant capacity, reservations are required and guests must complete a COVID tracing form. Takeout orders are delivered at curbside.

16. El Barzon

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3710 Junction St
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 894-2070
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Chef Norberto Garita is just as adept with making mushroom and ricotta ravioli as he is with mole poblano, which makes for a one-of-a-kind dining experience at El Barzon Restaurante. This fine-dining institution pays homage to the cuisine of Italy and Puebla, Mexico, in an upscale atmosphere that includes an expansive wine list, great cocktails, and a lovely brick patio. Order online for delivery, or reserve a table.

17. O.W.L.

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27302 Woodward Ave #0927
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 808-6244
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This 24-7 Royal Oak diner puts a creative spin on Mexican-American comfort food: think a chorizo sausage and cheese sandwich, eggs with cilantro potatoes and Texas toast, and choco flan for dessert. Order online for pickup.

18. Tienda Mexicana

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John R Square, 31642 John R Rd
Madison Heights, MI 48071
(248) 801-9279
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One of metro Detroit’s finest taquerias is tucked inside a Mexican market in a strip mall off John R. Road. While most patrons go for the corn tacos that are served with the standard cilantro, onion, and lime accoutrements, the restaurant’s enormous tortas are some of the best sandwiches in town. Dine-in or carry out.

1. Galindo's A Taste of Mexico

13754 Fort St, Southgate, MI 48195

Downriver may not be well known as a dining destination, but it arguably has some of the state’s best Mexican food. Chef Galindo serves up a taste of his hometown of Mexico City. Ciudad de México is known for its food, particularly the torta, a sandwich served on an bolillo, and Galindo serves it a dozen ways, in addition to other Mexican classics. Online ordering is available.

13754 Fort St
Southgate, MI 48195

2. Manuel's Taco Hut

16806 Ecorse Rd, Allen Park, MI 48101

Manuel has drawn people to its dining room from throughout southeastern Michigan since 1987. Most customers go for the combo, which includes a taco, enchilada, tostada, burrito, or tamal. Carryout orders will be delivered curbside-only.

16806 Ecorse Rd
Allen Park, MI 48101

3. Mangonadas Del Barrio

1210 Lawndale St, Detroit, MI 48209
mangonada with chilled mango and what looks like chili powder and lime juice Courtesy of Mangonadas

A mangonada, the treat that the shop is named after, is a chilled fruit drink comprising of mangos, chamoy, chili powder, and lime juice, but the shop also offers ice creams, agua frescas, and Mexican street foods like Dorilocos. If you like sweet and decadent, take out the Gloria mangonada, which contains eggnog and sweetened milk. The fruit in the cup is as fresh as it gets. The sweet, spicy, and salty Mangonada Queen and Elote contains mangos, chili powder, lime and chamoy. with crushed Flaming Hot Cheetos.

1210 Lawndale St
Detroit, MI 48209

4. Loncheria El Parian

4802 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
The trailer for Loncheria El Parian on a sunny day on West Vernor.
One of the trailers for Loncheria El Parian on West Vernor.
Brenna Houck

El Parian has a fleet of “do-not-miss” taco trucks in six locations throughout the neighborhood. For a sit-down meal and a full bar offering margaritas, pop by La Palapa del Parian, its brick-and-mortar spot. Brick-and-mortar temporarily closed due to fire damage.

4802 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

5. El Asador Steakhouse

1312 Springwells St, Detroit, MI 48209
Plates of rice, steak fajitas, and three bowls of soup with crisp tortilla curls on top sit at the window at El Asador steakhouse
El Asador serves rice, steak fajitas, and soup with crisp tortillas.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

This southwest Detroit gem is a great spot to splurge on a steak flavored with poblano pepper or savor a plate of grilled fish tacos. Reservations are a must for indoor dining or for seating — parties of four or more — in one of the all-season, enclosed outdoor luminaria. Trays to go at this halal spot are perfect for large parties.

1312 Springwells St
Detroit, MI 48209

6. La Terraza

8445 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209

For fine Mexican dining or a special occasion, head to La Terraza, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For service, order online.

8445 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

7. Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado

8065 w Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209

This restaurant specializes in the cuisine of the Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states of Mexico.  One of the specialties is sushi, like the guamuchilitio, topped with eel sauce and avocado.

8065 w Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

8. La Michoacana

4336 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
Three people holding up red, yellow and green colorful fruit popsicles
The parlor is popular on warm days, a perfect time for a fruit popsicle.
Courtesy of La Michoacana

This southwest Detroit dessert parlor is exceptionally popular on sunny days as families and kids stop in for scoops of ice cream and fruit popsicles. Neveria La Michoacana also offers Mexican street food snacks like Dorilocos and refreshing aguas frescas.

4336 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

9. Tamaleria Nuevo Leon

2669 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216
A girl in a white shirt and black jeans is shown mid-air jumping to hit a purple piñata in front of the white and red Tamaleria Nuevo Leon restaurant.
A girl breaks a piñata in front of Tamaleria Nuevo Leon.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Mexicantown carryout restaurant Tamaleria Nuevo Leon has been serving tamales to Detroiters since the 1950s. The restaurant keeps the menu simple with fast, friendly service. During the week of Cinco de Mayo, all varies of tamales are available. Expect fillings like pork and chicken alongside rotating specials such as cheese-jalapeño tamales. This spot is cash-only. .

2669 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48216

10. Taqueria El Rey

4730 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
A smiling woman in a takeout window at Taqueria El Ray
Taqueria El Rey
Michelle and Chris Gerard

The first intoxicating whiff of Taqueria El Rey’s grilled chicken makes it abundantly clear why this West Vernor restaurant has been packed for 20 years. Order a whole or half grilled chicken complete with rice, beans, tortillas, and house salsas or mix and match the restaurant’s selection of tacos. It’s hard to go wrong here. Both dine-in and carryout are available.

4730 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

11. Mi Pueblo

7278 Dix St, Detroit, MI 48209

Mi Pueblo, a Mexican mainstay in Detroit, serves all the staples including California-style burritos, tostadas, chimichangas, and crispy gorditas. There’s even handmade corn tortillas. Amid the pandemic, there are cocktails to-go.

7278 Dix St
Detroit, MI 48209

12. Taqueria El Nacimiento

7400 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209

This family-owned establishment is a Southwest neighborhood staple, not the least because it stays open late on weekends. True to the town of El Nacimiento, for which it’s named, the restaurant serves authentic Mexican food in a family friendly atmosphere. Strong cocktails also are served alongside options like steak fajitas, green salsa spare ribs, and whole fried fish. Dine in or carry out.

7400 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

13. Taqueria Nuestra Familia

7620 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209

With its colorful dining room accented by vibrantly illustrated tables and chairs, Nuestra Familia is a lively destination for Mexican cuisine in Detroit. Meals always start with a plentiful helping of chips and salsa. Customers favor the tacos prepared with handmade tortillas but the menu also features options like pozole, tortas, and fried fish. Tacos are available for carryout or delivery.

7620 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

14. Sheila’s Bakery

2142 Springwells St, Detroit, MI 48209

The pastry institution is a destination for a quick breakfast snack and a coffee as well as a special occasion. Load up on all manner of fresh pan dulces — seasonal pan de muerto, chocolate-dipped orejas, gingerbread cochinitos, and more. 

2142 Springwells St
Detroit, MI 48209

15. M Cantina

13214 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126

Chef-owner Junior Merino brought this refined Nuevo Latino street food restaurant to Dearborn in 2017, and it became a sleeper hit. M Cantina serves a variety of tacos and tortas with fillings like duck carnitas and braised short rib alongside snacks like grilled elotes. The menu is halal and showcases a variety of fresh juices. Due to limited restaurant capacity, reservations are required and guests must complete a COVID tracing form. Takeout orders are delivered at curbside.

13214 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126

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16. El Barzon

3710 Junction St, Detroit, MI 48210

Chef Norberto Garita is just as adept with making mushroom and ricotta ravioli as he is with mole poblano, which makes for a one-of-a-kind dining experience at El Barzon Restaurante. This fine-dining institution pays homage to the cuisine of Italy and Puebla, Mexico, in an upscale atmosphere that includes an expansive wine list, great cocktails, and a lovely brick patio. Order online for delivery, or reserve a table.

3710 Junction St
Detroit, MI 48210

17. O.W.L.

27302 Woodward Ave #0927, Royal Oak, MI 48067

This 24-7 Royal Oak diner puts a creative spin on Mexican-American comfort food: think a chorizo sausage and cheese sandwich, eggs with cilantro potatoes and Texas toast, and choco flan for dessert. Order online for pickup.

27302 Woodward Ave #0927
Royal Oak, MI 48067

18. Tienda Mexicana

John R Square, 31642 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071

One of metro Detroit’s finest taquerias is tucked inside a Mexican market in a strip mall off John R. Road. While most patrons go for the corn tacos that are served with the standard cilantro, onion, and lime accoutrements, the restaurant’s enormous tortas are some of the best sandwiches in town. Dine-in or carry out.

John R Square, 31642 John R Rd
Madison Heights, MI 48071

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