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18 Essential Downriver Mexican Restaurants

Where to find the tortas, carnitas, birria, and botanas southwest of the city

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Southwest Detroit has been a hub to the city’s Mexican American and greater Latinx community for more than a century, but as with other diaspora populations in the region looking for opportunities for their families, many have migrated to the suburbs over the years, most notably downriver. Lincoln Park has historically been the epicenter of this migration, however, Melvindale, South Gate, and Allen Park have also become known for their growing Latinx communities.

With that, the options for Mexican restaurants abound downriver. Enjoy social media favorites like birria ramen noodles and quesabirria from Los Charros, tortas from Galindo’s, and gigantic burritos from Taco Truck El Paisano. Come sometime this fall, southwest Detroit favorite Taqueria El Rey is also expected make its move to new digs in Lincoln Park. Here are 18 of the best spots to enjoy Mexican cuisine downriver.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Los Arcos Restaurant Restaurante and Grill

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Just off of Allen Road near West Outer Drive, Los Arcos is run by the Diaz family, who also operate El Parian taco trucks, Los Arcos, and La Palapa del Parian in southwest. This spacious sit-down restaurant offers a variety of traditional dishes such as arrachera, pollo con mole, and camarones a la diabla. They also offer unique menu items like the Hawaiian Burger — pineapple, bacon, beef patty, cheese, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, served with fries and salchipulpos (pan-fried beef sausages).

Pancho's Mexican Restaurant

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This family-owned restaurant has been around for more than 20 years and serves up bountiful large portions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect tacos, burritos, tamales, and chimichangas, as well as chilaquiles with eggs, mini botanas, and carne asada platters with Delmonico steak. For larger dining parties, order a variety of family packs available in any party size. Multiple locations downriver include Lincoln Park, Taylor, and Wyandotte.

The Taco Stand Taqueria

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The Taco Stand Taqueria offers carry-out service with limited stools that surround the building, offering a front-row window into the kitchen. The Taco Stand offers quick service items of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos and has multiple locations around downriver to enjoy carne asada fries and taco stand bowls which are filled with rice, beans, meat, cheese, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Taylor, Garden City, and Riverview locations offer dine in service.

Tijuana's

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Huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and Mexican omelets — Tijuana’s serves breakfast all day in alongside unique menu items like Mexican pizza. The pizza crust made of a large or mini fried flour tortilla that is topped with beans, cheese, tomato, jalapeño, onion, olives, and choice of meat. Six packs of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, flautas, and gorditas are available to-go and the family special includes any two six packs and is served with rice, beans, and salsa combo.

La Bamba Supermarket

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This supermarket has a small counter inside that is serving up lunch specials that include two tacos, rice, and beans, and the marinated pork for al pastor tacos is sliced off the spit to order. As guests wait for food, they can shop at the market’s butcher counter, select imported beers and Mexican sodas from fully-stocked coolers, and check out the shelves of ceramics, gifts, and sweet treats.

El Agave Taqueria

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Located inside the Sunoco gas station on W. Jefferson, El Agave Taqueria serves up Michoacán-style carnitas, large cups of horchata, and tacos are available for $1 on Tuesdays. A separate entrance transports guests from the fluorescent and neon-lit gas station into a bright and bold atmosphere comfortable for both to-go and dine-in service.

El Angel Carniceria & Taqueria

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Don’t drive past this hidden gem on Fort Street in Lincoln Park. A small grocery and butcher counter that has crackling fresh chicharrones served daily, pints of mole sauce available to-go, a selection of fresh cut meats, and a cooler full of paletas. The restaurant has dine-in service and every Wednesday, tacos sell for 10 for $15.

Taco Especial

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The Garcia family has served tacos to the Downriver area since 1979. The specialty is the Mexican sandwich, an open-faced flour tortilla sandwich layered with white beans, another tortilla, Mexican rice, a third tortilla, and topped with guisado de res or guisado de puerco, and melted cheese. The restaurant — attached to 7th Street Market — offers dine-in service and Monday carry-out specials that are regularly updated on Facebook.

Taco Truck El Paisano

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This cash-only truck resides on Southfield, although it has gone through various iterations over the years. This truck, often attracts a line fans, is known for its super burritos — packed with meat, lettuce, onion, cilantro, cheese, tomato, rice, beans, and salsa. Lunch and dinner specials are updated on the handwritten menu beneath the window. The truck is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Sunday.

La Finca Mexican Restaurant

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La Finca serves up large portions of Mexican classics, including huevos con chorizo, wet burritos, enchiladas with green or red sauce, and desserts like flan and flaming ice cream. The tripe stew is available on the weekends, and note, that due to the small size of the restaurant, the tables fill up quickly for dine-in service.

La Finca

Campestre Chicken

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Campestre Chicken offers charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken with flavors from El Salvador, Peru, and Mexico. The chicken meat is a protein in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, seafood dishes, sandwiches, and salads. A few tables are available for dine-in, and the business is more geared towards to-go orders.

Taqueria Los Charros

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Los Charros offers several items made famous on social media, such as beef birria ramen noodles and quesabirrias (a Wednesday special for $10). Here, quesabirrias are made with flour tortillas, cheese, birria, onions, and cilantro pressed to form a quesadilla, and served with a side cup of beefy consomé for dipping. Weekly specials are updated on social media. The restaurant is daily except Mondays.

Galindo's A Taste of Mexico

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Galindo’s is known downriver for their tortas which are served on Mexican bakery rolls made fresh daily, and the back of the menu is compiled of over 20 different flavor varieties. The Chupacabra has breaded chicken, breaded steak, pork, salchica, egg, and queso Oaxaca. The Italian is served with chorizo, salchicha, and queso Oaxaca. The menu also features breakfast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinners with rice and beans, and Tuesday carryout specials on tacos that are updated on social media. Galindo’s also offers its Mexican fare from other locations and two food trucks downriver. One parks near the airport on Grosse Ile and the other on Fort and West Road in Trenton. Follow the food truck and events page for hours.

El Bigotes Tacos & Burgers

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Baked goods, burgers, and taco Tuesday — all under one roof. El Bigotes is located within Vinewood Mexican Bakery and serves quesabirras, tacos, and burgers — all available for carryout limited dining in. Visit the bakery after for pan dulce, cookies, cheesecake, and tamales to take home. On Fat Tuesday, stop in to enjoy fresh baked paczki.

Angelina's Mexican Restaurant

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The Ramirez family is part of a “family dining circuit,” with Linda owning Angelia’s and her siblings who own and operate Blue Margarita and Los Galanes (fun fact: the founder of Los Galanes, Armando Galan, was also the founding owner of Armando’s, the birthplace of Detroit’s ubiquitous botana). The family members frequently hold a friendly competition in which they determine who makes the best salsa between the three. Angelina’s offers carry-out specials in addition to daily dine-in lunch and dinner specials served with rice and beans.

Mexican Gardens Restaurant

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Serving downriver for more than 40 years, Mexican Gardens is a great option for folks headed to MJR Southgate Digital Cinema 20 for its dinner-and-a-movie deal. For $42, guests receive a $25 gift card to the restaurant and two movie tickets. A fully stocked bar serves customers margaritas and imported beers while waiting for a table on busy nights.

Sabor Mexican & Mediterranean

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Sabor combines the flavors of Mexican and Mediterranean on one menu — from wet burritos, chicken shawarma wraps and tacos, taco and fattoush salads, and a dip sampler featuring guacamole, pico de gallo, hummus, and garlic dip, and a mix of tortilla chips and pita bread. For dessert, sopapillas — a fry bread that the spot likens to mini elephant ears, churros, and the occasional baklava. The restaurant also features a vegan taco menu. Sabor is located next to the liquor store with the blue awning on West Road.

Atwater Street Tacos

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Atwater Street Tacos offers tacos with a waterfront view of the Huron River, and its outdoor patio is packed on good weather days. Their Big Ole Burrito is loaded with a choice of meat, refried beans, rice, cilantro, onion, pico del gallo, guacamole, cheese, and chipotle aioli — wrapped and grilled between a jalapeño cheddar tortilla and served with chips and salsa. Cajun shrimp fries are tossed in cajun with cabbage slaw, shrimp, avocado, and drizzled with siracha aioli and cilantro lime. They offer carry-out orders which are perfect for picnics in the nearby park.

Los Arcos Restaurant Restaurante and Grill

Just off of Allen Road near West Outer Drive, Los Arcos is run by the Diaz family, who also operate El Parian taco trucks, Los Arcos, and La Palapa del Parian in southwest. This spacious sit-down restaurant offers a variety of traditional dishes such as arrachera, pollo con mole, and camarones a la diabla. They also offer unique menu items like the Hawaiian Burger — pineapple, bacon, beef patty, cheese, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, served with fries and salchipulpos (pan-fried beef sausages).

Pancho's Mexican Restaurant

This family-owned restaurant has been around for more than 20 years and serves up bountiful large portions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect tacos, burritos, tamales, and chimichangas, as well as chilaquiles with eggs, mini botanas, and carne asada platters with Delmonico steak. For larger dining parties, order a variety of family packs available in any party size. Multiple locations downriver include Lincoln Park, Taylor, and Wyandotte.

The Taco Stand Taqueria

The Taco Stand Taqueria offers carry-out service with limited stools that surround the building, offering a front-row window into the kitchen. The Taco Stand offers quick service items of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos and has multiple locations around downriver to enjoy carne asada fries and taco stand bowls which are filled with rice, beans, meat, cheese, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Taylor, Garden City, and Riverview locations offer dine in service.

Tijuana's

Huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and Mexican omelets — Tijuana’s serves breakfast all day in alongside unique menu items like Mexican pizza. The pizza crust made of a large or mini fried flour tortilla that is topped with beans, cheese, tomato, jalapeño, onion, olives, and choice of meat. Six packs of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, flautas, and gorditas are available to-go and the family special includes any two six packs and is served with rice, beans, and salsa combo.

La Bamba Supermarket

This supermarket has a small counter inside that is serving up lunch specials that include two tacos, rice, and beans, and the marinated pork for al pastor tacos is sliced off the spit to order. As guests wait for food, they can shop at the market’s butcher counter, select imported beers and Mexican sodas from fully-stocked coolers, and check out the shelves of ceramics, gifts, and sweet treats.

El Agave Taqueria

Located inside the Sunoco gas station on W. Jefferson, El Agave Taqueria serves up Michoacán-style carnitas, large cups of horchata, and tacos are available for $1 on Tuesdays. A separate entrance transports guests from the fluorescent and neon-lit gas station into a bright and bold atmosphere comfortable for both to-go and dine-in service.

El Angel Carniceria & Taqueria

Don’t drive past this hidden gem on Fort Street in Lincoln Park. A small grocery and butcher counter that has crackling fresh chicharrones served daily, pints of mole sauce available to-go, a selection of fresh cut meats, and a cooler full of paletas. The restaurant has dine-in service and every Wednesday, tacos sell for 10 for $15.

Taco Especial

The Garcia family has served tacos to the Downriver area since 1979. The specialty is the Mexican sandwich, an open-faced flour tortilla sandwich layered with white beans, another tortilla, Mexican rice, a third tortilla, and topped with guisado de res or guisado de puerco, and melted cheese. The restaurant — attached to 7th Street Market — offers dine-in service and Monday carry-out specials that are regularly updated on Facebook.

Taco Truck El Paisano

This cash-only truck resides on Southfield, although it has gone through various iterations over the years. This truck, often attracts a line fans, is known for its super burritos — packed with meat, lettuce, onion, cilantro, cheese, tomato, rice, beans, and salsa. Lunch and dinner specials are updated on the handwritten menu beneath the window. The truck is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Sunday.

La Finca Mexican Restaurant

La Finca

La Finca serves up large portions of Mexican classics, including huevos con chorizo, wet burritos, enchiladas with green or red sauce, and desserts like flan and flaming ice cream. The tripe stew is available on the weekends, and note, that due to the small size of the restaurant, the tables fill up quickly for dine-in service.

La Finca

Campestre Chicken

Campestre Chicken offers charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken with flavors from El Salvador, Peru, and Mexico. The chicken meat is a protein in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, seafood dishes, sandwiches, and salads. A few tables are available for dine-in, and the business is more geared towards to-go orders.

Taqueria Los Charros

Los Charros offers several items made famous on social media, such as beef birria ramen noodles and quesabirrias (a Wednesday special for $10). Here, quesabirrias are made with flour tortillas, cheese, birria, onions, and cilantro pressed to form a quesadilla, and served with a side cup of beefy consomé for dipping. Weekly specials are updated on social media. The restaurant is daily except Mondays.

Galindo's A Taste of Mexico

Galindo’s is known downriver for their tortas which are served on Mexican bakery rolls made fresh daily, and the back of the menu is compiled of over 20 different flavor varieties. The Chupacabra has breaded chicken, breaded steak, pork, salchica, egg, and queso Oaxaca. The Italian is served with chorizo, salchicha, and queso Oaxaca. The menu also features breakfast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinners with rice and beans, and Tuesday carryout specials on tacos that are updated on social media. Galindo’s also offers its Mexican fare from other locations and two food trucks downriver. One parks near the airport on Grosse Ile and the other on Fort and West Road in Trenton. Follow the food truck and events page for hours.

El Bigotes Tacos & Burgers

Baked goods, burgers, and taco Tuesday — all under one roof. El Bigotes is located within Vinewood Mexican Bakery and serves quesabirras, tacos, and burgers — all available for carryout limited dining in. Visit the bakery after for pan dulce, cookies, cheesecake, and tamales to take home. On Fat Tuesday, stop in to enjoy fresh baked paczki.

Angelina's Mexican Restaurant

The Ramirez family is part of a “family dining circuit,” with Linda owning Angelia’s and her siblings who own and operate Blue Margarita and Los Galanes (fun fact: the founder of Los Galanes, Armando Galan, was also the founding owner of Armando’s, the birthplace of Detroit’s ubiquitous botana). The family members frequently hold a friendly competition in which they determine who makes the best salsa between the three. Angelina’s offers carry-out specials in addition to daily dine-in lunch and dinner specials served with rice and beans.

Related Maps

Mexican Gardens Restaurant