Tex-Mex is one of the most popular fusion cuisines there is today. This union of Texan and Mexican food is neither distinctly from the South, nor from the country of Mexico. Rather it is its own unique fare. Brought about by the Tejano’s, an American-Mexican group from the South, this cuisine has become increasingly popular. In fact, many of us eat it without even realizing it. If you’re a fan of breakfast burritos, nachos, queso dip and all that read on to find the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Virginia.
Established in 1982 in Austin, Texas at an old abandoned barbecue house, co-founders Mike Young and John Zapp had a vision for a fun and funky restaurant. Serving authentic and fresh food, they have a mix of flavors that guests truly enjoy. From fifteen restaurants in Texas, they sprouted out across the country. Chuy’s in Virginia is now among the most popular Tex-Mex food joints.
Expect to find all your favorites here made fresh daily. From hand rolled tortillas, to ten different sauces newly cooked each day. In fact, even their lime juice is freshly squeezed and their pulled meats prepped by hand. They have a wide menu to choose from starting with appetizers and soups down to much loved classics like burritos, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and more.
2. El Tio Tex-Mex Grill
A local chain restaurant, it is no wonder that this food joint has opened up in three different locations in Virginia and one in Washington D.C. If you’re looking for a good family restaurant that has good food and service as well, this is the right place to go. Much loved for their offerings, El Tio has an extensive lunch and dinner menu to choose from.
They also offer party platters that are popular among large groups. Adults also enjoy their cocktails, specifically their margaritas which come in a variety of flavors and preparations. Beers and other premium liquors are available as well to go with meals.
3. Side Street Cantina
If you find yourself in the bay area of Virginia Beach and craving for Tex-Mex, make your way to this casual dining restaurant. A fun and friendly atmosphere adds to the excitement of looking forward to your meal. An open air kitchen makes waiting fun as you can see and smell everything that’s going on.
They offer all the standard Mexican fare with pork Carnitas being a local favorite. Pair their classic dishes with their more innovative dips and entrees for a more exciting experience. At Street Side Cantina, each meal is always a fiesta, especially with their live entertainment and the upbeat ambiance of the place.
Aptly named, this large chain of restaurants is inspired by the dishes that Chef Luis’ grandmother taught him to make. Described as the heart and soul of the company, Chef Luis is responsible for coming up with all the menu items. He carries out the same flavors and techniques that he learned from his grandma years ago.
With 38 different branches in 14 states, there’s no questioning the taste and quality of food that Abuelo’s chain has to offer. Despite being a mainstream enterprise, you always get the feeling that you are eating a home cooked meal. Their menu is extensive with choices for all age groups. Whether you are an adult or a child you’ll find something delicious to eat here.
5. La Tolteca
Tourists coming over for some historical sightseeing love this local restaurant located in Williamsburg. After all, what is not to love when you put Tex-Mex cuisine and buffets together, right? Fill yourself with dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas, taco salads and cheese dip. Plus, don’t forget the full salad bar and dessert bar too.
All this can be enjoyed six days a week from Mondays through Fridays and on Sundays as well. Of course, for those who prefer to pick just one item or those who come in after buffet hours they also have an ala carte menu and a take-away menu.
Family, fun and friendly are just some of the things that will make dining at this chain of restaurants memorable. Founded over 30 years ago by the Rincon family in Virginia, this award winning restaurant has grown from a single branch to five in VA, three in MD and one in DC. They also have food trucks in various locations.
They were voted with the top ten nachos in the United States by Wall Street Journal in 2006. In 2015 Fox News also named this restaurant with the best salsa in DC. More than just these two they also serve a variety of dishes from their restaurant and rotisserie menus. Although selections are not as plentiful as other places, you can expect top quality and taste.