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Mexican food seems to be just as much an American staple as pizza, burgers, or Chinese carry out. And, while you can question the authenticity of “restaurants” like Taco Bell and Azteca all you want, they’ve clearly managed to ingrain themselves pretty deeply into our culture. However, if you want to rise above the chain restaurant staples and score some truly top-notch food, here are a few recommendations from across the country. From conventional to contemporary, these 11 Mexican restaurants run the gamut of interpretations and regional cuisines, but when it comes to getting a good meal, none of them will disappoint.

Broward-Palm Beach

Zona Fresca

Over the years, Zona Fresca has won a plethora of New Times Best Of awards, from Best Fish Sandwich (in that case, a fish taco) to Best Place to Eat Everyday. Yet, we’ve not once given it the Best Mexican Restaurant accolades it deserves. Seriously… for a quick-service joint where you eat off…More >>

The best of Broward-Palm Beach

Dallas

Trece Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge

That guacamole might be allowable on a strict diet plan seems at best ludicrous, but we have been consuming guac all over town and still losing weight. Might have something to do with the two hours of aerobic activity we do every morning and the fact that we’re forced to slather the Mexican…More >>

Denver

Mezcal

Mezcal is a fantastic starting and ending place for any Friday night. Why? For so many reasons. Let’s start with the fact that the kitchen serves until one in the morning. The cheap tacos, which we’ve loved since day one, are just the thing to fortify you before you head out to whatever…More >>

SeÑor Burrito

So you’re planning on getting out there and tearing it up on Saturday night? Well, cowboy, you might want to put a little something in your stomach before you start sucking down the shots — and Señor Burrito is just the place to do it. Or maybe you’re thinking about catching a movie…More >>

Houston

Hugo’s

The restaurant roasts its own cocoa beans and grinds them by hand in an old-fashioned stone mill that chef-owner Hugo Ortega brought back from Oaxaca. The fresh-ground cocoa paste is used to make its signature mole poblano, as well as the cup of hot chocolate that comes with some of the…More >>

Miami

Mi Rinconcito Mexicano

— Well, son, once upon a time there were all sorts of places where one could eat. Then came the great crash of ’08, followed by the great restaurant crash of ’09. After that, only McDonald’s and a slew of Mexican joints were left standing. — You mean there were once other types of…More >>

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“Authentic south-of-the-border cuisine” at Miami’s Mi Rinconcito Mexicano

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