5 Best Authentic Mexican Restaurants in Washington, DC

Washington, DC, is a city with many different cultures represented, and one of the most popular is Mexican culture. There are several great Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC, but we have narrowed it down to the five best. Whether you are looking for authentic tacos or burritos or simply crave some delicious enchiladas or quesadillas, these restaurants will not disappoint. So put on your sombrero and chile con carne (sorry, we couldn’t help), and check out our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC!


Destino is the place to be if you value culinary artistry, with meticulously arranged meals to showcase their delicious contents. This eatery, which opened at the height of the pandemic and serves a limited menu of creative and tasty meals, is a welcome exception. Try the 42-ingredient mole negro at the tamal, or the pork belly, cilantro mole, and egg noodles in the mole verde. Treat yourself to the “Sundae” with black sesame ice cream, peanut sorbet, and pomegranate ice for dessert.

If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience in Washington, D.C., you’ll want to check out Destino. This Latin-inspired eatery boasts an impressive menu of traditional and modern dishes, all expertly prepared by chef Hector Siard.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something to your liking at Destino. Start with one of their appetizers, like the hamachi crudo or the grilled octopus. For your main course, try the paella or one of their delicious entrees like the pork chop with sweet potato purée and apple chutney. And don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Bandit Taco

The tacos at these counter-order shops are some of the best in town, and they’re not about to change anytime soon. With a simple menu that features only Mexican sodas or Topo Chico sparkling water for drinks (no fruity cocktails here), it’s easy to see why this spot has been around since 1986! What stands out most, though? The attention is given by Chef Mauricio Flores Trujos to each dish he prepares – you can taste his passion when eating one bite after another on your journey through history.

Tostadas are made by warming corn or flour tortillas on a griddle and stuffing them with savory fillings such as braised carnitas, shredded lettuce, and braised al pastor pork with charred pineapple. Minced cilantro, chopped onion, or julienned radish are sprinkled over each bundle. (For 14 years, Turcios worked with restaurateur Richard Sandoval, honing his knife skills). The excellent crispy shrimp taco isn’t the only food that receives a twist from the togarashi spice blend.


Vegetarian tacos, let alone vegan ones, aren’t always the most appetizing. Not so at Chaia, a taqueria that started in a Georgetown farmers market and just expanded to Chinatown. The house-made corn tortillas loaded with seasonal flavors such as Moroccan carrots, chipotle yogurt, and mint are a signature of both vegetarian restaurants. The newer site is larger, airier, and offers more food options (tlayudas, quesadillas, ancient-grain bowls). Try the house-made shrub, or a Paloma created using draft ingredients.

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Oyamel is a traditional Mexican restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area that specializes in authentic dishes from across Mexico. The name “Oyamel” comes from the Nahuatl word for “rainforest,” and the restaurant’s decor and menu reflect this theme.

The extensive menu at Oyamel includes starters, soups and salads, main dishes, sides, and desserts – all designed to showcase Mexico’s rich flavors and culinary traditions. Highlights include the queso fundido ( melted cheese with chorizo), the esquites (corn salad), and the carne asada (grilled steak).

Oyamel, owned by celebrity chef Jose Andres, serves authentic Mexican fare in a casually stylish setting decorated with butterflies. Mexican street food such as antojitos, ceviches, and tacos take center stage on the restaurant’s menu. Indulge in the Tequila and Mezcal Festival through March 20th by ordering from the festival’s special menu, which has delicacies like torta ahogada and birria tatemada, as well as beverages like the mezcal mule and specialized flights of agave.

Mi Casa

Located in the nation’s capital, Mi Casa Washington DC is a Chicano-run restaurant specializing in traditional Mexican cuisine. The restaurant was started by three friends who wanted to bring authentic Mexican fare to the city, and it has been open for business since 2013.

The menu at Mi Casa Washington DC includes all of your favorite Mexican dishes, like mole poblano, chilaquiles, enchiladas suizas, and tamales de pollo. The ingredients are all fresh and locally sourced, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible flavor when you dine here. And if you’re looking for something to wash all of that delicious food down with, Mi Casa Washington, DC, is the place to go.

Found The Best One?

There are many Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC, but only a handful offer an authentic experience. Here are 5 of the best Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC, that will give you a true taste of Mexico. Each of these restaurants has its unique atmosphere and menu, so be sure to check them out and find your favorite!