Mexican food restaurants in Vail AZ

It’s that time of year again. Your relatives flee the cold and head South for the winter. When they arrive, chances are one of the first things they’ll want to do is find an authentic Mexican food restaurant. With our little town settled so close to the border, that shouldn’t be too hard, right?

But there in lies the problem… there are so MANY Mexican food restaurants in Vail AZ (or not too far from our corner of the city) that it is hard to choose which one to go to.

Before you pack up your family and caravan to the closest restaurant, consider what each place has to offer. Do you want a sit down dining experience? Or would you rather take your food to go? Should the spot be kid friendly but also leave a little room for fun for the adults? No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top 3 places in Vail, AZ to get your taco, salsa, and authentic Mexican food kick.

1. Rancho Rustico

Photo Credit: Rancho Rustico Facebook Page

Photo Credit: Rancho Rustico Facebook Page

Since this place opened, it’s quickly become a hot spot for locals.

Although the restaurant itself is small in size, the ambiance is cozy. The decor matches the type of food being served.

If you have family that loves cheese, this is the place to go! The white cheese dip is melty, gooey, deliciousness in a bowl. The salsa is good too.

There are a variety of courses to choose from on the menu. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike can easily find something to fit their fancy. The combo dishes make it easy for everyone to choose exactly what they’re in the mood for.

The portion sizes are large, especially given the medium price range. You’ll probably have enough to take home for leftovers (especially if you get the cheese dip)! It’s a casual, laid back atmosphere with delicious food that’s sure to please everyone in your crowd.

2. Valeria’s Comida Mexicana

Valeria’s isn’t your traditional restaurant, but it’s well-known among Vail residents. It’s the food truck nestled between the tracks. THIS is the “place where the locals go.”

At Valeria’s you can find a variety of Mexican foods and Mexican sodas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mexican sodas, they taste just a little bit different so they’re fun for everyone to try.

There are plenty of options on the menu. Finding something on the menu (even for the picky eaters in your family) should be easy.

While you’re waiting, have fun filling up at the salsa bar. There’s lots to try, the prices are very reasonable, and the staff is friendly. It’s a fun, unique spot to take your guests.

3. Papa Locos Tacos and Burgers 

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

This is another unique spot that’s usually only frequented by the locals. Talk to anyone who’s been there and chances are you’ll hear a raving review!

When you first arrive, you’ll probably wrinkle your brow with doubt because the restaurant is attached to a gas station. Don’t let that scare you away.

This is the perfect place to take your family who wants a taste of Mexico but doesn’t usually care for traditional Mexican dishes. The Sonoran hot dogs are one of their top items. The red chile sauce is mouthwateringly delicious. For the folks who aren’t eager to venture out of their tastebud comfort zone, there are plenty of Southwest inspired burgers to choose from, such as the green chile burger.

It’s a fun spot that’s sure to have your family buzzing with delight whenever you go.

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Lucretia Free