Scottsdale’s Crave-Worthy Mexican Cuisine

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

When you’re craving authentic Mexican food, these Scottsdale hotspots satisfy with dishes that are farm-fresh, fabulous and filled with all the signature flavors you love.

 


THE MISSION


Chef Matt Carter’s menu of contemporary Latin cuisine is an all-star line-up of braised meats, fresh seafood and handcrafted cocktails. Start with an order of Grilled Street Corn or 12-ingredient Tableside Guacamole (better yet, try both), then move on to the succulent Pork Shoulder Tacos for two. For a perfect pairing, consider a Blood Orange Margarita or Pineapple Ginger Mojito.

 


LA HACIENDA AT THE FAIRMONT SCOTTSDALE PRINCESS


With a menu crafted by Celebrity Chef Richard Sandoval, La Hacienda continues its run as one of Scottsdale’s most acclaimed Mexican restaurants. Reserve a table on the patio (by the fire pit, if it’s chilly) and savor the rich flavors of South America in specialties like the fresh Seafood Ceviche, slow-braised pork Carnitas Hacienda or skirt steak Tampiqueña with cactus pico and guacamole.

 


LOS SOMBREROS


This cozy restaurant just south of Old Town brings the soul of Central Mexico to the Sonoran Desert. Start with an order of fresh, homemade guacamole, then check out their signature tamales – choose from Green Corn, Tomatillo Chicken or Red Chile Beef. Other highlights include 11 varieties of soft tacos, hearty pork pozole and fresh seafood dishes. Be sure to save room for Los Sombreros’ housemade desserts, including the decadent Mexican Chocolate Pie.

 


BARRIO QUEEN


At Old Town’s Barrio Queen, traditional family recipes are served with a dash of calle (street) attitude. Menu highlights include the award-winning Cochinita Pibil, succulent slow-roasted pork seasoned with sour orange and achiote; Coctel de Elóte, sweet grilled corn topped with butter, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime; and the 20+ varieties of mix-and-match street tacos. Barrio Queen also offers one of the city’s most expansive tequila menus, boasting more than 200 labels.

 


BLANCO TEQUILA + TACOS


With a striking indoor-outdoor layout and a compact menu filled with contemporary twists on Mexican classics, Blanco is as bold and spicy as the raw style of tequila that it’s named after. Don’t miss the gourmet cheese crisps such as the braised short rib and avocado, as well as the 11 different styles of tacos.

 


SPOTTED DONKEY CANTINA


Located at el Pedregal at The Boulders, Spotted Donkey boasts a spacious, sunny patio that’s perfect for posting up with a frosty margarita and an order of Donkey Nachos (tortilla rounds piled high with pulled pork, serrano chiles, roasted tomatoes and creamy cheese). Especiales de la casa (house specials) include Hatch Chile Pork Stew, Mexico City Carne Asada and Honey & Sambal Salmon Tostada.