A Metro Detroit Tour Of Top Mexican Eateries

December 12, 2023
plate of tacos from Iron Horse - Mexican food feature

Photo courtesy of Iron Horse

Thankfully, there is no shortage of delicious Mexican food in the Metro Detroit area, but the problem is more so which place to choose. I mean, there’s an entire area of the city of Detroit called Mexicantown, for guacamole’s sake. We’ve got this cuisine covered, and the restaurants in the surrounding areas know how to make some top-notch meals. Whether it’s the sizzle of fajitas, the comfort of homemade tamales, or the delicious takes on tacos and enchiladas, we’ve got quite a variety to choose from. Let’s delve into some of the favorite Mexican eateries around Metro Detroit…

MEXICAN FIESTA II

44401 Ford Road, Canton

24310 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights

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A staple in the community for many years, Mexican Fiesta II is more than just a restaurant; it’s a testament to tradition and quality. Owner Robert Alvarado emphasizes their commitment: “Our priority has always been good service, attention to our customers, and serving fresh Mexican food.” This ethos is reflected in their dishes, which are steeped in authenticity and beloved by patrons. Fajitas can be ordered in vegetable, steak, chicken, or shrimp varieties, and the Fajita Dinner Special is a great idea if you’re out on a date, since it’s a serving for two. You still get your choice of vegetable, steak, chicken, or shrimp, served with rice and beans, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, and tortillas. The cheese enchiladas here are what dreams are made of, so you really can’t go wrong. You can also choose from chicken, beef, pork, fajita, or bean. Burritos and tostadas come in similar offerings, including the braised beef tip. 

mexican fiesta ii table with chips, guacamole, salsa, tacos with rice and beans, and a flight of beverages
Photo courtesy of Mexican Fiesta II

LOS GALANES 

3362 Bagley Street, Detroit

Los Galanes is known for its vibrant setting and robust Mexican flavors. Here, traditional Mexican cooking is celebrated, offering a range of dishes that are both comforting and exciting. Located in the heart of Mexicantown, this is a must-try restaurant. Some popular dishes include chiles rellenos, which are chile poblano peppers breaded, fried, and filled with cheese before being covered in rancherito sauce, the enchiladas de mole, made with three enchiladas with your choice of chicken, beef, or cheese, and mole, a spicy chocolate sauce, or the combination plate, with a beef taco, cheese enchilada, bean and cheese tostada, and a beef burrito if you are struggling to pick just one option.

IRON HORSE

316 West Fourth Street, Royal Oak

Situated in Downtown Royal Oak, Iron Horse has been a culinary landmark for nine years. Owner-operator Tony Prainito states, “Iron Horse is proud to serve up exceptional Mexican cuisine… From our much-talked-about tacos to our specialty pizzas, we’ve got something for everyone.” Iron Horse stands out for its innovative approach, blending traditional Mexican dishes with unique elements like their specialty pizzas and biscuits and gravy done the ‘Iron Horse way’ for brunch. The homemade tortilla chips and red salsa are the perfect start to your meal, and you can also add queso or guacamole. There is a wide array of taco options available, from crunch beef, tofu, and buffalo shrimp to al pastor and blackened fish, to name a few. My personal favorite from Iron Horse is the cheesy grilled steak burrito. It’s made with marinated steak, peppers, onions, rice, black-bean corn pico de gallo, queso, Mexican cheese, and chipotle aioli, before being folded into a tortilla and grilled to perfection. Also, add on a margarita, house-infused tequila, or any one of the cocktails the bar offers to round out the meal. 

tray of nachos from Iron Horse with chips, queso, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, and more - Mexican cuisine
Photo courtesy of Iron Horse

TIOS MEXICAN CAFE AND TEQUILA BAR

401 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor

Tios’ menu boasts its traditional dishes, each prepared with a focus on flavor and authenticity. The enchiladas allow you to experience three different flavors at once. Order three different ones, or stick with the same trio. Your filling choices include beef, chicken, carnitas, chorizo, or mushrooms. No matter what you go with, each corn tortilla will also be stuffed with Monterey Jack, cheddar cheese, and red onion. The Wet Burrito is another great option—the 12 inch tortilla is packed with beans, cheese, and Spanish rice, then topped with Ranchera sauce, melted cheese, and sour cream. You’re in luck if you’re craving huevos rancheros or a Mexican pizza, which has refried beans, cheese, tomato, onion, green pepper, black olives, sour cream, and guacamole on a fried flour tortilla. 

LAS PALAPAS

33308 Plymouth Road, Livonia

Las Palapas has quite a selection of menu items to choose from. You can create your own three-piece combination meal with enchiladas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, or tamales, which are served with rice and beans. You can pick from choices like skillet nachos, the Birria or fried avocado tacos, taco salad, chimichangas, and much more. The Baha California Burrito stands out and includes your choice of meat, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and French fries, all rolled up in a tortilla. Other great options include the asada fries and the fajita nachos with grilled onions, green peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes, with your choice of grilled chicken or steak over chips with melted cheese and cheese dip. 

SEÑOR LÓPEZ MEXICAN RESTAURANT

7146 Michigan Avenue, Detroit

A gem in the Metro Detroit area, Señor López Mexican Restaurant is celebrated for its authentic tacos and other Mexican specialties. The restaurant’s dedication to traditional cooking techniques and ingredients makes it a favorite among Mexican cuisine aficionados. This spot has a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices. Begin with starters like queso with chorizo, nachos, quesadillas, and more, then choose your entree from classic choices like the burrito or dinners, or try something new like the Puerco en Chile Verde, which is pork in green tomatillo salsa with cactus. 

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on November 7, 2014, and was authored by Toni Cunningham.

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