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Best Mexican Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale (2024 Guide)

On the hunt for the best Mexican food Fort Lauderdale has to offer?  Mexican is my favorite casual cuisine, and I’ve spent the last 20+ years sampling every food truck, authentic joint, and tequila bar and beyond searching for Ft Lauderdale’s best Mexican food.  Today I am publishing my list as well as personal experiences from multiple visits over the years.

Whether you are simply looking for a good Taco Tuesday, a solid margarita, or a wide variety of tequilas, there is something for everyone’s desires in Fort Lauderdale.

Best Mexican Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale Summary

  • Fort Lauderdale is bursting with Mexican eateries like Rocco’s Tacos and El Camino, offering everything from tequila havens to beachfront dining with authentic dishes.
  • Places like Casa Frida and Tacocraft Taqueria put creative twists on traditional Mexican cuisine, serving up modern cantina vibes and inventive taco varieties.
  • Beyond just tacos, restaurants such as La Bamba specialize in fajitas and other Mexican classics, with options for every palate, including vegan and vegetarian delights at spots like Lokos Takos Taqueria.

Fort Lauderdale’s Finest: A Tour of Top Mexican Eateries

A vibrant and bustling Mexican eatery in Fort Lauderdale

In the heart of Fort Lauderdale, there’s a culinary fiesta happening every day. Authentic Mexican cuisine is taking center stage, and we’re here to give you a front-row seat to the best Mexican food the city has to offer. From the bustling cantinas on Las Olas Blvd to the hole-in-the-wall gems tucked away on side streets, it’s a tour you won’t want to miss.

Our first stops on this culinary journey? Rocco’s Tacos, Lona Cocina & Tequileria, and El Camino. Each of these eateries offers a unique dining experience and dishes that are as tantalizing as they are delicious. Let’s explore what makes these places distinct.

Rocco’s Tacos: A Tequila Haven

Picture this: You’re seated at a lively tequila bar with a menu boasting over 400 varieties of Mexico’s most famous spirit. The air is filled with the aroma of sizzling carne asada and the sounds of laughter and clinking glasses. This is the atmosphere at Rocco’s Tacos, a bustling Mexican cantina located on the iconic Las Olas Blvd.

However, tequila isn’t the only crowd puller. Rocco’s Tacos is known for its delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine. Whether you’re craving tacos or want to opt for their famous molcajete, you can’t go wrong at what was the first of the commercialized Mexican themed party atmospheres in Fort Lauderdale.

molcajete roccos tacos
To me, nothing beats a molcajete!

I have Rocco’s up there with the best places to eat on Las Olas and highly recommend you check it out.  They also have a great tequila bar, pictured below.

roccos tacos tequila bar

Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Beachfront dining with a view at Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Lona Cocina & Tequileria, a beachfront, open air restaurant on Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd is the next place you may want to check out.

Here, you can enjoy Mexican cuisine with a side of stunning ocean views. The outdoor terrace and bar provide an amazing backdrop for a relaxed dining experience, where you can take in the sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean as you savor your meal.

I will say that while this place seems to always be crowded and has it’s fanfare, I’m NOT one of those fans. I’ve been multiple times and the service was atrocious.  I’ve had friends tell me it’s the worst food they’ve ever had.  I only added it to the list because there is no disputing that it’s a popular place, but it’s just not for me.

El Camino: A Vibrant Mexican Venue in the Heart of Las Olas

Our final stop in this section is El Camino, a beloved Mexican restaurant tucked away in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. El Camino is known for its vibrant atmosphere and indoor-outdoor setup, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

But it’s the food that truly sets El Camino apart. The menu is a showcase of authentic Mexican flavors, featuring dishes like shrimp tacos, crispy fish, and barbacoa tacos. And let’s not forget about their amazing Mexican street corn and fajitas, served with all the fixings. Pair it with their house-made sangrias or a smoked pineapple margarita, and you’ve got yourself a meal to remember.

And if you’re a fan of happy hour, El Camino should definitely be on your radar. With its friendly staff and modern Mexican cuisine coupled with a vibrant bar scene, it’s one of the top picks in Fort Lauderdale for happy hour.

My recommendation is to get the spicy avocado margarita.  It’s the best thing on their menu.  

Authentic Mexican Flavors in South Florida

Our gastronomic journey continues as we guide you to Casa Frida.  This restaurant  is all about authenticity and creativity, offering a unique twist to some of your favorite Mexican dishes.

At Casa Frida, you’ll find a modern Mexican cantina that adds its own flair to traditional Mexican flavors.

Casa Frida: Traditional Tastes, Modern Twists

Casa Frida offers a lively and welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular choice for those seeking delicious Mexican cuisine in a relaxed setting. And with its affordable prices, you can enjoy a feast without worrying about your wallet.

What distinguishes Casa Frida, however, is its unique ‘tour of Mexico’ culinary experience. This unique offering allows you to sample a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, providing a dining experience that’s as authentic as it is delicious. Some of the dishes you can enjoy at Casa Frida include:

  • Classic guacamole
  • Mayan Roasted Pork
  • Tacos al Pastor
  • Enchiladas Verdes
  • Chiles Rellenos

Every dish at Casa Frida, a popular Mexican restaurant, is a celebration of authentic Mexican food flavors, featuring classic Mexican dishes.

Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar: Creativity Meets Culture

Creative and colorful taco creations at Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar

If you’re looking for a place that puts a fun spin on traditional Mexican cuisine, Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar is the spot for you. This trendy restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is known for its inventive taco menu, featuring unique items like Oxtail Empanadas and Korean Short Rib tacos.

But it’s not just about the food at Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar. Tequila enthusiasts will be delighted by their extensive selection of over 100 types of tequila. Whether you’re a seasoned tequila connoisseur or a curious novice, there’s something to suit your palate. And with its cool and laid-back atmosphere, Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

To me, this place is a little too commercial and loses a lot of that authentic appeal.  Plus, they are missing many Mexican go-to items like enchiladas, at least as of my last visit.  Michelle loves their kale salad, and that brings us back, but out of the more commercial Mexican, I prefer both Rocco’s and El Camino over Taco Craft.

The Best Mexican Cantinas and Their Signature Dishes

As we continue our culinary journey, we arrive at Drunken Taco and Zona Fresca, two popular eateries that are all about festive flavors and fresh ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a lively cantina to enjoy with friends or a laid-back spot to grab a quick bite, these restaurants have you covered.

At Drunken Taco, it’s all about variety. From its extensive tequila selection to its assortment of delicious Mexican dishes, there’s something for everyone. Meanwhile, Zona Fresca stays true to its name by emphasizing fresh ingredients and Cali-Mex cuisine. Eager to discover more? Let’s delve further into these two Mexican cantinas and their standout dishes.

Drunken Taco: Festive Flavors on Las Olas Blvd

Lively outdoor seating and tequila selection at Drunken Taco on Las Olas Blvd

Drunken Taco, located on the lively Las Olas Blvd, is a popular spot in Fort Lauderdale’s Mexican food scene. With its outdoor seating and extensive tequila selection, it’s the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy some authentic Mexican cuisine.

But let’s talk about the food. The menu at Drunken Taco is diverse, featuring everything from Blackened Mahi Fish Bites to Beef and Chicken Empanadas. And let’s not forget about the drinks. Whether you’re in the mood for a Frozen Margarita or a Blue Wave, Drunken Taco has got you covered.

With its fun vibes and delicious food and drinks, it’s no wonder Drunken Taco is a hit with both locals and tourists.

Zona Fresca: Freshness First at Oakland Park

Our last stop in this section brings us to Zona Fresca in Oakland Park. Known for its commitment to fresh ingredients and Cali-Mex cuisine, Zona Fresca offers a menu that’s as fresh as its name suggests.

On the menu, you’ll find a variety of dishes that showcase the restaurant’s fresh and flavorful approach to Mexican cuisine. Think fish tacos, steak burritos, and char-broiled chili rellenos. And with their diverse menu, you can enjoy a different dish every time you visit, making each dining experience unique.

Vegan and Vegetarian Delights: Mexican Edition

Our gastronomic expedition embarks on a new route as we delve into Fort Lauderdale’s Mexican food scene’s vegan and vegetarian delights. The star of this section? Lokos Takos Taqueria. This family-friendly restaurant not only offers traditional Mexican dishes but also a variety of vegan and vegetarian options.

Lokos Takos Taqueria is a testament to the versatility of Mexican cuisine, offering dishes that cater to a wide range of dietary preferences. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply a lover of good food, Lokos Takos Taqueria is a must-visit spot.

Lokos Takos Taqueria: Family-Friendly and Vegan-Forward

At Lokos Takos Taqueria, you’ll find a menu that’s as diverse as it is delicious. The restaurant offers a range of vegan options, from Elote or Esquite to Queso Fundido or Frito, and even vegan tacos. And it’s not just about the food. With its affordable prices and fresh ingredients, Lokos Takos Taqueria is also a hit with families and those looking for good value.

The commitment to fresh ingredients at Lokos Takos Taqueria is evident in every dish. Whether you’re enjoying the refreshing Sandia salad or the delicious steak quesadilla, you can taste the quality and freshness in every bite. And with its welcoming atmosphere and excellent service, Lokos Takos Taqueria is a standout in Fort Lauderdale’s Mexican food scene.

Drinks and Dining: The Perfect Pairing

Unwinding with drinks and Mexican cuisine at a happy hour hotspot in Fort Lauderdale

One of the best things about Mexican cuisine? The drinks that pair perfectly with the food. In Fort Lauderdale, there are plenty of places to enjoy a delicious meal and a refreshing drink. From classic margaritas to innovative cocktails, these restaurants offer the perfect pairing for your Mexican feast.

If you’re seeking to relax after a tiring day or kick off your evening in style, these Fort Lauderdale happy hour hotspots are not to be missed. From the lively atmosphere at Rocco’s Tacos to the relaxed vibes at Lona Cocina, there’s a spot for every mood.

Happy Hour Hotspots: Where to Unwind

When it comes to happy hour, Fort Lauderdale’s Mexican restaurants have you covered. With their fantastic deals on food and drinks, these spots offer the perfect setting to unwind and relax.

Whether you fancy a refreshing margarita at Tulios Tacos & Tequila Bar or a satisfying meal at La Bamba Mexican Spanish Restaurant, these happy hour locales cater to a range of preferences. And if you’re looking for a place that offers both excellent food and drinks, look no further than El Camino. With its extensive menu and drink specials, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the best of Mexican cuisine.

The Culinary Journey Beyond Tacos: Exploring Other Dishes

Even though tacos are a cornerstone of Mexican cuisine, there’s a vast culinary landscape waiting to be explored. And in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find a wealth of diverse Mexican dishes that go beyond the classic taco. One such place is La Bamba, a Mexican and Spanish restaurant known for its delicious fajitas and other mouthwatering offerings.

At La Bamba, you can enjoy a variety of dishes, from their famous fajitas to their combo platters. Whether you’re a fan of spicy heat or prefer something a little milder, there’s something to tantalize every palate.

Fajita Fanfare at La Bamba

La Bamba is a must-visit spot for any Mexican food lover. With its extensive menu and excellent service, it’s no surprise that this restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. But what truly sets La Bamba apart is its mouthwatering fajita options:

  • Chicken fajitas
  • Beef fajitas
  • Shrimp fajitas
  • Vegetarian fajitas

At La Bamba, fajitas are more than just a dish – they’re a dining experience. Served on a heated volcanic rock plate known as a molcajete, the fajitas at La Bamba are a sight to behold. And with options like:

  • Vegetable
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Combo
  • Shrimp
  • Supreme
  • Seafood Fajitas

There’s a fajita to suit every taste, even those who enjoy a dollop of sour cream.

If I’m being frank with you all, if you are looking for an authentic taco joint in Fort Lauderdale, venture west just a few miles to the city of Planation and check out Bien Chido.  Don’t let the fact that it’s unassuming and in a strip mall fool you, this is the most authentic taco you’ll find in the area.

Summary

As we wrap up our culinary journey through Fort Lauderdale’s Mexican food scene, it’s clear that the city offers a diverse array of delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine. From the lively cantinas on Las Olas Blvd to the family-friendly spots offering vegan options, there’s something to suit every palate.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, exploring the Mexican food scene in Fort Lauderdale is a culinary adventure you won’t want to miss. So the next time you’re in the city, why not take your taste buds on a trip south of the border? We promise, it’s a journey you won’t regret!

Other Fort Lauderdale Dining Round-Ups:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the best Mexican food in Fort Lauderdale?

You can find the best Mexican food in Fort Lauderdale at Rocco’s Tacos, Lona Cocina & Tequileria, El Camino, Casa Frida, and Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar. Enjoy!

Are there any Mexican restaurants in Fort Lauderdale that offer vegan options?

Absolutely! Lokos Takos Taqueria in Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of vegan options for a family-friendly dining experience.

When is the best time for happy hour at Mexican restaurants in Fort Lauderdale?

The best time for happy hour at Mexican restaurants in Fort Lauderdale is from 3:00pm to 7:00pm, so plan to go during those hours to enjoy the deals.

What are some popular dishes at La Bamba?

Some popular dishes at La Bamba are their delicious fajitas, which come in a variety of options including Vegetable, Chicken, Steak, Combo, Shrimp, Supreme, and Seafood Fajitas. Enjoy!

What are some unique drinks I can try at Mexican restaurants in Fort Lauderdale?

You can try unique cocktails like the Mushroom Empanada and Choco Loco Margarita at Lona Cocina & Tequileria, or the Kiwi Mezcalita at Casa Monarca in Fort Lauderdale. Enjoy your drinks!

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About 

Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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