Latin cuisine encompasses a variety of flavors from South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Here in Charlotte, some restaurants have adapted their dishes to American palates, while others are more authentic to their country of origin. From tamales to Tex-Mex, we’ve provided a sampling of our local favorites.
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Owner Andre Lomeli brings a Mexican and West Coast-inspired menu from his former restaurant in San Diego; his tacos, burritos, and enchiladas have the pizzazz of a food truck’s and the flavors of his native Yucatan Peninsula. The blue corn tortillas loaded with shredded chicken punch up a typical Taco Tuesday. The torta de cochinita pibil, a traditional Mexican sandwich, is stuffed with braised pork, black beans, queso, guacamole, and all sorts of sauces and spices you probably wouldn’t think to put on a fluffy white roll. And the California burrito, packed with skirt steak, queso fresco, salsa, and guacamole is the best you’ll have in Charlotte—spoiler alert: it has French fries inside. 4625 Piedmont Row Dr., Ste. 115-D, 980-298-6138
637 Williamson Road, Ste. 100
Enjoy lake views and authentic Cuban dishes like picadillo and mojo chicken with Yuca fries and sweet plantains.
1115 N. Brevard St.
The Mexican cantina and gaming venue in Optimist Hall serves creative tacos and cocktails with a side of duckpin bowling.
1205 Thomas Ave.
Charlotte’s first cevicheria has the warmth and decor you’d find at a neighborhood joint in Tampa’s Ybor City. Dishes use plantains, tropical fruits, and aji amarillo peppers sourced from Sous Chef Alfredo Galarza’s native Peru.
2917-A Central Ave.
Feast on enchiladas and other Mexican staples like tinga de pollo and carne asada tacos. It’s always fresh, too—they’ll never save rice, beans, or meat for use the next day.
Atlanta chef Ford Fry brings his Tex-Mex menu of tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas to Charlotte.
2433 South Blvd.
The breezy vibes and bright flavors at this taco joint call for a Pacifico or a margarita.
4271 Park Road
This easy, casual spot draws crowds for its fresh takes on Mexican cuisine and fine margarita list.
Paco’s Tacos & Tequila
6401 Morrison Blvd., Ste. 8A
You’ll find plenty of options on this menu that includes 10 varieties of tacos and more than 60 kinds of tequila.
Cabo Fish Taco
3201 N. Davidson St.
This NoDa “Baja seagrill” serves up the title dish as well as quesadillas, burritos, and salads in a fun, surf-themed atmosphere.
Roy’s Kitchen & Patio
3112 N. Davidson St.
Come for a fruity cocktail, but don’t expect a trip to Margaritaville—this is a relaxed neighborhood hangout with cornhole, ping-pong, and rotisserie chicken you can smell from down the street.
315 S. Polk St., Pineville
Enjoy six types of ceviche, plus a shrimp cocktail-inspired version and a three-shot marinade sampler called leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk.
Sabor Latin Street Grill
Get signature arepas, empanadas, and nachos, as well as Taco Tuesday specials at this popular local chain.
Get chicken tikka masala and bacon cheeseburger tacos at this Dallas-based, fast casual taco joint.
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
5234 South Blvd.
Feast on quesabirria, a quesadilla-taco hybrid with melted cheese and slow-cooked beef, plus other birria variations that include a burrito, ramen, loaded French fries, and pizza.
RuRu’s Tacos and Tequila
715 Providence Road
The “I’ll Have What She’s Having” is a standout here, with grilled mahi mahi, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, and pineapple salsa. But don’t pass over the Long Duck Dong, with Korean sweet-and-spicy steak, pickled cabbage, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
2501 Central Ave.
Don’t miss the Spicy Potato Cake Tacos, which are thick flour tortillas stuffed with savory chunks of fried potato and ladled with Krazy Fish’s signature—and addictive—blueberry tamarind chutney.
Tacos El Nevado
Tacos El Nevado doesn’t have a proper Taco Tuesday special, but most of its tacos are $2 every day, so it’s always a solid deal.
4816 Central Ave.
Eat ceviche like you’d have it in Peru and skirt steak done Central American-style, plus tacos with your choice of asada, pollo, chicharron, and chorizo.
The Tipsy Burro Saloon & Cantina
2711 Monroe Road
This Tex-Mex spot in East Charlotte does it big, whether it’s sizable chimichangas or the decadent South of Philly Cheesesteak.
El Puro Cuban Restaurant
5033 South Blvd.
Come for live music every night of the week and eat Cuban classics like Queso Frito, Ropa Vieja, and Croquetas.