Living a tasteful life

Monday, January 16, 2017

Best Mexican Restaurants in Charleston

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Mexican food. When I have no motivation to cook and I want something quick and inexpensive, Whit and I will find ourselves in a booth surrounded by bottomless chips and salsa, cervesas and our favorite Mexican dishes. There are also times when we want Mexican food with more of a dining experience, in which case we seek out places that are a little more high end. Luckily for us, Charleston has options. Here are some of my favorite Mexican spots in Charleston and the dishes I love to order.

First up, Minero! James Beard award-winning  chef, Sean Brock dishes out some delicious fare at this casual Mexican eatery. Three of my favorite things about this place: their chips and guacamole, their burritos and their sangria. 

The chips are dusted with some sort of awesome seasoning and have the most perfect crunch, pairing perfectly with their fresh guacamole. The burrito is massive and filled with queso de Oaxaca, crema, hoppin john, avocado and poblano and the following meats can be added: charcoaled chicken, achiote pork, or grilled steak. The Minero Sangria consists of rosé, citrus, and cava and isn't too sweet. The three of things paired together = heaven!

I love dining in at Minero, however they also offer Taco Kits to-go, which are perfect for events. We frequently order them for meetings at our office and they are quite the hit!
Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, named after the Mexican Federal Highway that runs the length of the Baja California Peninsula from Tijuana in the North to Cabo San Lucas at the Southern tip. This casual spot has a laid back, chill, surf bar vibe and offers live music throughout the week.

One of my favorite things on the menu are their baja bowls, specifically the Tijuana steak bowl, which consists of brown rice, seasoned black beans, jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, crunchy tortilla strips, queso fresco and topped with green onions, fresh lime and cilantro. Holy yum! 
The bangin' shrimp tacos with lightly fried shrimp, spicy Bangin’ Sauce, shredded cabbage and cilantro drizzled, with their Mex 1 “Sweet Heat” sauce are also a really good choice! 
In Charleston, restaurants that have a parking lot are a rare, but if you visit the Taco Boy location downtown, you will find just that. Let's be real though, parking is not the only reason I love to dine at this spot. I'll give you three other reasons: their appetizer trio (pictured below), the Taco Boy salad, and their nachos.
The nachos are piled high with cowboy beans, monterey jack cheese, chile con queso, salsa cruda, guacamole & crema and you can add chicken, steak, chorizo or carnitas. Trust me, you won't leave hungry. This photo doesn't even come close to doing this pile of goodness any justice.
Zia Taqueria- three words, CHILE CON QUESO! A blend of pepper jack cheese with red bell pepper, garlic, onion, and white wine. Key word here is white wine! You can actually taste it in the queso and it's pretty much amazing!
I can't say that I've sampled much off the menu, but after having the fish tacos at The Taco Spot, I didn't see a point. They might not be photogenic but the flavor is on point. My recommendation, the original fish taco - pan seared flaky white mild fish, cilantro soy aioli, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato pico on your choice of a choose soft white flour tortilla, soft yellow corn tortilla or house crunchy corn shell.
On those days that we want to quickly have dinner and head back home, we find ourselves at El Dorado. This place is by no means fancy, bu the service is great, the staff is friendly, and one of the best parts about it is that they offer a traditional Mexican lunch buffet, seven days a week.! You heard me...a buffet! Plan to have nothing to do the rest of the afternoon if you decide to indulge. Think endless queso and several things off the menu. The blob on my plate below is a little sampling. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Now if only someone could open a Rocco's Tacos and a Rosa Mexicana, we would be all set! What are some of your favorite Mexican spots in Charleston?



  1. Man I wish I had this list when we visited Charleston last year. I loooove Mexican food too!

    1. Darn! Well if you every come back, now you have a list. :)

  2. Mexican food is one of my faves! That's awesome that there are such great options in Charleston.

  3. Oh this looks like my kind of place! saving this for my trip to Charleston!

    1. Charleston has so many great places to eat (not just Mexican food) but food in general. If you need any other recommendations when you head this way, let me know. :)

  4. im sad i didnt try minero when i lived in charleston but i did love zia taquira! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    1. You will definitely have to give it a try when you come back to visit. It's so good!


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