All with crispy tortillas, the freshest ingredients and flavorful bursts of cilantro, here’s your guide to Hawaii’s best destinations for fulfilling your most severe chips and guacamole cravings. Here's our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Honolulu.
Take the elevator on up to a gorgeous rooftop in Waikiki where modern Mexican flavors abound. A hot take on traditional cuisine, the “build your own'' tacos are a game changer accompanied by a margarita, a breeze and an incredible view. Start with the nachos and indulge in cinnamon churros dipped in pineapple sauce or mango sorbet with tajin to top off a delicious and scenic meal. 2250 Kalakaua Ave., #525, Honolulu, buhocantina.com
At this Honolulu hotspot, Taco Tuesdays are a must. Kick back with a selection from the mezcal-loving cocktail menu from the traditional and tangy paloma to the tempting “sundaze” with horchata and chocolate bitters. For food, Encore sticks to the classics. Chips and dip as well as rice and beans are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Then choose your entree: a burrito, taco, or bowl with your choice of tender meat or meatless base. 10 N. Hotel St., Honolulu, encoresaloon.com
Take a seat in this Honolulu gem and be greeted with crunchy and salty tortilla chips and salsa. Sharing a love for food from Mexico City to Honolulu, Los Chaparros embodies warm ambience and authentic cuisine. With a large menu of both classic dishes and innovative specialty combinations, upgrade your order with red pozole, a traditional pork and hominy soup, or menudo, it’s beef counterpart. 2140 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, loschaparros.com
A reservation is recommended for this vegetarian-friendly and tequila-forward restaurant. A whole menu of margaritas, from lilikoi mezcal mule to classic lime and the auspicious “cadillac” flavor, impress alongside tequila flights boasting celebrity labels and beer on tap. Enjoyed beverages with the elote and ceviche, but save room for the enticing birria tacos, available in chicken, beef or vegetarian-style, served with flavorful dipping sauce. 808 Sheridan St., Honolulu, margaritashawaii.com
Serving up fresh flavors with Mexican flare, this Kakaʻako eatery has mastered its take on the street taco. With eight different types of tacos adorning their menu from grilled octopus with pico de gallo to the carne asada taco stuffed with shredded beef and caramelized onions, don’t be afraid to mix and match more than one! The handmade tortillas are packed high and are complemented by a side of fan-favorite Mexican street corn with cotija cheese and cayenne. 675 Auahi St., Honolulu, tacoako.com
Photography by: PHOTO BY CHAD MONTANO/UNSPLASH