In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I’m introducing y’all to some of my favorite local Mexican restaurants. This idea came to mind about 3 weeks ago and I questioned whether or not it could be possible to visit 6-8 local mexican restaurants before Cinco de Mayo. The goal was to find the best margarita and the best queso (and salsa) in all of Raleigh and that is how the First Annual (and only! for the sake of my arteries) Margarita & Queso Awards of Raleigh was born. Towards the end, we kindof started to get tired of margaritas which I never thought would be possible but hey, it can happen.
A lot of factors went in to deciding what made the “best” margarita or queso. Price and flavor were the top two things that came to mind. We were never able to make it to Centro, El Rodeo, or El Cerro (all very delicious, too!) but we did make it to six others and the nominees are:
San Jose’s Tacos & Tequila:
I would say San Jose Tacos & Tequila is a a step above Los Tres Magueyes when it comes to prices and atmosphere. It’s not as expensive as the trendier spots in Raleigh but the food is quite amazing. They also have the perfect salsa recipe and bring out a huge dish of queso if you order it. This spot does not have outdoor seating but the indoor seating is surprisingly nice. On a Friday night, you can get a $5.99 house margarita and it is by far one of the strongest ones we tried!
Cantina 18 (Tex-Mex but they still count!):