In years past, Mexican restaurants in Virginia haven’t exactly been known to be the most authentic. In fact, Virginia Mexican restaurants were perhaps most “famous” for creating their own white sauce, a uniquely Virginian dipping sauce found pretty much exclusively in Virginia and North Carolina. These days, however, the options for authentically prepared Mexican foods in Richmond have grown as the city, and its collective palate, has grown. Packed with flavor and rooted in tradition, we’ve rounded up five Richmond-area Mexican restaurants perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo or enjoying the explosion of flavors found in exceptional Mexican cuisine any day of the week.

La Cabaña Restaurant y Taqueria: Tucked along the end of an unassuming strip mall in Henrico, this secret gem of a taqueria serves up delicious flavorful tacos just like you’d find in Mexico. Flavorful meat topped with onions, cilantro, and served with lime wedges.

La Milpa Carnitas Tianguis Show

La Milpa Real Mexican Food & Market: This Mexican eatery serves up authentic specialties from tacos to burritos, enchiladas, and even a vegetarian menu. Weekend visitors can catch a special behind-the-scenes glimpse during their Carnitas Tianguis Show on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until 2pm, when they prepare the traditional Mexican dish in front of guests.

Pepes Mexican Restaurant: This Southside favorite offers a slightly more Tex-Mex style of Mexican food in heaping portions. From nachos to tacos, enchiladas to burritos, there’s something for everyone.

A table filled with Mexican dishes and two cocktails


Maya: For modern Mexican cuisine with a refined Latin-Asian presentation, check out Maya downtown. This woman-helmed restaurant serves up bold flavors and creative presentations, and don’t forget to try a cocktail.

three tacos and a margarita on a table

Tio Pablo

Tio Pablo: This tiny eatery in Shockoe Bottom packs a flavorful punch. Located just around the corner from the Farmer’s Market, Tio Pablo offers delicious traditional Mexican offerings prepared in a 100% gluten-free kitchen. Snag a seat at the bar and explore their extensive tequila offerings.