Restaurant Guide–El Paso

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  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Canutillo

Flautas Tepalca–6994 Doniphan Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  The best flautas in the El Paso area (or really anywhere in the U.S. I have tried them).  However, this and a couple of other items are the entire menu except for “nieves” (ice cream) and aguas frescas. (Now has two locations in El Paso–5198 Doniphan and 500 N. Zaragoza Rd.) (8-12-17)

Little Diner–7209 7th St. (Mexican) Closed Wed.  Has New Mexico style enchiladas (spicy).  Gorditas and chiles rellenos are very good.  My favorite item is Christmas tamales (order a few days ahead of time and pick up on Christmas eve). (9-10-16)

Lupita’s Tamales–6860 Doniphan Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Take out only.  Red chile tamal is excellent.  Chile con queso tamal and tamal dulce are very good to go with it. (9-10-16)

Maracas–900 Talbot Ave. (Puerto Rican) Open daily except Sun evening.  OK, it’s a novelty in El Paso to find Latin American food that is not Mexican, but reviewers say this place is really good (especially the Cuban and Philly sandwiches). (2-18-17)

Peppe’s–6761 Doniphan Dr. (New Mexican) Closed Mon.  This is one of the Griggs family restaurants (the others are La Posta in Mesilla, NM and El Pinto in Albuquerque).  Peppe’s is small and not a tourist attraction like the other restaurants, but I believe the food is more true to the Griggs family recipes. (9-10-16)

El Paso

Barrigas–664 Sunland Park Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  One of the top Mexican restaurants in El Paso. Is somewhat on the upscale side with steaks being one of the specialties. Has good mole and combination plates. Has a good version of enchiladas suizas (with green chile). Also in east El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. (7-14-17)

Cafe Central–109 N. Oregon St. (Fine Dining) Closed Sun.  More expensive than I usually put on this list, but I think their Mexican dishes are really worth the money (such as the puntas de filete). (7-14-17)

Cafe Italia–6705 N. Mesa St. (Pizza) Closed Sun-Mon.  Wood fired pizza that is literally the best I’ve ever had. (2-18-17)

Cafe Mayapan–2000 Texas Ave. (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Authentic Mexican from different regions of Mexico. I am impressed not only by the variety of food, but also the quality. (7-14-17)

Cuartito Azul–1550 Lomaland Dr. (Argentinian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Empanadas, steak, and other Argentinian style food. Recently moved from the smaller restaurant in west El Paso (8-12-17)

El Jacalito–2130 Myrtle Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast and lunch only (closed Sun).  Probably the definitive place in El Paso for inexpensive, real Mexican style lunches.  (There are two other similar restaurants that I also like–Anita’s at 704 N. Piedras and Jalisco Cafe at 1029 E. 7th Ave.).  El Jacalito may be the best place in town for Lent specials (Fridays before Easter). (2-18-17)

Forti’s–321 Chelsea St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  A local favorite, but I find it to be a little inconsistent. Tampiquena and red enchiladas are my favorites here, but for first time visitors I would recommend the combination plate. (2-18-17)

Han Il–9477 Dyer St. (Korean) Closed Sun (open daily according to Yelp).  El Paso has several good Korean restaurants, but this is my favorite. Has a good selection of items, and I don’t have problems with MSG. (2-18-17)

Hello Pizza–1071 Country Club Rd. (Pizza) Dinner only (closed Mon).  New York style, that people have told me is as good or better than in NY (and it is so good I believe them). (9-10-16)

H&H Car Wash–701 E. Yandell (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Breakfasts are excellent.  I don’t like the lunches so much. (9-10-16)

Jerusalem Grill–5360 N. Mesa St. (Middle Eastern) Closed Sun.  I’m still looking for falafel in other cities as good as the one here. (2-18-17)

Julio’s Cafe Corona–8050 Gateway Blvd. East (Mexican) Open daily (breakfast on Sat & Sun).  Originated in Ciudad Juarez, and many things here are more authentic Mexican than El Paso style. Everything here, though, is among the best in the city. (7-14-17)

L&J Cafe–3622 E. Missouri Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Open since the 1920’s, it is famous for being located across the street from the graveyard.  The food here is a combination of border (El Paso) and New Mexico style (so it is a little spicier than most restaurants).  I think this is the best place in El Paso for a combination plate, but for individual items I like the red enchilada, green enchilada, chile relleno, salsa, and lemonade. (9-10-16)

La Madeleine–8889 Gateway West (French) Open daily (serves breakfast).  This is a “French country cafe,” meaning more affordable, more basic food, but still French (therefore very good). There is also one on N. Mesa, but this one gets better reviews. (8-12-17)

Marina’s German Bakery–2033 Trawood Dr. (Bakery) Closed Sun.  This is my number one spot in town for baked goods (especially the bread). (9-10-16)

Matsuharu–4886 Hercules Ave. (Japanese) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  All around excellent Japanese food, but I especially like the ramen, tempura udon, salmon teriyaki, and fish specials (the specials change in accordance with what can be flown in). (9-10-16)

Mi Piaci–5411 N. Mesa St. (Italian) Closed Sun.  Upscale Italian with very good food, prepared properly.  (Italian and Middle Eastern have traditionally been the two best ethnic foods in El Paso besides Mexican food). (2-18-17)

Peter’s German Grill–255 Shadow Mountain (German) Open 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic food, but the menu is small and they specialize in sandwiches. They also specialize in German pastries and bread. (8-12-17)

Red Lantern–1841 N. Zaragoza Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  A good proportion of their customers want authentic Cantonese food, so they tend to have more selection than other restaurants. (9-10-16)

Ripe–910 E. Redd Rd. (International) Open daily except Sun dinner.  I think this is the best place in town for healthy, organic, and/or vegetarian meals.  The “International” part of the cuisine seems to be mostly Italian. (2-18-17)

Saigon Taste–6940 N. Mesa St. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  This is another one of El Paso’s very good Asian restaurants that I think may be underappreciated by locals (but it has some of the best Vietnamese food I have had anywhere).  Best items are the Saigon pancake and clay pot tofu. (2-18-17)

Santa Cecilia–5500 El Paso Dr. (Mexican) Open daily (including breakfast).  To me these are almost unbelievably good tacos al carbon (the ones that should be the pattern for all other restaurants).  Located at the intersection of Paisano Dr. & El Paso Dr., just north of Alameda Ave. (2-18-17)

Su Casa–2030 E. Yandell Dr. (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  These are my favorite red enchiladas in town.  Also available are several Middle Eastern items (my favorites are the spinach pie and tabouli). (2-18-17)

Sun Garden–6600 N. Mesa St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Cantonese food is available from the menu. (7-14-17)

Tabla–115 S. Durango (Spanish) Closed Sun.  Tapas. (2-18-17)

Villa del Mar–7988 Gateway Blvd. East (Mexican) Open Daily.  I think it’s the best in town for Mexican style seafood. (2-18-17)

Fabens

Cattleman’s Steakhouse–Ranch Road 793 about 4 mi. north of IH-10 (Steakhouse) Open Daily.  Nationally famous destination restaurant.  I don’t think the steaks are as good as they used to be, but it is still a good meal in an interesting setting. (9-10-16)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Sources:

Chowhound (El Paso)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (El Paso)

Zomato (El Paso)

 

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