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)


Flautas Tepalca–6994 Doniphan Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily. One of 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.) (3-7-19)

Little Diner–7209 7th St. (Mexican) Closed Wed.  Has New Mexico style enchiladas (spicy). Chiles rellenos are very good. I used to like the gorditas but not so much now. My favorite item is Christmas tamales (order a few days ahead of time and pick up on Christmas eve). (1-19-19)

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. (1-19-19)

Maracas–900 Talbot Ave. (Puerto Rican) Closes at 6 pm (closed Sun).  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). (1-19-19)

Peppe’s–6761 Doniphan Dr. (New Mexican) Closed Sun evening & 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, and I believe the food is more true to the Griggs family recipes. My favorite items include the tostada compuesta, green enchiladas, chile relleno, and cole slaw. (3-7-19)

El Paso

Amigos–2000 Montana Ave. (Mexican) Open daily except Mon dinner.  I think this is one of the top Mexican restaurants in El Paso (the recipes and cooks are from the old La Hacienda Restaurant). My only caution is that it is spicier than most places in town (if you do not like it this spicy, avoid items with red chile). Chile relleno is excellent and I think not too spicy. Red enchilada is also excellent but more spicy. Many other items on the menu are excellent (and they have a more extensive menu than most restaurants). (5-12-19)

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). (3-7-19)

Cafe Italia–6705 N. Mesa St. (Pizza) Closed Sun-Mon.  Wood fired pizza that is literally the best I’ve ever had. (1-19-19)

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. (10-18-18)

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 (I like the Mexican plate or the chile verde). El Jacalito is one of the best places in town for Lent specials (Fridays during Lent and the Thursday before Easter). (5-12-19)

El Rincon de Cortez–8900 Viscount Blvd. (Mexican).  Hole in the wall Mexican place that specializes in breakfast. I think this may have the best huevos rancheros in El Paso (although many in the city are very comparable). I like this location better than the one on Sun Bowl. (5-12-19)

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. The red sauce may be the best in El Paso (and I have tried a lot of them). (10-18-18)

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. (10-18-18)

Hello Pizza–1071 Country Club Rd. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Sat & Sun.  New York style, that people have told me is as good or better than in NY (and it is so good I believe them). (10-18-18)

H&H Car Wash–701 E. Yandell (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Breakfasts are excellent. I don’t like the lunches so much. (10-18-18)

Jerusalem Grill–5380 N. Mesa St. (Middle Eastern) Open Daily. Weekday lunch buffet is very good. For dinner I like the chicken shawerma or Lebanese oven roasted chicken. Has become upscale and expensive to the point, though, that it is not in my regular rotation but is only for some of my “special” meals. (5-12-19)

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. (1-19-19)

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). Some good items include the red enchilada, green enchilada, caldillo, salsa, and lemonade. Lately, though, it has become very popular and I think some of the items are not as good as before because of the mass quantities of food produced in the kitchen. A combination plate, though, will almost guarantee that at least some of the items are excellent. (5-12-19)

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. (3-7-19)

Las Palmas–1605 George Dieter Dr. (Mexican) Open daily (breakfast on Sat & Sun).  This is a relatively new discovery for me, but I think the Mexican food here rivals anywhere in town (enchiladas, chiles rellenos, etc.). (4-2-19)

Marina’s German Bakery–2033 Trawood Dr. (Bakery) Closed Sun.  This is my number one spot in town for freshly baked bread. Also serves bratwurst for lunch, and I particularly like the one here. (5-12-19)

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). (1-19-19)

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). (3-7-19)

Peter’s German Grill–255 Shadow Mountain (German) Open 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic food–the menu is small and it specializes in schnitzel and bratwurst. It also has very good German pastries and bread. My favorites of these are the Black Forest and the cranberry and walnut bread. (5-12-19)

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. Prices are reasonable also. (1-19-19)

Ripe–910 E. Redd Rd. (International) Open daily except Sun dinner.  Specializes in healthy and organic meals, but has a limited selection of vegetarian items. The “International” part of the cuisine seems to be mostly Italian. (5-12-19)

Saigon Taste–6940 N. Mesa St. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  This is one of El Paso’s very good authentic Asian restaurants. My favorite items include the banh xeo and clay pot tofu. (5-12-19)

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. (3-7-19)

Su Casa–2030 E. Yandell Dr. (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  These are some of my favorite red enchiladas in town. Also available are several Middle Eastern items (my favorites are the spinach pie and tabouli). (5-12-19)

Sun Garden–6600 N. Mesa St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Cantonese food is available from the menu. I like the ma po tofu and Szechuan pork (neither of these are Cantonese but they are very good). You can special order some authentic Cantonese dishes such as tomato and scrambled egg. (5-12-19)

Tabla–115 S. Durango (Spanish) Closed Sun.  Tapas. (1-19-19)

Tasty Kabob–6110 N. Mesa St. (Persian) Closed Tue & closed Sun evening.  Very good ghormeh sabzi, and I am anxious to try other items as well. (3-7-19)

Viet–1700 N. Zaragoza Rd. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Very good Vietnamese food on the east side. The only problem is that you have to request mint with the vermicelli dishes (they will give it to you, but you have to know to ask for it). Still, though, the food is very good (just ask for it to be Vietnamese style and assume that otherwise it might be somewhat Americanized). (3-7-19)

Villa del Mar–7988 Gateway Blvd. East (Mexican) Open Daily.  I think it’s the best in town for Mexican style seafood. (3-7-19)


Cattleman’s Steakhouse–Ranch Road 793 about 4 mi. north of IH-10 (Steakhouse) Open Daily.  Nationally famous destination restaurant. I think the steaks were not quite up to par for a while, but many people report that they are now as they were before. (1-19-19)


Sofia’s–11800 Glorietta Rd. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  The address of this restaurant is in San Elizario but it is actually located in Socorro. This is one of the few remaining “old time” Lower Valley restaurants with the traditional flavor I have loved since I have been here. Mexican plate is a good place to start. For enchiladas it goes against the general trend in El Paso in that the green enchiladas are best (at most restaurants it is the red). (3-7-19)


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.


Chowhound (El Paso) (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (El Paso)

Zomato (El Paso)


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