Best of the Valley Mexican Food by Region

Editorial StaffJuly 7, 2021
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Reviewed on page 247 of this issue, this Grand Avenue micro-diner from chef Rene Andrade flips the beef-and-lard Sonoran cliché on its ear. 1301 N.W. Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-612-4018

Casa Corazon

Though multi-regional, this Calle 16 restaurant presents a master class in Oaxacan-Pueblan cuisine via its mole poblano and chiles en nogada. 2637 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-334-1917

Barrio Café

There’s hardly a style of Mexican cuisine chef Silvana Salcido Esparza hasn’t mastered. But we’ll slot her here by virtue of her incomparable cochinita pibil. 2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, 602-636-0240,

Joyride Tacos

Baja is more of an attitude than a culinary culture, but it has one undeniable staple: crispy fish tacos. And we love ’em at this bougie Uptown taqueria. 5202 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-274-8226,

Mariscos Playa Hermosa

For coastal Mexican, MPH is the apex – and you won’t find a better huachinango, the semi-official dish of Veracruz (fried red snapper smothered in a papaya salsa). 1605 E. Garfield St., Phoenix, 602-462-1563,

Birrieria Obregon

Birria is the most distinctive dish from this central region. Thus, we’ll refer you to one of the Valley’s top purveyors of sultry, adobo-braised goat. 3146 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, 602-442-5142

Reinas De Las Pupusas

Yes, it’s a Salvadoran eatery. But it also offers the best culinary analog of this mountainous region, via the leafy, herbal chipilín baked into its silky tamales. 2308 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix, 602-612-4347,

Mexico City
Restaurant Huauchinangos

Mexico’s federal district is known for street-classic staples like the sandal-shaped tlacoyos (stuffed tortilla) found at this delish hole-in-the-wall. 1620 W. University Dr., Mesa, 480-835-2054