Mexican Eats: Downtown Las Vegas

Nacho Daddy Downtown Las Vegas

You have worked up an appetite after trying to recreate the downtown Las Vegas scene from your favorite movie. You are starving for Mexican food but do not want to have national chain restaurant food. Here is our list of the best Mexican Eateries in Downtown Las Vegas.

  1. La Comida

The 7-foot pink neon skeleton street sign is the first hint that this is going to be an out of the ordinary dining experience. Walk down alley adorned with flower pots and a Virgin Mary shrine finding the main entrance to the restaurant. The interior of La Comida looks like it could have been a part of Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn movie set, wrought iron fencing protects the exposed kitchen, with skulls and skeletons above it. Rosaries adorn the brick wall, and stain glass crosses encased in old wood adorn the bar with over 100 tequila choices.

The drinks menu consists of fresh fruit margaritas including blood orange, guava, and prickly pear. Each one is crafted to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit without making the margarita too sweet.

Inspired by Chef Paloma Cuellar a native of Veracruz, Mexico, the cuisine is more than just tacos and the usual Mexican standbys. The appetizers and main course dishes take you on a tour of Mexico far beyond the border towns. The Queso Fundido, Elotes Asados, Puerco Ahumado, Pescado a La Plancha, and Carne de Res a La Parrilla are must-try items. Be sure to finish the meal off with the Tres Leches cake for dessert.

  1. Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar

Inside the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is the Cadillac Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar. Adorned with columns of backlit tequila bottles and flat screen TVs  Do not let the couches and high-end sports bar look and feel fool you. This restaurant takes its Mexican food seriously with dishes Carnitas Guadalajara, Huarache, and three different salsas with varying spice levels.

If you are looking for smaller dishes, Cadillac Mexican Kitchen has elevated the street tacos with gourmet ingredients such as pickled onions and fresh housemade tortillas.  Be sure to try their Tejas Carnitas Tacos and Queso Fundido.

On the drinks side of things, the Cadillac Mexican Kitchen has over 70 tequilas and mezcals to choose. If sipping tequilas and mezcals are not your thing,  they have a limited amount of barrel-aged margaritas aged for 20 days in 5-liter oak barrels.

  1. Nacho Daddy

Less than a block from the Fremont Experience, Nacho Daddy satisfies your nacho cravings with a variety of tortilla chip toppers from the traditional nacho ingredients to less than traditional toppings.

The Filet Mignon Carne Asada Nacho is a well-constructed dish served on an eight-inch cast iron skillet. The combination of marinated filet mignon with housemade corn chips, Mexican cheese blend, refried beans, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro and house made ranchero sauce will satisfy your Tex-Mex craving.

Their “Mexican American Collisions” are a fusion inspired nachos including the “Buffalo Hot Nacho”. A combination of popcorn chicken breast tossed in buffalo hot sauce, white queso cheese sauce, ranch dressing, celery & green onions on top of their house-made ranch corn chips this dish is addicting.   Beyond their namesake, Nacho Daddy has a full menu of other dishes outside the Nacho that are worth sampling including the shrimp ceviche.  They even have a variety of fresh and healthy vegan dishes to satisfy the vegans in your life.

  1. Pinches Tacos

The Downtown Container Park is made up of repurposed cargo shipping containers. This open-air shopping center filled with boutique retail shops, unique restaurants, and live family-friendly entertainment is home to Pinches Tacos, a small California chain specializing in Mexican street food.

The double-wide shipping container has a full open view kitchen and seating inside for approximately 20 people with more seating outside the container.  Tougher than finding an open seat inside is making a decision of what to order. Pinches Tacos has a full menu of street food favorites. The ever popular carne asada (marinaded steak), al pastor (slow broiled marinated pork), adobada (grilled chili marinated), lengua (beef tongue), and nopal (cactus) are available in tacos, burritos, and tortas.

  1. Tacos El Gordo B.C. Downtown Las Vegas

Tacos El Gordo is king of the $2.00 taco in Tijuana, San Diego, and Las Vegas.  If you have ever been to Tijuana or any small Mexican border town, you have experienced real Mexican street tacos.  Not your regular Americanized taco shop or Mexican eatery, Tacos El Gordo has perfected the Mexican street taco in Tijuana and then imported it to Downtown Las Vegas.

Be sure to go with an open mind and try something new like Cabeza (Beef Head), Tripa (tripe),  Suadero (beef shoulder) or Buche (pork stomach).  Your adventurous decision will be rewarded. The line for those items tends to be much shorter than the line for carne asada and adobada.  If you want to experience a true Tijuana taco, look no farther than Tacos El Gordo.

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