Our list of the best Mexican restaurants on Oahu, Hawaii.
Looking for the best Mexican cuisine on the island of Oahu, Hawaii? Some will say that great Mexican food doesn't exist in Hawaii, but that's only because they don't know where to go. Oahu is full of Mexican food choices and many of them are absolutely excellent and delicious.
As a self proclaimed expert on all things Mexican food, I shall share with you all of Oahu's delicious restaurants specializing in Mexican food. If you want to see which of these (and other) Mexican restaurants are close to you then you can view our Mexican Food Nearby Me search page.
Taqueria El Ranchero in Wahiawa is a newcomer to the Oahu Mexican scene but they make some of the best tacos and burritos around. It's counter service and inexpensive by Hawaii standards. Their cheese quesadilla is quite simply the best cheese quesadilla I've ever had.
I enjoy Chipotle's burritos but they're not great. First off, the meat quality they offer is sub-par at best. Dark meat chicken? No thank you! Second, they don't exist in Hawaii at all. Turns out, that's not a problem because we have Paniolos Hawaii in Kailua which is everything a Chipotle should be. It doesn't taste like the mainland chain exactly, but it's a similar build-your-own-burrito style, only so much better.
The steak tacos, called the Mariachi Tacos on the menu, at El Mariachi in Kapolei are among my most favorite tacos ever. They're spicy, filled with incredible flavor, and wrapped in two corn tortillas. Amazing. Of course, I love many of their other menu items as well and I eat here more than I'd ever like to admit. They have two other locations as well, all are table service. One is El Mariachi in Kaneohe, the other is El Mariachi in Aiea.
Tired of the same old classic style of Mexican cuisine? Then give Buho Cocina y Cantina in Honolulu a try because they do Mexican differently. This table service restaurant is all about a putting a modern, higher end take on classic Mexican and it works very well.
Classic Mexican cuisine done very well, that's the recipe for success here at Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant in Honolulu. It's a table service restaurant that also succeeds with their excellent service. Chimichangas, combo plates, it's all delicious here.
Luibueno's Pacific Latin Fusion in Kapolei is another restaurant that breaks the mold of what Mexican typically is. Sure, they have burrito and enchilada plates with rice and beans but it's not the typically heavy and greasy combination plates you'd expect. It's a higher end take on Mexican paired with unique twists on classic dishes. It's table service but they also have a bar inside.
Verde Kaimuki in Kaimuki (Honolulu) is another restaurant that has a bit of a Chipotle vibe to it. It's counter service and you get to choose from various tacos and burritos and then decided what meat and fillings you want. It's incredibly good, flavorful food.
Tacos Zarate is a small hole in the wall, counter service Mexican restaurant in Honolulu. This is one of those case where "hole in the wall" is a compliment since that's part of its charm. Bring some quarters and park out front on the street and then enjoy a variety of tacos and burritos. You'll be glad you did.
The main North Shore Tacos brick and mortar restaurant is located in Hauula and offers counter service and a large menu. They also run the North Shore Tacos Truck in Haleiwa which offers a smaller menu but still the same deliciousness. We love the fish tacos as well as their shredded beef burritos. Their pork is also really tasty and, apparently, cooked in Coke (the soda). Sounds odd, tastes amazing.
BIC Tacos surprised us a bit. It's not high end Mexican, it's not authentic Mexican, but it's not quite fast food either. It's something in between all of that. So let's just call it what it actually is and that's Americanized Mexican cuisine that's made to order right in front of you (Chipotle style) for reasonable prices. They have two locations, a Kapolei BIC Tacos and a Honolulu BIC Tacos.
When I'm asked if I want liquid cheese smothered on my burrito, I know I'm going to be in for a treat. The answer, of course, is always a big, fat "yes please"! Adding liquid cheese is just one of the tasty menu options here, they also have several unique items with an upscale twist on them. Try the Fried Avocado for a very unique experience. It's tasty and trendy, just like you'd expect from a counter service restaurant in Kakaako (Honolulu). Cocina is a must try if you're nearby.
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