I must say that growing up in San Diego made me spoiled in a lot of ways. I was always within a twenty minute drive of the beach. I could wear shorts in February. I never had to worry about smoke in restaurants. And most importantly for a foodie like me, I could get really good Mexican food pretty much anywhere, including the little shacks in strip malls that looked like they were going to fall down at any moment. Heck, if I was feeling adventurous on the weekends, I would simply drive across the border for the real deal.
Now, though, I live in Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong — Atlanta has a fabulous restaurant scene. I personally think it has the best restaurant scene in the entire United States besides New York City. (Seriously! I’ve visited and lived in quite a few cities in the States, and Atlanta is amazing in this respect). But Mexican food? Until recently, my search for a simple, tasty, authentic burrito or taco has been more frustrating than trying to style my hair in 80% humidity. I’m talking about real Mexican food – tortillas that are cooked with lard, sauces that don’t taste like they’ve come out of a can – not Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is easy to find here, as it is in almost every big city, because it’s easy to make. It’s an American version of Mexican food that appeals to the masses, and I do eat it, but it’s sad that so many Americans have no idea what real Mexican food tastes like.
Here are my top five pics for where to go to get very, very good Mexican food in Atlanta. You’ll have to drive about 30-40 minutes out of the city to get to two of these place, but trust me — it’s worth it.
Man, I am really craving the guac here! The tacos are small but so delicious, and cheap, like $1. Take a chance here and order something you don’t normally order – I guarantee you that you will love it. And come back for more.
I was a little hesitant to include this one since it’s a bit of a chain, but it’s an outstanding chain. It’s not Tex-Mex, and it’s real. They have all the Mexican drinks here and the Mexican snacks. The tortillas are mind blowing. Burritos have nothing inside them except meat unless you ask for it – that’s how it should be done!
My husband ordered the beef tongue here and he said it was life changing. Hearing what he had ordered almost made me walk out, but I’m glad I stayed. The place looks run down from the outside, as the best places do, for some reason. Tacos and tamales are the bomb here.
4. Tacqueria el Camino (Tucker)
This is one of those hidden places that doesn’t really exist on the Internet. It’s off of Hairston Street in Tucker though — go and ask around, I can’t recall the address. Again, just awesome, authentic Mexican. Not a bad thing on the menu.
This is a pretty recent find, and I can assure you that it’s legit. The homemade tortillas are probably the best I’ve had outside of San Diego. Get the mole sauce on something, anything.