MExican

You're going to need to treat this like a To-Do List

Bertha's Bakery & Restaurant

  • Bertha's isn't even fair, man. Complete your chicken fajita taco with fresh tortillas and chile verde so good you would slap someone else's momma with some of the best pan dulce (and not, like, the Hannibal Lecter kind) you could possibly ask for. They make everything you order fresh, and the burritos are not of this world.
  • 2418 Grim Avenue
  • 7am-7pm Mon; 7am-3pm Tue; 7am-7pm Wed-Sat; 7am-5pm Sun

EL charro

  • One of our favorite restaurants in Waco, El Charro has been operating off The Circle for a long time, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We've eaten there for all three (more, if you include Second Breakfast, Pre-Dinner, etc.) and have never been disappointed. The chips and salsa are second to none. The enchiladas are out of this world. If you're under the weather, get a large Caldo de Res - it's what chicken noodle soup wishes it could be. 
  • 2303 La Salle Avenue
  • 6am-9pm Mon; 6:30am-10pm Wed; 9am-9pm Thu; 6:30am-10pm Fri-Sat; 7am-10pm Sun; Closed Tue
  • Staff Pick: All of it.

El Charro Tapatio

  • Not to be confused with the El Charro listed above, El Charro Tapatio works magic with their breakfast burritos, chile con queso enchiladas, a wide array of seafood options, and Big Red margaritas. It's authentic Mexican food (not Gringo Mexican food) that always delivers. 
  • 1615 West Waco Drive
  • 6am-10pm Sun-Sat

Hecho En waco

  • With authentic Mexican recipes from Michoacan, Mexico City, Puebla and Jalisco, Hecho En Waco is changing the game in downtown Waco with a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The chips come with a unique bean/salsa dip and their recipes are the best of what authentic Mexico has to offer. With lunch, dinner, and drink specials (their margaritas are made with fresh fruit juice, and the mojitos are incredible). Sit out on the patio and enjoy your dinner/drinks from the detached bar/restaurant service.
  • 300 South 6th Street, Suite B
  • 11am-10pm Mon-Thu; 11am-11pm Fri-Sat; 11am-9pm Sun

La Familia

  • This no-nonsense Mexican joint is open for breakfast and lunch, and there's never a bad time for their huevos rancheros or the migas. Get a one-meat, two-ingredient breakfast burrito that is absolutely bigger than your stomach for just $3.50 - La Familia is a great place to fill up without emptying your wallet. 
  • 1111 La Salle Avenue
  • 7am-2pm Mon-Sat; Closed Sun

Lolita's

  • It's a testament to the 30+ years of work Lolita's has put in that they only have 12 tables, and you'll still see people standing up eating, or eating in the parking lot. Get breakfast tacos for less than $2, The menudo and the barbacoa are also fantastic, and their lunch specials provide a ton of great food at a great price. 
  • 1911 Franklin Avenue
  • 6am-2pm Tues-Fri; 7am-2pm Sat; 8am-2pm Sun; Closed Mon
  • Staff Pick: G-Dub Elephante: A 10" tortilla with sausage, egg, potatoes, bacon, beans, and cheese for $4.50. And while you won't need to buy lunch after you eat it, you will likely need a nap. 

Ranchito #5

  • Kami and I took our daughter for lunch at Ranchito not 90 minutes ago (well, as I'm writing this). It has quickly become one of our go-to spots in Waco thanks to their warm salsa, cold pico, and legit queso. The fajitas are fantastic, that is, when I can't help but order the tacos al pastor. Friendly staff (most of whom I taught at one point or another) and delicious Mexican food at a great price. And there's always a soccer game on the television. There are drink specials every day of the week, as well. 
  • 2310 West Waco Drive
  • 6am-10pm Sun-Thu; 6am-11pm Fri-Sat
  • Staff Pick: Warm salsa, and a spoon followed by Tacos al Pastor

Rene's Restaurant

  • Homemade tortillas? Check. And the flour ones are super-thick? Oh heck yes. Great salsa? Check. Spacious seating area? Check. Rene's will not disappoint you if you're looking for an authentic Waco spot for any meal. Please allow me to suggest that you get the chorizo, on anything. 
  • 1912 Speight Avenue
  • 6am-10pm Mon, Tue, Thu-Sat; 6am-3pm Wed, Sun

Rufi's Cocina

  • Specializing in Mexican food from Michoacan, don't come here if you're in a hurry - nothing in Rufi's is pre-prepared. Instead, Rufi's chooses to prepare their dishes on-demand to ensure freshness. Anything with the crema is going to be a treat, such as their enchiladas. This is a place you can afford to be adventurous, such as ordering the fruit-filled tamales and their flavored waters. Their salsa is made in small batches every day, as well. Come on in, have a seat, and stay a while, and pray that the Pork Guiso is on the famous Special Board.. 
  • 1801 North 25th Street
  • 8am-3pm Mon-Sat; 8am-4pm Sun

sergio's

  • Specializing in fine Mexican seafood, Sergio's downtown location is a great Date Night spot, or just as a place to grab dinner with friends. The seafood enchiladas are excellent, and the veggie medley is worth coming back to again and again. If you want a refreshing alcoholic beverage to accompany your meal, you'll have to bring it yourself as Sergio's is BYOB.
  • 608 Austin Avenue
  • 5pm-10pm Fri-Sat; Closed Sun-Thu

Spiciness Mexican grill

  • Long a Saturday morning staple at Waco Wise HQ, Spiciness offers some of the best breakfast tacos and burritos on this side of Waco. They double up the corn tortillas if you order the tacos, which is much appreciated. Want an extra kick? Make sure you get the serrano oil, just be careful, or you'll be an upside-down volcano later (but you probably won't mind). 
  • 1725 North Valley Mills Drive
  • 6am-2pm Sun-Sat

Taqueria El Mexicano #9

  • Full disclosure: I suggest Taqueria #9 so often that Kami is starting to cut me off when she asks where I want to go eat. Also, I embarrassed myself and brought shame upon my family while watching the World Cup on one of their numerous televisions located around the restaurant. Does that stop me from going back? No, it doesn't. With daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials, you almost can't go wrong ordering anything off of their extensive menu. Ask for extra creamy jalapeno dip, you'll need it.
  • 1420 North Valley Mills Drive
  • 6am-10:15pm Sun-Sat
  • Staff Pick: Dos Enchiladas Special with some of that extra creamy jalapeno dip I told you that you'd need. It's $6.99 and will more than satisfy you.

Taqueria Zacatecas

  • Located directly off the circle, Taqueria Zacatecas evolved from a food truck into a brick-and-mortar shop with indoor and patio seating. I'll be honest, even though I grew up in Houston, I didn't know what Elotes were. (My dad also told me that tamales were pig intestines wrapped in a corn husk, and so I didn't eat them for 35 years. That's basically child abuse.) Now if you asked me to describe Taqueria Zacatecas' Elotes, I would just tell you that it's creamy corn doused in hot sauce and sprinkled with God's actual wonder. 
  • 2311 La Salle Avenue
  • 9am-11:30pm Sun-Thu; 9am-3:30am Fri-Sat
  • Staff Pick: Elotes.