The Quest for the Best Mexican Food Begins

As we’ve mentioned before, we are prone to impromptu foodie debates around the office. Although the best French fries debate was heated, it was nothing compared to the “What’s your favorite Mexican food?” e-mail conversation which took place last week. When it was clear the answer couldn’t be determined via e-mail, we moved the debate to more familiar territory: the kitchen white board. All the talk led us to realize that there was no alternative: we’d have to take it to the blog and officially deem this week “Best Mexican Food” week on Sac Foodies.  We invite you to study both our white board debate and some choice excerpts from our e-mail chain as we prepare to present you with a week’s worth of our favorite Mexican food eateries from the Sacramento area. But we need your input, so leave us a comment below if you already know your favorite, or if there’s a place you’d like us to review.

From the emails exchanged last week:

Shelly – “My vote will be for Paco’s in Woodland. It’s drive-worthy.”

Kim – “I want Mexican food right now!  Oh wait, that wasn’t the question.  I love La Fiesta Mexicana on Elvas in my neighborhood.  We go there nearly every week and I love the people who work there.  I will miss it when I move.”

Jenna (in response to Kim) – “When you move, you’ll be closer to Emma’s Taco House in West Sac. I’m sorry, but if we are giving points for the margaritas, then they win.”

Christine – “I want cheese for dinner now.”


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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Posty | Feb 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Are you kidding me? Where is El Novillero on Franklin Blvd? Possibly the best carnitas ever and the tortillas are amazing! You should definitely do a review.

  • Nico | Feb 23, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Good stuff on the list… but I question the credibility when a place like Zocalo’s is considered. As a Colombian married to a Mexican, since moving to Sacramento (city I LOVE btw), Zocalo’s has been easily the biggest disappointments not just among “Mexican”/Latin food, but among all cuisines.

  • Rich | Feb 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I’m more than just a little partial to Murillo’s in Vacaville. As a self-proclaimed enchilada connoisseur, I’ve tried Mexican restaurants in San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and places between and I always walked out thinking “…that wasn’t as good as Murillo’s.” So if you ever find yourself doing a little factory outlet shopping in V-ville (why else would you be there?), check this place out.

  • Christine | Feb 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Although it’s not in Sac, my local vote goes to Taqueria Davis. Review to come this week!

  • Kim | Feb 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Posty, I LOVE El Novillero too. So good and affordable! I also have to give a shout-out to my absolute favorite place which just happens to be in Salinas — the one and only Tico’s Tacos. Seriously the all-time best bean and cheese burrito ever!!!!!!!

  • Jenna | Feb 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I love El Nov, too! The carnitas chimichanga is to-die-for.

  • Ellen | Feb 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    We love Cilantros in Fair Oaks — great little hole-in-the-wall place. Also — Emmas gets a great vote

  • Cynthia | Feb 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    El Herradero Taqueria 2330 Arden Way is the absolute best, great reviews by Kate Washington former SNR food writer also Garrett McCord, Vanilla Garlic. #2 is La Fiesta on Alhambra near L.

  • Moe Hong | Feb 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I’m kind of surprised you guys haven’t gone to Lalo’s on the weekend (day, not open at night) for their barbacoa. I’ve been to every single other place you’ve tried, and I don’t go back to any of them since trying Lalo’s. The Epicurean Club is planning something for there, but just go yourself … the barbacoa is sold by the 1/2 lb, and the very authentic a la carte items (huitlacoche or squash blossom dishes, even!) are fantastic.

    the best thing, though … get a large Mexican coffee. Amazing. And the coffee flan is fantastic too.

    I used to think that some of the local taco trucks were the best, most authentic Mexican food here … no longer.

  • Eileen | Feb 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    OK.. another vote for El Novillero.. great carnitas and anything else but also Caballo Blanco on Franklin Blvd is also a great place with really good Margaritas especially the Cadillac Margaritas.

  • Sherrie | Mar 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Yet another vote for El Novillero’s… Locally owned restaurant with the absolute best Carnitas Quesadillas.. Very filling, so it makes a great lunch the next day with the left overs….

  • hkcarpenter | Apr 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Nice blog ladies…

    Okay, so it looks like El Novillero got more votes and is the must find Mexican eatery if I ever make it to Sacramento. Of course living inTexas, I think the best Mexican in the world is right here, but we’re a bit arrogant that way.

    I focus purely on Mexican food (Tex-Mex Initiative) both locally and when traveliing – I seek out good Mexican where ever I go. Stop in some time and say, Hey!

  • Moe Hong | Apr 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Very very unimpressed with the watered-down, no-spice, midwestern idea of “Mexican food” served at Novillero. And they stopped making their own carnitas and tortillas 10 years ago, according to our waiter, and now they come from La Esperanza, just down the street, which I’m sure everyone agrees makes the best of those two things in Sacramento.

    I’m still voting for Lalo’s, or at the very least some of the more authentic birreirias and seafood spots in town – Puerto Vallarta is tremendous, with an excellent aguachile and awesome octopus dishes.