Best New Restaurants 2022: Wave of Mexican Food

Bordering on obsession, our endless love for Mexican fare propels a giant wave of new arrivals.
PC: Dustin Bailey


Anaheim, Huntington Beach
Two new eye-popping venues for canny booze creations, tantalizing tacos

CarmelitA’s Taqueria

Dana Point
Over-the-counter tacos in made-while-you-watch blue corn tortillas


Costa Mesa
Michelin-noted chef Thomas Ortega’s take on fast fare featuring improbable taco salad, quesabirria tacos

Que Vida Tacos

Huntington Beach
Slick dine-in locals’ spot serving crafty margs, Sonora street dogs, and dreamy churro milkshakes

Birrieria Guadalajara

Costa Mesa
Revelatory birria appears in tacos and ramen. Don’t-miss the Titanic torta ahogada.

Casa del Sol

Live mariachi music by top local and touring bands, festive old-school platters, good for groups


Laguna Hills
Longtime Break of Dawn cook Alex Cuellar launches a menu of Puebla comfort classics—mole poblano, pozole verde, pipian rojo.

Taste Cantina

Huntington Beach
O.C. mainstay Chris Tzorin debuts an all-Mexican lineup of pork belly poppers, stacked enchiladas, and bougie tacos.

Tacos Madre

Costa Mesa
Jaunty, student-friendly joint for birria pizza, tacos with vegan and keto options

Three Roots Mexican Cocina

Santa Ana
Jazzy platings of terrific chile verde, stacked ahi tostadas, unexpected ex-Olive Garden venue

La Lucha Mexican Kitchen

Santa Ana
Neighborhood family’s luchador-themed storefront with peak tortas, tacos, weekend sopas, and guisadas

Tacos El Jefe

Local family serves tiny plain tacos bulging with juicy meats. Generous condiment bar, super Tuesday deals.

Buenos Migos

Rodeo 39 stop for hot chipotle chicken or birria street tacos, nachos, and ube horchata

Las Salsas Taqueria

By-the-dozen taco packs start at $18. Great salsa.

MORE: Best New Restaurants 2022