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Little Rock's Top 5 Mexican Flavors - Downtown's Authentic Mexican Restaurants


If you find yourself in the heart of Arkansas and craving the vibrant and savory flavors of Mexican cuisine, you're in for a treat. Little Rock, the capital city, is home to a diverse array of Mexican restaurants, each with its unique charm and tantalizing dishes. In this culinary journey, we'll explore the best Mexican restaurants in Little Rock, showcasing their distinctive settings and the must-try dishes that keep patrons returning for more.




1. Local Lime

Taco and drink platter with sides.

Local Lime is located in the trendy Promenade at Chenal, Local Lime offers a modern twist on traditional Mexican fare. The sleek and contemporary design, complete with an expansive bar featuring an impressive selection of tequilas, gives the restaurant a hip and urban vibe.


Popular Plates:

  • Fish Tacos: Crispy battered fish topped with tangy slaw, chipotle aioli, and fresh cilantro, all wrapped in soft corn tortillas.

  • Carnitas Burrito: A hearty burrito filled with slow-cooked pork, black beans, rice, and queso fresco, generously smothered in verde sauce.

  • Queso Fundido: A mouthwatering appetizer featuring melted cheese, chorizo, and roasted poblano peppers, served with warm tortillas for dipping.



2. Cantina Laredo

Exterior dining area at Cantina Laredo

Cantina Laredo, situated in the bustling Midtown area, offers an upscale and sophisticated dining experience. The restaurant's elegant decor and attentive service make it an ideal spot for special occasions and romantic dinners.


Popular Plates:

  • Tacos al Carbon: Tender strips of marinated grilled steak served with guacamole, pico de gallo, and warm corn tortillas, allowing you to build your own tacos.

  • Pollo Chipotle: Grilled chicken breast smothered in a smoky chipotle-wine sauce, served with cilantro-lime rice and black beans.

  • Tres Leches Cake: A delightful dessert consisting of sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.



3. Taqueria Samantha's

Customer waiting for her food at Taqueria Samantha's

For an authentic and no-frills Mexican experience, Taqueria Samantha's is a hidden gem in Little Rock. Located in a cozy and unassuming space, the focus here is squarely on the delicious food.


Popular Plates:

  • Street Tacos: These mouthwatering tacos come with your choice of meat, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, all served on soft, homemade corn tortillas.

  • Chiles Rellenos: Roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, battered, and fried to golden perfection, then topped with a savory tomato sauce.

  • Torta Cubana: A hearty Mexican sandwich filled with layers of meats, cheese, avocado, and jalapeños, served with a side of fries.



4. Heights Taco & Tamale Co.

Modern rustic interior dining area at Heights Taco & Tamale Co.

Heights Taco & Tamale Co. is a lively and vibrant restaurant located in the historic Heights neighborhood. The colorful decor and friendly staff create a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for families and groups.


Popular Plates:

  • Delta-style Tamales: A unique twist on the traditional tamale, these are topped with chili and cheese, providing a fusion of Tex-Mex and Southern flavors.

  • Shrimp Tacos: Succulent grilled shrimp served in soft flour tortillas, with slaw, pickled onions, and a drizzle of cilantro-lime crema.

  • Fried Chicken Tacos: Crispy fried chicken tenders served in flour tortillas with pickles and spicy aioli, delivering a delightful blend of Southern and Mexican cuisines.



5. La Hacienda

Mixed fajita plate with sides and a drink at La Hacienda.

La Hacienda is a family-owned gem located in a historic building in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock. As you step inside, you'll be transported to a traditional Mexican courtyard with colorful tiles, wrought-iron fixtures, and lush greenery, creating an inviting and authentic atmosphere.


Popular Plates:

  • Chiles Rellenos: Roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a blend of cheese and seasoned ground beef, topped with a savory tomato sauce and a sprinkle of queso fresco.

  • Fajitas: Sizzling platters of marinated steak, chicken, or shrimp, served with grilled onions and peppers, along with warm tortillas and all the fixings.

  • Margaritas: La Hacienda is known for its extensive margarita menu, including classic lime, fruit-infused, and premium tequila options.



In conclusion, Little Rock, Arkansas, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Mexican cuisine, but these restaurants have proven that they can hold their own in the world of flavorful Mexican dishes. Whether you're looking for a traditional experience or a contemporary twist, the Mexican restaurants in Little Rock have something to satisfy every palate. So, the next time you're in town, be sure to explore these culinary gems and savor the vibrant flavors they have to offer.

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