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15 Best Latin Restaurants In Memphis

Three dishes Memphis skyline background
Three dishes Memphis skyline background - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Memphis is known for its barbecue and blues, but its Latin American food scene is equally worthy of note. Since the '90s, the city has seen an exponential increase in migration from countries in Central and South America. The result is a flourishing and vibrant Latin American community and an equally special food scene. Where there were once just a couple of taco joints, there are now a myriad of restaurants and food trucks representing many different regions of Latin cuisine.

While there are commonalities in affordability and taste across the board, there are a few places that stand tall amongst the crowd. We ate at many Latin restaurants across the city and compiled a list of some of our favorite spots that offer consistently delicious, regionally representative, and high-quality Latin American fare to its customers. We recommend using this list as a map to guide you through the best Latin food the Bluff City has to offer.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Los Picosos

chicken fries beans rice plate
chicken fries beans rice plate - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Los Picosos, which translates closely to "the spicy ones," is a family-run Mexican restaurant. It's located on lively Summer Avenue in Memphis, a bustling and diverse corridor of Latin and Middle Eastern restaurants. This spot stakes a claim in traditional Sinaloan fare, with its signature pollo al carbon taking center stage.

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This hearty plate of chicken — a common dish sold by street vendors in Sinaloa, Mexico is marinated in a mixture of spices, smoked over an open flame for several hours, and finished on the grill. Pollo al carbon can be ordered in quarter, half, or whole bird sizes at this restaurant. Each portion size is complete with sides of fries, salad, rice, beans, tortillas, and salsa -- which makes it a whole meal plus leftovers. Los Picosos sets itself apart from the old taco and burrito song and dance with this idiosyncratic and relatively cheap feast.

facebook.com/picososmexicanrestaurant

(901) 323-7003

3937 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122

Taco Antrax

quesadilla paper yellow boat
quesadilla paper yellow boat - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Taco Antrax, formerly a humble taco truck stationed outside AB Latino Services on Summer Avenue, has expanded its operations to include indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant's unique name lovingly refers to a hit squad of the Sinaloan Cartel, and its logo features a woman wearing a balaclava and a taco costume firing cartoon tacos from an AK-47. Though its marketing is somewhere on the spectrum of hilarious, harrowing, and bizarre, Taco Antrax doesn't play when it comes to its food.

This women-owned and operated business offers an extensive menu of street-style tacos ranging from traditional favorites like al pastor and carnitas to more adventurous options like lengua. Among its best menu items is the spicy menudo, a Mexican tripe soup made with guajillo chiles and served with tortillas, cabbage, and lime. One of our favorites on the menu is the quesadilla de huitlacoche, which features thick masa, Oaxacan cheese, and corn smut (huitlacoche) — a type of sweet and umami-rich fungi that makes corn kernels swell and turn black. Despite its off-putting description to some, corn smut is considered a delicacy and prized by chefs across Latin America.

Taco Antrax opened a second taco truck location on South Perkins Road in December 2023 and serves all the classics found at the original location.

facebook.com/ablatinoservices

Multiple locations in Memphis

El Sabor Latino

el sabor latino storefront
el sabor latino storefront - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

El Sabor Latino is an authentic Colombian restaurant offering counter and table service. The menu features classic Colombian dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all of which available individually or on combination platters. The food is consistently delicious and always satisfies our craving for spice and flavor.

One of our favorite items on the menu is the bandeja paisa, a hearty meal that came from the Antioquia department of Colombia. It's a diverse platter featuring sausage, an arepa, red beans, avocado, beef, and sweet plantain. Imagine a full English breakfast, but make it Colombian.

A sleeper hit at El Sabor Latino is the arroz con pollo — succulent rotisserie chicken with crispy skin served with rice and beans in quarter or half-bird sizes. Plus, don't miss out on trying the fried sweet plantains and a Colombian malt soda while you're here.

facebook.com/elsaborlatino901

(901) 207-1818

665 Avon Rd, Memphis, TN 38122

Mi Tierra

plate with meat beans egg
plate with meat beans egg - Mi Tierra Colombian Restaurant/Facebook

Hats off to Mi Tierra for consistently being one of the best-decorated restaurants in Memphis. The tropical vibes and Christmas lights make you feel like you're sitting in a roadside café somewhere deep in Medellín.

Mi Tierra, one of the oldest restaurants on this list, serves up classic Colombian fare, including empanadas de carne and the iconic bandeja paisa. You'll also have to try the churrasco, which features a thick sirloin skirt steak served on a wooden board alongside fried plantains, fried yuca, and chimichurri sauce. Its margaritas are a hit; they're served in giant chalices with inverted baby shooter bottles for an extra kick.

The ceviche and whole-fried fish are top-notch choices for seafood lovers and are great accompaniments to heartier meat items like beef tostones. Mi Tierra is ideal for gathering a group and sharing a family-style Colombian feast fit for royalty. It's casual enough to bring a few friends after a long day at work but endearing enough for a chill date.

facebook.com/Mi-Tierra-Restaurante-100063570730322/

(901) 371-9990

5883 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38134

Mariscos Sinaloa

plates of seafood on blue table
plates of seafood on blue table - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Mariscos Sinaloa is a Sinaloan restaurant located along Summer Avenue in Memphis. It offers a kitschy ambiance and an array of decent menu items to choose from, including fresh seafood, from aguachile and ceviche to tostadas and fried whole fish. Its selections range from tapas-sized appetizers to platter-sized entrees, all of which are meant for sharing family style. A must-try is the Torre de Mariscos Gigante, which translates to "giant seafood tower" — a tall ensemble of shrimp ceviche, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado, drizzled with a Maggi-like, savory  sauce.

Are you not a fish fan? No worries. Mariscos Sinaloa also offers tacos and other non-seafood options, like bistec ranchero. The al pastor tacos and flautas are particularly delicious here, too. But our favorite item might have to be the empanadas de camarón — stuffed, fried pockets of chopped shrimp and melty cheese served with salsa verde. The order comes with three empanadas, but we always order extra.

mariscossinaloatn.com

(901) 249-8101

5040 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122

Chilemon

plate with fried fish and sides
plate with fried fish and sides - chilemonoficial/Instagram

Chilemon holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons, but especially because the love of family and food bleeds from the walls of this restaurant. The owners, a married couple who run the restaurant with help from their daughter, serve both Venezuelan and Columbian cuisine. The restaurant's name refers to chile and lime -- the main ingredients in the ceviche marinade called leche de tigre.

While everything on the menu is delicious, the ceviche has some of the freshest flavors that we've ever tasted. Chilemon also has solid steaks and burgers for those craving more American-inspired fare. In early 2024, Chilemon expanded and opened a bakery next door where it serves classic Colombian and Venezuelan pastries like roscón de bocadillo o guayaba, a sweet bread stuffed with guava, and golfeados, Venezuelan cheese buns. Its hours also expanded to include breakfast, and we love that we get to order an espresso drink with our pastries.

facebook.com/chilemonoficial

(901) 249-5476

4509 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122

Rincon Catracho

round tacos with cabbage salad
round tacos with cabbage salad - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Rincon Catracho is one of the few local spots in Memphis offering authentic, top-notch Honduran cuisine. Despite its unassuming appearance, tucked away among auto body shops on Jackson Avenue in North Memphis, it's a rather big space with slot machines and TVs broadcasting soccer along the walls.

The menu boasts a variety of Honduran food, from baleadas to enchiladas. While Honduran dishes share names with their Mexican counterparts, they have distinct flavors and preparations. For instance, Honduran tacos dorados resemble Mexican flautas or taquitos, while Honduran enchiladas resemble mini tostadas.

The tacos dorados are some of our favorite things to order at Rincon Catracho. They come out with perfectly crisp shells filled with juicy shredded chicken and are topped with a refreshing salad of cabbage, pickled onions, and peppers. Don't worry too much about the heat when it comes to these dishes either; Honduran cuisine tends to be milder, making it a great option for those who prefer their food a bit less spicy.

rinconcatrachorestauranttn.com

(901) 767-2723

1456 Wells Station Rd #3664, Memphis, TN 38108

Sabor Caribe

sandwich with meat and fries
sandwich with meat and fries - saborcaribememphis/Instagram

Sabor Caribe is a reliable spot in Midtown for tasty, quick, and rather cheap Venezuelan fare. It offers a variety of daily lunch specials featuring arepas, cachapas, and delicious empanadas that are all relatively inexpensive. The arepas are a classic — as they are at any Venezuelan restaurant — with fillings ranging from simple cheese and beans to Memphis-style barbecue pork.

Sabor Caribe also offers dishes outside of Venezuelan cuisine, including the popular Cuban sandwich with salami, shredded pork, pickles, cheese, and mustard. Every bite is perfectly balanced and perfectly filling. And don't overlook the appetizers, especially the tequeños — plump Venezuelan cheese sticks — and seafood empanadas stuffed with shrimp, squid, octopus, and mussels. Overall, Sabor Caribe offers affordable and tasty Venezuelan dishes in a quaint and casual atmosphere, making it one of our go-to joints for South American food in town.saborcaribememphis.com

(901) 425-5889

662 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Tacos Y Baleadas Doña Naty

red food truck tacos y baleadas
red food truck tacos y baleadas - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Tacos y Baleadas Doña Naty is a hidden gem tucked away near the auto body shop corridor on Jackson Avenue. Despite its low profile, it's a standout spot for Honduran cuisine in Memphis, although it can be a bit tricky to find and determine if it's open.

The lack of a readily available menu adds to the mysterious allure of Doña Naty, but you can find a list of offerings and photos of a few menu items on the side of the food truck. The baleadas are the star of the show here. We order ours con carne — which adds steak to a bed of eggs, refried beans, and queso duro, all wrapped in a chewy flour tortilla. They're served with a tangy and creamy avocado salsa.

Doña Naty is cash only, and the staff primarily speak Spanish. So stop by an ATM, download a translation app on your phone, and stop by this one-of-a-kind truck.

(901) 801-3812

4078 Jackson Ave, Memphis, TN 38128

Pupuseria Anita

pupuseria anita sign and storefront
pupuseria anita sign and storefront - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Pupuseria Anita isn't the only Salvadorian restaurant in Memphis, but we think it has the best pupusas in town. These thick griddle cakes, stuffed with meat, cheese, beans, or a combination of fillings, are to die for. They're tender on the inside, thanks to the soft cornmeal and melty cheese, yet perfectly crisp on the outside. Get yourself a plate with a combination of different fillings, such as chicken, pork, or beef. Don't forget to spoon some curtido — a spicy fermented cabbage slaw — over the top.

In addition to pupusas, this Memphis restaurant offers a variety of other Salvadorian and Mexican foods, including breakfast platters featuring yuca fries and plantains, soups, gorditas, and tamales. For a refreshing palate cleanser, grab a fresh fruit smoothie or agua natural to round out your fix. Pupuseria Anita is cash only, so stock up on some bills, plus extra to tip, before your trip.

(901) 428-9618

658 Stratford Rd #102, Memphis, TN 38122

Taqueria Chelita

four tacos with soup
four tacos with soup - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Taqueria Chelita is a food truck nestled in the parking lot of a gas station along the Germantown Parkway in Cordova. A family who came to the region from Estado de Mexico opened the truck in September 2023. Since then, it's gained traction among locals for its authentic Mexican cuisine.

At Taqueria Chelita, everything is made from scratch and draws inspiration from cherished family recipes. The menu features a wide array of Mexican classics, including street tacos, burritos, caldo de res, and menudo.

One of Taqueria Chelita's best offerings is its quesabirria tacos, which are birria tacos with extra cheese. The shredded beef is incredibly tender and moist, while the consommé that comes on the side for proper dipping is deeply spicy and complex. Despite being newer on the scene than most of the restaurants on this list, Taqueria Chelita lets its food do the talking — and the birria alone says it all.

instagram.com/taqueria.chelita

(901) 530-2039

1375 N Germantown Pkwy, Memphis, TN 38016

La Perla Tienda

tubs of tamales with tongs
tubs of tamales with tongs - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

This modest Mexican grocery store, located in Bartlett, offers home-cooked Mexican fare. Its primarily Spanish-speaking staff are attentive and helpful despite the considerable language barrier. While small in size, La Perla Tienda boasts a hidden gem: a counter tucked away at the back where customers can order a selection of prepared Mexican dishes.

The highlight of La Perla Tienda's fare is undoubtedly the freshly made tamales, available in chicken, pork, elote (with corn), and rajas with cheese. Customers can help themselves from the hotel pans near the register and take their orders to-go in plastic bags or grab a styrofoam plate and eat there.

The tamales are a treat — with moist masa and flavorful fillings. For an extra kick, drizzle salsa roja or salsa verde over them. And definitely grab a fried chicharrón from the butcher; when broken into small pieces on top, it's the perfect crunchy addition to your tamale feast.

(901) 443-5047

2465 Whitten Rd, Bartlett, TN 38133

Emilio's Grocery

closeup of street tacos
closeup of street tacos - Emilio's Grocery/Facebook

Emilio's Mexican Market is not your typical grocery store; it's got a full counter-service restaurant in the back where it serves delicious Mexican street food. Emilio's has everything you'd expect, from tacos and quesadillas to burritos and tortas.

Emilio's flautas are some of our favorites, especially when smothered in a spicy and refreshing salsa verde and crema duo and served alongside refried beans and rice. Emilio's slings its tacos street-style, meaning each small corn tortilla is topped simply with onions, cilantro, and lime. This spot keeps things simple yet does all of its dishes well.

We recommend bringing a friend so you can try everything on the menu. Split a burrito or torta and get some tacos or flautas on the side to share. Just make sure you plan ahead; Emilio's tends to get busy during the lunch and dinner rushes.

emiliosgrocery.com

(901) 365-3015

2757 Getwell Rd, Memphis, TN 38118

Maciel's Tacos & Tortas

closeup of tacos with beans
closeup of tacos with beans - macielstacos/Instagram

Maciel's, a Cal-Mex spot, has locations on South Main Street and Cooper Street in Memphis. One of our favorite items on the menu is the trio of crispy tacos alongside refried beans and rice. The hard-shelled tacos are shatteringly crisp and filled with proteins like carne asada and carnitas. Each is topped with an ample amount of lettuce, cotija cheese, tomatoes, and crema. If you're avoiding meat, we recommend getting the fried avocado tacos instead of a meaty variety.

The burritos at Maciel's are served California-style, with french fries stuffed inside, all the fixings, plus a fried egg. They're filling and definitely shareable if you cut them in half. Grab a few tacos or a burrito and wash it down with a tall cup of horchata or Jarritos. The aguas frescas at Maciel's are always fresh, cold, and refreshing and are a must-order as well.

macielsonmain.com

Multiple locations in Memphis

Garibaldi Taqueria

closeup of pambazo red sandwich
closeup of pambazo red sandwich - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Garibaldi Taqueria in South Memphis has a quaint café-like atmosphere adorned with '70s diner booths, making it the perfect spot for a laid-back Sunday brunch. While the coffee may be on the watery side, the food at Garibaldi is killer — particularly its fantastic tortas. We feel that these are some of the best you'll find in town. Garibaldi's torta ahogadas and pambazo are two of its best offerings.

The torta ahogada features your choice of meat with refried beans and cheese stuffed inside Mexican telera bread. After it's assembled, it's drenched in a spicy orange sauce and served with crema. The heat is worth every bite. Likewise, the pambazo is a spicy and unique breakfast sandwich stuffed with chorizo and fried potatoes on telera bread. It's then dunked in a guajillo sauce and crisped up on the griddle. You won't regret getting one of each, even if you're dining alone.

facebook.com/garibaldis901

(901) 370-5820

5967 Knight Arnold Rd, Memphis, TN 38115

Methodology

bridge river bush
bridge river bush - Nina Alizada/Shutterstock

We are weary of the word "best," as it often gives the connotation of arbitrary and subjective exclusion. First, it should be noted that this list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty of good Latin restaurants in Memphis that were not on this list. But those that made the list represented our three criteria: consistency of the food, reflection of regional cuisine, and quality, flavor, and texture of the dishes.

First and foremost, we assessed the consistency of each restaurant's offerings to ensure that the quality remained high across multiple visits. We also selected restaurants that stayed true to the flavors and techniques of the regional cuisine they represented.

The quality, flavor, and texture of the food were arguably the most important factors in this round-up. We wanted to make sure we listed restaurants that we believe cook the most delicious food in town. Additionally, while secondary, we considered the overall atmosphere and service of each restaurant or food truck to provide a well-rounded assessment of each dining experience.

Read the original article on Tasting Table