Foodie Events / Restaurants

What’s the Best Tex-Mex Restaurant in Houston?

Vote Now to Crown a Champion — and Win $250 in Free Food

BY Chris Baldwin & Annie Gallay // 05.22.18

Tex-Mex is the food of Houston in many ways, the cuisine that ties together the most diverse city in America. It’s hard to disagree about good queso. But what’s the Best Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston?

That’s a question that guarantees heated debate, arguments and counter arguments. Everyone seems to have their personal favorite, but there are only so many truly serious contenders for the honor.

We’ve narrowed it down to six — from fierce rivals The Original Ninfa’s and El Tiempo to a mom-and-pop upstart like La Guadalupana Bakery & Cafe. 

You get to decide the ultimate winner by voting for your favorite in PaperCity‘s Tex-Mex Challenge. The winning restaurant will get serious bragging rights, but you can can win big too.

One voter will be randomly selected to win a $250 gift card from whichever restaurant emerges as the Houston Tex-Mex champion. That’s some serious fajita madness. You can vote once per day — and the more times you vote, the more chances you have to win.

The Tex-Mex Challenge Finalists:

The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation

In many ways, Ninfa’s is the place where it all began. “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo opened this restaurant in 1973, grilling skirt steak for “tacos al carbon,” what we now know as fajitas.

Ninfa’s is largely responsible for popularizing fajitas — for good reason.

Lupe Tortilla

The fresh, soft tortillas at Lupe are second to none, and some would say ginormous. Browned to perfection, the flour tortillas manage to be both thin and chewy at the same time. The corn alternatives are on the fluffier side, and still a knockout.

El Tiempo

El Tiempo and Ninfa’s have a fierce rivalry — for good reason. People tend to pick sides in this debate, but there is no question both are top contenders for the big prize. El Tiempo’s Vegas Combo Plate — beef fajita, crunchy beef taco and cheese enchilada — shows its versatility.

Lupita’s Restaurant

This authentic (and now often packed) find in Sugar Land offers fresh, hot specialties like Stuffed Pollo, two grilled pechugas stuffed with spinach and Amanda Steak with ranchero sauce and Monterrey jack cheese. It’s a popular breakfast spot, courtesy of its chicken chilaquiles and more American fare like fluffy pancakes.

La Guadalupana Bakery & Cafe

This sweet little spot is dedicated to serving the best baked goods and breakfast. It’s colorful but as casual as it gets. You’ll definitely find signature breakfast tacos, but they treat the Most Important Meal of The Day well, with savory tortas, tostadas, gorditas and more.

Irma’s Southwest Grill

Irma’s is an institution for a reason. After all these years, it still doesn’t have a menu. If it’s Tex-Mex and a reasonable request, they’ll make it for you. It’s not about being fancy at Irma’s. It’s about having fun — and enjoying a margarita or three.

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