23 Best Mexican Restaurant Chains in 2024

Published on June 6, 2024 | 0 Comments
There are lots of excellent Mexican restaurant chains to try

Are you looking for the best Mexican restaurant chains? Luckily for you, there is no shortage of fantastic Mexican spots to check out. From tasty taco hot spots to popular burrito havens, there’s bound to be a Mexican restaurant chain that suits your desire for fast, affordable and delicious dishes. 

With all the excellent Mexican restaurant chains, finding the right one can feel trickier than folding a fully loaded burrito. This guide is here to make your decision process as easy as possible, ensuring you can find the perfect Mexican or Tex-Mex eatery for whatever you're craving. From the histories of the restaurants to some tips on how to order the tastiest meal possible, this rundown has you covered. 


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The 23 Best Mexican Chain Restaurants 

1. Taco Bell

With nearly 8,000 locations across the United States, plus international locations, it’s hard to debate that Taco Bell is the most popular Mexican restaurant chain. From creative, crave-able creations like the Doritos locos taco to under-the-radar Taco Bell secret menu offerings, Taco Bell’s unique Tex-Mex fare has gained what can best be explained as a cult following.

Popular items here, along with the already mentioned choices, include the Crunchwrap Supreme, the many breakfast offerings and cinnamon twists for dessert. Taco Bell has an excellent selection of vegetarian options as well and you can customize many menu items to be vegan.

Taco Bell is one of the most popular Mexican restaurant chains
via Taco Bell

2. Chipotle

The wildly popular Chipotle is one of the top Mexican restaurant chains around, thanks to its commitment to fresh ingredients made from scratch. The quintessential fast-casual Mexican spot, Chipotle has set the standard for Mexican restaurant chains in terms of quality and flavor. 

The burrito bowls, which can include Chipotle’s renowned guacamole for an extra price, are a popular go-to for regulars. But if you want to dig deeper into Chipotle’s offerings and try something a little more unique, there’s a Chipotle secret menu that’s got your name all over it. 

3. Del Taco

Del Taco first opened its doors in California in 1964, and since then, the popular Mexican fast food chain has developed a rivalry of sorts with Taco Bell, forming a mighty group of loyalists who swear by the Mexican restaurant chain’s approach to Tex-Mex. 

Beyond the typical fare, such as tacos and burritos, Del Taco’s secret menu is the stuff of legends. Order a “Bun Taco,” which features tasty taco fillings piled on a hamburger bun for a mix of tacos and burgers. Or ask for your food to be “made bold,” which calls for the addition of special sauce and fries to your order. Tamales are also available around the holidays.

Tacos with guacamole on a yellow and black plate next to sauce packets
via Del Taco

4. On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

On The Border is a Dallas-born Mexican restaurant chain with locations in almost 20 states. The casual restaurant is a reliable source of tasty Mexican food. There is also a special mesquite seasoning to try, which gets integrated throughout the menu of classic Tex-Mex dishes. This eatery is additionally famous for its massive portion sizes, so if you’re feeling particularly hungry, On The Border is the spot for you. Just expect to take home plenty of leftovers!

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5. Torchy’s Tacos

Torchy’s Tacos is a Mexican restaurant chain that has grown considerably since it first opened up as a food truck in Austin, Texas. The highly regarded taqueria has expanded its empire throughout Texas and into other states, serving up tasty tacos throughout the entire day, including a delicious offering of breakfast tacos. 

If you find yourself at Torchy’s and want to take your experience to new heights, Torchy’s secret menu will help you do just that, with plenty of imaginative taco options that expand their already extensive menu.

Torchy's Tacos is a Mexican restaurant chain specializing in tacos
via Torchy's Tacos

6. Moe’s Southwest Grill

The only thing more exciting than Moe’s signature “Welcome to Moe’s” greeting is actually sitting down to enjoy the food. Moe’s opened their doors in Atlanta in 2000, and since then, they’ve experienced a meteoric rise, quickly becoming one of the most popular Mexican restaurant chains in the United States.

This Mexican restaurant chain is wonderfully welcoming, pairing its greeting with complimentary chips and salsa. But don’t mistake their friendliness for a lack of flavor. Moe’s uses fresh, high-quality ingredients to craft their Tex-Mex fare. Every dish, from the massive burritos to the loaded quesadillas, are sure to satisfy hungry customers looking for a delicious meal.  

7. Café Rio

This Utah-based Mexican restaurant chain is known for its fresh approach to Mexican cuisine. In fact, none of the food at any of Café Rio’s locations is pre-prepared, so you can expect a freshly made dish every time you dine there. The casual restaurant has an extensive menu, including classics like burritos, quesadillas and fajitas. Make sure to try the sweet pork barbacoa, which is hard to find at most chain Mexican food restaurants.

A selection of Mexican dishes on a table in take-out containers
via Café Rio

8. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is a Mexican restaurant chain that first opened in Fort Worth but has since expanded throughout the Lone Star State as well as throughout the rest of the South. As per their name, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is known for its tacos, specifically the shrimp and fish tacos. 

But don’t worry if you’re not in a taco mood! Fuzzy’s also has other Tex-Mex staples, including burritos, quesadillas and nachos. They also have plenty of veggie options for those who don’t eat meat or seafood, making this one of the best vegetarian fast food places for convenient Mexican dishes. 

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9. Dank Burrito 

Primarily located in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, Dank Burrito is a Mexican restaurant chain that’s gaining popularity for its fresh and flavorful burritos, which pack plenty of global flair and exciting attitude. Dank Burrito started out as a food truck, before opening its first brick-and-mortar location in 2015.

Since then, the Mexican restaurant chain has been adding its creative twist to Tex-Mex classics, serving up dishes like a honey truffle Buffalo shrimp burrito and a soy ginger pork burrito. Despite the name, tacos, salads and bowls are also available, offering something for everyone.

Dan Burrito is a top Mexican restaurant chain
via Dank Burrito

10. Baja Fresh 

One of the healthiest fast food chains around, Baja Fresh is a Mexican restaurant chain that lives up to its name. Baja Fresh was using farm-fresh ingredients and sustainable meat long before it was trendy to do so. All food, from tacos to burrito bowls, is made to order and doesn't use any frozen or microwaved ingredients. 

The restaurant, which first opened up in 1990, has a bright and festive interior that’s perfect for a casual weeknight dinner. So if you want some fresh Mexican food in an accessible and casual setting, look no further than Baja Fresh. 

11. Qdoba

Qdoba is a Mexican fast food chain that has more than established itself among the top Mexican restaurant chains in the country. With locations in nearly every state, Qdoba offers its loyal customers the chance to build their own bowls, burritos, tacos and salads using a revolving menu of delicious, fresh ingredients. Plus, Qdoba doesn't charge extra for their guacamole or queso, which isn’t something that similar chains can claim.

Mexican dishes and drinks in take-out containers on a table
via Qdoba

12. Taco John’s 

This Mexican restaurant chain specializes in potato olés. These are deep-fried potatoes that are essentially treated like nachos, with lots of delicious toppings, such as meat, sour cream, cheese and salsa. 

But in addition to their signature potatoes, Taco John’s has a creative menu of classic Tex-Mex dishes, including stuffed grilled tacos, that you’d be hard-pressed to find at most other Mexican fast food chains. All-in-all, this Wyoming-bred taco spot is one that fans of the cuisine won’t want to miss out on.

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13. Taco Cabana

This San Antonio-based Mexican restaurant chain is a fast-casual eatery that offers delicious and fresh Mexican fare in a fun, family-friendly space. Taco Cabana’s roots are in Texas, but they’ve since spread to Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico as well. One of the defining features of Taco Cabana is its array of options. They offer tacos, burritos, bowls and much more, plus lots of breakfast items. Taco Cabana is also known for their flautas, which are perfectly crispy rolled tacos that you won’t want to miss. 

A selection of Tex-Mex dishes on a tray
via Taco Cabana

14. El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco is a Mexican restaurant chain that’s famous for their signature fire-grilled chicken. The titular meat is the only kind on the menu, so be ready to enjoy some delicious chicken served in whichever form you’d like, whether it be a scrumptious bowl or a hearty burrito.

With close to 500 locations across the country, El Pollo Loco has made their mouth-watering grilled chicken one of the most sought-after fast food options around, especially by diners looking for a healthier option than other fast food joints have to offer. 

15. Chuy’s

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that’s definitely the case for some of the burritos that they serve over at Chuy’s. This Austin-based Mexican restaurant chain opened up in 1982, and they’ve since expanded to almost 20 states across the country. 

Chuy’s is famous for its handmade tortillas, giant “Big As Yo’ Face” burritos and other freshly prepared Tex-Mex classics. The fresh-never-frozen ingredients come together to bring Chuy’s imaginative menu to life, and their extensive collection of handmade sauces helps take the food to the next level.

Chuy's is a popular Mexican restaurant chain to try
via Chuy's

16. Bubbakoo’s Burritos

Located primarily on the East Coast, Bubbakoo’s Burritos is a Mexican restaurant chain that serves up deliciously fresh burritos made to order. This New Jersey native is satisfying burrito enthusiasts from all over the country with their accessible customizable menu and unique, approachable atmosphere. 

While the Mexican restaurant chain is famous for its burritos, it also has plenty of other items on the menu, such as quesadillas, nachos, bowls, salads and chicken wings. They also have quite a good selection of plant-based toppings, making this a popular vegetarian and vegan fast food Mexican restaurant for those after classic dishes without animal products. 

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17. TacoTime

Founded in 1960 in Eugene, Oregon, TacoTime is considered by many to be the king of the Pacific Northwest taco scene. This Mexican restaurant chain started as a way for founder Ron Fraedrick to feed hungry college students, but it has since expanded with more than 300 locations across the United States and Canada.

Unsurprisingly, the tacos are the stars of the show at TacoTime. However, the burritos and the breakfast menu offerings, such as breakfast burritos and quesadillas, shouldn’t be missed either. 

TacoTime is one of the best Mexican restaurant chains on the West Coast
via TacoTime

18. Pancheros

Is there anything better than a piping hot, handmade tortilla? Pancheros is a Mexican restaurant chain that uses their hand-pressed freshly made tortillas as a baseline for their tasty menu of fresh, Tex-Mex classics. 

The standout at this Midwestern fast-casual spot is the burrito, which features delicious ingredients packed in a signature tortilla. Each bite is perfectly engineered to reach burrito perfection, and the collection of fresh salsas and toppings enhances the experience to the fullest extent. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, the tacos and quesadillas are also delicious and made with fresh tortillas.

19. Rubio’s Coastal Grill 

Considered by many to be the spot that introduced Baja-style fish tacos to the United States, Rubio’s Coastal Grill is a Mexican restaurant chain that’s definitely left their mark. Primarily located on the West Coast, Rubio’s is a fish taco-focused institution with a strong focus on fresh, flavorful ingredients.

The fish tacos are understandably the main draw at Rubio’s, but they also have burritos and bowls that can be topped with steak and chicken in addition to the spot’s signature fish and seafood. 

A selection of Mexican dishes on a table next to drinks in glass bottles
via Rubio's Coastal Grill

20. Uncle Julio’s

Offering refreshing, creative beverages and luxurious twists like tableside guacamole, Uncle Julio’s is a Mexican restaurant chain that knows how to bring the party. The Dallas-born restaurant has expanded to 10 other states across the country, and their mesquite-grilled Tex-Mex fare has been a hit at every destination. The enchiladas are one of the more popular orders at Uncle Julio’s, but no matter what you eat, you’ll want to pair your food with a freshly crafted margarita. 

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21. Dos Toros Taqueria

If you find yourself craving Mexican food in New York City, you’ll definitely want to check out Dos Toros Taqueria. This Mexican restaurant chain is a fast-casual NYC staple that has also expanded to Washington, D.C. and is known for its tacos, burritos and burrito bowls.

Dos Toros is a popular lunch spot that loyalists swear is better than some of the more popular Mexican chains. One of the best qualities of Dos Toros is that you can get crumbled tortilla chips as one of the toppings for your bowl, which adds a satisfying crunch to every bite.  

Tacos and burritos on a table
via Dos Toros Taqueria

22. Taco Bueno 

Another product of the Texas taco scene, Taco Bueno is a Mexican restaurant chain that prides itself on customization opportunities and freshly prepared ingredients. Primarily located in Texas, with additional locations in Oklahoma and Arkansas, Taco Bueno is one of the South’s best-kept secrets in terms of the top chain Mexican food restaurants. 

Taco Bueno does the classics well, but you won’t want to miss out on The Muchaco, which replaces a traditional taco shell with warm and fluffy pita bread — it’s exactly as delicious as it sounds. 

23. Abuelo’s 

With locations all across the country, Abuelo’s is an authentic, family-friendly Mexican restaurant chain that offers fresh, flavorful food in an inviting setting. Slightly more upscale than other chain restaurants on this list, Abuelo’s is a great place for a casual weekday date night or family outing.

You won’t want to miss Abuelo’s signature margarita to accompany hearty enchiladas and sizzling fajitas that are sure to satisfy even the hungriest of customers. Plus, they have plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options. 

Abuelo's is one of the best Mexican restaurant chains for a sit down meal
via Abuelo's

Learn To Cook Mexican Food 

When it comes to convenience, there’s nothing like eating out at a restaurant. But if you want to fully immerse yourself in the world of Tex-Mex and Mexican cooking, a hands-on experience like a cooking class offers the perfect opportunity to do so.

When you enroll in cooking classes near you, a professional chef will teach you plenty of culinary skills while you learn how to cook a variety of authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes. If you’re looking for a relaxing night in, online cooking classes provide another great way to elevate your cooking skills without having to leave your own kitchen. 

There is certainly no shortage of Mexican restaurant chains that offer fresh and delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex fare. So if you’re craving Mexican food, there’s bound to be a top-notch spot nearby that will whip up a hearty burrito, flavorful taco or offer creation in no time. If you need a helping hand in finding the best Mexican restaurant chains around, hopefully, this rundown can serve as a useful starting point.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.