“What’s the best Mexican restaurant in town?” “Where can I go to get authentic Latino food?” “What is your favorite place to get great Mexican food in Kansas City?” I get these questions quite often, and it’s tough to answer. There are a lot of great Latino restaurants here in Kansas City. And a lot of them are of the Mexican palate since 86% of Kansas City’s Hispanic population is Mexican. I myself am Mexican (technically American…growing up, my dad told me I was Mexican), so when choosing a great restaurant, I look for authenticity. What’s the seasoning on the meats? Is it mole ranchero or poblano? I love refried beans but am critical of how they taste. I’m critical, and with good reason. I grew up in a household of 18- sixteen kids and mom and dad. And there was no eating out, rather we always ate at home. My mom could cook anything and everything! Refried beans, home-made tortillas and rice were always around. With that said, here are some of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Kansas City.

Los Tules: My recommendation. Great service and environment. The cheese and onion enchiladas with a side of rice and beans. And don’t forget the salsa picante with your chips! Not only is the food wonderful, but the staff is as well.

Ricos Tacos Lupe: Street tacos with a variety of meats. Tacos al pastor are my favorite. They have some unique sauces, and while you’re there, try the torta. ¡Deliciosa!

Los Alamos Market y Cocina: Not only is Los Alamos a great place to grab a hearty lunch, but it’s also a market where you can find authentic ingredients to make your own homemade dishes. Without a doubt, my favorite is the hot & spicy pork ribs with the white bone. It takes me back to my days in Nebraska. Get the chile relleno while you’re there. Man! Give my regards to Agustín.

La Fonda El Taquito: La Fonda is one of the best places to get caldo de pollo, which is a Latin American soup filled with chicken and vegetables. Unbelievable. Avocado, onion, cilantro with fresh tortillas. To die for, and great when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

El Camino Real: I recommend tacos al pastor or with carne asada. Try the pineapple as a topping. Wonderful people! Right in the heart of Kansas City, KS at 7th & Minnesota.

Reyna’s Mexican Bakery: For less than five bucks, you can have a plate full of some of the best tacos or burritos in town. Or if you arrive early enough, you might be one of the few to grab an authentic, made-fresh tamale. If that’s not enough to fill you up, grab some fresh pan dulce or galletitas for a sweet treat to go. My daughter María’s favorite is the sugar cookies, la banderas. Reyna’s has also recently opened up an Express location in Ball’s Price Chopper in Roeland Park. It’s a great place to stop by for a quick and filling lunch. Check it out.

Meeting around the table for a great meal really is a social gathering point for Latinos. These are just a few of my favorites that serve truly authentic, delicious food that won’t disappoint! What are your favorites in the area? Let us know in the comments.