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Best New Mexican Restaurants in the Valley

Taylor Transtrum | May 16, 2017 | Food & Drink

Don't beat the heat this summer—embrace it. A recent influx of upscale Mexican restaurant openings add the perfect touch of heat to the scorching Arizona sun.

Chico Malo

1. Chico Malo
Armed-and-dangerous with a cheeky moniker in hand (“chico malo” means “bad boy” in Spanish), this resto takes all the right risks with bold flavors inspired by popular Mexican street food and South American cuisine. Also fitting to both the moniker and CityScape surroundings is a space that’s equal parts cheeky and modern in design. 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 602.603.9363
2. Ladera Taverna y Cocina
This modern Mexican resto's dishes are sure to satisfy in more ways than one. The recently opened Sunnyslope locale features colorful cuisine that's as visually stimulating as it is appetizing—like crispy red snapper; vibrant puerco en chile verde; or any one of the mosaic ensaladas. 8729 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602.606.2258
3. Barrio Queen
The raved-about restaurant and tequileria is set to welcome another highly-anticipated location at Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix by the end of summer. If it’s anything like the Gilbert and Scottsdale locations—known around town for delicioso authentic Mexican dishes and unique flavors—then we’re in for a treat. 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix
4. La Sala Tequila Cantina
The original Chandler hotspot is now closer to home than ever before with the arrival of its Scottsdale location. La Sala prides itself on serving Mexican and Latin American inspired dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients—giving queso an added touch of “fresco.” Of course, what the cantina truly does best—tequila, spirits and a bonafide happy-hour—is all in the name. 8977 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 500, Scottsdale, 480.656.7628
5. Casa Anejo
Alison Victoria, interior designer and host of HGTV and DIY Network's Kitchen Crashers, puts the focus on design at this taco-and-tequileria. Located in the heart of Phoenix's 7th Street dining district, the resto is locked and loaded for its Cinco de Mayo (May 5) grand opening. Here, you'll find a clean, bright space accented with colorful neon elements, southwestern flair and an enviable outdoor patio. Not to be overshadowed by the must-see design elements are yummy bites like shared plates, craft Mexican spirits and wood-fired tacos. 5602 N. 7th St., Phoenix, 480.588.2908


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Photography by: Chico Malo