Everyone has their own criteria for excellent Tex-Mex. While one person might judge a restaurant by its margaritas, another will debate the merits of warm versus cold salsa.
Another might refuse to grab Tex-Mex if there isn’t someone there making tortillas by hand. (Don’t even get me started on the heated debate I overheard over margaritas regarding housemade versus homemade tortillas…)
However, Tex-Mex is not meant to divide, it’s here to unify us in its cheesy, spicy goodness. As Frisco grows, so does the indoctrination of newcomers into the serious cuisine of Tex-Mex.
Don’t underestimate the unifying power of Tex-Mex. It’s time for you to get up, get out and get to know this regional culinary style. From Margarita Monday to Sangria Sunday, there’s something for everyone in Frisco.
The Draw: It’s in a great location and a perfect place to grab some grub before heading to a professional soccer game.
The Scoop: After dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, follow the sound of salsa, merengue and 90’s Spanish music emanating from the back room. Dance the night away as the DJ takes requests and you get the chance to dance to your heart’s content to everything from Como La Flor to Despacito.
The Drink: If you sit at the bar, the bartenders are really nice and will encourage you to stay and dance. If they offer you a shot of tequila, accept the shot and dance.
The Draw: The warm fire-roasted salsa, queso fundido, fajitas, and enchiladas are solid go-to options at Ernesto’s. Ernesto’s perfectly balances Mexican specialties and Tex-Mex favorites while serving up home-style cooking in a welcoming atmosphere.
The Scoop: The Frisco location is one of five locations that originally opened in Pilot Point in 2004. As they’ve grown, they’ve managed to keep the at-home vibe. Once you go, you’ll understand. Oh, and feel free to ask for a bowl instead of a cup of salsa – don’t be shy.
The Drink: Go for the top shelf margarita. Treat yourself because you’re at home in Ernesto’s and you totally deserve it.
The Draw: The patio. It’s written into your home contract that you cannot claim you live in Frisco until you’ve sat on the patio for a dinner. Between the setting sun, the pond, the stone longhorns, and children’s laughter, you’ll quickly learn why this is a regular Frisco go-to. Just order another margarita and get comfortable in this Tex-Mex/Salvadoran haven.
The Scoop: You have not lived until you have had their black bean dip. Don’t be ashamed. Ask for an extra serving. Like many, you’ll attempt to replicate the bean dip after googling “Gloria’s bean dip”, but nothing can replace enjoying it on their patio.
The Drink: Try the Sangria, especially during their all day happy hour Monday-Thursday.
The Draw: Yes, this is a Frisco-based Tex-Mex list and we’ve included a Hawaiian-Mex place in Little Elm. If Hula Hut sounds familiar, it’s the only location beside the one on Town Lake in Austin and is everything you love about that place without the wait.
The Scoop: Walk past the front hostess stand, past the ladies making tortillas through the glass wall, and to the pier patio. The windows are usually open, providing a great breeze and view over water. On one side of the pier, you can watch people wakeboard at Hydrous and on the other you can watch a volcano that erupts periodically. Just beyond the volcano is Lewisville Lake. When you’re done eating and need to walk off the food, there are miles of trails that you can take from this exact spot.
The Drink: Hu-La-La. The fishbowl sized mix of rum and heaven is meant to be shared between two people, but if you don’t share, they won’t tattle.
The Draw: Before Frisco was Frisco, the oldtimers will tell you Frisco was home of La Hacienda. La Hacienda is a solid Tex-Mex restaurant is that is heavy on the Tex. From the salsa to the fajitas you can’t go wrong here.
The Scoop: Call it LaHa. It’s the perfect place to take visiting family with its fast service, amazing food, and to tell them the tale of the origins of the frozen margarita. It’s a nod to old Frisco and bound to impress. I mean, how many restaurants feature a taxidermied bear at the entrance and horse saddles to sit on while waiting for a table?
The Drink: Frozen margarita. Inspired by a 7-11 visit, La Hacienda owner Mariano Martinez invented the first frozen margarita machine at the original Dallas LaHa in 1971. The original machine can now be found at the Smithsonian in D.C!
The Draw: This locally owned and operated Frisco institution has friendly staff, excellent pricing and delicious California style Mexican food. From the breakfast tacos to the California burrito, you’re certain to leave happy.
The Scoop: It’s located in a cute little house in downtown Frisco where you order at the register and sit outside on the adorable patio. You can order online or call ahead if you want to skip the line, which turns out to be helpful when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
The Drink: Horchata. Go out of your comfort zone and try this non-alcoholic beverage that’s reminiscent of rice pudding.
The Draw: Dependable service, amazing Tex-Mex, delicious salsa, and a solid bean dip. The patio is covered and heated so it’s a great option throughout the year. Full disclosure: this is the go-to for our family and we are regulars!
The Scoop: You won’t break the bank here and they regularly send coupons through the advertisements you get through the mail.
The Drink: A $4 house margarita during happy hour is hard to beat.
The Draw: This is the kind of place where someone asks what is good and you can solidly say “everything.” The decor is eclectic with everything from pictures of dogs to Elvis and the ambiance is loud so you can bring your kids unabashedly. When they deliver chips and salsa to your table, go ahead and ask them for a side of creamy jalapeno. Trust me.
The Scoop: They have a solid happy hour. If you sit in the bar area, you’ll find a make-your-own nachos bar with unlimited chips, salsa, taco meat and queso.
The Drink: Texas Martini. The jalapeno-stuffed olives and a personal shaker will have you craving for more.
Have we missed your favorite? Leave us a comment!