Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (2023)

Yourfriends atHoLa Hora Latinacelebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in very BIG ways. Each year since 1999 our organization has invited our East Tennessee neighbors to join us in celebrating the diversity of Hispanic heritage at our annualHoLa Festival.

This two-day event features live music and performances, authentic food and craft vendors representing a variety of Latin American countries and cuisines, educational activities and entertainment just for kids, fireworks on Saturday night, Mexican beer on tap, local businesses,volunteerorganizations, and our signature Parade of Nations on Sunday.

Be sure to join us at theWorld’s Fair Park Performance Lawn:

Saturday, September 25th, from 4 pm to 10 pm, andSunday, September 26th, from 11 am to 6 pm.

HoLamembersand children under 12 enter free, otherwise, admission is $1 perperson perday.

HoLaHora Latina andtheHoLaFestival are recognized each year by the City and County mayors for ourworkin promoting“Unity in the Community”with a celebration that EVERYONE is invited to share in. We hopeallofour neighbors, and visitors from afar, join us for a fun weekend filled with music, dancing, art,culture,and community-focused programming-not to mention the diverse array of authentic food vendors that willguide you through a culinary tour of Latin America.

While we are on the topic of delicious food, let’stake a lookat some of our favoriteLatin Americanflavors to be found around town.Because there are so many wonderful options to choose from, we arefocusing on Mexico this month and willhighlight Latin cuisine from other countries (+ taco trucks) next month!What better way to prepare for the start of Hispanic Heritage Monthon September 15th!?

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (1)
Victor's Tacos

Central/DowntownKnoxville
Victor’s TacoShop(formerlyOscar’s Tacos)is foundnear the University of Tennessee’s campuson“TheStrip”, or Cumberland Avenue. They offer an extensive variety of quesadillas, burritos, breakfast burritos, rolled tacos,nachos, taco salads, tacos, and tortas.Choose fromwidearray of meatoptions includingchorizo, pastor(marinated pork), fish,shrimp, carnitas, carneasada, chicken, ground beef, and ham.Tacos can be served in crunchy or soft corn tortillas.This is a great spot to find lots of options to suit everyone in yourparty. They also serve up fresh horchata, a delicious cinnamon and rice milk staple, andjamaica, an iced hibiscus tea, with many flavors ofjarritosto choose from.The refried beans pack so much flavor it’ll knock your socks off.Victor’s typically stays open late on weekends during football season to accommodate hungry fans after a long gameday.

Combiningauthentic Mexican disheswith an American sports grill,Soccer Tacois beloved by manyKnoxvilliansand has accumulated many awards since their opening in 2008. Known for their lively atmosphere and fun-loving, margarita sipping, beer guzzling crowd, you can’t NOT have a good time at one of their three locations in Market Square, West Knoxville, and Bearden. Their sports-themed menu includes something for everyone with fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, hamburgers, enchiladas, chimichangas, tortas, tacos, tamales,chilerellenos, tostadas, nachos, French fries, soups, salads, flautas, arroz con pollo, wings, chalupas,huaraches,sopes, vegetarian options, and specialty plates ranging from seafood, steak, chicken, and pork. Didwementionthe authentic Oaxacan quesofundido(no, not liquid cheese)topped with pastor, onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, and a fried egg? The options areplentifuland delicious. To top it all off, Soccer Taco offers 6 desserts;flan,fried ice cream, sopapilla, churros, burrito cheesecake (a burrito filled with cheesecake and deep fried), and chocolate chimichangas stuffed with snickers bars.

North Knoxville
Stop by the highly reveredLa Herraduraat 2625 Broadway for high quality, authentic Mexican food and beverages without any unnecessary frills or gimmicks. They are a Knoxville favorite and well known for their tacos, but also serve up quesadillas, burritos, nachos, taquitos, mulitas (like a quesadilla sandwiched between corn tortillas), tortas (like a Mexican sandwich between two pieces of bread), andsopes/sopitas(a fried corn masa base shaped like a shallow quiche or small pie topped like a taco,similar toa tostada with a softer, thicker base). Protein options include chicken, marinated pork (pastor), barbecue,asada, andlengua(tongue). You can enjoy a slice oftresleches or flan if you’re looking for something sweet. TheLa Herradura Food Trucks can be foundat the76 gasstation in West Knoxville (8311 Kingston Pike) and in Fountain City at the Citgo at 4801 Broadway. The express drive-thru is on the West side of town closer to Bearden at 7063 Kingston Pike.

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (2)
HaberosPescadoHawaiiana

East Knoxville
Speedy Tacogets right down to business with a simple menu offering your favorite quick bites including tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and specialty plates. Find them at theExxonat2549E MagnoliaAve.Mondays through Saturdays and be sure to bring cash – no credit or debit cards are accepted!Protein options include carneasada, chicken, chorizo, pastor, and shrimp. Tacos are served in threes on delicious corn tortillas.The simplicity of the menu at Speedy Taco allows for quickserviceand a perfect lunch-sized meal with fresh toppings like diced onion and cilantro,picodegallo, slices of lime,radish, cucumber,andsalsas.

Habaneros Mexican Grillon Asheville highwayis known foritsexcellent service and family friendly atmospherethat will make you want to stay a while.This full-service restaurant invites you to kick backand relax while you work your way through theirextensive menu offeringa wide variety of Mexicanspecialties.Bistec(steak), pollo (chicken), andmariscos(seafood) dinners are prepared here in endlessauthenticvariationswith a focus on coastal flavors. Traditional favoriteslikecaldos(soups), molcajetes, enchiladas, andmicheladas (like a spicy bloodymarywith beer served with a lime and a Tajín seasoned rim) give this spot a comforting and home-like feel.Of course,they offer all the other typical Mexican eats from tacos and burritos to quesadillas and fajitas. You’ll have to try theauthenticquesofundido, melted cheese topped withchorizo, peppers, tomatoes,and onions served with soft tortillas. Pinch off a piece of this gooey goodness with your tortilla and experience this traditional form of cheese dip like a local would in Mexico City. Be sure to ask forthe specialtreatmentwhen celebrating a birthday, you’ll get a face full of fun – and whipped cream in your hair.

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (3)
MexicoLindoHawaiianFajitas

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (4)
Mexico LindoMole over Chicken

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (5)
Mexico Lindo Abuela's Tamales

West Knoxville
Mexico Lindois THE place for authentic tamales in Knoxville.HoLaHora Latina has been selling them atourFirst Friday eventsfor years, where they always sell out within a few hours. Thisfamily ownedlunch and dinner spot on North Cedar BluffRoadboasts their abuela’s handmade chicken, beef, and pork tamales made fresh everyday (and available for orders by the dozen, check out this article to learn more abouttamales around Knoxville). Made with love, these tamales aren’t the only thing special about Mexico Lindo. Here you can find mole (a thick and dark traditional Mexican sauce of chiles and sweet, spicy,and earthy notes),chilerellenos (stuffed peppers), a wide variety of enchiladas,andevenenjoy livemusic! Follow them onInstagramand liketheirFacebookpage to stay updated on performance nights. Imported Mexican beer on tap,aguasfrescas, andtop-shelfmargarita pitchers will quench your thirst after a night of good eats and dancing. Stay tuned for their new line of homemade popsicles made of tropical fruits like strawberry kiwi,pineapple, and classicmangonada(mango with Tajín andchamoy).

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (6)
ElTipicoCaldo

El Típico Restuarant and Marketis a hidden gem found at the intersection of LonasDrive and HollywoodRoadin the Pond Gap area of West Knoxville.Specializing in authentic and traditional MexicanandHonduran food, El Típico is well known for their tacos, especially the classic al pastor with grilled onions and cilantro. With a variety of classiccaldosperfect for those chilly and damp Knoxville winters, the casual atmosphere combined with dishes packed full of traditional flavors will warm your heart and satisfy your cravings for a homecooked meal. Classic Mexican staples likesopes, tortas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas,and huaraches (like a giantsopepiled high with meats,cheeses, and other typical toppings) are available with protein options including pastor, chorizo, steak, carnitas, shrimp, chicken, barbacoa, andlengua.Locals praise the authenticity andexcellent, quick service at El Típico. Be sure to stop by for lunch if you’re looking fortraditionalchilaquiles.

South Knoxville
CancúnMexican RestaurantonChapmanHighway in South Knoxville is a livelyneighborhoodfavorite serving up classic Mexican dishes with an emphasis on seafood and beachy flavorsand kid-friendly options too. A full-service restaurant with a bustling bar and spirited patio scene makesthis the perfect hangout spot while you enjoy traditional staples likeelote, tamales, tacos al pastor, andchilerellenos. Locals love to sip frozen margaritas on the patio while enjoying music, friends, and family. In business since 1989, there is a second location near Halls and their sister restaurant,SeñorTaco can be found off Broadway in North Knoxville.

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (7)
La Michocana Mangonada

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (8)
Paleta de Pecana

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (9)
Pineapple

Sweet Treats
LaMichoacanais Knoxville’spremierneveríaandheladería(frozen treats and ice cream shop) offering up classic summertime favorites likemangonadasandraspados(tropical fruit flavored Mexican slushies), paletas (popsicles), fruit cocktails seasoned with Tajín,aguasfrescas,elote(Mexican street corn) and even savory snacks too. Their bright and flavorfully vibrantconcoctionsare eye catching, delicious, and hit the spot on a hot summer day. Find them in the Downtown West Shopping Center in West Knoxville or at their newest location in downtown Lenoir City. Classic favorites likeoreoice cream, banana splits,and strawberries and cream complement very inventive takes on nachos in a bagand pineapple husks filled with tropical fruits topped with seasoning. Try something new this summer at La Michoacana, open daily from noonuntil9pm.

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (10)
La FlorPanaderia

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (11)
La Flor Conchas

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Knoxville, TN | Visit Knoxville (12)
La Flor Novias

La FlorMexican Bakeryin Bearden is our go-to for Mexican breads and sweets. You’ll want to stop by to pickofyour pan demuertohere, or you can find some atHoLaHora Latina’s annual First Friday of NovemberDiade los Muertos celebration. Thisself-servicespot offers a variety of treats likechocolateand vanillaconchas(Mexican sweet bread topped with icing that look like seashells) and huge empanadasdulcesfilled with apples and cinnamon, pineapples,orcheese.Novias (Mexican cinnamon rolls), cheese bread, lemon bread,corn bread,and rellenos de manzana (apple turnovers) are some of our favorites,andthe selection varieswith seasonal favorites and holidays. You can order custom cakes,(including everyone’s favoritetresleches), and treats or stop by their shop and load your tray full of goodies for the whole family.

Hope this helps you find some excellent authentic Mexican food in Knoxville – come celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with us and we’ll see you atHoLaFest!

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