Here For The Chips and Salsa

For the first half of my life tomatoes freaked me out. They still do a little bit, but thankfully over time I’ve been able to overcome my aversion, and fully enjoy the wonder of the world that is Mexican food. Pass the chips and salsa and lets take a look at some of the best Mexican restaurants in the Capital Region.

Most options: Casa Real recently opened its second location, expanding from Rotterdam into its new Guilderland home. As the restaurant continues to grow one thing remains steady, the multiple menu pages are likely to overwhelm you, but the food is guaranteed to please. Whether you’re an enchilada guy or a chimichanga kind of girl, they’ve got it all and then some.

Best Value: Offering up both Mexican and Spanish options, El Mariachi’s extensive menu is not only plentiful with delicious enchiladas, burritos, and tacos, but serves up great value as well. Visit any of their multiple locations in downtown Albany, order a monster burrito, and enjoy two meals in one.

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Most trendy: With three different versions of guac to choose from, Mexican pizza, and next level tacos, Ama Cocina’s fusion style menu has quickly skyrocketed this restaurant to one of Albany’s hottest spots. Impeccably decorated and conveniently located, Ama Cocina has everything you need aesthetically, the food’s pretty good too. Check out this post, and this post, for a closer look.

Best Vegetarian Options: Mexican Radio gets a bad rep and for the most part it’s true. The food is expensive and the service is often slow, but the meals are not bad and if you’ve got a vegan coming to dinner, Mexican Radio is the best choice for you.

Most authentic: From the outside La Mexicana doesn’t appear to be the most welcoming, but from the moment you walk inside you’re transported to another country. By far the most authentic Mexican food in the area, come hungry to La Mexicana because you can get a plate full of tacos for just $3 a piece.

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Best Night Out: Cantina Saratoga may serve cactus fries, but it’s their extensive beverage menu that earns them the title of best night out. With cocktails like the Chupacabra and a rotating selection of tequila flights, start your night out in Saratoga Springs at Cantina and get prepared for wherever the evening takes you.

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Best Atmosphere: This Madison Avenue staple may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in spirit. El Loco Mexican Cafe is a tiny restaurant that’s been around since 1983. Their menu boasts a selection of tex-mex options including vegetarian and gluten-free options as well. The small dining area and self-serve salsa station make the dining experience intimate, perfect for a date night or catching up with old friends.

Are you a hard or soft taco person? Black or pinto beans? Either way, you’re bound to find something good at any of these restaurants. Beware of the chips and salsa though, they’ll fill you up before the main course even arrives.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram.

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