Texas is a huge state, which means the amount of restaurants has to be pretty big. But what about Mexican restaurants?

Most Mexican Restaurants in the Country
Jarritos Mexican Soda via Unsplash

In El Paso alone it feels like there's a Mexican restaurant on every corner! But nothing can compete with this Texas county that ranked number two in a Pew Research Center study that says one in ten restaurants in the U.S. are Mexican restaurants!

The study found that Mexican restaurants are most common in California and Texas; if you grew up in either of these states, it shouldn't come as much of a shock to you. What was shocking to me was that Texas didn't rank at number one, like I was led to believe!

The study found that while Los Angeles County is home to 5,484 restaurants, Harris County in Texas has 2,362 Mexican restaurants!


That means that 17% of the state’s Mexican restaurants are in Harris County, which includes Houston; while 9% each are located in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, and in Dallas County. You can check out the full details here.

So, El Paso is not the Mexican food capital of the U.S. as I was led to believe my whole life! This unfortunately means that California beat out Texas for the most Mexican restaurants; which only stirs the pot on a debate that has been brewing over time: who has the best Mexican food, California or Texas?

Even though El Paso didn't make the list, I like to believe we have the better Mexican food!

L&J Cafe
L&J Cafe

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EDIT: This was originally published Jan 18, 2024