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Restaurant Review

Mexican Food SHOWDOWN – Vero Beach Edition

Over the past six months, Vero Beach has seen a wave of new Mexican restaurants popping up, each claiming to offer the most delectable dishes in town. With this culinary explosion, it’s high time we settle the score and determine which eatery reigns supreme. Join me as I embark on a flavorful quest to discover the best Mexican restaurant in Vero Beach.

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To ensure fair and unbiased competition, I established a set of rules that I strictly adhered to throughout the showdown. First and foremost, my visits to each restaurant were unannounced, allowing me to experience them as any regular customer would. At each establishment, I ordered the same dish – a ground beef chimichanga – to create a level playing field for comparison. No modifications were allowed unless a “super chimi” option was the only choice. As I embarked on this flavor-filled journey, my evaluation criteria encompassed various aspects, including the overall dining experience, the taste and texture of the chimichanga, the price versus portion size, and the authenticity of the flavors. With these guidelines in place, I was ready to embark on my culinary adventure that would determine the reigning Chimichanga King of Vero Beach.

Get your taste buds ready, because this showdown is about to heat up!

#6 – Casa Amigos Mexican Kitchen

Casa Amigos sign on the outside wall of the Indian River Mall in Vero Beach florida
Casa Amigos inside dining room in the indian river mall in vero beach florida
chimichanga, lettuce, sour cream, beans & rice as prepared by casa amigos in the indian river mall in vero beach florida

While Casa Amigos strives to establish itself as one of Vero’s newest Mexican eateries, our visit uncovered a few notable shortcomings which put them at #6 on our list. The speed of service was undeniably impressive, with our food arriving at the table within a mere four minutes. However, the quality and presentation left much to be desired. Upon closer inspection, the chimichanga revealed markings on the tortilla, indicating that it had been prepared ahead of time and left sitting on a rack before being served. Disappointingly, it lacked the anticipated crispy texture that sets a freshly fried chimichanga apart. At the time of writing, the price for this dish stood at $11.99—not the highest, but certainly not the lowest either. Additionally, it’s worth noting that ground beef wasn’t an available option, so we opted for Beef Chunks, which resembled more of a shredded beef consistency.

Casa Amigos Mexican Kitchen
Address6200 20th St Suite 496, Vero Beach, FL 32966
Phone: (772) 218-9100
https://www.casaamigosrest.com/

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#5 – Tequila Azteca

front entrance and sign above the door for tequila azteca mexican restaurant in vero beach florida
inside dining room for tequila azteca mexican restaurant in vero beach florida
chimichanga, rice & beans, sour cream, guacamole as prepared by tequila azteca mexican restaurant located in vero beach florida miracle mile

Taking the fifth spot on our list is Tequila Azteca, the newest addition to the Mexican food scene! Located in Miracle Mile (previous Amalfi Grill location), Tequila Azteca impresses with its inviting interior, combining booths and tables in a tastefully decorated dining room. Our visit revealed commendable aspects of the restaurant, including impressive food quality with delightful flavors and attentive service. The pricing was reasonable, $11.50 at the time of writing, aligning with our expectations, however, the portion sizes of the dish left something to be desired. It was enough to fill me up, just no leftovers to take home and enjoy the next day.

Tequila Azteca
Address398 21st St, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 492-9360


#4 – Ay Jalisco

Ay Jalisco side entrance just off US Hwy 1 in Vero Beach florida
inside dining room of Ay Jalisco mexican restaurant located in vero beach florida
chimichanga, rice & beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, as prepared by ay jalisco mexican restaurant in vero beach florida

Securing the fourth position in our Showdown is Ay Jalisco, a long-standing favorite in the Vero Beach community. With multiple locations across town, Ay Jalisco has built a solid reputation over the years. During our visit, we explored their newest establishment on US Hwy 1. The ambiance was delightful, and the service exceeded expectations. The food itself showcased the restaurant’s expertise, delivering impressive flavors. However, one observation stood out—the lines on the tortilla indicated prior preparation. Despite this, the tortilla maintained the desired crispiness, adding a satisfying texture to each bite. Moreover, the portion size proved ample, allowing me to finish the entire dish, although it left me pleasantly stuffed. At the time of writing, the price for this dish stood at $10.50 which is the cheapest of all listed in this article.

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Ay Jalisco
Address: 1902 US-1, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 778-8489
https://www.ayjalisco2.com/


#3 – El Rey Mexican Restaurant

side view of el rey mexican restaurant and parking lot in vero beach florida
inside dining room of el rey mexican restaurant located in vero beach florida
chimichanga covered in cheese queso sauce, guacamole, sour cream, diced tomatoes, rice & beans as prepared by el rey mexican restaurant located in vero beach florida

El Rey Mexican Restaurant secures an impressive third place on our list. Located in the former Savor restaurant space on 21st Street, El Rey has revamped the interior with subtle yet effective changes, including bright accent walls against the rustic brick. The seating options, a mix of booths and tables, offer a comfortable dining experience. With impeccable presentation and generous portion sizes, El Rey leaves diners satisfied, often needing a to-go box for leftovers. The tortilla was freshly fried and crispy and was filled with a generous portion of ground beef. A standout element is the rich queso sauce, which adds an explosion of flavor. At the time of this writing, the price was the second highest of the bunch coming in at $14.00.

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El Rey Mexican Restaurant
Address901 21st St, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 257-5606
https://www.elreymexvero.com/


#2 – Blue Agave

Front entrance of blue agave mexican restaurant located in vero beach florida
inside dining room of blue agave mexican restaurant in vero beach florida
chimichanga covered with cheese sauce as prepared by blue agave in vero beach florida

Securing an exceptional second place in our Showdown is Blue Agave. The margin between first and second place was razor-thin, making this choice incredibly tough. Blue Agave stands out with its impressive atmosphere, exceptional service, and top-notch quality dishes. The staff goes above and beyond, even remembering your name and preferences. However, a few factors prevented them from clinching the top spot. The chimichanga had the highest price compared to others, $15 for a carne asada burrito with an upcharge of $3 to make it a chimichanga, and the absence of beans and rice as sides. Despite this, Blue Agave remains a go-to destination with the best margaritas in town, ensuring its place on any Mexican dining enthusiast’s list.

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Blue Agave
Address1979 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 999-3484


#1 – El Tapatio Mexican Grill

front entrance of el tapatio mexican grill in vero beach florida
inside dining room of el tapatio mexican grill located in vero beach florida
chimichanga, sour cream, dice tomatoes, guacamole, rice & beans as prepared by el tapatio mexican grill located in vero beach florida

Securing the well-deserved number-one spot in our Mexican Food Showdown is none other than El Tapatio Mexican Grill. While the restaurant may be small and the atmosphere average, the food here is truly exceptional. From the generous portion sizes to the high-quality ingredients that leave you needing a to-go container every time, El Tapatio has set a new standard in the area. What’s even more impressive is the modest price of only $12.95 at the time of writing, making it an exceptional value. It’s no surprise that this hidden gem fills up quickly, so arriving early is highly recommended. Conveniently located in the Publix plaza near Oslo Road and 43rd in SW Vero, El Tapatio Mexican Grill is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unparalleled Mexican dining experience in the area.

El Tapatio Mexican Grill
Address: 4165 9th St SW #107, Vero Beach, FL 32968
Phone: (772) 213-8249

Did I miss your favorite spot on this list? Sound off in the comments below with your suggestions!

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Thomas Miller

My name is Thomas Miller, aka “The Treasure Coast Foodie” and “The Foodie Guy” and now the host and producer of the brand new show called Holy Grail Eats! I’ve been a professional food blogger for the past 9 years and I’m very passionate about finding “Holy Grail” dishes and supporting local mom-and-pop and one of a kind restaurants! I’ve reviewed over 300 local restaurants in the last 9 years and my food photos are devoured by 10’s of thousands each month on my website treasurecoastfoodie.com. As a Google Maps Level 8 Local Guide, I have submitted over 4,000 photos that have been viewed over 90 million times. My foodie following is over 125,000 strong on the Treasure Coast and my Foodie dining experience events are some of the Top Culinary experiences on the Treasure Coast!

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5 Comments

  1. Mr. Miller. Will be living full time in Vero in less than 3 weeks. Have been reading your reviews for at least 2 plus years and all I can say on this topic you have struck out. A chimichanga is your base line? I believe that is more Tex Mex.
    First off if I am going to find the best Mexican I would like to be the only Caucasian in there.
    These places look awful cookie cutter. Coming from Monmouth County NJ ( look up Asbury Park , Freehold racial population) and married to a women whose mom is Mexican leads me to say I am quite knowledgeable about Mexican cuisine Next up the base line is the Taco . This will show you the kitchens talent. I also would like to taste their pico de gallo . Those two items will show who is the best.

    Look for more comments when we arrive. We have been coming down for two years and love the restaurant scene there. Hopefully will be able to give you some heads up on pour dining finds

    Thank you for all your efforts

    Richard

    1. The article wasn’t meant to be who is the most authentic, but which one is the best of the “Tex-Mex” style restaurants in the area. These are the most talked about in our foodie groups and the dish chosen is a very popular “Americanized” dish that is on every single menu and most people have tried it at least once in their life.

      1. I don’t think of any of those as Tex-Mex, and they probably take offense as well. How about a Margarita comparison!

    2. Richard you seem like my kind of guy. I agree with your take that the taco is the test. I’ve just moved here myself. I would love to know what restaurants you have found rewarding in the area. If you would be so kind to name a few.

      1. Carol,

        My apologies for late response
        Here are some of my selections in no particular order

        Fishack -Fried shrimp
        Michael’s on 7th.
        The oar
        Waterfall – taste their Mexican selections
        Taco Mobil
        Flat dog diner
        Noodle house
        Fire and wine
        Edgewood eatery
        Mama hue
        Garage wood fire pizza
        New England eatery and pub
        The best lobster roll (Connecticut style)
        Riverside cafe
        12 A buoy. The best and memorable key lime pie

        Like to hear your thoughts

        Richard

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