Finding great Mexican Restaurants in Las Vegas presents some unique challenges to both tourists and locals alike. As a foodie, the rewards of finding a great new restaurant transcend the mere consumption of food. Researching a new location, taking in the atmosphere, sampling a signature drink (or two!), and best of all, letting your friends in on your new-found joy; these elements all contribute to the thrill. The resulting “gestalt of awesome” justifies the entire undertaking.
Risk & Peril
But the dark side, the other side of this wonderful coin, is fraught with anguish. Imagine going through all the effort to find a new haunt, spinning the epicurean roulette wheel, and plunking down your hard earned cash; only to be sadly disappointed in one or more facets of your experience. Whether the food is poorly prepared or presented, or the service just outright sucks, or maybe the ambiance is lacking, any or all of these can ruin a well planned and executed culinary adventure.
But we’re going to help you avoid the downside to eatery exploration by pointing you to the gems we’ve found in our travels.
If you are seeking bona-fide Mexican fare in Las Vegas, let us guide you towards a fantastic new venue that will have you bragging to your friends and coworkers and reveling in the joy of discovery.
Mercadito Mexican Restaurant | Red Rock Resort and Spa
The first thing that you need to know is that Mercadito is upscale all the way, and the prices reflect that philosophy. There are ways to keep the tab down, and if this is a concern, you’ve got options. On Sundays and Mondays, Mercadito offers all you can eat tacos for $19.50 per guest. For guests with active military ID, Mercadito also offers Military Mondays, which entitles you to 15% off your bill (unfortunately you can’t combine it with the all you can eat tacos or other promotions, but it’s still a great deal!)
Mercadtio also offers an amazing happy hour drink menu and happy hour food menu with deals from 3-6pm daily. For late eaters, take advantage of the Happy After Hours pricing. The schedule varies by day, included here for your reference:
Happy After Hours Schedule
- Sunday-Monday from 9:00PM-11:00PM
- Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00PM-12:00AM
- Friday-Saturday from 11:00PM-1:00AM
Industry Insider Tip
After searching for specials and deals at Mercadito, I found several references to the Industryn Tuesdays which gets you 50% off the entire tab. I was unclear whether this special ran all day or if it started at 9pm. Fortunately the manager at Mercadito, Louis Ference was able to help clarify how it works.
Industry Tuesdays 50% off run all day. The promotional material you may have seen with “Turn it up at 9PM” is an extra special for parties of 10 or more. The group must be primarily industry, and in addition to the 50%, your group also gets a free bottle of Patrón Reposado”
I prodded Louis for what is considered “primarily industry” and if “70 to 80% was sufficient. He assured me that was fine. So if you or your friends know 7 or 8 people who work in hospitality, beauty/fitness, the arts, or entertainment, go score a bottle of Patrón gratis. (I’d venture to guess about 90% of Vegas locals fit under this loose definition of “Industry.” Get creative!) For advanced reservations you can call Mercadito at:
Or you can book on Open Table.
Or if you have a large party Louis provided us with an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Food: Finest Mexican Fare in Las Vegas
There are so many options here, if you like Mexican food, its “kid-in-the-candy-store-syndrome.” I love guac and I love tacos so I went with the 3 guacamole option that includes these savory options (mango – especially delicious):
- Tradicional – tomatillo pico de gallo, jalapeño,
garlic, key lime, cilantro
- Mango – jícama, chipotle, pico de gallo
- Tocino & sweet potato – piloncillo glazed sweet potato,
bacon, pico de gallo, red onion
For entree I had the Tacos de Cameron (pictured) and they were tasty and satisfying. The shrimp and avocado textures with the tortilla are amazing and the flavor combination of the chipolte mojo and garlic definitely gave me an “OMG” moment of culinary ecstasy.
Next trip, I’ve got the Tacos de Pancita in my sights. Next time I’m going at night so I can enjoy their signature margaritas on draft. Maybe I’ll grab some coworkers and tell them a bottle of Patrón Reposado is on me if they pick up my meal tab… Yeah, that would be fabuloso!