food and drink

13 Dishes El Pasoans Can’t Get Enough of


If you grew up in El Paso, there’s a pretty good chance that you were raised on bowls of menudo, some cheesy machaca or rolled tacos drowned in red sauce. And if you’ve moved away or you’re just away for the weekend, you more than likely end up craving one of these El Chuco spots. Here are 11 must-eat joints that shout, El Paso!

Taco Tote

Must try: Sirloin Tacos With A Papa. Everyone has done it. Step off a Southwest flight, ignore text from family or friends and head to the nearest Taco Tote for a pound of sirloin, a baked potato and more than your share of salsa. Thank Sweet Holy Moses the salsa’s self-serve and they stock it plenty.

Silva’s Market

Photo Credit: Silva’s Supermarket

Must try: Chorizo. It’s OK to have soyrizo once in a while; we won’t judge. But you know huevos con chorizo doesn’t have the same gut-bomb glory if the chorizo isn’t from this market just seconds from the downtown bridge. Spicy, salty and oozing with just the right amount of grease is what you get with every bite.

Photo Credit: zachmorrisishot / Flickr

Must try: Double With Fries. To anyone other than an El Pasoan, rolled tacos with mystery meat, shredded cheese and watery red sauce is nothing to crave. But for those native to El Chuco, this is the place for first dates, late-night munchies and to meet friends the first night home.

READ: Why Neon Desert is Unlike Any Other Festival

King’s X and Lucy’s

Photo Credit: Norby J. / Yelp

Must try: Margaritas & Machaca & Queso. Of course, you miss a place where every hour is happy hour so this double-your-pleasure Mesa mainstay stays on top of everyone’s sentimental list. The drill is always the same. Grab a seat at Lucy’s, order the freshest margarita this side of the border from X — the dive conveniently located next door — and chase it with the cheesy machaca plate and a side of chile con queso. Then order another margarita.

L&J Cafe

Photo Credit: Wayne L. / Yelp

Must try: Green Enchiladas, Caldo and Gorditas. The green enchiladas are better than your mother’s. The caldo competes with your abuela’s and the gorditas rival your nana’s. Those are always three good reasons to exit Copia before heading home.

H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop

Photo Credit: john s. / Yelp

Must try: Huevos Rancheros y Chile Rellenos. Getting back to El Paso by car means driving through desert-like conditions so getting a car wash should be a priority, but it’s really an excuse to get amazing huevos rancheros or chile rellenos as soon as you hit town. It’s authentic food that stretches back generations.

House of Pizza

Photo Credit: House of Pizza / Facebook

Must try: Subs, Pizza and Spaghetti. You may be coming back to El Chuco after having fancy pizza in San Francisco or New York but nothing will ever satisfy you like a thick crust pie from the joint on Piedras. The massive subs and the “Old Man Italian” spaghetti ain’t Pizzeria Mozza-worthy but they’re home to you.

Pepe’s Tamales

Must try: Green Chicken Tamales. Everyone has tamales at Christmas but Pepe’s tamales in El Paso are always right and your family knows to stock the fridge with the green chicken variety. And why Pepe’s? Simple, they know how to do tamales right. They don’t go too heavy on the masa and skimp out on the meat. They strike the perfect balance.

The Lunch Box

Photo Credit: Dago M. / Yelp

Must try: Anything on The Menu. Only El Pasoans can appreciate without any fuss The Lunch Box’s sign with two sleeping beans wearing sombreros. But what they truly appreciate is the restaurant’s command of authentic Mexican food. There’s nothing on the menu that doesn’t say, “I’m home.”

El Jacalito

Photo Credit: Dago M. / Yelp

Must try: Migas. It’s that hole in the wall on Myrtle that has killer migas. It reminds you of running around the neighborhood up to no good – and all your underage drinking.

Bowie Bakery

A photo posted by Vee Queued (@quintva) on

Must try: Bolillos. Yeah, the pillowy perfection is good for tortas but its true calling is as menudo’s beloved sidekick. A toasted bolillo with menudo can cure even the worst Juárez cruda.

Frisco Burger Inn

Must try: The Monster and The Heart Breaker. It’s an East El Paso institution where Eastsiders get their burger fix after school. What you crave: the Monster with its 3 patties and 3 cheese slices. What you really crave: the Heart Breaker with its 4 patties and 4 cheese slices.

Anywhere in El Paso: Menudo

 Photo Credit: Da B. / Yelp

Absolutely no one does menudo like El Paso joints. Anywhere else and folks feel the need to add something or take something else away. And that wrecks the beautiful balance of tripe, hominy and broth you grew up slurping con gusto. So it’s no wonder when you are in town, you head out with your mother’s olla to bring back Saturday breakfast.

Go ahead, check your miles to see when you can go home again. There’s plenty of good food waiting for you.

From Agoraphobia to Zionstereo, Your Almost A-Z Guide for SXSW


From Agoraphobia to Zionstereo, Your Almost A-Z Guide for SXSW

Despite the influx of marquee talent like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lady Gaga, there’s still plenty of up-and-coming artists to discover at SXSW. It’s tough to follow all the music that’ll shake up Austin this year, but it’s worth checking out which Latino acts will leave their marks.

Here’s your primer on some don’t-miss Latino acts – along with some bands from Spain – to keep your SXSW festival ear and eye on.


Credit: APOLOMXTV / YouTube

As straightforward a rock n’ roll band as they come, the Mexico-city based crew resurrects early-Sabbath vibes on jams like “La Noche.”

Honorable Mention: Agoraphobia

Bomba Estéreo

Credit: Nacional Records / YouTube

With appearances in ’09, ’10 and ’12, the electronic-based Colombian outfit is a SXSW regular, bringing their cumbia-fueled “Fuego” to the U.S. festival scene.

Honorable mention: Buenaparte


Credit: SXSW / YouTube

With corrido sensibilities and chilled-out synth productions, the innovators of Centavrvs blend an iconic Mexican sound with the modern global dance scene.

Honorable mention: Chancha Via Ciruito

Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta

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These “musical omnivores” might hail from Chicago, but they’ll tell you their backgrounds in indie, rock, afrobeat and jazz trickle down from the Cumbia glue revived in their overall sound.

Honorable mention: Deers

El Freaky

Credit: Canal de ElFreakyColectivo / YouTube

With generous support from Diplo, Bogota’s El Freaky Collective staples together a pastiche of Afro-Caribbean musical lore onto a backbone of EDM and booty bass.

Honorable Mention: Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado

Felipe El Hombre

Credit: Felipe El Hombre / YouTube

They call these guys Latin Rock, but short of their Spanish vocals, these guys grind a psyched-out, garage-rock sound you expect to hear in Austin, making SXSW a perfect fit.

Gina Chavez

Credit: MusicVideoRace / YouTube

If you’ve caught onto the whole culture-mashing motif going on here, then consider this multi-ethnic songstress’ pop take on Mexican roots music.

Honorable mention: Ghost Magnet Roach Motel

Homeboy Sandman

Credit: Stones Throw / YouTube

Rapper Angel Del Villar II is a native New Yorker (via Queens) but the Dominican and Puerto Rican roots of his immigrant parents shape an honest sound that knows no boundaries.


Credit: Ibeyi / YouTube

Twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz come from Paris, but their Afro-Cuban roots are on full display. Their indie/electronic sound was recently noticed by the A&R minds at XL Recordings.

Honorable mention: Irene Diaz

Juan Pablo Vega

Credit: Juan Pablo Vega / YouTube

Go ahead and coin the nickname “Juan Legend” for this buttery pop vocalist out of Colombia, because he’s going to be melting hearts in Austin come March.

Honorable mention: Javier Escovedo and the City Lights

La Gaucha

Credit: Twitsessions / YouTube

A bombshell frontwoman makes no difference in the sound, but this Chilean quartet brings a dose of sexy to Austin. Look for some Latino-style bumpin’ and grindin’ on the dance floor.


Credit: MacacoOficialVEVO / YouTube

These guys bring together people from Brazil, Cameroon, Sweden, Venezuela and Spain, a perfect fit at a festival that celebrates the positivity of music.

Honorable Mention: Matias Cena

Oso Leone

Credit: Oso Leone / YouTube

Spaniards Carles Baena and Abel Suárez produce an inventive post-rock sound that could be from anywhere. The band is one of the least bound by cultural roots to hit SXSW this year.

Honorable Mention: O Amor Existe


Credit: PercanceTV / YouTube

SXSW wouldn’t be the same without a few Ticos in the mix. That’s exactly what the uptempo pop punk/reggae/roots outfit Percance brings to this year’s fabulously diverse lineup.

Honorable Mention: Pommez Internacional


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British-born Will Holland has 15 studio albums to his credit, with much of that output grounded in a soulful blend of Latin-influenced electronic music that never ceases to entertain.

Raquel Sofia

Credit: NPR Music / YouTube

After a career backing the likes of Juanes and Shakira, this gifted Puertorriqueña has spread her wings and taken center stage with force.

Sonido San Francisco

Credit: Sonido San Francisco / YouTube

Psychedelic tropical electronic music isn’t a figment of your imagination, it comes in the form of this quasi-ravey cumbia music group making an appearance at this year’s SXSW.

Honorable Mention: Sexores


Credit: Txarango Oficial / YouTube

If you’re looking to sway, mosh, dance or see an all-around party of a stage-show, be sure to keep your eye out for this Barcelona-based reggae/pop/latin rock/salsa fusion band.

Honorable Mention: Twin Shadow

URSS Bajo el Árbol

Credit: URSSbajoelarbolTV / YouTube

This experimental music project began in 2009 in the heart of DF and helped shape Mexico’s bustling indie rock scene with a sound reminiscent of In Rainbows-era Radiohead and Porter.


Credit: SXSW / YouTube

Zionstereo’s anthemic shoutout to Colombia’s Cali combines the country’s local rhythms with the communicative power of hip-hop.

Honorable Mention: Zalama Crew

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