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

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.

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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

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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

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Frisco Burger Inn

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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.

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