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A view over Monterrey, Mexico
The view over Monterrey, Mexico
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The 24 Essential Restaurants of Monterrey, Mexico

From fish and chips with a Mexican twist, to rib-eye and fideo seco tacos at a quintessential northern steakhouse, here’s where to eat in the grill-happy capital of Nuevo León

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The view over Monterrey, Mexico
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Despite its stunning location in the beautiful Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, Monterrey hasn’t yet attracted too many tourists. As a well-known commercial hub and university town, though, it does get its fair share of out-of-towners, and a vibrant restaurant scene has sprung up to cater to the influx. The scene is diverse: Among tables of raucous students and suits toasting business deals, you’ll find plenty of local families sharing heaping orders of rib-eye tacos and grilled vegetables.

With nearly year-round hot weather, Monterrey long ago developed a deep barbecue tradition. Chefs venerate open-fire cooking, diners regularly get together around steak, and grilled beef and cabrito (baby goat) have become synonymous with eating in the city.

While that tradition runs strong, vegetarians shouldn’t be discouraged. The restaurant scene has grown immensely in the past few years, both in the restaurant hub in San Pedro García Garza and elsewhere, as chefs branch out with exciting concepts across town. Steakhouses make room for ramen spots, taco joints join artisanal bakeries, and fine dining stalwarts meet French bistros.

Update, November 2021:

In cities across the globe, the pandemic has left restaurants reeling — and Monterrey is no exception. Blake, 13 Puercos de Soto, and El Gran Laszlo Loszla, three essential fixtures of the dining scene, were among those forced to close permanently. Yet even as locals said goodbye to some beloved eateries, the community embraced new ventures born during difficult times: an ice cream parlor featuring artisanal ingredients, a former ghost kitchen and now full restaurant serving British fish and chips, a daring high-end establishment honoring Northern Mexican cuisine, and more.

So settle in beside the auto execs and Tecnológico de Monterrey students, order up a steak or escargots or eggplant chicharrón, and get to know Monterrey through the city’s essential restaurants.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases and travel restrictions, please visit the US Embassy in Mexico.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 176 pesos (Less than $9 USD)
$$ = 196 - 490 pesos ($11 - $25 USD)
$$$ = 510 - 981 pesos ($26 - $50 USD)
$$$$ = More than 1,000 pesos ($51 USD and up)

Liliana López Sorzano is a food and travel writer based between Mexico City and Bogotá, Colombia, where she contributes to local and international media. She is a former editor-in-chief at Food & Wine in Spanish.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bola Taller de Helados

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Putting a contemporary spin on creamy textured scoops, Bola (from the team at Bread Panaderos Artesanales) offers indulgent ice cream adventures. The parlor seeks out the finest ingredients from small producers — artisanal cream, fresh milk, organic fruit, and local produce — to make Mexican-flavored cold treats in flavors like chiapaneco cheese with candied pears, mesquite bean snickerdoodle, and ricotta with lemon jelly and pistachios. Try the burnt butter with nuts, one of the shop’s most popular flavors. [$]

A hand with bright nail polish holds a paper cup of ice cream, swirled with pink highlights, with a spoon sticking out
A cup at Bola
Bola [Official Photo]

Chef Chuy Elizondo serves long-fermented artisan bread, sans additives or preservatives, from a small bakery tucked inside a garage. The space also offers breakfast, including indulgent French toast topped with pineapple, caramel, coffee-infused honey, and bacon. While the restaurant predictably focuses on house-made bread (a slice is served with nearly every dish), diners also rave about the green chilaquiles with chicharrón from La Ramos. [$-$$]

A crispy slice of french toast, piled with caramelized fruit and bacon and doused in several sauces and powdered sugar, sits on a white plate in front of a blurred dining room
French toast

Carnes Ramos

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One of the most traditional butcher shops in the city, Carnes Ramos always draws crowds across its several locations. In a big barbecue region, the butcher is well known among locals as a place to buy beef, but even out-of-towners should visit to taste the shop’s famous chicharrón, served in restaurants throughout the city under the name “chicharrón de la Ramos.” For a souvenir, pick up some machaca, dried meat often added to scrambled eggs for umami and explosive flavor. [$-$$]

The exterior of the Carnes Ramos butcher shop with large letters built into the second floor facade above windows plastered with posters advertising meat sales
Outside Carnes Ramos

Gallo 71

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This charming high-end restaurant evokes a grocery store in design, but it’s a wonderful place to delve through classic Northern Mexican dishes, such as prime cuts of juicy grilled meat, as well as inventive tacos. Start with scallop crackers, then go for the sirloin milanesa taco stuffed with french fries, the beefsteak and bone marrow taco, or the beet tostada with chile morita sauce. Save room for the pistachio cake for dessert. [$$$]

Two tacos loaded with crispy meat from the trompo, sliced onions, a bit of cilantro, and creamy white sauce on a slate serving platter
Tacos al pastor

Taqueria Orinoco

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This casual taqueria has two locations in Monterrey and a bustling outpost in Mexico City. Choose from three types of meat: trompo (pork marinated al pastor style with dried chiles and spices), beef (top sirloin sliced thin), and Northern Mexican chicharrón (crispy, juicy pork cheek). Order one of each, but don’t forget the specials, like the campechana, an extra-large flour tortilla filled with beef, pork from the trompo, cheese, avocado, cilantro, onions, and corn chips. Although beer will pair perfectly with anything, it’s worth trying the restaurant’s own Jamaica agua fresca with cinnamon and guava. [$-$$]

A display case containing a mound of chicharron with the word “chicharron” written in bold red letters on the glass
Chicharron

Señor Latino

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This unpretentious cafeteria franchise, loved by locals, is well known for traditional, regional breakfast staples such as chilaquiles divorciados with green and red sauce, or scrambled eggs with chorizo and migas (thin strips of fried tortilla). Diners embrace the restaurant’s slogan, “Eat like you are at home,” enjoying simple, homey dishes like pork shoulder tamales or the machacado, scrambled eggs mixed with dried meat, tomato, onion, and chile. [$-$$]

A server holds plates of tacos with diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges, as well as a separate plate of avocado in front of a crowded, light-filled dining room
Tacos and avocado

Fiships

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Fiships brings British fish and chips to Mexico, with a few twists. Breadcrumbs thicken the beer batter that coats hefty slices of fish, and fried items might come topped with sliced jalapenos and habaneros. The menu also includes a few other fun items: fried calamari hot dogs, spicy prawns, tuna burgers, clam chowder, crispy breaded mussels, and seafood samplers. The restaurant started as a ghost kitchen amid the pandemic, but diners can now enjoy this comfort seafood in a sit-down space, making Fiships a smart choice for a meal with family or friends. There’s key lime pie to finish, too. [$$]

From above, a paper lined tray with two large pieces of fried fish, a pile of french fries, a lemon wedge, and cups of sauce and slaw
Fish and chips at Fiships
Fiships [Official Photo]

La Nacional

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Opened in 2003, this “quintessential Monterrey” white-tablecloth steakhouse is celebrated equally by politicians, execs, and families. Begin with fideo seco tacos, filled with pasta in tomato-chile sauce. Then go for the grilled artichokes, and don’t leave without trying the salted rib-eye. As at almost everywhere in the city, dishes are designed to be shared. [$$$$]

A plate with five thin tacos stacked on one another overflowing with small noodles in a red sauce with a large sprig of rosemary laid over the tortillas
Fideo seco tacos

Milk Pizzeria

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Pizza lovers will find amazing pies at Milk, but the restaurant also serves great meatballs, salads, and gnocchi. The project, from the team at Bread Panaderos, features the bakers’ ideal pizza: thin dough with puffy brown crusts and well-balanced tomato sauce. The team make porchetta, sausages, yogurt dip (for focaccia and for potatoes with chorizo), breads, and desserts in-house. Look out for special dinners every other month, when Milk brings in Mexican chefs to take over the pizza parlor. [$$-$$$]

As seen from above, a full sliced pizza dotted with slices of salami, sausage, onion, and serrano peppers, on a marble tabletop next to small china plates, glassware, and silverware
Salami, sausage, blue cheese, onion, and serrano pizza

Kadoya Monterrey

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Entrepreneur Sergio “Checo” Gutiérrez teamed up with Edo Kobayashi, the restaurateur largely responsible for elevating Japanese cuisine in Mexico, to create this combination casual ramen spot and upscale 10-seat sushi counter. Sushi Kadoya serves a high-quality omakase and excellent a la carte options, while diners on the ramen side can combine 19 hearty, flavorful ramen options with appetizers like gyoza or fried Brussels sprouts with tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes. [$$-$$$]

As seen from above, a bowl of broth, pork, greens,  hard boiled egg, and a few visible noodles, on a wooden tabletop
Kadoya ramen

Every Hotsie delivery box is branded with the words “straight outta 2020,” proudly declaring that this fried chicken concept emerged during the pandemic. Originally a takeout-only place, the restaurant has opened its dining room to serve bestsellers like the hot daddy sandwich, a Nashville-style hot chicken creation with coleslaw and pickles; and the green jalapeno sandwich with cilantro, monterey jack cheese, and jalapeno spread. Wash any of these down with a Bocanegra michelada or one of the decadent frosties: milkshakes in flavors like Kit Kat, Oreo, M&M’s, Ferrero, and Kinder chocolate. [$$]

A fried chicken sandwich, leaking sauce and pickles, beside other fried items, on a branded paper-lined tray and squeeze ketchup bottle
The hot daddy sandwich
Hotsie [Official Photo]

Koli Cocina de Origen

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Brothers Patricio, Rodrigo, and Daniel Rivero — sommelier, chef, and pastry chef, respectively — run this fine dining restaurant that recently relocated to a much bigger space in the San Pedro Garza García neighborhood. “Koli” means grandfather in Nahuatl, one of several indigenous languages in Nuevo Leon, a fitting name for the brothers’ homage to the land and culinary heritage of Northeastern Mexico. The a la carte lunch menu features dishes like cabrito (baby goat) stuffed onions, northern burrata, asadero goat cheese with figs and pistachios, and pine nut pipián. At dinner, you’ll find a set tasting menu with options like mole with suckling pig and fresh cheese, or grilled beef with yucca, black garlic, cauliflower, and onion. [$$$$]

A black cake ribbed with crevices and dusted with powdered sugar stands on a white surface with clumps of sugary topping scattered around it in a black vaccuum
Brasa (semi-bitter chocolate cake with fermented pricky pear)
Koli [Official Photo]

Pinto Bar

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For a drink and some snacks, head to this dark, wood-paneled bar where the playlist features the Strokes and Stevie Wonder. Pinto Bar serves a great list of mezcals and tequilas, but it also offers the opportunity to drink other Mexican liquors, such as bacanora and sotol. Cocktails and natural wines join the agave spirits on the menu. If you feel hungry, opt for the Pinto potatoes, extra-thin fries with chile, lemon, and Parmesan. Or go for the hamburguesa aplastada, a smash burger that resembles the patty melt of your dreams. [$$-$$$]

Hands squish a cheeseburger (served on thin, well-fried buns) until cheese oozes onto a plate, beside a dish with another cheese-dusted food item and a bottle of sauce off to one side
Hamburguesa aplastada
Pinto Bar [Official Photo]

Cara de Vaca

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The name of this upbeat, fun restaurant, which translates to “cow face,” is playfully spelled out in emojis on the menu, and the lovely interior is all light wood, greenery, and lots of natural light. But over in the kitchen, the team works seriously with open-fire cooking. Keep an eye out for tacos tiesos, a dish inspired by tamales regios (northern-style pork tamales). Pork-filled tortillas are fried and doused with three sauces made with guacamole, tomatillo, and red jalapeno. Continue with cachetada de rib-eye, a flour tortilla oozing melted cheese, guacamole sauce, and bits of fried tortilla. You can’t go wrong with any of the well-prepared steaks either, and be sure to wash your order down with any of the natural wines on offer. Last but not least, the guava pie deserves your utmost attention. [$$-$$$]

A server leans over a table holding a slate bowl to the camera with three fried tacos beneath a heavy helping of brightly colored red and green sauces, with two spoons hanging out each side.
Tacos tiesos

This French bistro has been around for more than a decade, but it recently moved into a new, modern space. The consistent classics are still on the menu, though, including fresh oysters, a seafood platter, escargots a la bourguignonne, traditional beef tartare, and pan-seared duck breast with orange. On Sundays, diners pack the sunny terrace and dining room for brunch, enjoying French pastries, croissants, and breads, along with avocado toast, eggs Benedict, charcuterie, and short-rib chilaquiles. [$$$]

As seen from above, a handled cast iron pan filled with shakshuka (tomatoes, eggs, greens, and spices), with a slice of toast resting on the rim of the pan, all on top of a plate on a patterned table
Shakshuka

Colmillo

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Colmillo started as a 70-seat restaurant with a kitchen centered on an open fire and a menu featuring dishes inspired by Mexican street food. It’s evolved into one of the city’s favorite modern Northern Mexican steakhouses, with branches in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and (as of 2022) Tulum. On any given night, you’ll find an animated crowd tucked into the restaurant’s glamorous black booths, listening to funk classics or experimental rock, and feasting on grilled meat tacos, piquin oysters, and the iconic roasted cabbage with parmesan and truffle sauce. [$$$]

People reach for plates on a table filled with a burger, salads, oysters, tartine, fries, chips, and bottles of mezcal
A full spread at Colmillo
Colmillo [Official Photo]

Long recognized as a fine dining institution in Monterrey, Pangea has been in business for more than 20 years. The restaurant is the flagship of Grupo Pangea, a collection of 10 concepts across the city, all under the leadership of Guillermo González Beristáin, one of Mexico’s most respected chefs and undoubtedly the pioneer responsible for elevating the Northeastern gastronomic scene. At Pangea, head chef Eduardo Morali combines Mexican produce with French flair and impeccable execution. Choose from a la carte options or the tasting menu, which may feature a glorious duck breast with orange mole, kumquat, and cauliflower puree, or jurel fish from Baja California with spicy soy sauce, avocado, crispy rice, and miso emulsion. The restaurant has received many national awards and is a regular on the Latin America 50 Best Restaurants list. [$$$$]

As seen from above, a stark white plate with two large slices of duck breast in a dark pool of mole with garnishes dotting the plate nearby
Duck with mole

Bread Panaderos Artesanales

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The breads and pastries at Bread Panaderos are famous not just in Monterrey but all over the country. Alejandro Reyes and Bernardo Flores celebrate artisanal baking through natural ingredients and experimentation. The sourdough and butter croissants are the duo’s signatures, but they’ve also made bread using chapulin flour (from Mexican grasshoppers), among other experiments. The pastry menu features kouign amann, conchas (Mexican sweet breads), pain au chocolat, and muffins. The bakery serves breakfast, lunch, and even dinner, when cocktails are offered alongside pizzas and open-faced sandwiches. Inside the bakery you’ll also find Café Pistola, where expert baristas pour coffee and espresso made from specialty Mexican beans. [$-$$]

As seen from above, a wooden table spread with two pastries on gray plates, alongside two trays of coffee-based drinks on dark trays
Pastries and coffee

Libertad Cocina Nuestra

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Located in the elegant Parque Arboleda shopping complex, a gastronomic hub in the city, Libertad boasts a big, beautiful space decorated with old newspapers as wallpaper. The menu mixes staple Mexican dishes with hints of international flavors in taquitos al albañil (fried corn tortillas filled with chorizo and beans, served with melted white cheese) or duck barbacoa slow-cooked with tamarind and chile sauce. The vegetable section is equally exciting, with an especially tasty eggplant chicharrón served with herbs and jocoque (sour cream), as well as roasted beets with chipotle honey and pumpkin seeds. Plus, tostadas act as the bread service, which is exactly as amazing as it sounds. [$$-$$$]

A cast iron pan filled with singed taquitos and a rosemary sprig beside a handled cast iron full of melted cheese with a spoon sticking out
Taquitos al albañil

Sibau is Spanish chef Bruno Oteiza’s novel and personal take on Northern Mexican cuisine. His more daring dishes include oysters with ponzu-marinated toro tuna, tangerine and serrano chili, and pulpo tacos with bone marrow and roasted salsa verde. The sophisticated dining area features zigzag graphic flooring, gray marble walls, and velvet indigo chairs. Outdoors, the verdant terrace offers a completely different mood, ideal for evening cocktails. Don’t miss the homey habanero cream soup, served in a sourdough bread bowl. [$$$$]

From above, three oysters topped with slices of tuna and sauce, on a bed of salt on an abstract background
Oysters with tuna at Sibau
Sibau [Official Photo]

Grand Cru

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Owner and sommelier Ludovic Anacleto wanted to meld his Parisian background with his new home in Monterrey. His French restaurant, tucked away in a residential area, is known for beef Wellington and chicharrón risotto, but mostly for an impressive, well-curated wine list with more than 700 bottles. The wine program has rightfully earned Grand Cru national and international recognition. [$$$$]

A server ladles sauce from a spoon into a swirl on a white plate around a large slice of beef Wellington and other geometric decorations with sauces
Beef Wellington
Grand Cru / Facebook

Restaurante San Carlos

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If you’re after grilled baby goat, one of Northeast Mexico’s most traditional dishes, head to one of the outlets of this old-school restaurant chain, run by third-generation family owners. The vertical grill sits in plain sight from the dining room, making it easy to watch the goats slowly cooking. San Carlos also serves crowd-pleasing beef, particularly the rib-eye aguja (exceedingly tender rib-eye cap) served with flour tortillas, beans, totopos (toasted, salted masa chips), and sauces. [$$]

Whole baby goats spit roasting over a trough of charcoal on vertical spits, beside smaller spits of other meats and a cook in the background preparing another spit
Cabritos grilling over charcoal

Tacos el Compadre

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Better known as Tacos del Muerto for its proximity to the Dolores Cemetery, this street cart has been in operation for over 48 years, attracting an eclectic crowd for mañaneros (morning tacos) from 7 a.m. until closing at 3 p.m. Choose from the short list of fillings: gooey cabeza; pork shoulder; picadillo; beans with bacon, egg, and chorizo. There’s also chile relleno stuffed with cheese or meat. Feel free to order any of the options as a torta if you prefer, and when the server asks you if you want to add beans spread with pork fat, you say, “Yes, please.” Spoon on the powerful salsa borracha (drunken sauce) made from tomato cooked with chile and onion. [$]

As seen from above, a rectangular dish with two tacos, pockmarked from the grill, laid over one another, beside a bowl of stewy vegetables and a small bowl of caperberries, all on a wood table.
Cabeza and pork shoulder tacos

El Jonuco

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If you’re passing through the Monterrey airport, be sure to make time for a meal at El Jonuco, just 10 minutes away in the industrial neighborhood of Apodaca. Banker-turned-chef Hugo Guajardo highlights the regional cuisine of Northeastern Mexico with modern twists. He combines recipes from his past, like his grandmother’s pear tart, with traditional local dishes, like wedding rice (popular throughout Nuevo Leon; in this case, a chicken-stock-fortified version from Zuazua, studded with raisins and poblanos). Go for the empalmes, sandwiches of atropellado (dried meat with tomato, chile, and onion) between crispy tortillas. Or try the criollo avocados, meant to be eaten peel and all, or the glorious grilled panela cheese with agave honey and chile piquin sauce. Be sure to stop by on Sunday to try the succulent, grilled cabrito (baby goat). The restaurant setting is entirely casual, and meals are accompanied by the accordion-embellished strains of Northern Mexican music. [$$-$$$]

From above, five crisp tortillas folded around meat and vegetables sit in a stone bowl with hot coals
Empalmes

Bola Taller de Helados

A hand with bright nail polish holds a paper cup of ice cream, swirled with pink highlights, with a spoon sticking out
A cup at Bola
Bola [Official Photo]

Putting a contemporary spin on creamy textured scoops, Bola (from the team at Bread Panaderos Artesanales) offers indulgent ice cream adventures. The parlor seeks out the finest ingredients from small producers — artisanal cream, fresh milk, organic fruit, and local produce — to make Mexican-flavored cold treats in flavors like chiapaneco cheese with candied pears, mesquite bean snickerdoodle, and ricotta with lemon jelly and pistachios. Try the burnt butter with nuts, one of the shop’s most popular flavors. [$]

A hand with bright nail polish holds a paper cup of ice cream, swirled with pink highlights, with a spoon sticking out
A cup at Bola
Bola [Official Photo]

Benell

A crispy slice of french toast, piled with caramelized fruit and bacon and doused in several sauces and powdered sugar, sits on a white plate in front of a blurred dining room
French toast

Chef Chuy Elizondo serves long-fermented artisan bread, sans additives or preservatives, from a small bakery tucked inside a garage. The space also offers breakfast, including indulgent French toast topped with pineapple, caramel, coffee-infused honey, and bacon. While the restaurant predictably focuses on house-made bread (a slice is served with nearly every dish), diners also rave about the green chilaquiles with chicharrón from La Ramos. [$-$$]

A crispy slice of french toast, piled with caramelized fruit and bacon and doused in several sauces and powdered sugar, sits on a white plate in front of a blurred dining room
French toast

Carnes Ramos

The exterior of the Carnes Ramos butcher shop with large letters built into the second floor facade above windows plastered with posters advertising meat sales
Outside Carnes Ramos

One of the most traditional butcher shops in the city, Carnes Ramos always draws crowds across its several locations. In a big barbecue region, the butcher is well known among locals as a place to buy beef, but even out-of-towners should visit to taste the shop’s famous chicharrón, served in restaurants throughout the city under the name “chicharrón de la Ramos.” For a souvenir, pick up some machaca, dried meat often added to scrambled eggs for umami and explosive flavor. [$-$$]

The exterior of the Carnes Ramos butcher shop with large letters built into the second floor facade above windows plastered with posters advertising meat sales
Outside Carnes Ramos

Gallo 71

Two tacos loaded with crispy meat from the trompo, sliced onions, a bit of cilantro, and creamy white sauce on a slate serving platter
Tacos al pastor

This charming high-end restaurant evokes a grocery store in design, but it’s a wonderful place to delve through classic Northern Mexican dishes, such as prime cuts of juicy grilled meat, as well as inventive tacos. Start with scallop crackers, then go for the sirloin milanesa taco stuffed with french fries, the beefsteak and bone marrow taco, or the beet tostada with chile morita sauce. Save room for the pistachio cake for dessert. [$$$]

Two tacos loaded with crispy meat from the trompo, sliced onions, a bit of cilantro, and creamy white sauce on a slate serving platter
Tacos al pastor

Taqueria Orinoco

A display case containing a mound of chicharron with the word “chicharron” written in bold red letters on the glass
Chicharron

This casual taqueria has two locations in Monterrey and a bustling outpost in Mexico City. Choose from three types of meat: trompo (pork marinated al pastor style with dried chiles and spices), beef (top sirloin sliced thin), and Northern Mexican chicharrón (crispy, juicy pork cheek). Order one of each, but don’t forget the specials, like the campechana, an extra-large flour tortilla filled with beef, pork from the trompo, cheese, avocado, cilantro, onions, and corn chips. Although beer will pair perfectly with anything, it’s worth trying the restaurant’s own Jamaica agua fresca with cinnamon and guava. [$-$$]

A display case containing a mound of chicharron with the word “chicharron” written in bold red letters on the glass
Chicharron

Señor Latino

A server holds plates of tacos with diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges, as well as a separate plate of avocado in front of a crowded, light-filled dining room
Tacos and avocado

This unpretentious cafeteria franchise, loved by locals, is well known for traditional, regional breakfast staples such as chilaquiles divorciados with green and red sauce, or scrambled eggs with chorizo and migas (thin strips of fried tortilla). Diners embrace the restaurant’s slogan, “Eat like you are at home,” enjoying simple, homey dishes like pork shoulder tamales or the machacado, scrambled eggs mixed with dried meat, tomato, onion, and chile. [$-$$]

A server holds plates of tacos with diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges, as well as a separate plate of avocado in front of a crowded, light-filled dining room
Tacos and avocado

Fiships

From above, a paper lined tray with two large pieces of fried fish, a pile of french fries, a lemon wedge, and cups of sauce and slaw
Fish and chips at Fiships
Fiships [Official Photo]

Fiships brings British fish and chips to Mexico, with a few twists. Breadcrumbs thicken the beer batter that coats hefty slices of fish, and fried items might come topped with sliced jalapenos and habaneros. The menu also includes a few other fun items: fried calamari hot dogs, spicy prawns, tuna burgers, clam chowder, crispy breaded mussels, and seafood samplers. The restaurant started as a ghost kitchen amid the pandemic, but diners can now enjoy this comfort seafood in a sit-down space, making Fiships a smart choice for a meal with family or friends. There’s key lime pie to finish, too. [$$]

From above, a paper lined tray with two large pieces of fried fish, a pile of french fries, a lemon wedge, and cups of sauce and slaw
Fish and chips at Fiships
Fiships [Official Photo]

La Nacional

A plate with five thin tacos stacked on one another overflowing with small noodles in a red sauce with a large sprig of rosemary laid over the tortillas
Fideo seco tacos

Opened in 2003, this “quintessential Monterrey” white-tablecloth steakhouse is celebrated equally by politicians, execs, and families. Begin with fideo seco tacos, filled with pasta in tomato-chile sauce. Then go for the grilled artichokes, and don’t leave without trying the salted rib-eye. As at almost everywhere in the city, dishes are designed to be shared. [$$$$]

A plate with five thin tacos stacked on one another overflowing with small noodles in a red sauce with a large sprig of rosemary laid over the tortillas
Fideo seco tacos

Milk Pizzeria

As seen from above, a full sliced pizza dotted with slices of salami, sausage, onion, and serrano peppers, on a marble tabletop next to small china plates, glassware, and silverware
Salami, sausage, blue cheese, onion, and serrano pizza

Pizza lovers will find amazing pies at Milk, but the restaurant also serves great meatballs, salads, and gnocchi. The project, from the team at Bread Panaderos, features the bakers’ ideal pizza: thin dough with puffy brown crusts and well-balanced tomato sauce. The team make porchetta, sausages, yogurt dip (for focaccia and for potatoes with chorizo), breads, and desserts in-house. Look out for special dinners every other month, when Milk brings in Mexican chefs to take over the pizza parlor. [$$-$$$]

As seen from above, a full sliced pizza dotted with slices of salami, sausage, onion, and serrano peppers, on a marble tabletop next to small china plates, glassware, and silverware
Salami, sausage, blue cheese, onion, and serrano pizza

Kadoya Monterrey

As seen from above, a bowl of broth, pork, greens,  hard boiled egg, and a few visible noodles, on a wooden tabletop
Kadoya ramen

Entrepreneur Sergio “Checo” Gutiérrez teamed up with Edo Kobayashi, the restaurateur largely responsible for elevating Japanese cuisine in Mexico, to create this combination casual ramen spot and upscale 10-seat sushi counter. Sushi Kadoya serves a high-quality omakase and excellent a la carte options, while diners on the ramen side can combine 19 hearty, flavorful ramen options with appetizers like gyoza or fried Brussels sprouts with tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes. [$$-$$$]

As seen from above, a bowl of broth, pork, greens,  hard boiled egg, and a few visible noodles, on a wooden tabletop
Kadoya ramen

Hotsie