I Eat Too Much Mexican Food

It’s been almost a year since I updated my Mexican Food Roundup, so I figured it was time to add in some new fan favorites and bring it back! Read on for what’s been fueling my chips and salad and margarita addiction for the past year.

Originally posted November 2016.

For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite foods has been chips and salsa. It’s almost embarrassing how quickly I can house a whole basket of chips by myself. Blame it on the fact that my earliest memories of going to a restaurant involve Rio Grande in Arlington, or we can chalk it up to the fact that Mexican food is just really freaking good.

When I first moved to DC, I had a hard time finding a go-to spot for margaritas and cheesy goodness  — in my college town of Harrisonburg (go Dukes!) cheap Mexican spots were all over place. Over the past few years, I’ve sampled my way through quite a few of DC’s offerings and thought I’d share my finds if you happen to feel the same way I do about enchiladas and queso. Read on for my tips of navigating margarita happy hours, where to find the best salsa around town, and my favorite hidden gems. 



Mission – Located steps off the Dupont Metro stop, this is one of my favorite happy hour spots because it’s extremely easy to get to from where I work in Bethesda and convenient to meet up with friends who work or live in Dupont and Georgetown. The staff is super friendly (hi, Fritz!) and they have marg pitchers on happy hour for $22 – no need to say more. P.S. Order the queso blanco. 

Lauriol Plaza – I could just stop this post here because Lauriol Plaza is hands down my favorite Mexican restaurant ever. I legitimately start drooling thinking about their fire-roasted salsa and house-made chips, which I’ve dubbed as the best in DC. They also serve up pitchers of margaritas that strike the perfect balance between sweet and sour.  

Café Citron – On the other side of the circle, Cafe Citron gives off a bit of a lounge-y vibe and offers salsa dancing lessons at night. Their happy hour is also all week long so it’s a great option for Saturday or Sunday drinks.


El Rey – This spot holds a special place in my heart because it’s where I tricked Gerald into becoming my boyfriend. (We had a few too many margs and I got sassy when he introduced me as “his friend”. The rest is history.) I think that El Rey has the best cheese quesadilla in DC and I love the lively vibe at the restaurant.

El Riconcito – Ah, my favorite hidden gem in DC. Technically, El Riconcito is an El Salvadorian restaurant, but I included it in here because it’s one of the best cheap eats I’ve found in the city. A massive platter of enchiladas, beans, rice, and pico de gallo only sets you back $7.50. The space is super small but it’s worth it to wait for a seat, promise. The only thing I don’t like is they don’t offer free chips and salsa, but I can overlook that because of the low prices. 

American Ice Co. – Okay, this is technically not a Mexican restaurant at all, but it has the best vegetarian nachos in the District so I’m putting it on here. Go for the nachos, but stay for the BBQ and craft beer.

Espita Mezcalria – I feel like a fraud because I’ve never actually had a full meal here -especially when I live literally two blocks from the spot – but the mezcal cocktails are fantastic and their chips and salsa are delicious! The fact that the interior is super Insta-worthy too doesn’t hurt!


Cactus Cantina – Sister restaurant to Lauriol Plaza, Cactus Cantina is massive and has tons of outdoor seating. I wish this spot was Metro accessible because I’d be there all the time! Get the spinach enchiladas – you’re welcome. (Before you eat, pop on up to Refine and get styled by my girl Tanya!)


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Taqueria Nacional – I discovered this quaint taco spot this summer and I’m honestly pretty mad at myself for not knowing about it sooner. Located in an old postal building, the restaurant has a pretty cool interior (I might be biased, it’s a Streetsense design project from before my time) and a casual vibe. The taqueria serves up made-to-order meals from a counter, but they have ample seating, a great garage window, and a cute patio. The prices are extremely fair and they have a great daily happy hour!

El Centro – A concept from chef Richard Sandoval, El Centro whips up Mexican classics with an upscale twist. I’ve frequented the spot for happy hour and late night dancing, but I’ve also heard great things about their bottomless brunch! They also have a restaurant in Georgetown with a fab rooftop.


El Camino – Tucked away on Rhode Island Avenue next to Boundary Stone and Red Hen, this quirky spot serves up a mean margarita – I highly recommended grabbing before dinner drinks here if you’re waiting for a table at Red Hen! 


El Chucho – if you’ve never had Mexican street corn you’re missing out and El Chucho is the spot to get it. The restaurant features a bar that’s half inside half outside, and has very reasonable prices on all of its drinks and food. Definitely worth the trek to Columbia Heights for this quirky eatery. 


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Oyamel – José  Andrés’ restaurant is decked out in butterfly decor (aka extremely Instatrammable) and also offers an upscale twist on Mexican classics. It’s more of a small plates deal here, so I’d recommend it for happy hour or a date night  

Rosa Mexicana – Usually, I avoid Chinatown like the plague, but Rosa Mexicana’s table side guac is a worth braving 7th street. This place is a little more upscale so it’s great for lunch or dinner with your parents before/after exploring DC’s museums. 


Los Cuates – I actually do not know how I am still allowed to enter this restaurant because we have definitely abused their Coronitas multiple times after some blogging events, but I’m glad they haven’t turned us away yet! A Corotina is as dangerous as it sounds – a Corona dumped into a margarita – but they’re delicious. As long as they continue to serve me, I’ll keep going because the staff is amazing, the drinks are strong, and their food is perfect for soaking up all the tequila


Agua 301: Right on the waterfront in Yards Park, this spot is perfect for weekend brunching. At a blogger meet up last year, we spent about four hours hanging out at the brightly-colored spot sipping bottomless margaritas. The staff is very accommodating for large groups!


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Uncle Julio’sI grew up going to this Tex Mex joint (back then we called it Rio Grande) so it will always have a special place in my heart. Check out my full post on my Uncle Julio’s dining experience here! 

Mexicali Blues – I recently went here for the first time, and while I can’t rave about their service, they have an excellent happy hour and their margs are pretty tasty. Bonus points that it has an outdoor patio where you can watch residents walk their pups (does that make me creepy?)

El Paso – My friend Sharlene and I started a pre-Bachelor viewing tradition with this place. You can’t go wrong with its inexpensive Mexican comfort food, unlimited chips and salsa, and boots of beer! 


Gringos & Mariachis: Just a few blocks from the Streetsense headquarters, I’ve had my fair share of lunches here. I love their filling salads and they’ve got a great variety of chips and dip, as well as a very lively happy hour scene


A Breezy Zaful Dress For An Evening At Kyirisan

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Tuesday night, my friend Roxanne and I got to experience a five course wine pairing meal at Kyrisian (with the manfriend and Husband of Glam in tow, of course) and it was so amazing I had to dedicate a post to it. If you’re unfamiliar with the restaurant, it’s an Asian-French fusion spot tucked in The Shay. The service is fantastic, the decor is fabulous, and the dishes are a truly innovative take on fusion food

The four of us unexpectedly ended up at Kyirisan last winter for dinner after a movie and we loved the restaurant so much we hadn’t stopped talking about a return trip since that night. Somehow I ended up on the Kyirisan email list and the second I received a note about a five course meal with wine pairing from Early Mountain Vineyards for $85, I instantly forwarded it to Rox—we may have been the first people to make reservations because we jumped at the chance to attend so quickly. (Disclaimer, a five course meal with five glasses of wine for that price is a HUGE steal for DC dining prices. Most pre-fixe meals in DC start around $80 without drinks.) 

We all went to the restaurant straight from work and Rox and I were matching without even telling the other what we were wearing so we had to snap a twinning photo. My midi dress is from Zaful and it’s a perfect breezy piece that takes me from my sweltering commute to a freezing cold office to after work drinks. The best part? It’s only $12 and comes in four different colors! You can shop it here.   

At the dinner, we were greeted with a glass of rosé and passed hors d’oeuvres while the guests settled in. One of the biggest highlights of the experience for me was that the chef was generous enough to make my dishes vegetarian, which is pretty unlikely when it comes to large tasting groups! Once we were seated, Winemaker Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards talked us through what we were about to experience, and then we ate all the things. The dishes ranged from a take on sushi with watermelon and hot mustard to a spicy gnocchi tofu topped with popcorn (my favorite!) to a homemade blondie truffle as a goodbye treat. We actually ended up getting to sample six glasses of wine and Gerald and I liked two of the bottles so much we were able to order them from the restaurant with a discount! 

The dinner was one of my favorite events of the month, and the restaurant is planning on hosting more, so keep an eye out! 

Shop My Look:

Dress | Zaful 

Shoes | Hush Puppies 

Bag | Forever21


Note: this post was not sponsored, I just really had an awesome time! 

DC Drink Local Guide


Photography by Dave Mentzer

You guys already know that I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and local, but I haven’t talked about drinking local very much. Over the past few years, the DC drink scene has exploded bringing with it breweries, distilleries, and more. I love the authentic experience you get from drinking at the same place where the beverage was made, and have a feeling I’m not alone, so I’ve rounded up my favorite local spots for sampling the District’s best spirits and brews.

DC Brau: Dave and I went to DC Brau for a few drinks and we drank a few too many, but still had a blast. The brewery is located in a warehouse district, but inside, it’s filled with graffiti from notable DC artists, two bars, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. We had a great time touring the space and they even let us in on a secret IPA/Pilsner mix that one of the bartenders created and isn’t available in stores! Definitely worth the trek to NE, DC

Republic Restoratives: the first reason I love this place is because it’s woman-owned – which is super badass – but the reasons don’t stop there. The distillery space is adorable, the cocktails are dangerously delicious, and the bartenders and marketing team are insanely accommodating. I can’t wait to make another trip out to Ivy City with the manfriend to show him how amazing the distillery is!

Cotton & Reed: located right next to Union Market, this is DC’s first rum distillery. Fun fact — the owners met each other while working at NASA and left their corporate jobs to open the distillery as a passion project. With amazing decor and unique cocktails, this is a must-see spot the next time you’re shopping at Union Market

Right Proper Brewing: I love this brewery — not only because it’s just a few blocks from my place, but I’ve always had an amazing experience there. I didn’t even realize how many milestones I’ve celebrated at this brewery – first dates, taking my brother out in DC for the first time, ringing in NYE 2017… – until I was writing this blog post. The brewery has amazing food, and brews to suit any palette from IPAS to wheat beers to funky stouts

Bluejacket Brewery: tater tots, fried cheese curds, and craft beer…need I say more? Bluejacket Brewery was one of the first spots I went out to when I moved in DC and I still love it just as much as I did in 2014. The ever-evolving beer list is fantastic, the space vibrant and lively, and the food is amaze. My old roommate and I once went there and ordered $20 of just potato-based products…

Jo A. Magnus & Co.: this distillery is new to me and I want to tell everyone I meet about it. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the Distillers and Marketing Manager at an event my company hosted a week ago and I was blown away by the quality of the spirits. Originally a bourbon distillery, Jo A. Magnus also makes gin and vodka and it’s the best gin I’ve ever had. So smooth I drank it with just an ice cube! Bonus points, it’s located above Atlas Brew Works, so you can hit both in the same visit! (It’s also around the corner from Republic Restoratives!)

ANXO Cidery: tucked in a super cool space in Truxton Circle is one of DC’s first ciderys and pintos bar, ANXO. (I have no clue how to pronounce it.) I went here for a dinner while a college friend from out of town was visiting, and while I’m not a huge fan of small plates, I loved the experience we had here. You can get a cider flight to sample all of their offerings, and the staff was very eager to explain the cider process to us! I might not go back for dinner, but would definitely go back for happy hour and drinks!