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Where to Eat in El Paso During a U.S. Road Trip

Wondering where to eat in El Paso during a US road trip? We have three great Tex-Mex options that will fill your belly and leave a smile on your face.

Lucy's - Where to Eat in El Paso Texas
We drove to El Paso to eat crunchy tacos at Lucy’s Restaurant.

Located halfway between Austin and Phoenix, El Paso is a sensible rest stop during a U.S. road trip. In addition to its convenient location, this American border town offers adventurous activities for hikers and campers who can easily explore the El Paso area’s scenic desert and mountain views.

Even more important, this Texas city is a great spot to eat Tex-Mex food. This is no surprise since Sun City is located in the westernmost corner of Texas, just over the Mexico border from Juarez.

As lovers of spicy food, stopping in El Paso was a no-brainer for us during our U.S. road trip. We had toyed with the idea of checking out an authentic cowboy chophouse restaurant during our El Paso visit.

Who are we kidding? We wanted one thing in El Paso: Tex-Mex food.

We had eaten the fusion food known as Tex-Mex before, but never near the Mexican border where the flavorful cuisine originated. So, we headed straight for the best Tex-Mex spots as soon as we dropped our bags off at the hotel.

Pro Tip
Consider staying at an IHG Hotels in El Paso with options ranging from family-friendly to chic boutique hotels. Be sure to book a hotel room in advance so that you have plenty of time to eat at one of these top spots once you arrive in El Paso.

Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant

Forti's - Where to Eat in El Paso Texas

Located in a building that resembles a multi-story Mexican hacienda, Forti’s is a homey yet upscale restaurant serving traditional Tex-Mex food like enchiladas, flautas, and tacos.

The family-owned restaurant also serves a mean Chili Colorado, the traditional Mexican dish with beef stewed in a red chili sauce.

Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant is located at 321 Chelsea Street, El Paso, TX 79905, USA.

Little Diner

If you want to eat gorditas in El Paso, then Little Diner is the restaurant for you. For the uninitiated, gorditas are savory pastries stuffed with fillings like meat and cheese.

Stuffed with ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, the gorditas at Little Diner are not to be missed.

Little Diner is located at 7209 Seventh Street, Canutillo, TX 79835, USA.

Lucy’s Restaurant

Cheap and cheerful, Lucy’s Restaurant is the perfect spot to chill with a cold beer and a lot of food after a long day of road tripping. Be sure to order the spicy chili con queso appetizer to start your meal.

For the main course, we recommend either the Machaca Torta or the crunchy Tacos Antonia served with shredded beef, cabbage salad, sour cream, avocado, and special spices.

Lucy’s Restaurant is located at 4119 North Mesa Street, El Paso, TX 79902, USA.

Important Update
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


This post was created in collaboration with InterContinental Hotels Group.

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Chris Tompkins

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

You didn’t eat Tex-Mex food at any of the restaurants you visited in El Paso. Those all serve Mexican food, as does every Mexican restaurant in El Paso. Tex-Mex originated in Austin and is the norm throughout Texas, except in El Paso. The Tex-Mex served in El Paso is only offered by a few out of town based chain restaurants. You did pick some great Mexican restaurants on your visit here. Safe travels and Bon Appetite!


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

Having lived in El Paso fir many years, I can agree with your top choice of Fortis. I wouldn’t consider the food in El Paso Tex-Mex. it is more Mexican. I will say, it is the best Mexican food I have ever eaten on this side of the border. Next time you are there, check out Luckys for some wonderful menudo!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 17th of October 2018

Thanks. It's great to discuss the differences between Tex- Mex and straight-up Mexican. As far as we're concerned El Paso's position in Texas and not Mexico naturally throws the food into the Tex-Mex realm. We really loved Fortis and will check out more places like Lucky's the next time we're in El Paso.