Felix Mexican Restaurant
A Houston icon, Felix Mexican Restaurant has been around for a long time for one reason. The food is exceptional! More Mexican than Tex Mex, it is about as authentic as you can get. Great Margaritas top off the experience. If you prefer Tex Mex over authentic Mexican, this may not be your all time favorite but it's worth the visit. Warning: The salsa is HOT!
The Cadillac Bar
Another great Mexican food restaurant and another of my favorites! The food and atmosphere is always great but what I like best is the Sunday morning Buffet at the Shepherd location. You have a very wide selection and if you don't leave miserable, you didn't take advantage of the opportunity afforded. A very friendly staff tops it off. Great Fajitas, Carne Gasada (to die for...) Eggs, both scrambled Ranchero style and Benedict, Enchiladas, Tacos and more make this one of, if not THE premier buffets in Houston. A phone call to the other locations may be necessary to verify whether they offer the buffet.
Fajita Willie's Cafe & Cantina
Fajita Willie's Café & Cantina was designed to create an atmosphere that reflected a Mexican outdoor market and cantina. I have to say they were successful. It's a very casual, relaxed atmosphere with possibly the best Fajitas in the world! I've learned one thing in over twenty years in Houston. When I want Fajitas, I go to Fajita Willies. I rarely order Fajitas anywhere else because they usually can't stand up in comparison. They have other dishes as well, but their Fajitas are what they're known for. They're simply the best.
Guadalajara Mexican Grille & Bar
Described as a Mexican Cantina style atmosphere, Guadalajara is a definite stop on the Houston Mexican food trail. The food is good and the portions fairly large. The atmosphere is busy and noisy. It's a good place for a group outing but not an intimate conversation. It fills up fast so plan to go early. If you have to wait, go to the bar and get a basket of chips and salsa and something to drink. The salsa is among the best I've found but you'll need something to drink along with it.
Another Cantina sytle restaurant, Pappasito's also makes the list of "must trys". Good food and good sized portions are what they're known for. Like Guadalajara, it's busy, noisy and fills up quickly. The salsa is good but requires a fire extinguisher (a drink). They have a large menu and with the items I've tried, I haven't been disappointed. "Pappasito's Grill" (menu item, look for it) is wonderful! Probably the best thing about Pappasito's is that there are a number of locations so there is probably one close to you. Worth the visit.