Charleston is known for traditional Southern cuisine, but they also have an array of great Mexican restaurants. These locations will quench the appetite of Chucktown residents and visitors looking for top-notch tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and other staple dishes on Cinco de Mayo and any other day of the year. 

In addition to having great food, several of these spots offer great drink menus featuring an array of margaritas and tequilas. Here is a list of the best Mexican restaurants in Charleston that will make diners feel like they are enjoying an authentic meal South of the border.


People flock to this downtown location to taste creations guided by the culinary sensibilities of James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock. The restaurant name pays tribute to the Mexican miners that many believe invented the taco and, to follow in their legacy, Minero serves up traditional Mexican fare. 

Minero makes their tortillas and chips in-house every morning, and everything on the menu is very affordable. They also have a full drink list with an extensive list of tequila, piso, and mezcal options.

Related content: Best Tacos in Charleston

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is in the trendy West Ashley neighborhood, and they specialize in their Mexican seafood dishes. They also serve up eight varieties of tacos, including popular fillings like Mahi, shrimp, and carnitas. 

Mex 1 is also well-known for their tequila infusions, and they serve tequila flights so customers can try an assortment of flavors. They have daily happy hour specials as well offering $5 margaritas, $4 hours liquors, and $3 Mexican beers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Related content: Best Margaritas in Charleston

Zia Taqueria

Zia Taqueria keeps their James Island patrons satisfied with enchiladas, nachos, tacos, and quesadillas. The kitchen stays open until midnight on the weekends, making them a popular late-night food destination. 

Zia Taqueria has weekly food specials like $3 baja or grilled chicken tacos on Mondays, $3 carnitas or pastor tacos on Tuesdays, and $3 chicken yucatan tacos on Wednesdays. Their happy hour drink deals are equally impressive with $3 Zia 'Ritas, $3 well liquors, and $3 Mexican beers each day.

Santi's of Charleston

Santi's is a family-owned restaurant that has been in operation for years in the northern part of Downtown Charleston. They have affordable, authentic Mexican eats and pride themselves on quick service. 

Santi's patrons also love their strong margarita and mojito pitchers. Their outdoor patio is the perfect dining experience that sets the stage for a great night out in Charleston.

Taco Boy at Folly Beach

Taco Boy has a sister location downtown, but they are best known for having beach dwellers stroll up to their restaurant on Folly Beach. They have 15 different taco choices available that are  reasonably priced from $3.50 to $3.95 each.

Taco Boy also earns points for their shareable taquitos, quac, and nachos. They have seven types of quesadillas and plates of shrimp, chicken, carne asada, and carnitas as well.

No matter which restaurant you decide to frequent, great cuisine can be found at these Mexican restaurants in Charleston.

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Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay