Chipotle: everyone’s favorite spot for a quick and mouthwatering Mexican meal. I’m not sure about anyone else, but the ever-present, long line for a burrito bowl that I could and have made at home doesn’t make the chain as appealing as it once was. Whether you’re looking to have a sit-down meal, order to-go like Chipotle, or even get delivery right to your door, Syracuse has plenty of Mexican restaurants that fit the bill. So check out these alternatives, shake up your routine, and eat local!
Offering Pan-American dishes, The Mission is housed in a former church that, at one time, was a safe haven for escaped slaves traveling to the North. Tunnels of the Underground Railroad led people to freedom and this, the owners say, is part of the spirit of The Mission. Check out the authentic restaurant for its colorful interior and welcoming atmosphere, and try the roasted tomato chipotle salsa with absolutely anything you order.
304 E. Onondaga St., Downtown Syracuse
Boom Boom Mex Mex
This seasonal restaurant is open from April to November, so be sure to catch it when it’s serving up delicious cafeteria-style Mexican eats. The crowd favorite at this joint is the loaded nachos. Stop by its Camillus location for a sit-down meal or get takeout, but don’t expect margaritas—if you’re 21 or older, its BYOB here.
3263 Howlett Hill Rd., Camillus
Open as early as 8 a.m. (Mondays-Fridays) and as late as 2 a.m., Alto Cinco is the go-to for awesome Mexican food anytime of the day. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, a nice micro-brew beer selection at the bar, and a cool, urban atmosphere that’s great for an early morning or a late night. Though you might have to drive or take the bus to its Westcott location, Alto Cinco delivers fresh food on GrubHub until 1:30 a.m.—perfect after a night out.
526 Westcott St., Syracuse