A Local’s Guide to Top Mexican Restaurants in Charleston, SC

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You may not think of Mexican food when you think of Lowcountry South Carolina, but in fact there’s no short supply of good Mexican restaurants in Charleston.

I live in Charleston, so I know this area! These are my recommendations for some of the best Mexican food in the Charleston area.

Carmen Y Juan

I can’t write an article about the best Mexican restaurants without starting with my absolute favorite. Carmen y Juan isn’t a big place by any means and is tucked away about twenty minutes away from downtown. But this small restaurant is worth the visit! 

It has traditional homestyle food and, in my opinion, the best enchiladas in Charleston. The fresh tortillas are housemade, and the complimentary chips and salsa even taste a step above. I have yet to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Charleston that is better!

Taco Boy

Taco Boy is the place to go for a good food and a great time. With a location downtown and on Folly Beach, both spots have cool designs. The downtown location is full of Mexican artwork and has a nice outdoor dining area for when the weather is nice. 

The Folly Beach location is three stories and only a block away from the beach, making it perfect for dinner after a day in the sun. There is also a rooftop deck, which makes for a fun experience. 

You’ll find that their menu speaks to their name, with tacos taking up the majority of the menu space. But they also serve quesadillas, a variety of small and large plates, and soups and salads. 

Rancho Lewis

I personally haven’t had a chance to try Rancho Lewis yet, but I’ve only ever heard good things from friends and family. Their menu is a blend of West Texas, Chihuahua, Mexico, and New Mexico. 

With this combination, you’ll find that the menu has a unique spin on Mexican food. Come ready to try something new to you, but something that speaks to pitmaster John Lewis’s time growing up in El Paso.

RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila

Originally started in Charlotte, RuRu’s set up roots in Charleston in 2019. This restaurant offers Mexican style cuisine with nods to Latin, Korean, American, and Greek dishes. The names of the dishes on the menu are sure to give you a little laugh as well! 

With a wide menu, you’re sure to find something that sounds tasty. They also have one of the widest selections of tequila in Charleston, so go ahead and try a drink while you’re at it!

Yo Bo Cantina Fresca

Located in West Ashley, Yo Bo Cantina Fresca has a pretty simple menu. It features classic tacos, burritos, salads, and quesadillas.

They also have a variety of margaritas and cocktails. Though relatively simple, this makes for a quick, no frills Mexican meal that you are certain to enjoy!

The Matador

I recently tried The Matador for their happy hour special and am definitely a fan! They have a wide menu and a bar with over 150 tequilas. Happy Hour is daily from 4 to 6 and 10 to close, and has some great food specials. 

I tried the quesadilla, chicken street tacos, and bean dip, which were sold for $7 and $8 and were a nice portion. The bean dip is absolutely amazing and definitely worth ordering as an appetizer. I would eat it every day if I could!

Santi’s Restaurante Mexicano

Santi’s is a great place to visit if you’re seeking true, authentic Mexican food. There is a location downtown and one in Mt. Pleasant only a short drive away from Sullivan’s Island.

Santi’s has a cool, funky interior. Photo: Samantha Kramer

This is a great place to go for easy, cheap, and delicious Mexican food. You’ll find a big menu with all of your favorites, which will be prepared well. 

Agaves Cantina

Agaves Cantina is another great Mexican place with a big menu full of choices. I got the Burrito Guadalajara and haven’t been able to get anything different because it’s so good!

Agave maybe lost their sign, but at the time of writing they don’t have one. But there is a restaurant inside! Photo: Samantha Kramer

I’m sure everything else on their menu is just as delicious as my favorite burrito. You can find Agaves in Mt. Pleasant, Daniel Island, and Summerville.

Condado Tacos

Condado Tacos is a fairly new restaurant that just opened up in Mt. Pleasant’s Towne Centre. They only have tacos and bowls, but the combination of fun flavors and speedy services makes this place great. You can select from their menu of tacos and bowls, or you can build your own. 

I’ve always left this place feeling full and satisfied! Another fun feature is that this restaurant offers a flight of margaritas – perfect if you can’t decide on a flavor and want a sampling of them all.

Condado’s convenient location makes it great for a quick dinner after shopping or before seeing a movie at the shopping center’s Regal Palmetto Grande.

San Miguel Mexican Grill & Bar

San Miguel is a great Mexican spot in Mt. Pleasant. The atmosphere inside is nice, and their menu is full of all the dishes you would expect at a traditional Mexican restaurant.

It’s a great place to enjoy a quick meal, and their outdoor seating is the perfect option if the weather is nice.

Los Reyes

Los Reyes has a big, extensive food and drink menu and two locations in North Charleston and one in West Ashley. It’s good for quick, basic Mexican.

The Bottom Line 

You can’t go wrong with any of these tasty Mexican restaurants in Charleston. No matter what type of Mexican food you’re craving, Charleston has the spots for it.

Try some of these the next time you’re in Charleston and discover a new favorite!