Trying to narrow down the very best Mexican food in a city that’s so enriched by the thousands of people of Mexican descent is as challenging as, say, narrowing down the best Asian restaurants in San Francisco or Cuban restaurants in Miami. It’s possible, but it’s very much a challenge. What follows are three vastly different eateries with distinct approaches to the rich flavors of Mexico. What they do share is a flair for the authentic and delicious. — Marco Medrano

Agave qualifies as one of the hippest cantinas in Las Vegas. (Credit:


10820 Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 214-3500

Widely considered Las Vegas’ finest Mexican restaurant, Agave has received national recognition for taking traditional Mexican flavors and textures and marrying them with unusual and modern culinary techniques. The result is nothing short of mesmerizing. Add to the spectacular food a genuinely festive environment — live music, for starters — and you’re sure to make dining at Agave a necessary and delicious stop during any Las Vegas visit. Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

the minute you walk into Bonito Michoacan, you instantly realize that you're in an authentically Mexican establishment. (Credit:

Bonito Michoacan Las Vegas

3715 South Decatur Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89103
(702) 257-6810

This remarkable neighborhood restaurant doesn’t call too much attention to itself. It is on the corner of a nondescript, busy intersection several miles off The Strip, but the minute you walk in, you instantly realize that you’re in an authentically Mexican establishment. The service is friendly and seamless, but it’s the food that blows you away. From the deliciously tangy tortilla soup to the perfectly grilled shrimp, this restaurant takes great pride in its ingredients and expert execution. Bonito Michoacan is soon to become an addictive addition to your Mexican food repertoire. Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Diego Mexican Cuisine is beautifully designed and expertly staffed. (Credit:

Diego Mexican Cuisine

MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 892-3200

Sometimes the hidden gem or unexpected find is right under our very noses. Such is the case with Diego, the stellar Mexican restaurant in the heart of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Beautifully designed and expertly staffed, Diego’s is known for many things, not the least of which is its roast chicken with mole (Pollo al Horno con Mole) and the extensive tequila menu. Though technically not a food group, great tequila is as mandatory in a fine Mexican establishment as a hearty cabernet inhabits Italian trattorias. Do yourself a favor and make a date with Diego. And come hungry. Full bar. Dinner hours: Sunday through Friday, 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.