Las Vegas is home to some of the best family-owned and operated Mexican restaurants in the country. Tucked away from city lights, hardworking families are living their dream, serving the finest Mexican cuisine to our community, and bringing locals back to their business time and time again. Here are five top notch favorites.
Viva Mercado’s Mexican Bar & Grill
9440 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 454-8482
www.vivamercadoslv.com

If anyone knows what it’s like to start at the bottom of the ladder, it’s Bobby Mercado. He’s moved through dishwasher, prep-cook, busboy, waiter and senior manager to owner and operator of his very own Mexican restaurant, ‘Viva Mercado’s.’ A long road of twists, turns, family struggles and a shattered economy a few years back, Bobby persevered. For 40 years, Viva Mercado’s has been part of Las Vegas, winning numerous awards for authentic food and accolades from both locals and tourists. He says the “homestyle fresh authentic cooking and great service” is what he built his business on. In 1991, he introduced locals to the first authentic Chile Relleno, with nothing but the best ingredients, and today, it is still one of many favorites for customers. The cozy, casual restaurant is run by his family, offering lunch, dinner, catering and a daily happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m.

Lindo Michoacan
2655 E. Desert Inn
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(702) 735-6828
www.lindomichoacan.com

Javier Barajas, owner of Lindo Michoacan, learned to cook by watching nuns prepare food while in seminary in Michoacan. Years later, he would take that culinary experience to Sin City and open a restaurant that was voted “Best Mexican Food In Las Vegas” 10 times. Opened in 1990 on E. Desert Inn Road, Lindo Michoacan now has three locations, with one set high on a hill overlooking breathtaking views of Las Vegas. Lunch, dinner, catering, banquets, vegetarian, a la carte, tacos, burritos, full bar — Javier makes sure he offers something for everyone, with only the freshest ingredients. Try the fresh guacamole dip along with one of their best voted margaritas before venturing into the extensive menu.

Casa Don Juan
1204 S. Main St.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 384-8070
www.casadonjuanlv.com

Everyone is welcomed as family and friends at Casa Don Juan. Family-owned and operated, you’ll be greeted by friendly servers along with a freshly prepared basket of warm corn tortilla chips and salsa. Chefs cook from scratch using traditional receipes, and the proof is in the authentic taste of each dish. Owners Marie and Raul strive to provide the best of everything, service, atmosphere, food and drinks. Nachos, mouth-watering sizzling fajitas and huevos rancheros are only the tip of the iceberg of popular menu items. Mexican desserts or fresh mango, lime or strawberry Margaritas beckon you to come back again and again.

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TacoYTaco
9470 S. Eastern Ave.
Henderson, NV 89123
(702) 749-7091
www.tacoytaco.com

When asked where to find awesome tacos, many Las Vegas citizens will point to TacoYTaco. And no wonder, there are some serious tacos going on there. This family-owned business specializes in hand crafted street tacos with a variety of meat or vegetarian options, all customized to your liking. The ambience is chic with indoor or outdoor seating. There are three different ordering stations with choices to make your head spin, but the staff is friendly and helpful in case you’re stuck in the whirlwind of “what and how” to put together a meal.

Taco Tuesdays are offered from 3-7 p.m. with a daily happy hour 5-7 p.m. Try the awesome ‘Vampiro’ and/or the street style ‘Mexican Corn on the Cob.’

Fausto’s Mexican Grill
2654 W. Horizon Ridge
Henderson, NV 89052
702-617-2246
www.faustosmexicangrill.com

Don Fausto’s hard work began decades ago in the strawberry fields of Oxnard California. He dreamed of someday providing a better life for his family. That American dream became reality when he moved his family to Las Vegas in 1998, and opened his first restaurant in 2001. Fausto’s Mexican Grill is a local favorite for a quick bite of high-quality fresh burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos and a wide variety of other Mexican foods. Open 5 a.m. to midnight, Don Fausto opened three more locations to better serve the Las Vegas community, a place where he his dreams came true and he calls everyone family, and now calls home.

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A freelance writer for many years, Sheree Ciao is also the author of the book, ‘Blue, Purple and Scarlet.’ Open to all story ideas, you may contact her at s.ciao@yahoo.com. Read more on Examiner.com.