Pearland Restaurants to Visit for Tex-Mex Platters, Tacos and More

gringo's tex-mex family tacos


Just a stone’s-throw away from Houston, Pearland’s dining scene has seen a great rise in fantastic Tex-Mex restaurants where diners can grab sizzling plates of fajitas, cheesy enchiladas, refreshing margaritas and much more. Whether you’re a resident, staycationing, on a food tour or just looking for a fun night out, Pearland’s Tex-Mex scene is  worthy of exploration. Read on to see our must-visit Tex-Mex destinations, and check out the Visit Pearland dining webpage for more recommendations for all types of cuisine. 

Burrito with cheese and sides of ride and beans
The Burrito con Queso is a classic standby at Gringo’s Tex-Mex in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Gringo’s, 2202 Broadway: Did you know that this growing Tex-Mex chain started in Pearland? The original at 2202 Broadway opened in 1993, and this year marks the company’s 30th anniversary. This classic Tex-Mex eatery has become synonymous with top-tier Tex-Mex fare. This cantina and grill is home to a variety of tried-and-true fajita platters with options such as chicken breast, beef skirt steak, sauteed veggies, and grilled shrimp. Other favorites include the Presidente, a platter that hits all of the spicy, Tex-Mex flavors with a two–cheese enchilada, chalupa, queso and beef taco. Salads and soups include selections such as Southwest Shrimp and Avocado Salad and Tortilla Soup

Gringo’s is also home to some of the best margaritas in Pearland, and some of the options are the “30-YR Cadillac Margarita” made with Exotico Reposado Tequila and Gran Gala Liqueur, and made-for-two specialties such as the Sparkler, a traditional margarita in either strawberry, lime or mango flavors topped off with sparkling wine. Great drinks and great grub await diners at Gringo’s.

Casa Ole, 3100 East Broadway: This colorful, family-friendly hotspot has been serving Tex-Mex cuisine to the Greater Houston community for almost 50 years. The menu reads like a glossary of popular Tex-Mex dishes, and includes fajitas, enchiladas and house specialties such as Chicken Stuffed Poblano Pepper and the Stuffed Avocado plate. The Fajitas Olé in particular really stands out. It’s a hearty sampler of grilled beef, chicken, shrimp and peppers with rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream and warm tortillas alongside. Be sure to cap off your meal with the pillowy Rum Caramel Sopapillas.

Celaya, 3234 East Broadway: This all-day Mexican joint is a go-to for diners seeking a wide array of regional specialties, including mole, carne guisada and chile relleno. The menu also has a “Fajita Station” section from which patrons can choose chicken, shrimp, beef or any combination of the three. The fajitas are served with charro beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and flour tortillas. End your meal on a sweet note with an order of pillowy Sopapillas and, better yet, pair that with a dollop of Fried Ice Cream

Tamales De Puerco at Emma's Mex Grill in Pearland
Tamales De Puerco at Emma’s Mex Grill in Pearland. Two corn masa tamales filled with achiote and chile guajillo-marinated pulled pork topped with salsa gravy and melted cheddar cheese. Photo by Samantha Morris.

Emma’s Tex-Mex, 5096 Broadway: Named in honor of the owner’s grandmother, this festive, down-home spot brings fresh Gulf seafood dishes and stiff tequila drinks to Pearland residents. The cucumber margarita is a must, then start your meal with any of the ceviches, such as the Ceviche Gulpo with generous chunks of shrimp and scallop. The Baja and Gulf Coast influences continue with entrées like the Tulum — a red snapper filet topped with lump crab. Among the meatier plates, the Cochinita Pibil is a standout. It’s a traditional dish of pulled pork marinated in citrus, achiote and braised in a banana leaf.

The Stuffed Avocado dish at Jimmy Changas in Pearland
The Stuffed Avocado dish at Jimmy Changas in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Jimmy Changas, 3515 Business Center: Part of the same group as Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, this restaurant offers a Tex-Mex dining experience tailored to families. Billed as a more- affordable option, but not slacking on flavor and portions, Jimmy Changas’ menu offers fajitas, tacos, tostadas, seafood platters, nachos and more. Order the Plato Soldado, a steak fajita taco al carbon with a cheese enchilada and a pork tamale, and take extra enjoyment from the fact that proceeds from the order go to Camp Hope. For a complete fajita meal, opt for the El Capitan sizzling fajitas smothered in mariscos (seafood) sauce with diablo shrimp, pico, guacamole and whipped lime butter. Jimmy Changas has a variety of different drink options as well, including cocktails such as their signature margaritas strawberry mojito. Bring the whole family, as the adults can have a drink or two while the kids have a blast at the playground before or after chowing down on some Tex-Mex fare.

fish tacos
Find fish tacos loaded with veggies and salsa at Killen’s TMX in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Killen’s TMX, 9330 Broadway: Pearland native, pitmaster and chef Ronnie Killen expanded his restaurant empire by introducing his spin on Tex-Mex cuisine. At Killen’s TMX, Expect to see his signature brisket in dishes such as the brisket taquitos and enchilada combo plates like the La Vaca and Tres Amigos.

The queso is arguably one of the best in town, and the house-made guacamole is a practically required appetizer. The crown jewel of the menu are the fajitas, elevated thanks to the use of Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef. The Pork Belly al Pastor is another showcase of the marriage between barbecue and Mexican flavors, with crispy bits of fatty pork belly smoked al-pastor style. Save room for dessert; the Tres Leches Bread Pudding is a crowd-favorite, but the flan, churros and sopapillas are worthy orders as well. As indicated by the restaurant’s slogan, “Mexican inspired, Texas fired,” Killen’s TMX is a one-of-a-kind destination for Tex-Mex flavors coupled with the smokey goodness of Texas barbecue.

Lila’s, 2704 South Main: Open for breakfast through dinner, this casual Mexican restaurant plays all the hits, including breakfast tacos and chicken and beef fajitas. The huevos rancheros are among the breakfast favorites that locals keep flocking back for, and the beef enchiladas are one of the highlights of the lunch and dinner menus. Whether take-out or a quiet sit-down meal is your jam, this humble spot is a worthy option in the Pearland Mexican dining scene. 

Mingo’s, 3320 East Broadway: This former food truck turned brick-and-mortar has quickly become a local favorite for Tex-Mex staples such as chilaquiles, tacos, empanadas, enchiladas and more. The menu even offers brunch dishes, like huevos rancheros served with your choice of either pork belly, brisket, chicken, pulled pork or veggies. Handmade chicken or brisket empanadas round out a proper meal here and are served with Mingo’s signature mango pico de gallo.

Moreno’s Grill Mexican Restaurant, 5420 Broadway: This restaurant not only offers a wealth of tacos, enchiladas and platters, but is also part of the Visit Pearland International Cuisine Trail! That means that you can visit it, along with two additional local restaurants on the Trail, check in with your virtual passport, and be entered to win prizes. The best prizes, though, are on the menu. Moreno’s is ready to serve you from an extensive breakfast selection starting at 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday through Sunday. Morning options include two-taco plates, such as egg and chorizo and egg and bacon, both with beans and potatoes alongside, chilaquiles with or without eggs and a choice of red or green sauce, and the satisfying Moreno Egg Omelet stuffed with ham, grilled onions and bell peppers, topped with chile con queso and served with breakfast potatoes and homemade tortillas. 

The lunch and dinner menus also offer just about anything you could want in the way of Tex-Mex fare. Indulge in Pechuga Con Mole, chicken breast topped with housemade mole and melted white cheese, or satisfy all your enchilada cravings with the Trio Enchiladas — one each of ground beef, shredded chicken and cheese — topped with chili meat gravy sauce and melted cheese, and served with guacamole and sour cream. There’s also an extensive fajita menu with offerings such as beef, chicken, shrimp and veggie, and special selections like Fajitas al Chipotle topped with spicy chipotle sauce and melted white cheese. This is just a smattering of all of Moreno’s options, so go online to look at the full menu.

Taqueria Arandas, 1837 North Main: For a relaxed and authentic Tex-Mex experience, head to this casual taqueria. The Pearland outpost of Taqueria Arandas is a one-stop dining destination for Mexican fast food such as flautas, taquitos and sizzling comals of fajitas. Venture beyond these staples and order Caldo de Mariscos, a comforting seafood soup with vegetables, rice and tortillas. Taqueria Arandas is also open for breakfast where diners chow down on their Huaraches— a Mexican flatbread with shredded chicken, cheese, onions, salsa verde and cilantro.

Taqueria El Nopalito, 3505 East Broadway: For a family-style Mexican comfort meal, head to this local Mexican chain’s Pearland outpost. The centerpiece of the menu is the Molcajete — a showstopper of a dish served in its namesake vessel featuring beef/chicken fajitas, sausage, shrimp, cactus, onions and blocks of queso all drenched in a secret sauce. Diners craving the staple plates of tacos and enchiladas also won’t be disappointed, but don’t miss out on authentic Mexican specialties featuring lengua and nopales

Taqueria Mi Pueblito, 9607 Broadway: Head to this no-fuss, down-home Mexican joint for fajitas and tacos. The Taco Tuesday special of $1 street tacos is a great excuse to chow down, as well as dive into one of the house margaritas. Beyond happy hour and taco specials, Taqueria Mi Pueblito is also a great choice for breakfast tacos, pozole and menudo. 

Check out the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau website, or follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for the latest updates. There is even a YouTube channel with videos that showcase the people and places that make Pearland a great food and drink destination!

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