Toledo is a city awash in Mexican restaurants. Several major chain Mexican restaurants can satisfy your need for chimichangas and guacamole, but many family-owned establishments can do the same with more authentic food and a better atmosphere. In a city with an adobe-style restaurant on every other street corner, it can be hard to chose. Here are three picks for best local Mexican restaurant in Toledo, each the best for a specific type of experience.
El Camino Real is the best Mexican restaurant for drinks after work. The restaurant itself is dimly lit, and the heavy dark carpet lends to a secluded atmosphere. The furniture is the requisite carved and painted wood that features toucans, calla lilies and fruit. The wait staff is friendly, and the menu is extensive and includes a burger and fish dishes in addition to all of the usual Mexican fare. Lunch is priced at $3 to $8, while dinner is $8 to $15. There is a children’s menu, but there is no mac or cheese or chicken fingers. It’s all smaller portions of the regular Mexican menu items.
The courtyard is alive with a fountain and twinkling party lights strung high overhead. Yes, there is a covered patio popular for lunch in the summer, but the larger tiled portion of the patio is open to the stars on hot summer nights. Margaritas are $5 on the regular menu.
El Camino has three area locations, 2500 W. Sylvania Ave., 551 Dussel Dr. in Maumee and 2072 Woodville Rd. in Oregon. All are open Sunday through Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm.
The best Mexican restaurant for a party is Mi Hacienda. The decor is light and airy. Carved and painted wooden tables sit on a tile floor, arched windows let in natural light during the day and the interior has stucco walls with false tiled roofs, as if you were eating in a courtyard centered around the main bar.
Mi Hacienda has a private party room with a separate banquet menu, and the Blue Agave Cantina, which has longer hours than the restaurant. The lunch menu is priced at $6 to $9, while dinner runs $8 to $14. The large menu features a several egg dishes and seafood dishes among the customary Mexican choices. The children’s menu includes American kid favorites along with Mexican selections.
Mi Hacienda is located at 3302 Glansman, and it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday, noon to 10 pm on Saturday and noon to 9 pm on Sunday. The Blue Agave Cantina is open from 6 pm to the last customer on Wednesday through Saturday, and Sunday from 2 pm to 8 pm.
Ventura’s is the best Mexican restaurant for family outings. Open in the Toledo area since 1984, Ventura’s is a simple white-sided building. There are three dining rooms, all appointed with bright white walls, plain tables and a few Mexican blankets on the walls to let you know you’re in a Mexican restaurant.
Lunch and dinner fall into the $5 to $13 range, and while the children’s menu is all American fare, you can order tacos a la cart for the smallest diners.
Ventura’s is at 7742 Bancroft, and is open from 11 am to 11 pm Monday through Thursday, and 11 am to midnight on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sundays and holidays.