Here is a link to my last blog, Flagstaff Top 3: Best Places For Lunch In Downtown Flagstaff.

OK, I will flat out say it:  Mexican food in Flagstaff is not the greatest compared to other parts of Arizona.  The best in the WORLD, in my opinion, is in Phoenix and that is Los Dos Molinos.  There are other very good places in Phoenix, Tucson and points in between, but Flagstaff...not so much.  I had a friend say to me once, "The best Mexican Restaurant in Flagstaff is...in Phoenix."  That's pretty harsh, but is very telling.

And don't ask a Flagstaff "local" either.  They will send you to an old, worn out, dirty place in east Flagstaff that has the blandest, overcooked Sonoran food you have ever had.  I don't know why people here think that's great, but maybe it's because they have never been to Phoenix or Tucson.  Or California.  Or anywhere, I guess.  I am sure that this opinion of mine will upset more than a few of the "locals", but the fact is...your favorite Mexican restaurant is terrible.

However, I am here to tell you that there are a few gems in Flagstaff and that's what we will be exploring in this blog.  I am starting off with Breakfast and Lunch places and saving Dinner recommendations for a later blog.  Here it is:

Tacos Los Altos

There are 2 Tacos Los Altos in Flagstaff, and the strange thing is...I believe they are owned by different people.  I would say, pick one.  For me, I chose the East Flagstaff location (3650 E. Route 66), as it is the original.  It has been several years since I have gone to the South Flagstaff location, but it was equally good.  My friends tell me it still is!  

Tacos Los Altos is a very "Mexican" Mexican Restaurant.  What I mean by that is that it is not Americanized in the least.  This place could be in any Mexican city and draw a big crowd.  It is that good and that authentic.  The shrimp cocktails are as good as anything you would get in Rocky Point.  I don't think I have a favorite item on the menu, so just pick what you like and you won't be disappointed.

Tacos Los AltosI can't seem to find much of a website for these guys other than just a menu page, but here are some reviews on Yelp:  Tacos Los Altos On Yelp.

 

Martanne's

​Martanne's has a reputation in Flagstaff for being THE breakfast place for Mexican food in Flagstaff and it is for good reason.  It really is quite good.

The place started out as Martan's Burrito Palace and was located in the first block of north San Francisco Street.  It started way back in the early 1980's and I was going there when I was a student at NAU in the late 80's.  It was located in a very small spot that was the Franciscan way back in the day. I remember going as a small child with my family and stepping out on to the street right as the All Indian Pow Wow Parade went by.

Martan's became extremely popular with anyone that went there and the main thing they went for was the Chilaquiles.  If you have never had Chilaquiles, traditionally it is tortilla chips scrambled with pico de gallo, cheese and sometimes eggs.  Martan's became known as "The House That Chilaquiles Built" and never looked back.  Their Chilaquiles are a bit different, with an enchilada sauce blended in, but...they are very good.  The cook for years and years was a little old lady named Alice and if you ever ate any of Alice's food, you can call yourself a true Flagstaff local.


Martanne's

Martan's has been through a couple of intra-family ownership changes over the years, a location change and a name change.  It is now Martanne's and it is still THE place to go for a Mexican Breakfast in Flagstaff.

Here is an Arizona Highways Article on Martanne's.

Here is what Trip Advior has to say about Martanne's

Honestly, I do not know a single person who does not love the place, and you will see it again in my next blog on Flagstaff Mexican food as well.  By the way, it is a great place for dinner as well.

 

El Capitan Mexican Grill

El Capitan started out several years ago as a west Flagstaff location for Salsa Brava which is another very popular Flagstaff restaurant.  After a sale to a local Flagstaff family, it was rebranded as El Capitan and has never looked back.  El Capitan went its first few years as basically another Salsa Brava, it seems because the recipes were almost identical. But over the years, El Capitan has created its own identity and now holds its own.  I believe that it holds up as one of the better places in Flagstaff for Mexican and let me tell you why.


El Capitan Mural

El Capitan is known for a great salsa bar, a killer margarita called Lily's and some pretty darn good food. For me, I will order the Shrimp Enchiladas with a chipotle sauce or the chili verde with an egg on top. Combine that with a great salsa from the salsa bar and a Lily's and you are set, my friend.


El Capitan Plate

Hey, look!  They actually have a website! 

Hey Look!  Trip Advisor likes them too!

 

El Capitan Dining


Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at www.GaryNelsonGroup.com.