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  1. Salty Rim Grill

    South Pinellas beaches : 9524 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach, 33706

    Mulligan's, a longtime beach bar without a lot of culinary ambition, was replaced in 2010 by Ocean Breeze. In that transition it underwent a fairly elegant remodel, with an international small-plate menu that turned out not to be a perfect fit for this waterside locale. At the end of 2011 the sp …

  2. La Unica Michoacana

    Stadium Area : 2800 N MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33607

    Specializing in Mexican paletas (ice pops) and helado (ice cream), this little shop in Tampa was opened a few years ago. Savory food was a late addition, and in fact there's not much room to hang out and enjoy the goods. Three little tables along the front windows are fit in between the ice crea …

  3. El Gallo Grande

    St. Petersburg : 1625 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thur., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3-10 p.m. Sun.Read a review here.

  4. Casita Taqueria

    St. Petersburg : 2663 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33713

    New location for the southern California style taqueria.Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., closed Sun.

  5. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

    Davis Islands : 209 E Davis Blvd., Tampa, 33606

    Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.Read a review here.

  6. Capital Tacos

    Land o' Lakes : 6765 Land O Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes, 34638

    Bobby Heskett and his wife Kristel opened Capital on a budget in 2013. Avid travelers both, they've spent time lingering in the taquerias of Denver, Austin and elsewhere, putting together a dream list of Tex-Mex dishes. There's regional Mexican thrown into the mix, and a little Baja seafood for …

  7. Taqueria Dona Maria

    Brandon : 865 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Brandon, 33511

    Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sun., closed Mon.

  8. Ana's Restaurant

    Wimauma : 5705 State Road 674, Wimauma, 33598

    Ana Magallon's Ana's (formerly called Sanchez Restaurant) is one of the fancier spots in town, with brightly painted walls and chili pepper tablecloths. Magallon, who is Mexican, serves thick, house-fried tortilla chips and super-spicy salsa puree, which we scooped up along with an order of chil …

  9. Tequilas

    Ybor City : 1613 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

  10. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill

    St. Petersburg : 6901 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33710

    In Tyrone Mall.

  11. Pancheros Mexican Grill

    Pinellas Park : 3700 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, 33762

  12. Z Grille

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 104 Second St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Zack and Jennifer Gross' Z Grille at the bottom of Signature Place, has got personality. The edgy decor is dominated by a 10-foot bamboo halfpipe with artwork from local tattoo artist Evil Don. It's playful yet still sophisticated, and that's the way the food is, too. Think Dr Pepper fried ribs, …

  13. Burrito Bus Stop and Cantina

    Palm Harbor : 34718 US Highway 19 N, Palm Harbor, 34684

    In the Fountains Plaza. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thur., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.Read a review here.

  14. Besa Grill

    Clearwater : 2542 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 33761

    In the spot that used to be Tuscano Grill, adjacent to the slick-Med Carmel Café and around the corner from the popular Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Besa Grill opened at the end of 2011. Sister restaurant to FlameStone in Oldsmar, it's Latin-inspired, not Mexican exactly, with stylish, nig …

  15. Mexico Lindo

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Clearwater : 812 Court St., Clearwater, 33756

    The taqueria has expanded with a spectrum of meats and moles in hailing distance of the carniceros at the butcher counter. Come on weekends for menudo.

  16. Acapulco Mexican Grocery and Taqueria

    Tampa : 1001 N MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33607

    At the front it's snack food and canned goods and a small produce case. Unless you look beyond the last aisle, you might not even see the cafe in back. And that would be a shame. The sopes here are wide and thin, like little crispy masa pizzas on which to heap lengua (beef tongue) or buche (beef …

  17. Mexico Lindo

    Pinellas Park : 6050 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, 33781

    With pumpkin-orange walls and a television tuned to photos of the adjacent grocery stores, this is a regular go-to place for Pinellas bargain lunchers. Head for tacos: The Campechano is irresistible, even once you find out that it is crispy pork skin mixed in with lush carnitas (really Mexico's  …

  18. Red Mesa Cantina

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Red Mesa Cantina is fulfilling the promise that De Santo Latin American Bistro intimated at during its brief life in the reinvented McNulty Station. For downtown office workers and the revelers at Push Ultra Lounge upstairs, the cantina is a boon: The menu is divided into ceviches, a raft of sof …

  19. Nitally's Thai-Mex Cuisine

    Grand Central District : 2462 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33712

    A Thai tamale, its homey corn masa filled with a spicy stir-fry kicked up with a hoisin salsa flavored with garlic, lime, peanut and Serrano. Or pad Thai con carnitas, traditional fish-sauced rice noodles getting a topper of chipotle stir-fried pork. Nit Jintaseranee is from Thailand; Ally Valde …

  20. Senor Taco

    Pinellas Park : 6447 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, 33781

    There may not be many things more simple than a taco, but the housemade soft corn tortillas are good enough to make you drive past the drive-through. Owner Carlos Sosa fills them with a number of traditional meats, and is most proud of his slow-roasted pork shoulder, cochinita pibil. Another fav …

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