Best of Houston® 2023

Best Of Houston® 2023: Best Tex-Mex

Lunchtime carnitas at El Tiempo Cantina
Lunchtime carnitas at El Tiempo Cantina Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Best Tex-Mex: El Tiempo Cantina

Near the entrance to El Tiempo Cantina’s Navigation location, there’s a painting depicting the legendary Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez. One of Fernandez’s greatest hits was “Volver, Volver.” In translation that’s “return, return,” which makes the painting a bit of clever subliminal advertising.

Charming as “Chente” was, the painting isn’t why Houston’s Tex-Mex fans keep coming back. It’s the food, of course, fresh and authentic, culled from the recipe books of the legendary Mama Ninfa herself. If you want to know just how good it is, look for the next El Tiempo to open somewhere near you. The restaurant's booming popularity has it adding locations across the city and beyond.

Fajitas may be the restaurant’s calling cards, but our go-tos are the crispy yet moist carnitas, served in healthy portions, and the slow-cooked perfection of El Tiempo’s carne guisada. Finished with a serving of the restaurant’s outrageously yummy tres leches, it’s a meal that’ll have you singing the restaurant’s praises like a famous Mexican ranchera singer.

Multiple locations
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