Greetings and welcome back to another week of our 5 to Try series!
We’ve been on the hunt for the best Mexican restaurants in Johnson County. And our readers once again have been reliable, finding dozens of recommendations to try out.
Early on at the start of this series, we asked you where to find the best tacos in town. While tacos are a staple in Mexican cuisine, this list separates from our local taquerias because we want to hear more about all of the other delicious dishes on the menu: Think flautas, burritos, enchiladas, and other traditional Mexican dishes like molcajete.
However, because some of our local taquerias are THAT GOOD, we’d like to give honorable mention to those taco shops that made it to our 5 to Try tacos post.
The following taquerias were strong candidates this week because they came highly recommended: The Corner Lalo’s Kitchen in Mission, Taco Naco near downtown Overland Park and Salsa Grill Cantina in Mission.
Let’s take a dive south of the border and highlight our readers’ top picks for the best Mexican dining!
Ixtapa Fine Mexican Cuisine (Overland Park)
Rising to the top as the number one pick for best Mexican is Ixtapa Fine Mexican Cuisine at 95th and Metcalf. Ixtapa opened for business in mid-2020.
Post reader Katie McAnany lauds Ixtapa as the premier Mexican restaurant in Johnson County.
“Don’t miss the Chiles en Nogadas, an authentic Mexican Independence Day dish!” she writes. “Tex-Mex restaurants are a dime a dozen in Joco. Ixtapa serves up authentic Mexican cuisine that few are familiar with! Don’t miss it!”
Ixtapa offers a curated selection of comfort food like its Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza (squash blossom) and warm dishes for two, including Molcajete, a hot pot filled to the brim with pork, steak, shrimp, queso fresco and molcajete sauce made with chorizo.
Ixtapa has a second location in northern Kansas City, Missouri.
Located at 7305 W. 95th St., Ixtapa is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Jose Pepper’s Mexican Restaurant (multiple locations)
Jose Pepper’s, a Tex-Mex grill franchise in the Kansas City metro, comes highly recommended for our readers, including Post reader Andy McCarl.
“It may not be the highest in the ‘gourmet’ food category, but Jose Pepper’s is our go for Mexican food,” McCarl said. “The selection is good, the food is always great, and the service is generally excellent. Throw in a good margarita, and I can’t think of a better night out, or to pick up and take home.”
Give this place a whirl at happy hour, 3-6 p.m. daily, and try one of their margaritas with some of their signature dishes, including the Pollo Magnifico, a crispy chicken burrito covered with a blanket of Colby Jack and jalapeño cream cheese.
Or keep it simple, and focus on some of Post reader Bill Stilley’s favorites.
“They… have the best flautas, burritos and fajitas,” Stilley said.
Mi Ranchito (multiple locations)
This Kansas City franchise stands out as a premier kitchen and cantina for our readers.
Boasting seven locations in the metro and Lawrence, Mi Ranchito frequently switches up the menu with specials nearly every day of the week, including Shrimp & Crab Enchiladas on Friday, Pork Carnitas on Saturday and Deliciosa Fajitas on Sunday.
The sizable menu also offers a selection of enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos and fajitas, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
K-Macho’s (Overland Park and Olathe)
Looking for a classic Johnson County dining experience with tasty Mexican flavors and excellent service? K-Macho’s (with its two locations in southern Overland Park and Olathe) should definitely make it to your list.
Post reader Bob Lake gives K-Macho’s a recommendation because of the variety on the menu and overall quality of service.
“I have been there a dozen times, probably ordered a dozen menu items, and have been totally satisfied each and every time,” Lake said.
K-Macho’s also comes highly recommended for Post reader Bill Stilley.
“K-machos in Overland Park has the best flautas, burritos and fajitas. They are so delicious!” Stilley said. “Staff is really good as well.”
Located at 11741 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, and 1229 E. Santa Fe St., Olathe, K-Macho’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Dos Reales (Shawnee and Overland Park)
Closing out this list is Dos Reales, another top pick for our readers. With two locations in Shawnee and Overland Park, it’s the perfect stop if you find yourself in the northern part of Johnson County.
Their Overland Park location has a fresh new look, and the Shawnee location offers outdoor dining for a warm spring outing. And the food is fantastic, as is the service, according to our readers.
Post reader Juanan Hill’s family is “committed” to Dos Reales.
“The food is reliably delicious with an authentic menu supported by great sauces, guacamole and other sides,” Hill said. “Plus they’re on top of fast and friendly service. We highly recommend them as BEST for fantastic Mexican cuisine!”
Located at 6453 Quivira Road, Shawnee, and 8841 W. 75th St., Overland Park, Dos Reales is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.