El Paso has a unique restaurant scene, because of its rich Mexican, American and Texan history. Several waves of international immigrants and the proximity to Fort Bliss has contributed to Central El Paso restaurant scene. There is an abundance of eateries throughout the city. The Top 10 list is a smidgen of cuisines and price ranges available in Central El Paso. The following restaurants are not in a particular order and are arranged by cuisine.
Mexican and Tex-Mex
- Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant, 321 Chelsea St., 915-772-0066
When it comes to group dining, it is hard to find a place that appeals to everyone. Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant caters l to customers dietary restrictions. The restaurants interior and exterior is just as vibrant as its food. There are three levels of seating with several dining rooms on each level. Locals and tourist enjoy the flavor of New Mexico without leaving Texas. The price range for this restaurant teeters between $10 and $50.
- H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop, 701 E Yandell Dr., 915-533-1144
Yes, the coffee shop is connected to a car wash. H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop is a small restaurant with a national reputation. The hidden gem is a local treasure that received the James Beard Foundation Award. Its fresh Mexican menu is budget friendly menu, which make it a busy spot. Bar seating is available, but the coffee shop gets packed quickly for breakfast and lunch.
- Lucy’s Café, 1305 N Mesa St., 915-217-527
Want a tried-and-true Mexican restaurant experience? Stop by Lucy’s Café. It was founded and named after Lucy Lepe in 1978. The family-owned restaurant is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Customers may go to Lucy’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lucy’s Café is a whole-in-the-wall. Customers can watch their food be prepared over the counter, which is a bonus for customers curious about Mexican dishes. If it gets to crowded, there are four restaurants in El Paso. Three are on North Mesa Street.
- Rib Hut – 2612 N Mesa St., 915-532-7427
Love ribs? Do not miss $1.50 a rib night at Rib Hut. Regulars pack the West Central El Paso located restaurant every Saturday for it. The Texas style ribs are slow-cooked and served with a variety of sauces. Not a fan of ribs? The hut menu includes steak, brisket, sausage and burgers as well. Patrons spend between $10 to $30. The family friendly restaurant has a children menu and dessert to top off a savory experience.
- Tony’s the Pit Bar-B-Q, 1700 Mrytle Ave. 915-546-9140
Tony’s the Pit Bar B-Q has deep roots in Central El Paso. Although Rib Hut serves mesquite smoked ribs, the family-owned restaurant introduced El Paso barbecue to the mesquite-smoking pit in 1958. Tony’s prepares a variety of meats by the pound, sandwiches, baby back pork ribs, burritos and sides. Not in the mood to wait? Tony’s the Pit Bar B-Q caters and delivers!
- Pho Tre Bien, 6946 Gateway East, 915-598-0166
As the name implies, Pho Tre Bien is known for its fresh noodle dish, which is a popular lunch entrée in Central El Paso. Short on time, online ordering is available. Plus, there is plenty of seating in the large dining room to include bar seats. The traditional Vietnamese menu is affordable. Dine-in entrée for two ranges from $10 to $30. The restaurant is adorned with traditional Asian instruments, a grand piano and outdoor garden that features a Buddha statue.
- Tara Thai, 2606 N Mesa St., 915-219-9307
The Traditional Thai restaurant is known for its Drunken Noodles, Thai Flan and curries. Patrons enjoy complimentary Thai flatbread with green dipping sauce. Beer and wine are available as well. Residents of El Paso that frequent Tara Thai are greeted by name. Newcomers receive a special introduction to Tara Thai and its menu. Customer seeking a more intimate environment may spend about $31 to $50 or $51 and up.
- Crave Kitchen & Bar, 300 Cincinnati Ave., 915-351-3677
Crave Kitchen & Bar is an ideal environment for intimate date night. Locals come for the decadent food and atmosphere. Crave Kitchen & Bar adds an upscale twist to traditional comfort foods. Average entrée dine-in price for two is $31 to $50. Couples craving more may want to limit drinks and split a dessert. The chalk board menu is along the back wall. High tables are available for groups. Keep in mind, the restaurant is small and is not a lunch or dinner rush scene.
- Mesa Street Bar and Grill, 3800 N Mesa St., 915-532-1881
In the mood for wine tasting? Mesa Street Bar and Grill offers a monthly six-course wine tasting dinner. Although the eatery is known for its budget friendly wine selection, steak and seafood are the stars of the menu. Vegetarian options are limited. Groups seeking privacy may book a private dining room that can comfortably seat 40 or the patio that seats 50. Given its 1950s ambiance, the average entrée dine-in price for two is $51 and up. Budget conscious dinners are welcome to enjoy a few drinks and order from the bar menu.
- Park Tavern, 204 E Mills Ave., 915-228-9050
Compared to the other restaurants on the list, Park Tavern is the new kid on the block. Since 2017, locals and tourist have enjoyed American dishes with a Southwestern twist in Central El Paso. From lobster to burgers, there are different dietary options to choose from as well as a drink menu. The Taverns seasoned bartenders have a mixology menu as well. Like the menu, customers can expect a lustrous, yet relaxed environment intended for adults. Reservations are highly encouraged, and menus are available for download.
Buen Provecho (Bon Appetite)
Overall, Central El Paso restaurants offer quality food for reasonable prices. Many have fed locals and tourist for decades. Central El Paso’s reputation for decadent food requires new restaurants to exceed that standard. When you head Downtown for a night on the town, remember your favorite real estate team, PCS El Paso, firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel post written by Patricia Streeter, lifestyle blogger.
Insider’s Guide to El Pas by Megan Eaves