Ah, come on . . . we know you crave the occasional taco, tamale or even just a bowl of fresh salsa and a basket of chips. And, knowing that, we’ve polled friends, family and clients to come up with the following list of some of Billings’ more popular Mexican eateries.
If you want to fail at something, open a restaurant. “Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year,” claims CNBC’s Jarrett Bellini and he goes on to say that, shockingly, almost 80 percent will be closed for business before they’ve been open five years.
Alba and Curt Jeffries, La Tinga in Bozeman’s owners, and Evelyn Hammond, the Billings eatery’s current proprietor and Alba’s sister, have three words for those unfortunate eateries: “neener, neener, neener.” In business in Bozeman for 13 years and an additional, thriving location in Billings prove that La Tinga is a Montana favorite.
Sure, the location is ideal, but it’s the authentic, family-style food, crafted from Hammond’s Juarez, Mexico family recipes that keep Billings residents coming back. Wondering where to start on your first visit? You can’t go wrong with the daily special. You’ll find it posted on La Tinga’s Facebook page.
La Tinga is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3:30 and they’re closed on Sunday. You’ll find them at 113 N 30th St.
Don Luis Restaurant
If you’re a fan of spicy food, this is your spot. More Cali-Mex than Tex- or even Mex-Mex, the portions are large and the flavor is fresh.
Try the jalapeño poppers to start and you can’t go wrong with a Don Luis tamale. Open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday, you’ll find Don Luis at 15 North 26th St. in Billings or online at donluisrestaurantmt.com.
Los Mayas Mexican Restaurant
Don’t let the tininess of this place fool you – they put out some hugely delicious Mexican food. It’s not quite as authentic as you’ll get at La Tinga but if you enjoy Tex-Mex or California style Mexican food you’ll enjoy Los Mayas. Although I haven’t tried them, I hear the enchiladas are pretty tasty here.
Los Mayas is located at 1212 Grand Ave. in Billings. They’re open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.
The new kid in town, Taqueria Zapotlan is rapidly becoming many Billings-ites go-to when they’re in the mood for that south-of-the-border flavor. The family that owns this true taqueria was in the food truck business prior to the opening of Zapotlan, so they’re no stranger to what Billings Mexican food lovers crave.
Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy pozole and menudo and they even serve breakfast. Find online at Facebook and then get to 2240 Grand Ave.
Mexican One of Billings’ highest rated Mexican eateries on Yelp.com, Guadalajara Heights Mexican offers three locations across Billings. The service is fun, food is fresh and you can’t beat the prices. Try the chicken enchiladas – they’re amazing.
Find Guadalajara Heights Mexican in Billings at 17 N 29th St., 927 S 32nd St W and 1403 Main St. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 8 p.m.