We know making a trip to East Boston can be a real commitment, between bobbing and weaving tunnel traffic and construction to get to Logan Airport on time. For us, it is always worth the potential risk for the reward of Taqueria Jalisco. We love the birria tacos at this Eastie spot and it’s hard to not dream of the enchiladas and burritos. So there is no wrong order—we feel just as strongly about the tamales—but the Quesadilla Jalisco is truly a must-try item. These quesadillas start with handmade tortillas and are so loaded with cheese and meat that they almost eat like an empanada. If you’re looking for something not as rich, Taqueria Jalisco also has a traditional Quesadilla con Carne that will similarly satisfy.
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Quesadillas might just be one of the greatest snacks. Originating from Mexico, it starts with a soft tortilla, filled with ooey gooey, melty cheese and griddled to perfection. How could you possibly make this better? Add steak. While quesadillas are certainly filled with other proteins, we are quite partial to carne asada. Whether you are looking for a more traditional approach or an adventurous option, Boston is brimming with steak quesadillas. Check out these Mexican restaurants dishing up the best.
Taqueria El Amigo
If there was ever a time to venture out of the city to the ’burbs for the next best bite, searching for the best Mexican foods is that time. You’ll find it at Taqueria El Amigo, a legendary, hole-in-the-wall spot in Waltham. Everything from al pastor, carnitas, and the decadent cabeza (beef cheek) is there in the form of traditional tacos and enchiladas—and in Super Quesadillas. Filled with flavorful carne asada and lots of cheese, these quesadillas are an essential addition to any order. Served with beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream , be sure to ask for the homemade hot sauce. Chef’s kiss. Since the tiny taqueria is always bustling with just a few tables, it’s best to plan on take out.
From the small, quaint Jamaica Plain spot to the present-day, 11-location empire, Chilacates is a go-to for that Mexican food craving. The menu is extensive with something for everyone—taco plates with smoky chicken tinga and birria, the best burritos around, perfectly packaged tamales, and of course, the Carne Asada Quesadilla. Offered in both guey and patron-size grilled tortillas (aka small and large), these quesadillas are filled with the most flavorful grilled steak and lots of melty cheese, and served with sides of homemade guac, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Always the right answer as a shareable snack (or to keep to yourself!).
Twenty years in, Villa Mexico Cafe is only better with age. The proudly immigrant-women-family run spot is a downtown staple, always ready with craveable Mexican food classics like the oversized grilled burritos and homemade tamales. But let’s not overlook the Marinated Beef Quesadillas served with rice, beans, and house salsa. Flavor-packed and expertly griddled, what more could we need? Maaaaybe just more hours in the day to enjoy it. Villa Mexico operates as a true Financial District workhorse, only open during weekdays, so be sure to plan accordingly.
With two East Boston locations, Angela’s Cafe brings authentic Mexican cuisine to the city from the country’s Puebla region. The family-owned spots are best known for specialties like chicken Enchiladas de Mole, shredded beef Tinga Burritos, Tamales Caseros de Puebla of stuffed baked corn dough (a real treat!), and all the tacos. If that was not already enough to make the decision tricky, the Steak Quesadillas are not to be missed. Melty mozzarella and wonderfully seasoned steak match with all the accompaniments you could need for a bold and balanced snack or meal.