Life is too short to go without a good burrito once in a while. And, life abroad should be no exception. We have put together what we feel are the Best Mexican Restaurants in Pereira. We bring to you a few places in and around Pereira which will satisfy your desire for picante, or spicy!
Best Mexican Restaurants in Pereira
There are about 8-10 Mexican restaurants in Pereira. Of those I can only really recommend three of them. Why? We have two Tex-Mex style restaurants which are ok, they are both corporate chain type places which don’t need my help to get discovered. The others are small fast-food places which I cannot guarantee will digest well. By that I mean grease traps which haven’t been changed out since pre-civil war days and others which have taken Colombian ingredients and added some jalapeno to them and called it “Mexican.”
Truthfully the options here are limited by the mild palate of the Colombian. Which is ok! It just means we won’t quite find what we are used to in the US. With a few exceptions…
#1: Maria Mexicana | Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant in Pereira!
Located a couple doors down from Tropical Cocktails on Avenida Circunvalar you will find Maria Mexicana. Located in the posh neighborhood of Los Alpes, their prices are appropriate for the area without being too extreme. You will spend $5 USD for a burrito and about $6 USD for a margarita, which is way reasonable, especially considering that cocktails in the neighborhood tend to run $8-9 USD and up. Visitors are given a tray of salsas and a few chips to enjoy while you wait, this is one of the special things which for us makes this place stand out.
The owner and namesake of the restaurant, Maria, is from Mexico City. Together with her husband they have worked to recreate many of the authentic flavors from this region fused with local flavors like passion fruit and pineapple – which you will see in the cool little salsa tray they give you upon arrival.
#2 Jalisco | Calle 40 – cerca al Fiscalia (near the prison, the courthouse etc)
A little known corner restaurant with cheap prices, a nice view and super-easy to reach via Megabus. We stopped in and tried out their burrito. It was big and smothered in red sauce, cheese and pico de gallo. That being said, it wasn’t so bad either.
They gave us actual baskets of chips…and salsa…without charging extra. Their beer was cold. They offer margaritas. What more can you ask for? Not super gourmet like Maria’s, but probably full of untapped potential. We need to stop in and visit them again soon to get a second opinion. Let us know what you think!
Hop any Megabus in el Centro with a #3: Get off at Calle 40, near la Justicia. Follow the directions on our map to walk down and over 1 block to get to where the restaurant is. Buen Provecho!
#3 Los Tacos de Jerry | Los Alamos
This one is tucked away into what seems like a forgotten corner of Pereira, but is no less worthy of your visit. The trick to this one, is if you are coming by taxi (no bus route), be sure to have the EasyTaxi app, or ask the owner to call you a taxi. Especially if it is rainy, or rush hour – you might have a hard time finding your way back out.
What you will find. A cute little place with infused water and decent portions without being too expensive either. We really liked their enchiladas with a slice of apple/cranberry cake for dessert.
El Rincon Mexicano | La Virginia
This restaurant is not in Pereira. But, you can catch an orange bus from the center of Pereira, to the doorstop of this restaurant in La Virginia. Located in a little food mall called Faroles Plaza facing the main park (parque principal), is a little slice of burrito heaven. They are only open in the evenings, but well worth the 30 minute bus trip. The food is your standard Tex-Mex, but what we really liked about this place, is the burritos. And their special sauces too, which included a Chipotle salsa which will make your taste buds dance the mariachi!
Special Hack: as you walk into the food plaza, on the left-hand-side, is an ice cream shop. Ask for a Cerveza michelada, from them. Especially since this is tierra caliente, or hot earth (hot climate), you will appreciate the floating snow which comes from using frozen water with sugar and lemon to create a beer with a frosty finish that you wouldn’t expect to be so damn delicious!
El D.F. Comida Mexicana | Parque La Rebeca
I didn’t want to include this restaurant on the list because they ARE part of a corporate chain/franchise operation. HOWEVER, they have really good service and their food is delicious. Especially if you live in the area, or you want a spacious patio area with a little grass area (great for occupying kids!), then this is the spot.
We tried both their burrito, and their fajitas, with good results. They offer a water fruit infusion which is Flor de Jamaica and lemon – it was delicious.
In Pereira, you won’t find Sopapillas or Fried Ice Cream. But you will find a decent, if limited variety of places offering standard Mexican menu options. There are some other smaller places, but they are a bit greasy, and one of them gave me the all night runs to the bathroom. There is ONE place we didn’t mention which is in Corales, but we haven’t tried it yet. If you aren’t familiar with Pereira then I don’t really recommend you hit this area as vehicle/motorcycle theft is common along with plenty of petty crime due to its close proximity to what is like the “Comuna” of Pereira, known as “Cuba.”
Over time we will try to update this list and keep you posted on all things Mexican in Pereira.