#103 of 199 Destin Restaurants

El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant

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El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant – Destin’s Spot for Tasty Food and Margaritas Galore
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

At El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, they strive to bring everyone together to enjoy tasty food and more. They always use fresh, whole ingredients in their flavorful dishes, expertly mix up delicious margaritas to match and even bring in live musicians to keep you entertained. Although their service is somewhat spotty, you will still be treated to good food and great times at this restaurant.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Located along Legendary Drive in Destin, El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant is the perfect place to wind down after a day of shopping. They are located in the mall, making it easy to get to after browsing all the stores there. Parking can be a challenge, however, on busy days.

As a family-owned and operated establishment, they make it their mission to use fresh ingredients and traditional recipes for all their dishes. Their robust menu has all the fan favorites along with inventive creations all their own. They have everything from fish tacos to quesadillas and many are available a la carte. Their dessert menu is equally impressive, boasting incredible dishes like flan, sopapilla, and churros.

They also spend their time handcrafting tantalizing margaritas that complement the robust flavors of all their dishes. Many of their drinks are available as a two for one special during happy hour and beyond, elevating your meal without breaking the bank. If the food and drinks are not enough in helping you have a great time, they have music playing at all times, sometimes even by live musicians.

Their top menu items include:

Fish Tacos
Fresh mahi-mahi is the star of the show in the fish tacos served at this restaurant. They add the fish to three tortillas, then pile on the shredded lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo. If you prefer, you can have shrimp substituted for the mahi-mahi. Either way, they will give you a side of chipotle sauce for dipping or straight pouring on your tacos, if you wish.

Nachos El Jalisco
If you have trouble choosing between all the amazing meat and seafood options, allow the nachos El Jalisco to lead the way to a full belly. These nachos come piled high with grilled chicken, steak, and shrimp. Grilled fajita vegetables join the party before the entire stack is covered in cheese that is melted in the oven just prior to serving.

Chicken Mole
Rich chocolate and hot chili peppers come together in the chicken mole, giving you the best of both worlds in one fantastic meal. They prepare this dish by browning sliced chicken in a pan, then adding it to authentic mole sauce to meld with those flavors. Once the chicken is tender and delightfully flavored, they serve this dish with tortillas, rice, and beans.

Chimichanga Platter
When you order the chimichanga platter, your taste buds will be treated to an out of this world flavor experience. They prepare this meal by building a burrito with ground beef or shredded chicken, then frying it up to a light golden brown. Then, they pour over the cheese sauce and fill the rest of the platter with beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and sour cream.

Fried Ice Cream
There is no better way to end your meal than with a dish of fried ice cream made to order. They create this sweet treat by rolling a scoop of vanilla ice cream in cinnamon sugar and corn flakes. Then, they put it in a deep-fried tortilla shell and top everything with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry.

The waitstaff is rather chill about checking in with their patrons, giving everyone time to eat in peace. If you need something, you may need to signal them over to your table to make your request. On busy nights, however, this may be easier said than done, as they serve many different tables across the restaurant.

Insider Tips:
– On Saturdays, they host live local musicians to play for everyone while they eat.
– For a hot and spicy kick, you can ask your server for the red sauce.
– For happy hour, come down between 3 pm and 7 pm.