Best Southwestern food near Harlingen, Texas, United States

August 30, 2019 Mollie Coke

Find out what Southwestern restaurants to try in Harlingen. Harlingen (/ˈhɑːrlɪndʒɪn/ HAR-lin-jin) is a city in Cameron County in the central region of the Rio Grande Valley of the southern part of the U.S. state of Texas, about 30 miles (48 km) from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city covers more than 40 square miles (104 km) and is the second-largest city in Cameron County, as well as the fourth-largest in the Rio Grande Valley. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 64,849, for a growth rate of 12.5% since the 2000 census. It is the city with the lowest cost of living in the United States.
Things to do in Harlingen

1. La Playa Mexican Cafe

502 S 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen, TX 78550-7304 Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish Lunch, Dinner, Brunch Takeout, Private Dining, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Reservations, Live Music +1 956-421-2000 http://laplayacafe.com
Food
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Overall Ratings

4 based on 383 reviews

La Playa Mexican Cafe

Reviewed By Guide826198

Multiple people told me this is the best Mexican restaurant in Harlingen. I did note tht no one said it was Tex Mex, Not sure if that is politically sensitive this close to Mexico, but I found out there is at least one more reason. The waitress told me they are known for the fajitas and fried avocado, so I ordered both, The chips, salsa, avocado and fajitas were delivered all within 30 seconds of each other. Bad mojo. I was shocked that the salsa was a smooth sauce, not chunks of veggies. It was severely hot for my taste. I did not finish it. The fried avocado was an avocado with some. tasteless chicken breaded and fried served with a packet of Newman's Ranch dressing, finely cut lettuce and pico, or rather, tomatoes with a rare cilantro leaf and maybe onion. The lettuce and tomatoes were tasty, but otherwise a waste of calories, dollars and time. The chips were boring and undersalted. If they could buy Newmans salad dressing, why not buy tasty chips?The fajitas were mildly tasty but hard to eat. About a third of them were cut parallel to the grain, making them very hard to bite, They were severely under-marinaded. The onions and peppers were good, the real saving grace of the dish. There were two tiny corn tortillas, and only after i had eaten all of the fajitas did I discover one stale wheat tortilla.Coming from the Houston area I found the fajitas to be severely lacking in flavor and quality, If this is the best in Harlingen, I may just wait till I get back to Houston, Sugar Land or The Woodlands.Small point, but I think there is a distinct difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican. My experience is that fajitas should be purchased in a Tex Mex restaurant and other dishes in a Mexican restaurant. Just saying..,,

Top 10 Mexican food in Harlingen, Texas, United States

2. Las Vegas Cafe

1101 W Harrison Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550-6020 Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Table Service +1 956-423-6749 https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Family-Style-Restaurant/Las-Vegas-Cafe-243672409147841/
Food
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Overall Ratings

4 based on 207 reviews

Las Vegas Cafe

Reviewed By willdriveforfood

I was a first timer on a rainy morning in Harlingen when I stumbled into the las vegas around 6:30 am, by then the parking lot was crowded but not so crowded that you had to park your van, truck or car on the street and block the view of oncoming one way Harrison street traffic for those in the parking area , not quite that busy, maybe later in the day it might be. . Unfamiliar with the restaurant I waited to be seated but was told to sit anywhere , which should have signaled I wasn't a local. I sat in a two seat table. Looking at the wall there are placards listing Lunch and breakfast items. I was asked almost as soon as I was seated what I wanted to order (no menu was offered) so I figured " OK, it's a menu limited to what's on the board next to my head , So craning my head to eyeball the placard I ordered , Coffee, water and the Frenchie special (french toast ). But as I was waiting for the food to arrive EVERYone who was coming in and being seated after me was ordering the breakfast special." I'll have the special" was ringing out everywhere. (2egg, meat , toast , HB or beans and coffee for one price) rather than coffee extra as in my case.). So what I would suggest is if this is your first time at the restaurant , ask for a menu , so you have the option of not ordering just what's presented on the board. Otherwise the coffee was medium strength, not really hot , the breakfast was OK , nothing terrific stood out. Service was fine. But it is a "regular's place" I didn't see anyone presented a menu, they all knew what they wanted(the special) and probably order the same thing every time as the wait staff pretty much knew everyone's order. Or just order the special and pretend you live in Harlingen.

Top 10 restaurants in Harlingen, United States

3. Chili's Grill & Bar

1725 W Tyler Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550-5914 American, Southwestern, Bar, Pub Lunch, Dinner Takeout, Seating, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Table Service +1 956-364-2405 http://www.chilis.com
Food
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Overall Ratings

4 based on 56 reviews

Chili's Grill & Bar

Reviewed By Carl S

Usually don't get too worked up about restaurants, but this was truly a nightmare. Went with two others for a quick business lunch. We all ordered salads. Took the waiter 10 minutes to get our drinks, and it was all downhill from there. Arrived at the place at 11:35 and one person got their salad delivered at about 12:05. The next salad came about 12:15 with the message from the waiter that "the kitchen is kind of crashing and burning." The last salad came about 12:25. None of the salads were really good - the chicken tenders on the Santa Fe salad were cooked until they were basically only crunchy crust. The quesadillas didn't have any melted cheese on them - kind of like a tortilla with cold cheese. We didn't get out of there until about 1 pm. Beyond terrible.Carl, this isn't what we like to hear. We're sorry about the poor service and food you received during your recent lunch visit. We value your feedback and would like to hear more. Please reach out to us at 1-800-983-4637 at your earliest convenience. Thanks!

Top 9 Things to do in Harlingen, United States

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