Tyler definitely has its fair share of Mexican restaurants, some good and others not so good. Don Juan’s, however, is one of the great ones. In fact, I am willing to make the proclamation right now that it is my favorite Mexican food restaurant in Tyler. Of course, I love Villa Montez, too, but that is technically Latin food, not Mexican so I don’t consider them to be in the same genre.
With two locations, both on Erwin Street, Don Juan’s proximity to the hospitals and downtown offices make it a very popular lunch spot. The biggest downfall to their location on the square is the limited parking, but it is so worth making a couple of loops around the Square or taking a short walk to get there.
The location on the Square, my favorite of their two locations, is brightly decorated with painted chairs and lots of colorful pinatas. Though everything I have eaten there has been fab, my favorite thing to get there is two pork, cilantro and onion tacos with a small shrimp cocktail… Soooo good. I also love the sopes, the tortas, the quesadillas, the queso with sausage, and pretty much everything else on the menu. I know Mercado’s has lots of fans out there, but I honestly don’t see how it even compares to Don Juan’s in service, ambiance, and food taste and quality. To me, Mercado’s screams generic Tex-Mex while Don Juan’s offers deliciously authentic Mexican food.
I hope I didn’t offend any Mercado’s lovers out there, but I just had to do my part in spreading the word on the awesomeness of Don Juan’s, and unfortunately, Mercado’s was my collateral damage. I know a lot of people are scared or intimidated by authentic Mexican food, but they shouldn’t be! It really is fantastic food, and their Margaritas aren’t shabby either.
Don Juan on the Square
113 East Erwin Street
Tyler, TX (903) 526-0702
1313 East Erwin Street
Tyler, TX (903) 526-2999