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“Best Mexican in area, worth a detour, great food and service”

La Nortena Taqueria Mexican Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Description: Since 2003 , La Nortena has served as the anchor "authentic Mexican cuisine" restaurant for the historic Charleston/N. Charleston area. The award-winning restaurant, owned and operated by restaurateur Luis Aguirre owes much of its success to our loyal and dedicated restaurant family and to our biggest fans - you, our patrons. Our menu combines traditional central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. Dishes with authentic house specialties, all prepared with a contemporary twist. Guest favorites include shrimp nachos, fish tacos, ceviche, tacos callejeros, parrillas and specialty margaritas. At "La Nortena" we believe in enjoying a meal from beginning to the end.
Restaurant details
Description: Since 2003 , La Nortena has served as the anchor "authentic Mexican cuisine" restaurant for the historic Charleston/N. Charleston area. The award-winning restaurant, owned and operated by restaurateur Luis Aguirre owes much of its success to our loyal and dedicated restaurant family and to our biggest fans - you, our patrons. Our menu combines traditional central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. Dishes with authentic house specialties, all prepared with a contemporary twist. Guest favorites include shrimp nachos, fish tacos, ceviche, tacos callejeros, parrillas and specialty margaritas. At "La Nortena" we believe in enjoying a meal from beginning to the end.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Best Mexican in area, worth a detour, great food and service”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

Happy find after trying many other Mexican restaurants in the Charleston area, La Nortena is a real gem. Warm welcome, speedy and attentive service, and really yummy food starting with a sampler dish with four salsas and moving on to great chicken, pork, and fish -- all tasty and at the right temperature and in very generous portions. This was a very satisfying meal, well worth prices that are a little higher than the average Mexican restaurant in the area. The menu has a wide range of items -- worth studying on the internet before going -- from simple tacos and regular pork and beef dishes to much more exotic items rarely seen on menus in this country. As another reviewer said -- "Stop reading and go eat!"

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank palekh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    53
    19
    7
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Goose Creek, SC
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“good mexican”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

The food here is pretty good still but has definitely gone downhill from three or four years ago. Service is still friendly though.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ouchfirehot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fresh and authentic”
Reviewed May 18, 2012

Went to La Nortena on the advice of my young, hip hairdresser. So glad I did! We have been looking for the best Mexican in Charleston and I think we may have found it. Being in a strip center store front, this place is not the most glamorous, however I found it comfortable and clean inside. When you enter the restaurant, you step into a butcher shop. I knew immediately to get something with beef! I ordered the Carne Asada and happily enjoyed fresh soft corn tortillas and a plate full of tasty grilled steak and onions, alongside fresh, chunky guacamole and pico de gallo. My husband got the AL Pastor Burrito stuffed full of spicy pork and beef. Nothing here is covered in processed cheese or seems pre-packaged. The service was very friendly. We even enjoyed a tasty Margarita at half price for happy hour along with live music. The singer had a smooth voice and gave a cool latin beat with the bongos. Next time I intend to try the "Tortas" or hot Mexican Sandwiches. They looked like a good lunch option. All in all La Nortena will be my local spot for good fresh Mexican food.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank MaryBeth D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
1 review
“Great Food - Define "On Tap"”
Reviewed December 18, 2010

My wife and I ate here twice during a week we stayed in Charleston. Great Food, everything we had tasted excellent. Make sure you are clear what you order; they are not very good at ensuring you get the correct order. The first night my wife, who is pregnant, asked if they had virgin margaritas? The waitress assured us they did and then proceeded to bring us one with alcohol. The funny thing about it was as she brought it to us she told us it might have alcohol in it, so could we taste it first? Huh!!! The guacamole is good and we found out if you order it with chicken churros they will come with beef churros, yet another interesting surprise. On the second night I ordered a Negra Modelo “on tap”. The waitress brought me a bottle of Negra Modelo which caused me to ask if they had it “on tap”? She mentioned that she is used to people ordering “draught” beer when they want it in a glass and then proceed to argue with me that the meaning of “on tap” means you want it in a bottle. I wasn’t in the mood for an argument however after finishing a good meal and my “bottle of beer” we proceeded to walk outside and noticed two large signs next to the door, the one reads “Now Serving Negra Modelo On Tap”. Go figure! By the way they do have it “on tap” which I noticed the first night which is what cause me to “try” and order it the second night.

    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank gthardy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
charleston
1 review
“delicious mexican food”
Reviewed April 20, 2009

i moved here from pasadena california and i tell you this is the real mexican food they have the best burritos, tacos, and hot sandwiches when you try it for the first time you will come back again i did and i love it. the best mexican restaurant in charleston sc you will not find another restaurant in charleston like this one.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jailene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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