In the San Fernando Valley, Mexican food reigns supreme. With Mexican Independence Day right around the corner, dining at an authentic Mexican Restaurant is a fun and delicious way to celebrate culture that kiddos will totally enjoy. Not sure where to start? Here are 7 outstanding Mexican Restaurants in the Valley (and since you’re celebrating don’t forget dessert – we haven’t!).

frida's tacos

photo credit: Frida’s facebook page

Frida Mexican Cuisine
If fine dining is your thing but you want to bring the littles along, Frida Mexican Cuisine is a tasty option. While the adult menu offers a variety of authentic and contemporary Mexican cuisine, it’s the children’s menu that’s the star. Of course chicken or asada tacos and taquitos make an appearance, but so do less traditional options such as chicken tenders. Great for picky eaters who are just getting introduced to a new cuisine – they can order chicken tenders and try some of your food too. Fun tip: Go on Sunday for the Mariachi Brunch.

For dessert – Crepas con Cajeta (crepes with dulce de leche)

750 Americana Way
Glendale, Ca 91210
Phone: 818-551-1666
Online: fridaamericana.com

photo credit: Angela A M. via Yelp

Melody’s Mexican Kitchen
Ever ate something so delicious that you wanted to sing or do a little happy dance in your chair? If not, perhaps you haven’t visited Melody’s Mexican Kitchen where taste and reasonable prices go hand in hand, and not at the expense of quality. This place caters to early risers serving up breakfast daily. But what they are known for are reliable kid pleasers: hard shell tacos available with chicken, beef or potato and a homemade horchata – a tasty Mexican drink often made with rice, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.

For dessert: Melody’s chocolate cake – just like the menu says,  “it’s no ordinary piece of cake.”

6747 Reseda Blvd
Reseda, Ca 91335
Phone: 818-609-9062
Online: lasfuentes.com/restaurant/melodys_mexican_kitchen_home.html

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photo credit: Mark L via Yelp

La Paz Restaurant
If you travel down the 101 to Calabasas you’ll find a place that has found been part of  the community since 1989. If your child loves seafood they will love sampling the fare at La Paz Restaurant. This place boasts a full Yucatan style menu, as well as more traditional dishes. Their brunch menu has selections ranging from an omelet bar and pancakes to carnitas, menudo and ceviche; it’s available on Sundays (they accept reservations). And if dining on popcorn shrimp and Cheese Enchiladas for brunch wasn’t enough of a treat, the Mariachi band is sure to be.

For dessert: Ice cream nachos – vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and sugar tortilla chips and chocolate syrup.

4505 Las Virgenes Rd
Calabasas, Ca 91302
Phone: 818-880-8076
Online: lapazmexicanfood.com

 

Las Fuentes
At the heart of Las Fuentes is family and it’s mirrored in the family friendly atmosphere and the comforting cuisine. The menu is comprised of recipes that have been passed down and the portions are plentiful, which means leftovers are a real possibility (no cooking lunch tomorrow!). The decor at Las Fuentes features bright colors and Mexican Folkloric Art. In addition to eyeing the art, you’ll probably be eying all of the good food patrons carry to their tables after picking up their order at the counter. A long line isn’t uncommon, but it tends to move fast and the food always proves to be worth the wait. Customers rave about their “Gringo Style” burritos – topped in ranchero sauce and melted cheese. And the salsa bar is perfect for kids who love to dip their chips.

For dessert – Mom’s homemade flan; it jiggles like Jello, but much more mellow.

18415 Vanowen St
Reseda, Ca 91335
Phone: 818-343-8488
Online: lasfuentes.com/restaurant/las_fuentes_restaurant_home.html

Sol y Luna

photo credit: Krishann Briscoe

Sol y Luna
This hidden Mexican gem offers fresh Mexican cuisine in a traditional restaurant setting. Don’t let the dim light and wall murals depicting famous Mexican icons lead you to believe this place isn’t kid friendly. While you’re likely to want to return for date night, this is a warm and inviting place that the entire family can enjoy. There is typically a wait, but you’ll be rewarded for your patience. Their Green Corn Tamales are made from scratch and kids will get a kick out of the table-side guacamole  made fresh right before their eyes.

For dessert – Mexican style cheesecake.  Better than Lindy’s.

19601 Ventura Blvd
Tarzana, Ca 91357
Phone: 818-343-8488
Online: solylunausa.com

guacamole

photo credit: Krishann Briscoe

Karlo’s & Koke’s Fresh Mexican Grill
Looking to grab a fresh bite to eat with some flair when it comes to flavor?  This is where you’ll find homemade food with Oaxacan flavor. But some familiar items also make an appearance on their menu offering a unique spin on items kids love. For example, their Papas Nachos are nachos made using French fries instead of tortilla chips. They’ve also got a kids menu with mini burritos, quesadillas and vegetarian options. And for corn lovers their sweet corn is a must try (although you may want to forgo the spice and get it plain for the kiddos).

For dessert – Rice pudding.  Even for those that find this dessert typically blah, you’ll be a converted fan after one taste.

6551 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Woodland Hills, Ca 91303
Phone: 818-887-7159
Online: karlosandkokes.com

 

La Fogata Mexican Restaurant
With an establishment date of 1977, family owned and operated, La Fogata has been feeding Valley girls (and guys) for decades. Breakfast lovers will take to their morning menu, which offers breakfast quesadillas and burritos. But if burritos in the morning aren’t your kid’s thing they also make an appearance on the menu for lunch and dinner. The “wet burrito” (topped with cheese and salsa roja a verde) is popular here with kids, as are the enchiladas.

For dessert: Sweet corn tamales.  ‘Nuff said.

5142 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, A 91403
Phone: 818-501-9065
Online: vivalafogata.com

-Krishann Briscoe

Where are your go-to Mexican restaurants in the Valley?

additional photo credit: Kristopher Volkman via Creative Commons