Ripe is just what El Paso needs, a restaurant that focuses on innovative recipes and a place where guests rarely run into Tex-Mex ingredients on the menu. If they do, the plates still make this Southwest style shine in a different way. The restaurant is a brother/sister establishment that was founded in 2007 and they present three service times, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. Each menu has their wonderful burgers with beef sourced from Bakka Ranch along with many other tasty choices. Happy Hour from 3-6pm includes 3USD off appetizers and 1/2 off glasses of wine, overall a nice place to visit off-the-beaten New American path.
El Paso is not necessarily known for its variety of cuisine, however this Korean establishment located near the airport is a welcome addition to the usual routine. Every meal comes with the ubiquitous Ban Chan or small appetizers that range from the spicy, sour Kimchi to the sweet Japchae noodles, so bring your appetite. The prices are reasonable and since the place is usually packed with locals, it usually helps to come in early.
This local Mexican/American fast-food joint with several locations in the El Paso area is known for its three flautas (rolled tacos) draped in cheddar cheese and drenched in a semi-spicy tomato sauce. Chicos is not in the least pretentious, in fact every menu item is meant to be less than gourmet and calorie-laden, however that's part of the fun. Another unorthodox menu item is their round hot-dog served on a hamburger bun and the crinkle-cut fries are definitely better than most fast-food places.
L&J Cafe is considered one of the best Mexican food restaurants on the northern side of the border. Around since the 1920s, its throwback retro sign lets visitors know what's in store for them inside, which is simple, unpretentious Mexican food. They are known for their green chile enchiladas and it has been run by the same family for over three generations, so you know the recipes are authentic. Other items on the menu include tacos, burritos, salads, tortas (sandwiches) and specialties like the Chicken Tampiqueña. If you try the enchiladas and like the salsa atop them, don't forget to ask your server for a can of the stuff in green or red.
It seems that wood-fired pizza is the way-to-go if you want your restaurant to be ultra-successful, and by the looks of the crowded tables at this restaurant, it appears the owners are doing something right. The menu is simple, as there are only a few items per category, but each option is made with care and the best ingredients. In fact, the kitchen even makes its own handmade mozzarella. The pizzas are equally uncomplicated, the Marinara and Margherita have less than four ingredients and the 'Smoked' just has bell pepper, fennel sausage and smoked mozzarella. One other benefit is that the restaurant allows guests to bring-your-own-bottle; this only adds to the reasons why you should come here.
Across the street from the Cielo Vista Mall, Pho Tre Bien brings Vietnam to Old El Paso. Here you order by number off the somewhat overwhelming menu but, you will soon find out that the choices are just variations on a theme. If you're here for pho, the three main categories are Rice, Yellow and Authentic noodles. Each one comes with your choice of steak, seafood or chicken. If you can, try to get a table on the beautiful garden patio, complete with a waterfall and a meditating Buddha.
Located in the historic Anson Mills building, which itself rests upon the 1832 Ponce de Leon ranch, this bistro/fine dining restaurant is actually two in one. On the first floor, the bistro serves light, healthy Californian style dishes alongside impeccable service. On the second floor, the luxurious dining room is where you can enjoy part of the chef's tasting menu filled with items like Sturgeon, Dry Aged Duck Breast and King Salmon. Whether you choose the dining room or bistro, both options allow you to select from more than 250 different wines.
This El Paso spot serves new American comfort food to happy diners. The menu offers variations on American comfort food classics. The beverages are almost as innovative as their dishes and are worth the visit alone, especially in the West Texas heat.
El Jacalito is a great Mexican restaurant located in the downtown area of El Paso. If you're looking for diner style food that's cheap and delicious, this is the place to be. They serve breakfast and lunch and the menu includes soups, tacos, tortillas, steak and much more. The Tlalpeño soup and chips with salsa are recommended and if you can't decide what to get, just call for a Mexican platter that has a little of everything. The flavors are perfectly combined and have a kick that only Mexican food can give. The restaurant staff is professional and prompt and the service is definitely as good as the food.
Nour Mediterranean Cafe is a quaint, family-run Lebanese restaurant that serves pita, schwarma, falafel and what locals say is the best hummus in town. The dishes shine on all fronts, from the grape dolmeh appetizers to their 'Family Meal', which is a massive platter of different meats, vegetables, falafel and pita that can feed up to six people. One of the best things about Nour is their signature sauce, it is a delightful melange of garlic, cilantro, lime and raw potato! Overall, it is a great place to bring the family or if you are with a large group.