El Mariachi versus Nuevo Mexico

The real question is: which restaurant is better?

After reviewing service, food, and pricing- Nuevo Mexico got an overall rating of 7/10.

Emily Irlbeck, Staff Writer

There is an undeniable rivalry between two of Johnston’s most popular Mexican restaurants, El Mariachi and Nuevo Mexico. There is no question that El Mariachi just can not be beat. To be fair, both restaurants were put to the test. Fast service, reasonable prices, and good food are all things people consider when eating at a Mexican restaurant.


Service is extremely important when it comes to going out to eat. While El Mariachi is typically busy, they still have quick service and make any sort of wait worth the while. Nuevo Mexico is typically pretty open but tends to take a longer period of time to serve their customers. Both restaurants could improve when it comes to adequate seating for larger amounts of people waiting to be seated. Waiting for a long amount of time for food is frustrating, which is why choosing El Mariachi is the better move. I would give Nuevo Mexico a 6.5/10 for service. For El Mariachi, I would rate it a 8/10 for service.


Ultimately, eating at Nuevo Mexico is more expensive. When comparing the same meal, a one cent difference is all between the two restaurants. Both restaurants have reasonable pricing for the large portions they serve to their customers. While the cost difference may be small, the difference is still worth sticking with El Mariachi.


The competition between the two restaurants have left students questioning what makes either restaurant better. “I like Nuevo better,” Lucas Gorsh ‘22 said. “I think it comes down to the chips and queso. It’s like Chipotle and Pancheros. Chipotle has really bad chips and queso so you have to go with Pancheros.”          

For example: A fountain drink, chicken fajitas, chips, and queso. A typical meal at a Mexican restaurant. When compared from both places, the El Mariachi chicken fajitas are undeniably better than Nuevo Mexico. The chicken is less chewy and the entire dish comes out steaming hot, which is a sign that the food is immediately served to the customers when it is ready. At Nuevo Mexico, the chicken in the fajitas tends to be chewy and the food is more warm than hot. The queso is the equalizer and greatest factor when it comes to deciding which restaurant is ultimately more worth it. While both restaurants have decent queso, El Mariachi serves more hot and fresh queso in the long run.


Both El Mariachi and Nuevo Mexico have quality food, good service, and reasonable pricing. But with that being said, ultimately El Mariachi goes above and beyond to give their customers the best experience and food overall.