Last year’s winner for Best Mexican Food, Isalita, is making its second appearance on The Michigan’s Daily’s Best of Ann Arbor list of winners. In the last few years, the restaurant has become a staple for Ann Arbor residents and Michigan students alike. The eatery stands out among its counterparts for its fun atmosphere and modern twist on Mexican classics.

Isalita shares an owner (and popularity) with its neighboring Italian counterpart, Mani Osteria & Bar. Both tout traditionally inspired dishes with a unique flair. Isalita’s menu has no shortage of options. Their outstanding tacos come in eight variations, including baja fish or classic carnitas. The chilaquiles verdes is one of my favorite items — baked tortilla chips smothered in salsa verdes, beans, cheese and topped with a fried egg (I highly recommend adding chicken as well). The ingenuity of their assorted cantina classics doesn’t lack in the presentation department either. With artistically inspired plating, Isalita transforms traditional enchiladas from a solid dish to a festive indulgence.

I consistently return just for their guacamole (with the tempting option to add truffle or lobster), perfectly paired with a dangerously endless supply of warm, freshly-made tortilla chips. Isalita is a go-to for celebrating an occasion with friends or entertaining parents for the weekend, which explains why it’s always so crowded. With a variety of small, satisfying dishes that are perfect for sharing, but hold up on their own as well, the menu stacks up brilliantly against other high-end restaurants in the area.

See other winners below! You can also view the full web page here.

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