85% of counties have at least one Mexican restaurant

In California and Texas, Los Angeles and Harris Counties host the highest concentration of culinary establishments specializing in Mexican cuisine.

85% of counties have at least one Mexican restaurant. Those 15% of counties that do not have a single restaurant specialized in Mexican cuisine are also those with the least population. Therefore, fewer people are affected by this shortage. According to data from the Pew Research Center, these 15% of counties have four million citizens, only 1% of the country's total population.

According to the Pew Research Center, Mexican restaurants are most prevalent in California and Texas. These states have about 40% of the total establishments specializing in Mexican food in the country.

Map provided by Pew Research Center showing the number of Mexican restaurants in each county in the United States in 2023.
(Pew Research Center)

California has 22% of the Mexican restaurants available in the United States. Los Angeles County has the highest concentration of specialized establishments, registering a percentage of 30%.

For its part, Texas has 17% of the Mexican restaurants available in the nation. Of that percentage, 17% are located in Harris County and the city of Houston, while another 9% are located in the counties of Bexas (city of San Antonio) and Dallas.

Other states with a good batch of Mexican restaurants are Florida, New York and Illinois. All of them each have 4% of the national total. In total, the study notes, more than half (51%) of Mexican restaurants are located in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.

These figures demonstrate the popularity of Hispanic food, especially Mexican, in the United States. This was stated to Axios by the director of data laboratories at the Pew Research Center, Aaron Smith:

Mexican cuisine really is ubiquitous across the American landscape. Anywhere you find people, you are probably going to find a Mexican restaurant serving them food. In many ways, Mexican food is American food, and vice versa.