Juan's Authentic Mexican Food Serves Up Giant (Authentic) Portions for Under $10

Categories: Budget Beat

Thumbnail image for Juans1.jpg
Shannon Armour
All this food for just $7 bucks!

Finding decent Mexican food on the cheap in Central Phoenix isn't difficult, but finding amazing service from a staff that makes you feel like family is a little bit more of a challenge. Good thing we found Juan's Authentic Mexican Food.

Located on Thomas Road just west of 16th Street, Juan's sits in an unassuming little white building with a couple newly installed windows and a sign that looks far older than the place itself. The family owned restaurant has called this spot home since 1994 and by the looks of the almost always packed parking lot, we're pretty sure they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

We hope not, anyway.

The interior of Juan's is far from fancy. Booths line the sparsely decorated walls, a few neatly organized tables and chairs occupy the middle of the room, and if you find yourself on a solo mission, you can grab a stool at the three-person lunch counter. The space is always clean, bright, homey, and a bit noisy during peak hours -- just like a good Mexican food place should be.

Enough about the building -- what you're really going for is the food. Juan's churns out traditional Mexican food with a nice kick of spice. Thick cut tortilla chips and never ending bowls of spicy salsa are always free -- but don't fill up on chips. The portions at Juan's are huge. Huge!

Combo plates of tacos, enchiladas, tamales, tostadas, and flautas come with big portions of spicy Spanish rice and creamy re-fried beans topped with melty cheddar cheese; burritos are stuffed with flavorful grilled chicken, tender machaca, spicy green chili, and bright veggies; Quesadillas can be ordered "open" for a giant tasty cheese crisp; and tortas are piled high with meat, a steal for $3.50.

Everything on the menu is under $9 bucks. Even the shrimp plate (which is also super good and super huge).


Location Info

Juan's Authentic Mexican Food

1516 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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20 comments
ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Just Three Words for you - Los Dos Molinos - serving food that was served in MEXICO before it was taken over by Unido Estados!   That's authentic Mexican!

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

I've eaten a LOT in Mexico and have NEVER seen a plate like the one you show in your picture.  Fried Corn Tortilla on a taco?  Yellow Cheese on an enchilada style Burrito (burrito suizo)?  Head Lettuce?  These things are NOT authentic Mexican food.  They are Authentic imitations of Mexican foods served to people in the United States who are muy Gordo.  I've NEVER seen this in Mexico except MAYBE in the tourista restaurants.

Whoever the person pretending to be a food critic is that wrote this, they need to pay a visit to the following website - it's called an encyclopedia - READ IT YOU IGNORANT PENDEJO (look that up too). 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Ricky
Ricky

I have been going to Juan's for a longtime..Owned by Antonio and his wife..His kids all work there and they are all kind people. Their Tortas are the best! Actually all their food is very good. I am from TExas and this food can't get any better than real Mexican Food!! Love it !!

krazybill
krazybill

i ate there at their old location on 16th st. in the strip mall with Segal's Deli and i ate at their new Thomas Rd. location; i quit going there when the owners disrespected me.

Ilovejuans
Ilovejuans

by far the best salsa (they call it hot sauce) in Arizona... they will set it to go in a 32oz drinking cup... get that and a bag of chip from Phoenix Ranch Market, and you are al set.

Try there tongue tacos... OUTSTANDING.

Truely a family owned and operated place... whole family works there when they aren't in school/college.  They are closed Sundays... totally old-school.

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Concerned Food Fan
Concerned Food Fan

While the food might have been tasty, this is also the *exact* kind of Mexican food that New Times writers constantly mock and turn their noses up at in other reviews of those sleek, modern or upscale Mexican restaurants they love to frequent.  So it's weird to see them turn a complete 180 and write a glowing review instead..

joe.distort
joe.distort

love this place. the tortas here are much better than even some of the 'famous' torta spots around PHX.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"Juan's churns out traditional Mexican food..."

"Our dining companion gorged himself on a giant grilled chicken burrito filled with rice, beans..."

Doesn't mean the place isn't great, but I'm having trouble reconciling these.

missy
missy

Actually its not imitation Mexican food they use yellow cheese because white mozzarella cheese isn't considered Mexican and real Mexican cheese is to much for some gringos so that's why to satisfy people like you

guest
guest

is there anything respectable about you? or do you think you're entitled to it as a result of simply being born?

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

With all due respect, anonymous commenter, you are absolutely incorrect. Macayo's and Juan's are not the same.

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Yes, technically Juan's isn't "traditional" food from Mexico/Central America. It's really called Tex-Mex, but it's a common mistake people make.

Either way, Juan's is awesome, along with Carolina's and LaTolteca, it's my favorite Mexican fod in the Valley. Since I moved to Salt Lake, I've been at a loss to find decent Mexican food. I finally have 3 or 4 places, but that's it. When I used to live next door to its location, it was a bar, and Juan's was located where Walgreen's is now. They thought they were going to get along with closing completely until they posted a sign up sheet for people to get notified if and when they reopened, the response caught them off guard, I think. I also have to agree that the 'family operation' vibe is awesome, when I was going there on a regular basis, they even had the kids doing homework at the tables. I love going into places where I feel like I've been invited home buy the family, to me that makes a huge impression.

joe.distort 21 minutes ago in reply to Mikey1969

i live in that neighborhood now. i love knowing cool shit like this. thanks!

No problem... Also, since you're in the right part of town, I recommend Gourmet House of Hong Kong for Chinese if you've got the hankerin'. 14th St and Mcdowell, if you like Chinese and didn't know about it already. Kinda dive-y, unless they have finally remodeled, but perfect to bring home and eat...

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Typical Republicant - doesn't give a tinker's damn about the living only about the unborn. 

Concerned Food Fan
Concerned Food Fan

With all due respect, Amy Silverman, if you ordered the same dish from both places, I wonder if *you* would even know the difference..

joe.distort
joe.distort

will check out Gourmet House of Hong Kong, but im already partial to China Chili who are also right around the corner

joe.distort
joe.distort

i live in that neighborhood now. i love knowing cool shit like this. thanks!

Laurienotaro
Laurienotaro

And you STILL haven't gotten a decent name. I gave you so many good ones!! You know I have a new blog up. YES, I DO!! I knew you'd be excited. See you over there! I know you check your comments like it was voicemail.....

missy
missy

Juana has the same head chef cooking the food unlike macayos who has one two or three at a time....consistancy is key in any restaurant so yes there's a difference

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