Fresh Mex: Tex-Mex with a Twist

These restaurants are putting a fresh, modern spin on classic Mexican cuisine.

Dallas is known the world over for its great Mexican food in all its fascinating varieties. Explore every region of our neighbor to the south without ever leaving the city by visiting a few of the standouts.

Tex-Mex at its most addictive, Urban Rio’s food is a to-do list of all-time favorites from tacos and enchiladas to harder-to-find choices of homemade savory empanadas and hearty tortas (Mexican sandwiches). The fresh margaritas upstairs at their bar, On the Rocks!, will have you forever forsaking bottled mixes. 1000 E. 14th St., Plano, 972-422-4466,

Taking inspiration from their Mayan and Mexican ancestors, the chefs at Meso Maya infuse everything with bold, earthy flavors that celebrate a spiritual connection with nature. That translates to exciting dishes that include multi-layered tortilla dishes called Budin, as well as complex mole dishes and pozole, a traditional Mexican soup/comfort food. 11909 Preston Road, Ste. 1426, 469-726-4390,

At Jorge’s, they specialize in West Texas-style Tex-Mex with deep red sauces and fresh cheeses. Another differentiator is their focus on healthier versions of favorites. Rellenos can be ordered naked. Flautas here are grilled, not fried, yet still delectably crunchy and perfectly suited for a dunk in yet another great chile con queso. 1722 Routh St., One Arts Plaza, 214-720-2211,