Finding good Mexican food around Charleston isn't the easiest thing. We've tried a good number of places, but none have been great. Our go-to place has been Los Arcos in Mount Pleasant...not because it is outstanding, but because it's consistent in quality and offers us good service.
One of the more popular spots are the Santi's locations. We finally tried one and simply were not impressed with any part of our visit.
I had recently heard about a place in North Charleston called La Nortena. People were saying it was pretty authentic, but also that the price was a bit higher than others around. We decided to try it and all I can say is that we were impressed.
We have not tried every Mexican restaurant around Charleston, but now I feel like we don't have to. We have found the pinnacle...and that is La Nortena.
People are correct in that La Nortena is more expensive than other local offerings, but in the defense of the restaurant I'll say that their portions are also larger.
My wife stated that she had not had Mexican food this good since her last visit to San Diego. We were both very satisfied...and that isn't the easiest thing to achieve!
La Nortena is our new favorite Mexican restaurant around Charleston, and now holds a coveted spot on "our" Charleston short-list for great food of any kind in this area.