José’s Mexican Restaurant

2004 Best Mexican Restaurant, Affordable

If you find that the barmaid at this piñata-colored cantina doesn’t speak English, don’t worry—”margarita” is the same in any language. Friendly and laid-back, José’s draws a chatty family-type crowd from surrounding North Cambridge, from Harvard profs to techies. The menu, to take out or eat in, boasts fine turns on the usuals—enchiladas verde doused with a lemony spicy green sauce and chips, salsa, and guac that make regulars coo—and those aforementioned margaritas will have you speaking Spanish by the third sip. “Una más, por favor!”

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