On the surface, ordering at a Mexican restaurant seems like ordering at any other restaurant. You find something on the menu that sounds good, tell your server you want that item, and wait for it to come to the table. If you want your Mexican dining experience to be absolutely top-notch, though, you may want to implement some of these ordering tips.
Don't skip the chips.
Some Mexican restaurants automatically bring chips and salsa to the table. Others have the chips and salsa on the menu for a few dollars. They're almost always worth ordering. Many Mexican restaurants make their own chips and salsa, and they tend to be some of the tastiest things in the place. Munching on some chips and salsa gives you something to do while waiting for your other food to arrive. This prepares your palate for what's to come, and it also makes for a wonderful way to socialize.
Try some a la carte options.
While Mexican restaurants do tend to have pre-arranged meals with an entree and sides, they also tend to have a lot of a la carte options. Don't skip this part of the menu! It gives you a way to try more items without purchasing an entire extra meal. You can often get individual tacos, tamales, or tostadas for just a couple of dollars apiece. If you like more variety in your meals, then you may want to just order various items from the a la carte menu instead of ordering a meal at all.
Order a drink.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, definitely order one while you're at a Mexican restaurant. The drinks in Mexican cuisine pair amazingly with the food. They tend to incorporate a lot of citrus flavors, which blend well with the spicy and acidic flavors in the food itself. Margaritas are not the only Mexican cocktail, either. The Paloma, a drink made with grapefruit juice, is another popular choice. The Michelada is made with beer and tomato juice, and the Canarito is made with a blend of various citrus juices. Ask your server to recommend a drink that pairs best with the meal you're ordering.
If you follow the tips above when ordering at a Mexican restaurant, you should be pleased with the experience. Mexican cuisine is full of amazing drinks and dishes to try, and adhering to the tips above will help you enjoy them all to the fullest.