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9 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Enchiladas

Cheesy, saucy, and utterly delicious, these are the enchiladas to stick your fork in.
FACT CHECKED BY Erin Behan

Mexican food is one of the most popular styles of cooking in the U.S., along with its offshoot, Tex-Mex. Enchiladas, a baked dish in which tortillas are stuffed with a filling (usually meat) and topped with cheese and sauce, is a staple dish of both.

Traditional Mexican-style enchiladas usually involve white cheese and chicken or pork, and the dish's roots can be traced back to the Maya. Most enchiladas served in U.S. chain restaurants are influenced by the Tex-Mex style of cooking. A Tex-Mex enchilada tends to reflect the rich melting pot of influences in Texas—cuisine influenced by Mexican cooking practices and mixed with popular ingredients in U.S. cooking.

Both styles are, in our well-fed opinion, delicious and worth seeking out. We looked across the country for the best enchiladas at easy-to-find chain restaurants to help feed your enchilada craving.

Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant

abuelos enchiladas
Abuelo's / Facebook

This family-friendly restaurant known for open-air courtyards is growing in popularity with locations in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Also popular? Its fabulous enchilada platter, which comes with a choice of cheese, avocado, chicken, or beef enchiladas—you pick three. Each order comes with refried beans (260 cals) and Mexican rice (110 cals) or papas con chile (160 cals).

RELATED: 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Queso

Baja Fresh

baja fresh enchilado burrito
Baja Fresh / Facebook

This fast-casual chain, founded in California in 1990, has a big emphasis on fresh ingredients (it's in the name). If you're craving a mighty, filling meal, may we steer you to one of its burritos served enchilada-style? Select a burrito—we like the burrito ultimo—and ask for it enchilado, or smothered in red chili sauce, melted Jack cheese, and sour cream.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

cafe rio enchilada
Café Rio / Facebook

Founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, this fast-casual chain has more than 140 locations, with branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The restaurant, known for its sweet pork barbacoa, offers a build-your-own enchilada option at its restaurants, allowing diners to make the plate of their dreams. Select your tortilla (corn, flour, or wheat), protein (including cheese, steak, and the famous barbacoa), and a sauce ranging from a mild tomatillo up to a mouth-searing habanero. Add rice and beans as needed. Whatever you like, you're in charge.

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Chuy's

chuy's enchilada
Chuy's

Established in Austin, Texas in 1982, Chuy's has close to 100 restaurants across the U.S., from Florida to Indiana. The restaurant's enchiladas are served with corn tortillas. They're all worth a try, but the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom makes a unique meal. Find roasted chicken and cheese stuffed inside the tortillas and topped with the chain's beloved Boom-Boom sauce, which is made with New Mexico green chiles, tomatillos, green onions, and cilantro, and then blended with cheese.

Costa Vida

costa vida enchilada
Costa Vida / Facebook

The first Costa Vida opened in 2003 in Utah. The fast-casual Mexican food chain now has 94 locations in Utah, Idaho, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona and beyond. The chain offers a well-priced, filling enchilada meal that's served with rice and a choice of beans. Just pick your fillings and toppings, like shredded barbacoa beef with Baja red sauce, or grilled chicken and tomatillo cilantro sauce.

RELATED: I'm a Dietitian—Here's What I Order at a Mexican Restaurant

El Fenix

el fenix enchiladas
El Fenix

This smaller Tex-Mex chain has 14 locations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and it's worth a visit if you're in the Lone Star state. Everything on the menu is tempting, but there's a special pull to the enchilada plates, which include two enchiladas, hand-rolled daily and made with aged Wisconsin cheddar. Standouts include the seasoned chicken and spicy brisket enchiladas, both packed with flavor.

Los Molcajetes

los molcajetes enchiladas
Los Molcajetes / Facebook

This tiny Texas chain has just three locations, but it's worth seeking out this local spot. The authentic and filling enchiladas come served with rice and refried beans. Try the sour cream chicken enchiladas or enchiladas de camaron, filled with shrimp and onions and topped with enchilada sauce and cheese.

RELATED: The #1 Healthiest Order at 9 Major Mexican Chains

Pappasito's Cantina

pappasitos enchiladas
Pappasito's / Facebook

This chain, which is part of the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen family, serves up fast and fresh food at almost 25 restaurants around the state of Texas. This includes creative enchiladas, such as the chicken tinga enchiladas. Tinga is a Mexican dish made with shredded chicken in a sauce made from tomatoes, chipotle chilis in adobo, and sliced onions. The chicken suiza enchiladas, topped with bright tomatillo sauce, are a good option, too.

Uncle Julio's Mexican from Scratch

uncle julios enchiladas
Uncle Julio's

With locations in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, Uncle Julio's family-friendly spots serve tasty, cheesy enchiladas. The food is classic Tex-Mex, and the enchiladas are hearty. They come filled with chicken, beef, and crab and shrimp with a poblano cream sauce.

Tanya Edwards
Tanya Edwards is a seasoned food and health journalist, who has held roles at Yahoo Health as Managing Editor and at Food Network as Programming Director. Read more about Tanya