A well-made queso can make any dish taste instantly better. This popular cheesy sauce, typically served at Tex-Mex (and sometimes Mexican) restaurants, is often made from a combination of blended cheeses—"queso" quite literally translates to "cheese" in Spanish—and sometimes extra ingredients like tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and chopped chilies. Whether served as a dipping sauce for tortilla chips or enjoyed with dishes like burritos or quesadillas, queso is always a good move.
According to the popular Tex-Mex restaurant chain Tijuana Flats, the famous sauce has roots dating all the way back to the Aztecs. The ancient culture, which excelled at farming and dairy production, invented something called "chihuahua cheese" or "queso chihuahua," which is similar to today's queso blanco. Fast-forward many, many years, and queso is still a hit.
You can dip your chips in a creamy queso at many popular restaurant chains. Whether you're in the mood for a straightforward queso or if you want something more innovative, such as queso made with chopped peppers or topped with pico de gallo and house-made guacamole, there's something out there for everyone. Read ahead for 10 restaurant chains that serve the best queso.
Kick things off with Tijuana Flats' signature gold or blanco queso that's made from scratch each and every day. This tasty starter, which joins other options on its menu, like guacamole and salsa, is served with a side of tortilla chips. If you can't decide which queso you'd like, the chain also offers a Dueling Queso option, which comes with a serving of each one. Tijuana Flats was founded in 1995 and currently has over 130 locations throughout the country.
If you like options, head over to Qdoba to try out one of its tasty quesos that can be ordered alone or with freshly-made sea salt and lime-seasoned tortilla chips. First, there's Qdoba's signature Three Cheese Queso, made with a mixture of American cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses. There's also Qdoba's Diablo Queso, which is a spicy queso with some kick to it. "Queso is the best out of all the chain Mexican places," one Yelp user proclaimed about the chain's offerings.
Moe's Southwest Grill
The queso at Moe's Southwest Grill's is famous for a reason—it's so delicious. It's prepared with a blend of white American and pepper jack cheeses combined with heavy cream and diced jalapeños. It tastes fantastic with tortilla chips or slathered on tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. That's not all, though. The chain currently has a limited-time chili con queso side, which is the restaurant's signature queso mixed with ground beef and jalapeños. Use the chain's location tracker to find the closest Moe's to you.
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For a queso that has some kick out to it, order TGI Fridays' recently released Loaded Cheddar Poblano Queso. The delicious shareable appetizer features a creamy queso made from three cheeses, topped with fresh pico de gallo and house-made guacamole. It's served with crispy tortilla chips and should be enough for two to three people. You can also customize it and add bacon bits, sour cream, or ranch dressing if you'd like.
Del Taco has been serving top-notch American-style Mexican dishes since it opened nearly 60 years ago. It's known for its eclectic menu, which features popular Mexican and American options, like fresh house-made guacamole, loaded grilled chicken burritos, double cheeseburger meals, and tasty chips and queso, of course. Del Taco's version is a creamy queso blanco prepared with cheese, milk, jalapeños, and heavy cream. Try it with plain tortilla chips or as part of the chain's 3-Layer Queso Nachos or Queso Loaded Nachos.
Chipotle's new Queso Blanco has been getting so much love from customers, and it makes sense why people find it incredibly delicious. First, it's made with a mixture of flavorful ingredients, including aged Monterey jack cheese, white cheddar, farm-fresh dairy, tomatoes, chopped yellow onion, and garlic. It also features a medley of peppers, like chipotle, poblano, and serrano, that give it some edge.
This well-loved queso hits the spot, whether served with tortilla chips or drizzled over burrito bowls. "I can't think of anything better than chips and queso blanco from Chipotle," one user posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. Another shared, "That queso blanco from Chipotle has me in a CHOKEHOLD!!!"
Buffalo Wild Wings
Delicious queso may not be the first thing you think of Buffalo Wild Wings, but as it turns out, the sports bar chain offers a lot more than wings, including a queso that you can't pass up. Served with a generous portion of crispy tortilla chips, the chain's Hatch Queso is made from creamy, melted cheese and spicy peppers from New Mexico's famed chili-growing Hatch Valley.
"My family and I ate dinner here a few nights ago, and the queso dip on the appetizer menu was fantastic!" declared one TripAdvisor reviewer. "We had a great dinner."
Fast-casual Tex-Mex restaurant chain Baja Fresh also serves an A-plus queso you'll want to pour on absolutely everything. This spot's variation is made from three kinds of spicy peppers and melted cheese, and it's plated with crunchy tortilla chips. Order this with one of the restaurant's featured menu items like its Nashville Hot Chicken Taco, or a classic like a Chicken Baja Burrito, for a truly memorable meal that is both flavorful and won't break the bank.
Chevys Fresh Mex
Founded in the 1980s in Alameda, Calif., Chevys Fresh Mex is the casual dining chain known for its made-from-scratch dishes, hand-crafted drinks, and feel-good ambiance. It also has a pretty awesome queso you don't want to miss. Chevys' menu features a chile con queso appetizer, which is prepared with chili peppers and served with tortilla chips. While you're at it, try out the newly launched limited-time NFL player Fred Warner collaboration menu, which includes offerings like the Third Down Dip Trio and Touchdown Tots, both featuring Chevys' cheesy sauce.
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Last but not least is Chuy's, a beloved Tex-Mex chain that claims to make every one of its dishes from scratch daily, using carefully selected produce and ingredients. At Chuy's, you can expect a decadent queso made using a blend of melted cheese, green chili sauce, and ranchero sauce. The best part? You can also customize it and add exciting touches to it, like seasoned ground beef, guacamole, and pico de gallo.