John's Tex-Mex Eatery

InfoInfo TalkTalk
Location JohnsTexMexEatery.jpgFormer Front entrance with John himself in the corner. Taken Oct 2006.
426 South Avenue, Rochester NY 14620
Hours (as of April 2019)
Monday - Wednesday: 11:00AM to 9:00PM
Thursday - Friday: 11:00AM to 10:00PM
Saturday: 12:00PM to 10:00PM
585 232 5830
Wheelchair Accessible
[WWW]2014-12-24 Democrat & Chronicle

825919331Former Building Overhead View (by Flickr user RocPX [WWW]license info) John's Tex Mex Eatery (formerly known as Taco John's) is a cheap Tex-Mex joint in the South Wedge, originally on the corner of South and Alexander. They have a laid-back atmosphere with bright red walls. The menu is very vegetarian/vegan friendly. The seating area is limited but adequate for most of their traffic. Additional seating is available on their patio outside during warmer months.

John's Tex-Mex opened in June 2006 in the former Ly Lou's location. The owner is a local resident who graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. On April 29, 2019 they moved up the street to a bigger building.

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2008-09-17 14:03:10   I went there for lunch this afternoon and found the location quaint and cozy. A bit hard to find parking on-street, but if subsequent visits leave me as contented and filled as this time, John's is my new favorite place to get a hearty burrito in Rochester. —JayUnnikrishnan

2008-09-19 14:58:07   The prices are CHEAP and the portions fill you up more than you think they would. Probably some of the best salsa I've ever had in my life. That said, this place is obviously run by communists - its incredibly inefficient with multiple people handling your table, resulting in pretty much dreadful service as nobody knows what's going on. HOWEVER - its more than worth it because the food really is special - its simple and honest, and delicious. My cousin always has a hard time with the front door. —MarcusKroll

2008-11-04 14:08:44   Pretty decent prices. Chips and Mexican mush dip had kind of a small portion though, small sauce container of the actual "dip". Tasted pretty good but i think it was mostly smushed up black beans.

Tried a small burrito and it was pretty big, unfortunately most of it was rice and not much of my meat and peppers(you choose 2 fillings). —Drogean

2008-11-05 08:41:00   I think John serves one of the best burritos in town. Also, he has some new beer selections available (Otter Creek, Brooklyn etc). I love this place. —KimBee

2008-11-07 11:38:53   I went here two nights ago. I was greeted by a friendly waitress at the door. The place has really fun Mexican decor which provides for a really cool, relaxed atmosphere. The prices looked pretty fair, and by looking around, the portions looked very generous. I got a chicken burrito. The burrito comes with rice, black or refried beans, and your choice of four fillers, including things like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. The burrito was gigantic. I found all of the ratios of the fillings were perfect, with a LOT of chicken. The chicken is very flavorful, with a spicy peppery kick. I found John's TexMex much better than Salina's in village gate. It's around the same price, but the burrito at John's was much more flavorful, and came with things other than just chicken, whereas at Salina's one would have to pay for all of those sides, not to mention the fact that the John's burritos were much bigger. I will definitely be returning here very soon. —SeanToTheFuture

2008-11-18 23:33:25   Went back again and was happily surprised by the meal.

Food came out very fast!

The Mexican Mush chips and dip had a LOT of dip this time. The chips portion was very good. Extra chips is only 75 cents.

This time i got a Large Burrito which comes with 4 fillings. I was much more impressed than by the small burrito with only 2 fillings. There was lots of each filling and not so much rice filler as the small burrito. The large burrito was quite large too.

I liked how the waitress brought some sauces to the table which I didn't receive last time. They added lots of variety and spiciness to the food. I'm a sauce-lover so this was a real treat.

Final bill was about 9.xx before tip and it was pretty filling.

Very happy with my experience, will go again! —Drogean

2008-12-14 15:56:06   Super-friendly service but the food didn't make me want to stop going to Maria's. —BatGuano

2009-04-07 19:03:49   Since I've been here several times since my first take, I'd like to update my original review. First off, the Mexican Mush might be the best dip since guacamole. It's a thing of beauty. Second, the prices are unbelievably reasonable. I have yet to pay over $15 for an appetizer, a filling meal and a drink. Third, I don't walk out of there feeling overburdened by the grease in my veins. The food contains healthy ingredients and I feel good about eating there. I must say that I have yet to be blown away by the entrees I've had, though. There seems to be too many flavors going on at once in the things I've eaten. However, since they have the Mexican Mush market cornered, I'll keep returning. —BatGuano

2009-07-01 22:42:58   I was pretty disappointed the last time I went. A couple out of town co-workers and I went because other than one time out of many, we've had good experiences here. I recommend Jon's to everyone.

First off, there were way too many flies. No just puny flies, huge noticeable ones. Secondly, they did not have any unbeef. I am assuming we were the first in the place for lunch because we were the only ones in there. How could you not know you are out of something when you take an order? Next, when one of us asked for ice for our water, they said they had no ice. How can you not have ice? And finally, the server just seemed uninterested and mumbled. I am not expecting over the top gracious behavior like mom on Thanksgiving, but a simple hi when we walk in and possibly a "thank you" when giving us the check would be more appropriate than ... nothing. —JasonWilder

2009-07-09 18:02:21   I get takeout from here frequently and think they have the best burritos in Rochester. The large burritos probably weigh two pounds and are cheap for what you get. The chicken is very spicy and they have a bunch of good fillers to put in the burritos. The mush and guac are also really good. I haven't ordered anything else because their burritos are too good. I can't comment on the service but they are fast for takeout if you call ahead. —KeithOlsen


2009-09-22 17:53:46   We eat here quite often and really enjoy it. This place definitely fits as a cheap burrito place with great food. I tried the Mexican mush a long time ago and didn't care for it and usually just stick to the burritos. Usually a small burrito is plenty filling and I'm glad to see that they've recently started seasoning their rice and balancing ingredients more (before it was just too much beans and rice). Drink specials are always really cheap and the homemade hot sauces that are on every table are FANTASTIC so be sure to try them. And the staff have always been very courteous to us and service has always been quick. —MikeWu

2009-10-10 22:54:45   The BEST Mexican food in Rochester! Cozy and comfy atmosphere and the most friendly employees I have seen so far! :) —PrincessB

2009-11-09 11:22:14   Yeah the food here is great but i keep coming back for the great service. The counter staff is terribly attractive —expat

2009-11-16 11:54:04   $9 for a massive burrito and a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA is an absolute steal. Yes, some of the fillings can be over-spiced, but John's strikes the best balance between quality, affordability, and atmosphere in the city. —MarkNewell

2010-02-26 20:33:13   I'm shocked and disappointed! We had been eating at Johns since we moved to Rochester, also did a lot of carry out. I have recommended it to my students and used their website as an example in my web design class. Well, tonight we ate there and I was sitting under a speaker and found the music jarring, so I asked to have it turned down a bit. A few minutes later it was turned back up, louder than ever, and I asked again. They turned it off but one of the waitstaff began singing loudly. When we left, he sarcastically told us to have a nice QUIET ride home. How rude is that?! What kind of a place ridicules its customers for being uncomfortable with the noise level? —CherylDugas

2010-03-03 12:04:05   A little too collegiate-trendy for a real burrito place, but the food is respectable. You'll find better burritos in the southwest, but that's a given. Worth the *occasional* four-mile roundtrip walk for lunch. —nickelcokes

2010-03-27 18:34:02   We have visited Taco John's on several occasions, and we have sampled a good deal of the menu items. The burritos are by far the best. The burritos have a homemade, authentic feel to them which seems to be missing from commercial ventures like Moe's. They have a respectable collection of craft beers and amazing homemade hot sauces. The place is small so come early or late on the weekends. If you like guacamole, just order a side of it. The guacamole salad is a scoop of guac. on shredded lettuce. The service is friendly and fist the style of the neighborhood. —Quinoa

2010-04-26 20:52:33   This place beats the crap out of Chipotle. $6 for a giant coma-inducing burrito. Hells yeah. —Bammerburn

2010-05-17 21:29:40   So John's Tex Mex lists their hours on their website as open until 10pm. Same here on rocwiki and same on the door of the restaurant. I arrived at 8:30 tonight disappointed to see that they had closed the doors for the night, the stools were up on the tables and the floor was being mopped. I tapped on the window hoping to find out why they were closed and gave the international 'tap on wrist regarding time' symbol, which was greeted by the girl mopping yelling at me that they were closed through the window.

In my opinion, while I find John's to be decent, I don't think that their food goes above and beyond enough to overlook not only misleading hours posted on several websites and store itself, and the terrible attitude of the girl mopping the floor after being asked why they were closed. I certainly will not be giving John's my business nor will I be giving recommendations any longer. —illegalEAGLE

2010-05-19 14:09:19   Decided to try this place on a cold night in March when I was just jonesing for an enormous burrito. This place did not disappoint! Ordered a beef and bean burrito with cheese, olives, tomato, lettuce, sour cream and sauce. Also ordered the chips and salsa. Placing my take out order and picking it up was a breeze (minus a little maneuvering for a parking spot). I managed to make it out the door for around $10 including tip. The portions were huge - I ended up taking 1/3 of the burrito to work with me the next day. The salsa also was rationed until it was gone. SO good. —AnneRimbach

2010-05-21 20:36:26   My family has lived in the South Wedge area for the last several years, and has had an 'on-again / off-again' relationship with this restaurant. The prices are extremely reasonable and more often than not, the staff is friendly and helpful. But I felt compelled to write this review after a meal tonight that literally was not fit for our dog (we like him more than that). For a place that used to have "taco" in its name, said item (tried three ways, three chances) were uniformly awful. Soggy pieces of GLOP wrapped in foil.

Granted, it was busy but that is no excuse for serving high school cafeteria quality food (my high school cafeteria actually served better tacos, from what I remember). I hate to be negative because I have talked to the owner and love his craft beer store next to John's, and I really think he is a great guy doing a great thing in Rochester. But for the record we will not be going back to pay money for truly awful food. It was that bad. I know we could go back next week and it would probably be edible again but this customer is going going gone. If only my stomach ache would do likewise. Ouch. —JimBarillo

2010-06-15 20:24:13   Best Mexican food in Rochester! I lived in San Diego for a while and this is the closest to the real stuff I've been able to get here in Rochester. Great prices and huge portions. —BrittV

2010-10-09 12:12:59   Unlike the other Americanized-Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants around here that masquerade as "authentic Mexican," John's is honest that they're, well, Tex-Mex. And for the style, they hit the nail on the head. For $8 I enjoyed a combo consisting of a sizeable burrito, taco, salad and guacamole. The "Mexican Mush" filling is addicting - I don't know what spices they use but I couldn't get enough. And everything seemed pretty healthy, not greasy at all, and not overly cheese or sour cream-laden. Service was friendly and extremely fast without feeling rushed. Great bottled beer selection, too - my Moo Thunder Milk Stout actually paired quite nicely with the Mexican Mush. Overall: excellent food, drink and atmosphere for a really low price! —AJH

2010-10-17 17:08:08   I like the dive atmosphere of John's, and the wait staff is friendly and weird, but how are you actually supposed to eat a burrito bigger than your head? I had to use a fork on the first two thirds. Tell you what, out west they do NOT put the rice and beans INSIDE the burrito. That's what a plate is for. (The first time I went there, I asked why they put the rice and beans inside, and a kid at the bar said, "Haven't you ever been to a Mexican restaraunt before?" Yeah, dork, in Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, and, well, it's DIFFERENT. And, come on John, go easy on the smoke flavoring. No need to pretend you barbecued it.

What's with all the tinfoil in Rochester? Heat the plate, serve it hot, put the fillings in 2 tortillas instead of one, put the beans and rice on the plate, and everyone will still have hot food.

That being said, I like the place better than any "Mexican" restaurant I've been to in Rochester. Salenas? What's the point of having to dose up your food with the bottled stuff on the table? Mex served monstrous burritos too, and I wonder if that's where John took his cue. Anyway, for the money, it's a good deal, and I guess I'll get used to eating my burrito with a fork. So, all told, John's is not so bad, for a place north of Binghamton. More chili pepper and cumin, and less Hickory Smoke flavoring, and I'll give it 2 thumbs up.

Oh yeah, as others have noted, I VERY MUCH appreciate the good beer selection. —DavidRuekberg

2011-01-31 10:01:09   My favorite burrito in town. Service is always friendly. While the beer list isn't extensive, the offerings are top notch. —JasonS

2011-02-04 14:04:50   Great comfort food at a great price. Love this place. —ErikWilliams

2011-02-17 17:02:50   I LOVE John's! They have awesome giant burritos, cheap beer, and the best homemade salsa and guac! —dmarie

2011-05-18 10:52:07   Take it from a South Wedge regular: This place is awesome.

My girlfriend and I live on Comfort St, which is just a block away from John's Tex Mex and a short walk. We go at least once a week, usually twice and sometimes three times. (Yeah we kinda love this place). The wait staff is very friendly and always attentive, even on very busy nights. Since the place is so small (cozy) it's usually pretty easy to get their attention when you need it, too.

The burritos are huge, and even the "small" burritos are enough to fill you up. Great prices, huge beer selection (though not much of it mainstream), and— my favorite— mimosas. :) Any time someone comes to visit us here in Rochester, John's is ALWAYS one of the first stops we make. It's one of those "holy crap, you have to try this," places.

I see a few bad reviews on here and I have to say that I'm baffled by them, because as someone who has been there more times than I can even remember, I have never had a single bad experience. If you're thinking of giving this place a try and can't decide, DO ITTTTT. —BrandynBalch

2011-09-01 20:58:28   Nobody has mentioned the best thing on the menu at John's yet. The mashed potatoes and plantains. Insanely delicious. —MikeC

2011-09-30 21:46:36   this place came highly recommended to me. i was mostly disappointed. i thought the biggest opportunity for criticism would be the un-meat (tvp) option. i'll say they prepare that really well. my taco was excellent. they forgot the cheese on my burrito. as someone else said, the rice was dry and also over-seasoned. at least that cheese would have smoothed out the overpowering spice blend. the veggie chili was really bad. i didn't even finish it which is very unusual for me. it had this really dark bitter taste that kept hanging on the back of my tongue. once again, probably just over-spiced. the decor and quality of service were the only redeeming things, but what does that matter if the food is bad. —IanNorfolk

2011-12-06 22:30:07   Went for the first time today and was very satisfied. Great food for dirt cheap prices. There's really no excuse for a Rochesterian to ever got to Taco Bell. —EileenF

2011-12-27 18:39:07   I am a veggie monster and I love this place so much. The staff is friendly but not all applebees waitress flair desperate for attention crazy and the food is super delicious, great options for veggies like myself, and so inexpensive. There is no better texmex place around! —jillco

2012-04-28 19:03:16   Just returned from my first trip there. Dirt cheap but good food. Quick service. Absolutely enormous burrito. Mexican mush sounds gross but is tasty. I will be back. —karlos

2012-05-30 14:33:57   Never a dissapointment! I tell everyone that this is my favorite Mexican restaurant! —DonEaton

2013-07-27 18:43:28   Gluten free! I was told by the server last time that basically everything on the menu was gluten free except the flour tortillas, which they can substitute with corn tortillas. Still, I'd ask about anything you're interested in. I've never had problems, and the staff is always super nice and informed. Great food, great price, great people. —crockalley

2013-08-11 00:24:26   Great place! Always a hit with everyone I've been there with. Good portion sizes. —Gabriel

2019-02-08 17:29:15   Scheduled to move to larger quarters at 426 South Ave. in March. —markjackson