Get transported to California for an hour or two at this delicious paean to fresh authentic Cal-Mex cuisine. Hewing closely to family recipes, amped up with a saucy cocktail lounge vibe, this restaurant never disappoints, from the secret salsa recipe right through the churros served with Richardson’s ice cream. Tucked into a courtyard off Main Street, it’s a great escape.
93 Main St. (interior courtyard), Andover, 978-409-2119, buenomalo.com
Agave Mexican Bistro
Expanded outdoor seating, thanks to the city of Newburyport, gives a fresh experience at this mainstay where hand-cut tortilla chips, local fish, and premium meats are always on the menu. Not to mention more than 125 tequilas to explore neat or in a specialty margarita.
50 State St., Newburyport, 978-499-0428, agavemexicanbistro.com