Raleigh, N.C. — You can get pretty good, standard chips and salsa anywhere, but these restaurants went above and beyond the call of duty and bring some seriously good chips and salsa to the table.
Las Margaritas (Garner) — This is my go-to Mexican restaurant when I don't feel like driving very far from home. The chips and salsa are really good and brought to the table right away. The salsa is thin and mildly spicy, but the heat builds as you eat. The chips are always served hot an aren't too salty.
Cantina 18 (Raleigh) — Cantina 18's salsa is like pico de gallo, but a little thinner. It has fresh onions, tomatoes and cilantro in it, making this salso/pico de gallo mix very flavorful. The chips are on the salty side, but I think that kicks everything up a notch when you eat the chips and salsa together. Cantina 18 has already been deemed one of our favorite places to grab a margarita...sounds like a winning combination to me!
Salsa Fresh (Locations in Raleigh, North Raleigh and Morrisville) — Salsa Fresh delivers (surprise!) fresh and delicious salsa. The salsa bar offers many choices, but even the regular tomato salsa is great. I also tried the hot salsa with chunks of jalapenos, and that salsa doesn't mess around.
Bandido's Mexican Cafe (Durham) — While their chunky, fresh salsa is delicious, the colorful chips here are good enough to eat on their own. They're made with seasoning and salt baked in, so they pack quite a flavor punch. Topped with the salsa, which is loaded with veggies (tomatoes, peppers, onions) and cilantro, this is a winning combination. We've reviewed Bandido's before for their brunch menu.
Chubby's Tacos (Locations in Raleigh, North Raleigh and Durham) — Chubby's is a local chain and we've visited them before, but I think they still deserve a spot on this list. They have many salsa options to choose from, and even the plainest tomato- and tomatillo-based salsa is delicious.
I stuck to "normal" red tomato-based salsa this time, but I'll be revisiting chips and salsa in the future to sample what crazy, unusual and unique salsas area restaurants have to offer.
Which restaurants serve your favorite chips and salsa?