The Scoop: Moctezuma’s is a family-owned restaurant and tequila bar where couples can treat themselves to a night of tacos, fajitas, and margaritas. The Mexican restaurant has a fun and casual atmosphere that appeals to daters seeking romance. Plus, some dishes are made to be lit on fire just before being served, so customers can get dinner and a show. Moctezuma’s has gotten accolades for its flavorful cuisine, and it’s a stellar date destination with four locations in Washington State.

Moctezuma’s was founded by a second-generation Mexican-American family in 1978. The restaurant has become famous for its delicious Mexican food and fun vibes.

Bernie Garcia has been working at his parent’s restaurant for over 14 years. He started as a dishwasher in the kitchen. He is now the President and Owner of Moctezuma’s.

Photo of Bernie Garcia
Bernie Garcia’s parents founded Moctezuma’s in 1978, and now he owns the restaurant company.

Bernie is a visionary leader who brings a lot of creativity to the kitchen and the table. He said his world travels have inspired some of the Mexican fusion items on the menu, but the old standbys are still rooted in his mother’s recipe book.

The first Moctezuma’s opened in Tacoma and tantalized locals with its Mexican food. The company now has four restaurant locations in Washington State. Plus, it has been known to host pop-restaurant or ghost kitchen events at Mercer Island.

Moctezuma’s can be a lively place to take a hot date, especially during happy hour. The tequila bar serves flavorful margaritas that are made from real lime juice and 100% agave tequila. Customers won’t see any premade mixes behind the bar. The bartenders use fresh ingredients and quality liquors to make the restaurant’s drinks stand out.

For over 40 years, couples, friends, and families have been gathering at Moctezuma’s to savor their time together and celebrate life’s milestones over an indulgent Mexican meal.

“It has been an amazing company to work for where your opinion matters and a collaborative worth ethic is alive and well,” said Erica Kennedy, Marketing Director at Moctezuma’s. “Our common goal of elevating each and every guest’s experience is truly being lived by our team members daily.”

Bringing Authentic Tacos & Flaming Fajitas to Washington

Moctezuma’s takes pride in serving authentic Mexican food. Many of its dishes are based on family recipes that have been passed down through generations. Plus, the menu is continually updated with seasonal dishes and specials that reflect popular food trends.

The kitchen doesn’t cut corners when it comes to its ingredients. All its tacos are made with corn tortillas made fresh in-house every day. The menu has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available to suit people with different dietary needs.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is the Tequila Flaming Fajitas. It comes with chicken, shrimp, and steak flambéed tableside using generous pours of tequila.

“We love anything on fire,” said Erica. “Our Queso Flameado is a top-selling dish. It’s made of authentic Mexican Oaxacan cheese, salsa verde, chorizo, and flambeed tableside with tequila! This dish makes any date night a great night, for sure.”

Moctezuma’s also has a catering service available for private parties, weddings, and other special events.

The Margarita Flight is perfect for sharing with a special someone on a date.

The rich Mexican food isn’t the only draw at Moctezuma’s. The tequila bar is locally famous for making thirst-quenching cocktails that are both beautiful and delicious.

The tequila bar has over 100 tequilas and mezcals on its shelf. You don’t have to be a mixologist to order a drink here, though — the team is knowledgeable enough to make recommendations and provide tips based on individual preferences. The bar even has virgin cocktails, including margaritas and mojitos, for people who want to enjoy the fresh flavors without the alcohol.

The margaritas come in a variety of flavors, including fresh watermelon, spicy cucumber, mango chamoy, pineapple coconut, and passion fruit-guava. The Margarita Flight invites people to try multiple flavors through the course of their meal.

Whether you’re looking for first date drinks or a celebratory dinner, this upbeat restaurant is an excellent choice. The menu has a lot to love, and new items are constantly being added to wow people. Over the years, foodies have come from far and wide to enjoy dining at Moctezuma’s, and they haven’t been disappointed.

“Our guests are people from all over the world,” Erica said. “We love and appreciate all of our Pacific Northwest natives and warmly welcome all tourists and visitors!”

Winning Awards for Its World-Class Cuisine & Hospitality

Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar is Puget Sound’s premiere dining destination for Mexican cuisine. The flavors and aromas can get people’s mouths watering, and the hospitable atmosphere makes guests feel at home — even if they’ve never dined there before.

Many media outlets have praised the innovative food and the friendly service at the restaurant. “South Sound Magazine” has named Moctezuma’s the Best Mexican Restaurant in the area and given it multiple other accolades since 2014.

The Evening Magazine on KING 5 has also recognized Moctezuma’s in the Best of Western Washington competition. The restaurant has been featured on this Seattle blog five times.

In 2016, The Daily Meal declared Moctezuma’s was among the top Mexican restaurants in America.

“The hospitality and authentic flavors of Mexico are behind everything we do at Moctezuma’s,” Erica told us. “And our efforts have not gone unnoticed.”

Photo of Moctezuma's food
Moctezuma’s has a thoughtfully crafted selection of food and drinks.

Moctezuma’s has gotten rave reviews from customers as well. Some have been visiting the restaurant for years with their friends and family, while others are first-time guests coming from out of town. Grubhub customers have given the neighborhood Mexican restaurant a four-star rating.

“This is a really nice place for a higher end Mexican date night spot,” said Rhiannon F. on Yelp. “Delicious margaritas, and a menu that left us wanting to come back for more.”

“I’ve always loved Moctezuma’s,” said a TripAdvisor user named Allison. “Food is tasty, service good, and restaurant great for families. Have been going here for over 25 years.”

Moctezuma’s has a nice blend of old favorites and new innovations, so it’s great for busting out of a dinner date rut and making special memories with loved ones. Over the years, the restaurant has even hosted some marriage proposals.

“It means the world to us when we get feedback from our loyal patrons that they choose us as their destination for celebration,” Erica said.

Moctezuma’s Can Light the Flames of Romance

Moctezuma’s has been tantalizing people’s taste buds since the 1970s, and its menu has continually brought extra spice, flavor, and fun to traditional Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has stood the test of time because of its dedication to making a memorable meal. Every member of the team works hard to support a friendly atmosphere where everyone is welcome.

In 2021, Moctezuma’s intends to open a new restaurant in Bellevue, Washington. It’ll be called Cantina Monarca and serve Mexican-inspired food on the east side of the greater Seattle area. An official opening date has not yet been set, but the team expects the 3,700-foot restaurant will be open by the end of the summer.

In the meantime, Moctezuma’s is running at full capacity at all four of its locations, and it has already seen a lot of daters reemerging from their lockdown routines and looking for romance.

“We are the ultimate date night spot for everyone,” Erica said with pride. “We have a wide variety of dietary restrictive foods. We have plenty of sharing plates and have a fun yet intimate environment.”

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers. Our Editorial Review Policy Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.