Mike’s Tex Mex

CONTRIBUTED BY DASHA GARIEPY

SDC13048 Bandito says, “Eat here… or else!”

I’d been here a year before I realized there was a delicious TexMex place in my neighborhood. How this little gem has missed being featured on Okinawa Hai, I’ll never know. It has been mentioned in the comments on other posts, but today Mikes Tex Mex is in the spotlight.

Mikes has several things going for it: fun atmosphere, easy location, great food, and authentic Mexican beer and tequila. I know it’s authentic, because I took a friend from Mexico with me the other day and she was suitably impressed with their selection. If I was a drinker, I would have paid more attention to the names that she liked in particular. Here’s a sampling:

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If alcohol is not your thing, never fear – the food at Mikes is muy bueno. There are not enough “yummy” adjectives to describe the food! I’m going to let the pictures below do the talking:

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The chips are so fresh, I don’t think they are fried until you order them. The salsa is loaded with garlic – you’ll want to eat it with a spoon!
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Cheese Enchilada set is Y790, which includes a drink. Yum, yum and more yum.
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I would have paid fifteen bucks for these scrumptious soft tacos. Thank goodness the set was only Y890!

Lunch sets include the main dish, and your choice of either soup, salad, or drink. Large pitchers of ice water are complimentary.

One of the fun things about eating at Mikes is the atmosphere. From the life-sized cacti that beckon you in with their painted goofy grins, to the velvet sombreros reminiscent of “Three Amigos” you’re sure to arrive inside with a smile on your face. And no matter what you order, you’re sure to leave Mikes as another satisfied customer.

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Mike’s Tex Mex

Hours: Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dinner 5 p.m. – 10 p.m (Sun.-Thu.), 5 p.m. – Midnight (Fri. & Sat.)

Phone: 098-936-1022

Address: 1 Chome-11-24 Chatan, Chatan

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.307873, 127.76183430000003

Directions: A block off 58 by Camp Foster.  Traveling on 58, turn towards the ocean at the Blueberry Cafe. (Left if you’re coming from the south, right if you’re coming from the north. Take your first left, and then your first left again. Mikes will be on your right. It’s hard to miss.

59 COMMENTS

  1. In response to the last negative comments, some of which is rude and offensive and almost seems as if the commenter has used Okinawahai as a venting place. I will just say a few words:

    I have eaten at Mikes Tex Mex with friends and family many times in the last 5 years. Most of us have thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere. I’ve also eaten at nearly all of the other “Mexican” Restaurants in Okinawa.

    While I do agree that the quesadillas should be cooked on a griddle I have never seen any other item come out microwaved at Mikes, ever. The (super cheesy) chicken fajitas come out on a sizzling skillet. The beef tacos have always been fresh, and I like the chicken enchiladas best. The chips, salsa, and guacamole are small servings, yes. If you’ve lived in Japan long enough you realize that there is no abundance of large portion sizes anywhere (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). You also come to notice that every restaurant regardless of the type of food they serve is still a restaurant in Okinawa, Jp. (For instance, if you eat Mexican or Chinese Food in America… guess what it’s American food and it’s not the same as what’s served in Mexico or China.)

    The last time we ate at Mikes (just last month) my youngest child ordered Chorizo and Eggs (like the “authentic” breakfast dish I make her at home)and they did not know what it was but since they offered Chorizo on the specials menu they asked me how to make it and they made the meal especially for us and it was fantastic!

  2. We tried this tonight, and were pleasantly surprised! We are both born and raised Texans, and LOVE Mexican food AND Tex Mex. I will say we’ve been in NC for the last 3 years (courtesy of the USMC), where the “mexican” food was horrible, so besides the few trips we were able to take back to TX to visit our fams, we don’t get to eat Tex Mex very often anymore. Now this place is definitely more of a Tex Mex style (cheese, sour cream, etc) and much less “mexican” food – meaning no “street tacos”, carne asada, cilantro, lime, etc. However, we went into it knowing we were in Japan, and weren’t expecting much honestly. I ordered the sour cream chicken enchiladas (from recommendations on here) and the hubs had the burrito and soft taco combo. We also got the chips and guac, with a side of salsa (cheapest way to go). We really liked the guac… nothing special or different, but very good. The salsa was verrrrry different than anything we’ve ever had, but also very good. It tasted very fresh, but almost like something you’d try in a baja style mexican place, not a tomato based flavor, kind of a hint of sweetness… a nice change of pace, really. Overall, my dish was delish, and the hubs said his was surprisingly good. I will say if you like beans and rice, you will be disappointed… if I could’ve gotten mine a la carte I would have, bc the beans and rice weren’t good, but those aren’t two things I’m ever really in love with so it was no big deal to me. The plates are large and you will leave stuffed! We did finish our chips and guac/salsa, but I could’ve stopped after one enchilada… too bad they were so tasty that i finished both and completely overate! So anyway, for us, this was a good experience and a breath of fresh air, because believe me, once you live in a place that only ever has HORRIBLE mexican food choices, places like this, offering good Tex Mex flavor on a small island, will be a God-send! Count your blessings people, because if this is the best Tex Mex on the island, you’re still pretty lucky. Yum Yum!

    • I will also add that we found this place pretty difficult to locate. Word of advice – “like” their Facebook page and get the exact address from there to plug into your GPS. Also, the parking situation was very weird… we ended up parking on a side alley by a completely different restaurant, so good luck with that part. But don’t let that scare you off, definitely give this place a try!

    • Mikes Tex-Mex? Should be renamed Mike-rowave’s Tex Mex. My husband and I ate there today after hearing the food was decent. We ordered garlic nachos, the taco and quesadilla plate, enchilada plate, and a pineapple margarita . We received the nachos first and it consisted of maybe 9 or 10 chips plastered to the plate via microwaved cheese with a scoop of guacamole and a scoop of sour cream. Really greasy and nasty looking…so then my husband gets his enchiladas. There really isn’t a lot of say about that other than it had been microwaved a really long time. The meat in the tacos have no seasoning, they have decent taco sauce but with the amount you need to make it edible, it isn’t worth dealing with the liquid pouring from the bottom making it soggy. If you love fresh Mexican food please do not eat here. Calling this place Mexican is an insult to Mexico. I can’t believe we spent almost 40$

  3. Tried Mikes few weeks back. Had the special, the one with taco (soft), enchilada & burrito. All beef. They all tasted the exactly the same. It’s ok food. Nothing to write home about. Lived in San Antonio, TX for 11 years before coming here and it is nothing like Tex-Mex but ok food. Won’t be going back.

  4. We just had dinner here and being someone who was born and raised in San Diego, I have to say I am in love with this restaraunt. It was wonderful, clean, and not expensive. Not to mention, the food was SO good. The staff was friendly and the service was quick. We took our two year old and she cleaned her plate.
    We will be regulars here.

      • First, where someone is from does not determine whether they know food or not. Just because you didn’t have a good experience doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
        Second, you’re in Japan. If you have high expectations for finding authentic Mexican food, then you might want to buy yourself a plane ticket out of here.

  5. Went tonight at 5… Pretty busy. Cute inside. Bathrooms are nice. Waitstaff were busy but friendly. Guac was tasty. Good amount of melted cheese :0) It was just ok, though! I agree with tables being right in top of each other. I’d go there if I were in the area but prob wouldn’t go out of my way to go back. Then again, I am a Cali girl and know what Mexican food should taste like…. There needed to be a lot more seasoning and cilantro!! Oh and I noticed 2 high chairs at front door

  6. Impressed!! This is coming from someone who loves Mexican food and has lived in San Diego the last 9 years which of course has great Mexican food.

    Highly recommend this place as their food is authentic.

    We just eat here in January 2013 and is still open and well!

  7. Hi guys, just wondering if this restaurant is still open? We are arriving on the island soon, and this was one of our favorite places to eat when we was there 2007-2009.

  8. Went there today and I have to say it was pretty good.. Very quiet place..service was great and the salsa was awesome!!!! Friendly service!!!!

  9. My husband and I ran here tonight for noms and we were pretty disappointed. It just wasn’t good. But I also don’t think Chipotle is real Mexican food so maybe my standards are too high. The salsa was pretty darn awful, and we are hardcore garlic lovers. On top of that, two meals plus chips & salsa cost us 40 bucks! Yikes!

    I did want to mention though, that after all the comments about the waitress I was reluctant to go – but the service was just fine. Food came out super fast and the woman, while not the warmest or happiest person on the planet, was pleasant.

    So if you are into Chipotle/Qudoba and other elitest fast food taco type restaurants, the the flavors here will be right up your alley. But if you’re looking for a taste of home – wait til your tour is over.

  10. Recently went here for BIRTHDAY PARTY! (OCT2012). This is awesome!
    a little small… but the food was very good.. BIG portions
    and very hot… will definately be back….

  11. We went to this place tonight and the food was delicious. The servings were pretty large also… not bad for the price. The service was horrible though. We must have been sitting for at least 15 min before we got to order anything. The waitress came and gave us our menus and didn’t say one word and then took off. At first I assumed it was the language barrier but when we finally got to order her english was perfect. Everything I’ve heard about this place has been good so far so I think I will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that she was just having a bad day. We will definitely be returning.

  12. Coming from Las Vegas where awesome Mexican food is plentiful you’re lucky to find a good Mexican restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband took me here a few weeks ago and we’ve been back a few times since. The chips and salsa are to die for. I had chicken tacos the first time and although the shell makes it a little difficult to eat (they turn out at the top, almost flat) they were delicious.

  13. First off I love this website! My husband and I always look on here for some place new to eat, and we love the reviews!
    Now onto Mikes!
    We were looking for some place new to try on Saturday to celebrate my husband’s birthday, and were in the mood for Mexican, so Mike’s was just the place! First off it is the cutest little restaurant EVER! I loved the atmosphere and the colors, reminded me of our cruise stop in Cozumel at a little ‘cafe’ there. When we arrived there were 3 other groups there, we took the booth by the window, and 2 more small groups came in while we were still there. Even with that many people the place was not packed, still could hear each other talking and was a nice place.
    My husband and I ordered the Chips and Salsa since I seen on the comments that so many people liked it. We were not disappointed! It was awesome =) Plus they brought it out so quickly (and for this pregnant lady that is a plus!). My husband ordered the Set E, with a chicken soft taco and beef enchilada. I got the sour cream chicken enchiladas. We were both completely satisfied with our choices!
    We will definitely be going back again! Only downside no cheese dip =( but otherwise awesome! Our total bill came to right about 2,700 yen, however we paid in US Dollars and actually saved a little money since their rate is 90yen to $1!
    Oh, also there were comments about the waitress being rude. We did not experience that at all. There were 2 waitresses there on Saturday night and both were probably in their late 20’s and 30’s, and both extremely nice!

  14. This is my first comment on this wonderful blog, though I use it quite often, (sorry) but I had to share one of the few experiences that has pleasantly surprised me since I’ve been here on my second tour! THE GOOD: Mike’s Tex-Mex has surpassed my expectation of an Okinawan rendition of Americana. Secondly, I’m on a funky diet which has taken all meats, except fish, out of the running. However, the bean quesadilla was sooo good, it had me wondering why I haven’t had it without meat before. I have a new delicious option to add. THE BAD: Not a whole lot of bad, but you have to take into consideration the Japanese culture is not very fond of spicy foods. So, you’re not going to get that “fire” you maybe use to getting back in the states. That’s great for me though, I hate spicy food. THE UGLY: When we arrived at Mike’s, there is one waitress that has an extremely unpleasant demeanor. Which is completely out of the norm for local establishments. Maybe that’s why it catches you off guard. I figured that she was having a bad day and I tried my best to be extra friendly, but after the previous comments about the waitress (it has to be the same lady, there was only two) I think I’ll ignore that small blemish on a beautiful face that is Mike’s Tex-Mex. *afterthought* I hope I didn’t just send a whole bunch of people there… It’s really small, and I hate waiting! Lol Just kidding, enjoy.

  15. This is my first comment on this wonderful blog, though I use it quite often, (sorry) but I had to share one of the few experiences that has pleasantly surprised me since I’ve been here on my second tour! Mike’s Tex-Mex has surpassed my expectation of an Okinawan rendition of Americana. You have to take in to consideration that the Japanese culture is not very found of spicy food. So, you’re not going to get that “fire” that you maybe use to back in the states… That’s great for me though, I hate spicy food. Secondly, I’m on a funky diet which has taken all meats, except fish, out of the running. However, the bean casadea My husband and I falsely believe we’re Okinawans lol.

  16. Coming from San Antonio, Mike’s Tex Mex is some very good food! I have never been disappointed with the food, although the service sometimes leaves more to be desired. I still go back just for the food, and have ordered it to go many times. They do have high chairs for the kids, and they takes dollars or yen (I can’t remember if they take cards, but I’ve grown accustomed to carrying cash, since some places off base only accept cash).

  17. I went back to Mike’s the other day with a friend who’s from mainland Japan. Since things seemed to be slow customer-wise, I ventured to ask a few things with the help of my friend.

    What the staff told me, was that the owner of the restaurant lived in Texas for many years and learned to cook Tex-Mex there. When he came back to Japan, he brought his cookbook along and started his chain.

    Yup, it’s a chain! The waitress showed us a flyer they had (all in Japanese, so I really couldn’t figure out much, but my friend translated a bit). Apparently, there’s about 4 more up in Mainland.

    Each restaurant gets a copy of the owner’s cookbook.
    All in all, I will continue enjoying Mike’s Tex Mex while we’re on island!

  18. Well we have tried mike and while it is a little bland to a mexican style food it is very good to counter those cravings with living in Japan. I would have to agree with Blancha that it was a tad on the pricey side. It was my husband my self and our 2 year old and 6 year old. We all got a drink other than water ( no achool) and a plate of food. My kids loved the food but will agree get a adult meal if you kids are even kind of big or good eaters. My daughter ate 3 of the cheese enclihadas. So we did have to purchase them extra. My husband got a side of rice in addition to his meal and we did not get any dessert and our bill was about 63 dollars. When we went they did take credit cards that is how we paid. The Yen rate was higher then as well so of course now it will be more expensive. If my memory severs me corecctly it was around 93 yen to the dollar… I bet we are wishing for those days now huh lol. But it in the end good food a bit pricey but it all depends if it is worth it that night it was and if we are really craving a mexican style food then we will go back and it will be worth it again. Everyday not for me but they may have a cheaper lunch menu that may be worth looking at… Hope this helps.

  19. My husband and I are from San Diego and had a hard time satisfying that Mexican food craving until we found Mike’s, this place is really good, and helps keep the cravings at bay. But it’s not the real thing by any means just a good substitute.

  20. I have been to Mike’s multiple times over the last year and I love their food. It’s the best Mexican I can find on the island. However, every time I go,the waitress is extremely rude and always make me feel like I am inconveniencing her by being there. I go mostly at noon and so it’s usually the same lady though I have been at night once and the lady then was rude too. I always just overlook it b/c I really like the food and can’t find anywhere else to get it. I would just be prepared when you go. The one in Chatan usually has 2 highchairs sitting right by the door. The place is extremely small though and it’s hard to get them up to the table without blocking the walkway.

  21. My family and I went to Mike’s last week. I was pretty good! Although I am from Texas so it has much to be compared to. The food was good, the guac was outstanding. I felt it was a little expensive for what we got. If you take the kids I would recommend getting them an adult meal. What our kids picked was the cheese quesadilla and it was tiny with a tbsp of guac and that was it. I’ve got some hungry boys so we actually had to order two of the meals. Other than that it was fun but bring something to keep the kids entertained because it took awhile to get the food because everything is made when you order it. Even the taco shells!

  22. Tried Mike’s a few night ago and we’ll definitely be going back. The guacamole that can be ordered with the chips is really good. There are so many meal options, and pretty much everything has a bean option for vegetarians. Tons of food, though the chips were really small. The ice cream taco dessert was good too. Kids menu with normal items from the menu as well as some items for pickier eaters like the mini cheese quesadilla.

  23. Hi! Does anyone know if Mike’s Tex Mex is open tomorrow~ Jan 2nd~ for lunch? I know this weekend a lot of Japanese places are closed or open different hours… thanks for the info!

  24. We’ve been here a month and have been looking for someplace to go for our regular Monday-Night-Mexican. Tried Obligatto and was not impressed and Chili’s is just too loud! So happy to see there is another option and we plan to try it tonight…thanks for the review!

  25. I was not seeking an apology from L. I did not say anything hateful or rude or make any kind of personal remarks about her. I was merely suggesting that she see things from a different point of view. Specifically, from the waitress’s perspective. She just took some reasonably objective remarks and suggestions very personally. We are not in America anymore and it is unreasonable to think that everything here will function as it does in America. New country=new ways.
    She is entitled to her opinion. I am entitled to mine.
    I can’t remember seeing any high chairs in there, but I don’t look for them anymore. If they don’t have any, you may want to consider investing in one of those that attach to the table. I am sure you will encounter other restaurants that do not have high chairs and it might be a handy thing to have.

  26. JCD, I have to agree. People should feel free to share their opinions on here without feeling as if they are being attacked. I too probably would have thought that it was rude if I was approached that way. Besides, sometimes we need somewhere to vent and I feel as if maybe that’s what was done. In any case, I do want to try this place sometime still, but we definitely wouldn’t be going out late because we’d have a 20 month old in tow. Speaking of which, are we certain that they do indeed have high chairs? If not, there’s no way we’d survive. My son is a total monkey and there’s no way he’d keep still. And is it true that the gate 2 location is closed? We go that way all the time for the filipino restaurants out there and was gonna check it out next time.

  27. I will not apologize for posting my opinion of this restaurant. This blog is for posting your opinion and experience about places. There is no need to be rude to anyone who expresses their experiences on here. This was just my personal experience for Mike’s Tex Mex. I’m sure they do have an excellent staff but I did not have that experience when I went. And i am definitely not a pushy or arrogant person. Please don’t say hateful things about people you don’t know.

  28. You could have just come back another time. She did tell you they were closing up early, but you chose to ignore that and sit down anyway. Maybe she thought it was you who was pushy, rude, and arrogant.
    I have been there many times and both the food and the waitstaff have yet to disappoint. If you have lived here long enough to be an expert on the locals, then you should also have figured out by now that they just don’t do business quite the same as in the US.
    And she probably was about to go out. I am sure she has a life outside of being a waitress.

  29. I had heard only good things about this place and there food, so last weekend my husband, his friend and I decided to try it out on the way home from the airport. We got there at 11 o’clock on the dot and as we walked in the door the waitress approaches us and says that they are about to close in 15 minutes. When I asked her why she said rudely that it was a slow night, (guess we don’t count?) Anyways the second we sit down she comes right up to our table and is like “are you eating?” What?? of course we are eating.. They aren’t supposed to close until midnight on the weekends and we were already there.. Then she stared at us the entire time we are looking at the menu as if to say “gah hurry up”.. Let me just say that the waitress also had a local friend of hers in there waiting on her (She was dressed as if they were about to go out) She was all around awful! She was pushy, rude, and arrogant.. As long as I have been on this island I have never experienced such a horrible local national.. If i was the owner I would have fired her on the spot. We will never be going back to Mike’s Tex Mex because of their horrible waiting staff!!

  30. the food here isnt bad for japanese mexican food but dont in there expecting it to be the best thing ever and youll be ok. if the chips and salsa were free and unlimited this place would get a higher recommendation from me.

  31. I did try the margaritas! I had blueberry and my husband had raspberry. I liked his but would not get the blueberry again. Anyone else try a different flavor?

  32. Our son (age 2) loves to eat here 🙂 They DO have highchairs! You just need to ask.
    At the reviewed location they have self-standing highchairs and ones the lock onto the table also.
    Side note about the chips – they are not fried as you order them, they are just kept in the warmer – but delish all the same!

  33. My son and I visited this place yesterday and it was just a nice lunch. We ordered the salsa/chips (yum) and shared the Enchilada chicken w/ sourcream set (included rice,beans)..and salad. I’d love to go back and try one of the margarita’s they had advertised (w/ different fresh fruits)- if anyone tries one please post how you liked it. The dessert also looked yummy so it will definately make us returning to try more off the menu. PS- it was just the right amount! We cleaned our plates :). They also looked like they had an ample amt of seating compared to other small restaurants that we’ve visited, there were also parking instructions posted on the door to avoid tickets.

  34. Mike’s isn’t my thing… but after being a San Diego native for 9 years, there’s just no such thing as good Mexican food on Okinawa to me. (Unless it’s homemade by a native!)

    However I do feel the need to inform everyone that the Gate 2 area location is now closed. I was in the area recently with friends and it was boarded up. Charlie’s Tacos is good though… you know, if you like tacos.

  35. Well, we tried it last night and I have to say it was delicious! The salsa was great, as were the chips. We loved the tacos and quesadilla. The atmosphere is fun as well. We will be going back for sure when we need a slice of home. (The only thing missing was queso and fajitas.) I would love to know how this restaurant came to be so if anyone goes w/o kids in tow and happens to ask, please post it!

  36. Having been born and raised in Mexico, I agree that there really isn’t such thing as great Mexican food outside of Mexico. Usually, I’ll just cook it myself, but after patting the umpteenth sope and throwing it on the griddle, I like someone else to do the work for me 🙂

    It’s not my Abuela’s food, but it is a lil’ piece of home that doesn’t taste like Taco Bell (thank God!) and they have the beers I like. Plus, I always enjoy exploring how other cultures interpret the food of my people.

    We should go back Dasha! 🙂

  37. No high chairs in either location? That is a bummer…hard to take a 15 month old out to eat without something to restrain her…otherwise she would end up in the kitchen. Anyway I am dying to try this place, we have seen it many times but have not gone in yet.

  38. oh yeah no worries, i went to a tex mex place in england , and yeah its not quite the same but they did their best..hahaha
    oh wow thanks joelle, no highchairs good to know….

  39. Yes, second location! It’s out Gate 2 street. Turn left at the Monster Ink sign/ad road — it’s down a bit on your left — green building. Don’t know the hours… And you can park down the road that is to your right just after Mike’s. Two different parking co’s -one on left/one on right side of road. LOVE LOVE their clearly homemade salsa!! And sour cream chicken enchiladas my fav. Ok, mouth watering, must go soon again! Only bummer — no high chairs.

  40. Ok, I’m from Texas too so I have to warn you to go into it knowing that it’s Okinawan Tex-Mex, not Texan Tex-Mex…you know? If you approach it in that way, I’m sure you’ll love it like I do 🙂 Their salsa is really good and I was so happy to find that they sold Negro Modelo, which is one of my favorites!

  41. yes i agree, me and the hubby have to go and check this out, we’re from Texas as well, i gotta see..Thanks!! for posting!! super excited!!

  42. Hi! I will have to try it. Is it real Tex-Mex? I am from Texas and want the real stuff, not Chi-Chi’s like. I will be thrilled to go and see!

  43. yeah, really- we’re just now reviewing this place? Seriously delicious, and if they don’t already have a 2nd location, they will need it now that it has been reviewed on OkiHai. This tiny little place is going to be packed!

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