Sometimes, I feel a little guilty. I blather on and on about food – ethnic food in particular. I advocate for Buford Highway as a dining destination, a place to explore. People solicit my opinion about the restaurants there.

And occasionally, they’ll ask, “What do you think about _____?”. And I have to admit that I’ve never eaten there. “But it’s been there for years – everyone I know has eaten there…”. What can I say?

Stale chips (for the orphans) & a watery graveyard for tomatoes…

So it is that we came to eat at Pancho’s. Pancho’s, in addition to being “Home of the Monster Drink” has the distinction of being the first restaurant you will encounter as you drive North on Buford Highway from downtown Atlanta. And it’s my firm belief that, for many, it may be the only restaurant they will ever encounter on Buford Highway. The clientele seems to be a mix of Buckhead outliers and hipster hippies that desperately need a place where they can smoke while they eat.

Special Dinner

That being said, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with Pancho’s – a lot of people seem to like it. It is what it is – pedestrian Tex-Mex. Lots of melted white cheese and flavorless ground beef. Portions are substantial and they do have a full bar (a rarity on Buford Highway). The “Special Dinner” included a chili relleno, tamale, enchilada, taco, rice and beans. Could be wrong, but I’m guessing the relleno was a bell pepper rather than a poblano and the taco was of the “Old El Paso” variety. Guacamole was little more than mashed avocado. I’m not a fan of guacamole anyway, but this stuff was screaming for some acid.

Tacos al Carbon

Tacos al Carbon were again a substantial portion and wrapped in a proper tortilla, butĀ nothing to write home about.

Probably the biggest draw that I see to Pancho’s, beside the bar, is the large patio/deck out back, graced with a huge, old elm tree (you’ve probably seen this deck from 85 South many a time.

2641 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30324


  1. There is a Pancho’s chain (Pancho’s Mexican Buffet) that I grew up with. They made fun of it on Family Guy, and that vaulted the otherwise small chain into a Wikipedia entry.

    This eatery isn’t part of that chain, and glad to know that.

  2. Dave! It’s been forever – hope you’re well! Used to love me some Pancho’s… until I saw about 5 mice run past my feet on the patio a few years back. Maybe I should give it another chance!

  3. Probably the worst Mexican food on Buford Highway.
    Seriously, SIX DOLLARS for cheese dip???

  4. I just moved down the street from Pancho’s and I cannot agree with you more! It is tragically mediocre but the back patio with the tree is pretty cool.

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