Let’s learn about the best cheeses for tacos – we’re going to take your taco night up a few notches! Upgrade your traditional taco cheese with a fabulous new Mexican cheese or a fun, fresh new blend of the classics.

Tacos are never boring, but switching things up can keep it interesting! Find the most delicious options for the best cheese for tacos in this complete round-up guide.

In just a few minutes, you’ll know exactly where to head at your local grocery, and you’ll impress the fam with knowledge about a few lesser-known cheeses!

A variety of Mexican cheeses on a marble countertop, perfect for making the best tacos.
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Yes, it’s true… we’ve been on a taco kick lately. We’re approaching Cinco de Mayo of course, but honestly we can never get enough around here.

There’s just something about the simplicity of this classic meal that keeps us coming back for more! There are always new ways to switch things up and take them in a new direction.

Just recently, we’ve shared our favorite veggie tacos, portobello mushroom tacos, street tacos, and even a complete guide to taco toppings! Get your complete Cinco de Mayo menu and the Side Dishes for Tacos for a fiesta here.

When I was working on our guide to the best taco toppings for a taco bar, I realized that Mexican cheese is an area where I get a lot of questions. While we always love a classic cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend, there are so many delicious options for cheese for tacos that we’ve never really discussed!

So today, we’re taking a quick dive into Mexican cheeses for your tacos. Let’s learn together! Use the drop down Table of Contents menu to navigate this post with ease. 

Four white cups filled with the best cheeses for tacos, including delicious Mexican cheese.

Best Cheeses for Tacos

It’s hard to imagine many Tex Mex dishes without that layer of creamy, melty cheese, right? Enchiladas, chicken tacos, my favorite beef tacos (fine… all the tacos).

I love this cilantro lime salad dressing and cilantro chicken for a flavorful but low carb lunch. It just wouldn’t be the same without a little freshly shredded Mexican cheese on top!

However, once I realized that I could branch out and try more traditional (but easily available) Mexican cheese options, it opened up a whole new world! We don’t need to shred a block of classic cheddar for tacos – there are dozens of Mexican cheese varieties out there just waiting for you!

There are options to suit every palate. Fresh cheeses, aged cheeses, creamy options and crumbly options. Next time you head to the grocer, shop with confidence with a few of these suggestions for Mexican cheeses to try for your next taco night!

Four bowls of Mexican cheese in white bowls on a marble surface.

Mexican Cheese

Call it cheese or call it queso, as it’s called in Spanish. It’s pronounced kay-so in case you’re wondering!

While there are many Mexican cheese varieties to choose from – especially if you head to a local Mexican grocer – here are a few popular choices (available at most traditional grocery stores) to help you get started.

  • Cotija – this is an aged, dry, crumbly Mexican cheese that crumbles beautifully. Often sold in a round package, it has a sharp, salty flavor that is reminiscent of Parmesan. It’s one of the best cheeses for tacos and we use it frequently in our home! A white cup filled with Mexican cheese for tacos.
  • Queso Fresco – Directly translating to “fresh cheese” this option is another crumbly, white textural cheese. It actually resembles feta, but is made of cow milk instead of sheep milk. Queso fresco is an excellent topping or garnish for your favorite dips, salads, soups and more. A white cup filled with Mexican cheese for tacos.
  • Chihuahua – Also known as quesadilla cheese, this one most resembles a traditional cheddar cheese. It’s a firm, strongly flavored cheese that is yellow in color. It melts beautifully and makes an excellent filling for cheese quesadillas, beef enchiladas and more. Mexican shredded cheese in a white bowl, perfect for tacos.
  • Queso Melt – There are many varieties of melting cheese on the market, most of which are intended for creating classic cheese dips. They are frequently made of asadero or American cheeses, and combined with cream for a delightfully smooth melt.
  • Oaxaca – This is a mellow, creamy cheese with a little bit of salty flavor. With a texture similar to string cheese, it melts beautifully and is comparable to mozzarella.
Shredded Mexican cheese in a white cup on a white surface.

Looking for even more Mexican cheese options? Consider Queso crema, Requesón, Manchego, and Asadero.

More of the Best Cheeses for Tacos

It doesn’t have to be a super traditional Mexican cheese to make it an excellent taco topping!

Four bowls of Mexican cheese in white bowls on a marble countertop.

Where to Use these Cheeses

Use my favorite homemade taco seasoning for any of your favorite taco fillings. Here’s a few excellent ideas to get you started!

Four bowls of Mexican cheese on a white surface.

More Serving Suggestions

I have so many other delicious ideas for where to use your newfound knowledge of Mexican cheeses!

Three bowls of the best cheeses for tacos on a marble surface.


  • If possible, always shred your cheese fresh. Here’s my favorite cheese grater block – it makes it so easy! It’s worth this extra step if you can make the time. Learn all my best tips for How to Grate Cheese here.
  • Setting up a taco bar? Label your cheeses so guests know what they’re getting!
  • These salsa recipes are excellent additions to your tacos, too.
  • Serve a fabulous margarita with your fiesta dinner!
  • Learn about the Best Tequila for Margaritas here.
  • These Stainless Steel Taco Holders make topping and serving easy and will help your taco shells hold plenty of fresh cheese.
Four different types of Mexican cheese on a marble countertop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cheese do Mexican restaurants use on tacos?

Street tacos often don’t have any cheese at all! However, Tex Mex style tacos are often topped with Cotija, which is a salty, crumbly cheese that slightly resembles Parmesan in flavor.

What cheese do Mexican restaurants use in quesadillas?

They often use a classic chihuahua cheese, also called a melting quesadilla cheese. Another popular cheese for quesadillas is oaxaca, which melts much like mozzarella.

What is the best Mexican melting cheese?

Try asadero or oaxaca for great melting options!

Four bowls of Mexican cheese varieties in white bowls on a marble surface.

I’d love to hear from you! Are you a fan of these Mexican cheese options?

Serve With Margaritas

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