Bite of the Palouse: Nayarit Mexican Restaurant is a downtown Pullman essential

Delicious Mexican cuisine that won’t break the bank



I will be popping back in for some more of that Carne

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Sometimes a restaurant flies under my radar, and I constantly tell myself that I should it try but never quite get around to it.

I have found that I do not go down Main Street much anymore in downtown Pullman, but each time I have passed Nayarit Mexican Restaurant, it has gone on my list of places that I need to try. But time after time, I have gone back to the familiar and my favorites, and the thought fizzles out of my head.

Finally, I have tried Nayarit, and I should have gone much sooner.

Nayarit is located at 255 E Main St., next to Brused Books and right across the street from Pups and Cups. Parking next to the restaurant itself is somewhat limited, but there are a handful of parking lots within reasonable walking distance.

The hours of the restaurant are nice and consistent: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. every day of the week. You can reserve a table online, though I was able to get one just fine even at the height of the dinner rush. If you do not feel like eating out, Nayarit Mexican Restaurant offers delivery and carryout through their website.

When you walk into Nayarit, you are instantly greeted by the warm atmosphere of the restaurant, along with a handful of stairs to descend down into. There is a mixture of booths and tables and even some larger ones for big parties of people.

As soon as I stepped through the door, I noticed that the restaurant was buzzing with talking and laughter. I still heard the noise while I was shown to my table, but it seemed to make Nayarit all the more welcoming.

The service was astoundingly quick, though not in an obtrusive way, and I felt like any questions about the menu were happily answered. My only real complaint thus far was the way that my food came out; both my appetizer and entrée came out at the same time. Not a damning restaurant sin, but it did cause me to have less time to enjoy my appetizer.

Speaking of the food, let’s dive into it.

I ordered the Nachos Nayarit with pork as an appetizer and Carne Birria for my entree. With a handy root beer, the total came out to around $28 before tax. For a multi-course meal and a great experience, that felt like a fair price, and the amount of food I received was incredibly filling.


Starting with the nachos, they were good but not great. They were warm and cheesy, hitting the main checkmarks I look for in a nacho, but did not really leave an impact. The pork did not add much to the dish, and it was quickly overshadowed by how good my entrée was. On a scale of 1–10, I would place it solidly around a 6.5.

The Carne Birria on the other hand, served with rice, beans, onions and cilantro, was the star of the show. While I did get a handful of corn tortillas, I soon found the sheer serving of the food was enough to eat some of it on its own.

The meat was incredibly tender, sitting in a flavorful stew of juice and spices. While the Birria itself was incredibly rich, it paired well with the onions and cilantro, evening out the flavors. Dipping the taco back into the carne really elevated the flavor.

Even though I am not a refried beans fan, I still dug in, enjoying the full meal. While refried beans will always be a 3 out of 10 in my mind, the entire meal was an 8.5.

Oh, and the root beer was pretty good too. 6.5 out of 10.

Nayarit’s food was wonderful; I got my check feeling full and warm, with some leftovers to take home with me. The bill was fair, especially for the quality of the food, though I do not think I will reorder the nachos in the future.

Nayarit Mexican Restaurant is a great addition to the Pullman Mexican food scene, and I will most certainly be going back there to try out the rest of the menu. Even if the nachos struck out, the entrée helped keep Nayarit on the map for me. I would heartily recommend Nayarit to anyone who is interested, especially if you are looking for an affordable option to eat out at.

If you know of some food spots that I have not tried yet that you are just dying to brag about to your friends, let me know by emailing [email protected].