London's best Mexican restaurants

Mexican food is alive and kicking in the capital, and there's not a sombrero or tequila slammer in sight

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Don’t know your tacos from your fajitas? Here’s our guide to dining Mexican in London. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

La Bodega Negra

  • Rated as: 4/5

The neon sign outside reads ‘sex shop’; the mannequin in the entrance wears a PVC gimp suit. But the real excitement begins when you descend the stairs into the bowels of this nightclub-like restaurant. It’s so dark and loud you’ll need a moment to adjust (the light bulbs have been blacked out). By comparison, the homely Mexican cooking can feel run-of-the-mill, though effort is put into presentation. On our visit, soft flour tacos with a tender beef filling arrived

  1. 16 Moor Street, W1D 5NH
  2. Main courses £11.50-£27.50. Meal for two with...
More info

Daddy Donkey

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If you have a hankering for a burrito as well as a cheap handbag, Leather Lane is the place to be. Nestled among the bric-a-brac, cheap shoes and pinafores is this behemoth of an operation – Daddy Donkey is a self-proclaimed ‘kick-ass Mexican grill’. Started by Joel Henderson in 2005, the stall has grown massively over the past few years but has still managed to keep the quality of their offerings consistent. Whether you’re having the cutely-named ‘three amigos’

  1. Leather Lane Market, EC1N 7TE
  2. Main courses £5.25-£5.95
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Taqueria

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The word ‘taquería’ is traditionally associated with street stands churning out endless tacos. They do that here too, but in rather more salubrious surroundings and with a clipboard-toting greeter thrown in for good measure. It’s a charming, independent-feeling little place of two rooms, with dark wood floors and pristine white walls decorated with a few Mexican film posters. The food is equally unfussy: a dozen or so tacos (using corn tortillas made in-house daily), a

  1. 139-143 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS
  2. Main courses £3.90-£8.75. Set lunch (noon-4pm...
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Wahaca

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Thomasina Miers’s Mexican ‘market food’ concept is now an eight-strong chain (plus two street food vans). The restaurants all share a cheery vibe, with young, efficient staff buzzing round bright interiors, as well as a commitment to sustainability and animal welfare. The large Charlotte Street branch has a takeaway hatch (which sells a few ingredients such as salsas, chillies and fresh corn tortillas, as well as lunches) and a mezcal bar on the first floor, in addition to

  1. 19-23 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RL
  2. Dishes £3.60-£4.85. Main courses £6.95-£9.95
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Casa Morita

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

It’s a good thing Casa Morita’s menu is so brief – the potent cocktails don’t do much for your reading comprehension. Like the food, they’re tasty and remarkably cheap (just £5 for a smoky mezcal margarita). The bargain prices suit the setting, even if this is no longer any old indoor market thanks to the arrival of a plethora of interesting eateries over the past few years. Taco appetisers used good, chewy corn tortillas; the version with chicken mole was a little

  1. 9 Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9 8LB
  2. Main courses £7-£10
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Benito's Hat

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

London’s Tex-Mex eateries are currently ten a peso, and the branded interior of Benito's Hat looks ripe for replication – no doubt something owner Ben Fordham, a former City lawyer, has considered. Lime and orange walls overlook functional wooden tables, with cactus pots sitting precariously among the condiments. The fast-moving production line serves some of the best burritos in town. We plumped for one loaded with slow-cooked pork, and loved the soft, floury tortilla, the

  1. 56 Goodge Street, W1T 4NB
  2. Main courses £5.50-£6.40
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Boho Mexica

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Boho Mexica’s claims to authenticity rely on its domestic labour-of-love approach – chef Tía Patty, the owner’s aunt, uses recipes learnt from her mother. While a starter of bland guacamole disappointed, painstaking care showed through in another of slow-cooked beef brisket, and crispy tostadas of green plantain topped with prawns and roasted habanero peppers had us happily glugging back our cocktails. The long, slim interior feels fresh and lively, with a bar that snakes

  1. 151-153 Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
  2. Main courses £10.50-£15.95
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Lupita

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The owners of Lupita showed some savvy when choosing Villiers Street – the narrow, crowded hill that runs between Embankment tube and Charing Cross station – as the place to set up shop. By day, this good-looking, capable Mexican restaurant gets passing trade from tourists and office workers; by night, it’s descended on by commuters and revellers, many of whom are tipsy and hungry. Choose carefully, and you can construct an interesting meal here. Choose drunkenly, and you

  1. 13-15 Villiers Street, WC2N 6ND
  2. Main courses £5.95-£10.95. Set lunch...
Make reservation

Casa Negra

50% off food at lunch from Monday-Friday through April
  • Rated as: 3/5

The people behind La Bodega Negra in Soho – the one with the neon ‘Peep Show/Adult Video’ frontage – have now opened a relatively understated branch of their speakeasy-style Mexican bar and restaurant in Shoreditch. What was once the elegant-looking Great Eastern Dining Rooms has had its interior ripped out, and it’s been made to look like a squat in Peckham circa 1985. Tat art on black-painted walls, coloured lightbulbs dangling from casually strung wires, folding

  1. 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
  2. Main courses £14-£20. Set lunch (noon-3pm...
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Viva

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

¡Viva la Dalston revolución! The latest East End venue to have been hipsterised calls itself Viva Tapas & Bebidas. The small, bare-brick premises are decorated with vintage furniture and kitsch bric-a-brac. Drinking happens under the watchful eyes of the virgin of Guadeloupe – depicted on a giant mural, flickering from glass candles on the tables, even tattooed on one of the bartender’s arms. The cocktail menu focuses mostly on tequila- and rum-based Mexican classic

  1. 2 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XN
  2. Meal for two with drinks and service:around £30.
More info
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Users say

16 comments
Brad
Brad

As a new comer to this - Mamacita in West Hampstead should be added. All meat gourmet burritos, but not Mexican fast food - a proper, lovely restaurant and bar with a great vibe. Authentic Mexican, all Mexican kitchen team (my girlfriend assures me as she popped her head in for a chat as she's from mexico city). Great place and should be on the list.

Ixchel
Ixchel

Benito's hat is way too bland.

Anna McQuaid
Anna McQuaid

Cafe Chula should definitely be on this list! Deliciously fresh food. Okay, maybe more on the Baja/Californian side than deep into Mexico but a top option all the same

Joaquin
Joaquin

Tortilla Mexican Grill (on the cheap side) and Mestizo (on the pricier side) cannot be ignored! The middle section of the Wahaca menu is quite authentic too. I've never heard of the places above but I am willing to try them.

Kr1244
Kr1244

What about La Perla and/or Cafe Pacifico? Both actual Mexican not just TexMex! Agreed Mestizo is blatantly absent!!!

CaliGirl
CaliGirl

Ya, and why is Cafe Chula not on the list?

Emma
Emma

My god no Chilango on this list? I've been a loyal customer of them for years now since their first burrito place in Angel, and their burritos are absolutely the best I've had in London, and I've had everything on the above list and in the comments! Wahaca is great new favourite for sure, but also love the longstanding and always excellent Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden.

Laura May
Laura May

To agree with a few of the posts below - this list (of 4?) doesnt really do justice to Mexican food in London. Mestizo (on Euston Road) really should top the list, their passion for bringing traditional Mexican (as opposed to TexMex) to Londoners is obvious. Their sister joint El Burrito (round the corner from Benito's Hat) translates that into great, cheap and tasty street food that goes way beyond the burrito. Wahaca too really should get a mention - I doubt this article would have been written if it weren’t for their influence on mainstream tastes. Taqueria is great though (although it always feels very pricey), and Boho Mexica also tops.

mexican
mexican

As a Mexican i have searched throughout London trying to find the best Mexican food and the Taqueria is the best Mexican food not Tex-Mex but Mexican food you can get in London.Also there is a very good vibe in there especially with Rodrigo the manager

Tzcttime
Tzcttime

Tex-Mex, as the name obviously implies, is an adaptation of Mexican cuisine to a Texan context (i.e. availability of lots of cheap meat). Authentic Mexican food would includes regional dishes from all around the country, to name a few important ones Oaxaca (black mole, grashoppers), Puebla (camotes, rompope, sweets, pipian), Veracruz (fish Veracruz style, cebiche), Yucatan (chicken or pork in escabeche, papadzules, cochinita pibil, panuchos, eggs Motul style, cheese soup), Mexico City (enfrijoladas, entomatadas, atole), Sinaloa (fish or shrimp tacos), Guadalajara (drowned eggs, drowned torta, meat on its juice) and so on and so forth. Now pray tell me, where do you see a burrito? Most Texans would not know any of these dishes, so why the insistence of you, the "experts", in bundling together Mexican and Tex-Mex when they are clearly different beasts? (and the difference is not subtle at all as I hope you can see). That you don't even mention Mestizo, one of the few that try to offer the real thing, says it all really.

p-
p-

Tauqeria definitely has to be the best in London, they offer a tasty selection of food that is both approachable but also very authentic. A great selection of aquas frescas too. My only complaint would be that the price have definitely risen considerably in the last few years.

Oscar, Mexican living in London
Oscar, Mexican living in London

Best street food don't look further, 'Taqueria' is the best. Just like being in Mexico. I've heard 'Mestizo' in Euston is really good. I have not been there yet though; it is also a bit pricey.

James Stanton-Scott
James Stanton-Scott

Adobo on High Holborn is amazing...I had the adobo marinated chicken and chorizo burrito, loaded with Habanero sauce and Guac, low priced and generous portions...mouthwateringly good. They do serious single source Mexican coffee too...highly recommended...

Josh
Josh

You say 'Mexican food is alive and kicking' and put only one restaurant on the list?? What about Mestizo, Wahaca, Taqueria and Santo as the other poster said. Oh, and there is a lot better than Daddy Donkey for burritos too. Boho Mexica is great though!

Notting Hill local
Notting Hill local

Santo on Portabello Road is great for real quality Mexican food and fiesta vibe, even the waiters are mostly smell of alcohol...