Tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas - not only is Mexican food incredily satisfying to say out loud (we'll bet, just like us, you put an accent on for some of those words), it's also incredibly satisfying to eat. Edinburgh's Mexican restaurants may not as prominent as, say, its French or Italian ventures, but that doesn't make them any less worth your while.
It might sound like a fairly textbook first world problem, but only a few years ago, there was nowhere in Edinburgh to get a decent takeaway burrito. Now, not only is this place open and serving very, very good, densely packed bundles of black beans, guacamole and spicy chicken and beef to takeaway, they even do evening home deliveries and online orders for collection too. The classics are all there - tacos, quesadillas, burritos and fajitas starting from around £5, as well as a few new creations, including a haggis and steak taco, or a tortilla-less bean bowl with no rice, for those trying to dodge carbs.
Pinto is less a downmarket restaurant, more an upmarket fast food joint. It's counter service, with quesadillas, burritos and tacos served in that labour-saving way which has the customer choose their filling, beans and strength of sauce, then decide whether they want cheese, sour cream and jalapenos for a heartily-stuffed mix-and-match treat wrapped in a sheet of foil. If that all sounds quite flat-packed, the end result is well worth it, with the chicken, steak, pulled pork or slow-braised barbacoa beef all freshly cooked and good quality, and the hot sauce – if that’s your thing – being possessed of an agreeably venomous bite.
Formerly staffed exclusively by barmen in garish Hawaiian shirts, the Basement has recently transferred its more exuberant décor to the walls, with a Mexicano theme encompassing luchadors, senoritas and Dia de los Muertos masks. The theme extends to menus for both food (big burritos, fajitas and highly snackable fish tacos) and drinks (a large range of tequilas and tequila-based cocktails).
This small but perfectly formed storefront tacqueria on Leith Walk has been building a reputation slowly but surely since it opened in 2013. Promising a menu which is “fresh, focused and frequently changing”, the main event is a small but diverse roster of tacos sold in pairs which offers an unusual but decidedly appetising take on an old Mexican staple. It’s street food style and the rest of the offerings are minimal (bits and pieces like corn chips with salsa, lime and chipotle sticky rice and some daily Mexican specials and desserts), but it’s the opposite of the kind of place which loads its menu because it wants to be all things to all people. Here at Bodega, they stick to one popular style because they’re good at it.
Conveninently located in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town (and just in front of a grassy courtyard for the summer lunchtime takeaway crowd), this bright Mexican restaurant serves all the hearty staples - burritos, fajitas, nachos, tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas - along with a few, perhaps less familiar Latin dishes, including sopa de tortilla (tomato soup with tortilla toppings) and sopes (traditional corn cakes topped with meat or veg).