With fancy taco joints and mezcal bars popping up across the city like mushrooms, London’s having a love affair with Mexico right now – and the 12,000-plus Mexicans here are so very thankful. We’re big on our food and traditions, and London now has a yearly tequila festival, lucha libre shows and Day of the Dead celebrations.
Back in 2005, when I came to London, the only Mexican food you could get was the Aztec soup at the Cool Chile stall on Portobello Road. It took a non-Mexican, Thomasina Miers, to change that by opening Wahaca in 2007. A wave of Mexican-owned restaurants such as Mezcal Cantina and Lupita followed, and these days you can hire a mariachi band, buy a custom-made piñata and become a true taco snob without even leaving the city. It’s not all fiestas, though: groups such as London Mexico Solidarity and Justice Mexico Now show we care deeply about our country’s political situation, too. Paola Feregrino
Did you know? The eye-popping Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey was designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and inspired by the colourful streets of Central America.
Paola’s favourite Mexican spots in London
For real handmade tamales, head to Pacifico MX in Brixton.
Catch the country’s greatest folk-rocker Julieta Venegas and indie-mambo kings Orkesta Mendoza this April at La Linea: London’s annual multi-venue festival of Latin music.
Shop for Mexican groceries including fresh cheese, sweet pastries, tequila and tortillas at La Tiendita on New King’s Road.
You really can’t beat a plate of pork pibil tacos and a few tamarind margaritas at Wahaca.
Support Mexican art at the Chalton Gallery near Euston, where you can discover new talent or join a workshop or study day.
Join the crazy Mexican crowd every Thursday night Downstairs at Mestizo near Euston. You’ll find us gathering to dance to classic Mexican hits, drink tequila and eat tacos. Lots of tacos.
The best of Mexican London, according to you
‘Comensal, a lovely spot in Clapham run by a very friendly Mexican woman, does the best mole I’ve tried in London and their tostada de pulpo is incredible. The pozole at Corazon in Soho is worth checking too.’ Felix F via www.timeout.com
‘Shockingly, the vegan Club Mexicana makes a very good taco!’ Sophia T via Facebook
‘Tortilla on Finchley Road: matchless margaritas.’ Celine C via Twitter
‘El Pastor does tacos al pastor and carnitas exactly the way they taste in Mexico City.’ Oscar A via www.timeout.com