Bad Sports Taqueria

Restaurants, American Hoxton
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 (Credit: Jamie Lau)
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Credit: Jamie Lau

A modern, minimal new-wave taco joint in Hackney.

After a spate of meaty, Mexican-inspired openings (Temper, El Pastor and Corazon among ’em) it feels like a taco turf war is erupting in London, and Bad Sports is a serious contender in the stand-off.

This Hackney taqueria is a cool spot, sat above the excellent bar of the same name. The space is vibey and minimal. An open kitchen is mirrored by informal counter seats running parallel to the window, the white furniture is distressed and there are a few framed posters on the walls. It’s buzzy with groups who’ve got the right idea; you’ll get the most from your visit if you’re a team player and sharing.

Of the tacos (£7 for two, £10 for three, all with freshly pressed soft corn shells) the steak option was the most popular – thin cuts of smoked bavette cooked pink in the middle, topped with radish slivers and chimichurri. Its take on a fish taco was practically gourmet: a crisp fried chunk of moist sea bream bursting with oily flavour and paired with salsa veracruz, a salty olive and caper combo lightly spiked with chilli. After all that, the more traditional pork and pineapple tacos didn’t quite blow us away, but the sweet potato side we shared – gooey with honey and camomile – induced competitively loud mouthgasms.

According to our waitress, the antidote to the punchy menu was a frozen margarita, but the Tommy’s was arguably even better. A michelada, meanwhile, was impressively constructed. My only complaint was the eagerness to shift us to the bar downstairs while we were still licking our fingers, but staff were so likeable it was hard to take it personally. And as the margaritas had already proved, the bar rocks. Be a good sport and make a night of it.

By: Laura Richards

Posted:

Venue name: Bad Sports Taqueria
Contact:
Address: 184 Hackney Road
London
E2 7QL
Transport: Hoxton Overground
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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Tastemaker

I stopped by here today for lunch about 4pm and was pleasantly surprised by the cheerful nature of the place with good tunes blasting (but still allowing for a convo) and a friendly host (with gorgeous eyes!) that greeted me. It wasn't busy. I got the oyster mushroom tacos and a side order of the fennel and kohlrabi slaw. The food arrived pretty quickly and I was pleased to see what appeared to be (pink) beetroot taco tortillas. The mini tortillas are the perfect conjecture of soft and firm, falling apart only slightly. The mushrooms are delicious with the pasilla chili. The slaw is also phenomenal and BRAVO for the portion size. As a side, it's easily splittable between two people and I had half for takeaway. Lunch tomorrow! If I was in the area, I'd definitely return here.