Londoners may have witnessed a taco takeover in recent years, but there’s so much more to the capital’s ever-growing Mexican food scene. From badass burritos to tip-top tostadas and exemplary enchiladas, we’ve rounded up the restaurants around the city that put the ‘fun’ in fundido.
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It’s all about the burritos at Benito’s Hat – a vibrant Tex-Mex joint dreamed up by a former City lawyer. The interior might look like something out of central casting, but the fast-moving counter churns out some the best floury filled tortillas in town, backed by a 10-strong line-up of fresh salsas. Tacos, salads and antojitos also go well with Benito’s merciless margaritas.
From the taco traders who set up Breddos Tacos, this narrow atmospheric space has Friday on its mind every day of the week, with great music, unabashed all-day drinking and bang-on Mexican food. The tacos are impressively creative, but we prefer the off-the-clock-excellent ceviches and – best of all – the grilled corn (elote), served with tortilla chips, smoky chilli mayo and Montgomery’s cheddar.
Don’t be fooled by the ‘sex shop’ frontage – there’s nothing sleazy about this dark, loud basement rendezvous. La Bodega is dressed to thrill and its homely take on Mexican cuisine always looks pretty – check out the beautifully presented tacos, ceviches, tostadas and ‘hot plates’ such as roast chicken with freekeh. Despite small portions and two-hour table limits, this is a must-try.
Bargain prices suit the setting at this family-run Mexican eatery in Brixton’s foodie market complex. The menu’s brief, but there’s bags of choice, flavours are big and the colours bold: we recommend the tacos appetisers, the enchiladas suizas, the zingy chocolate cake laced with árbol chillis and – of course – the potent cocktails. Be warned: service can be market-trader curt.
Generous tacos served with lashings of old-school hospitality is the deal at Corazón – an unassuming, cosy and sincere taqueria custom-built for Soho’s hungry hordes. Head to the bar and counter for cocktails and nibbles; sit in the main space for a full-on nosh – perhaps crab tostadas followed by a masa cake stuffed with pig’s head and bone marrow. Gentle prices, genial service.
Venue says BOOKING FOR CHRISTMAS PARTIES We are simply the most fun, and most delicious place to be. Christmas menus + more details, on our website.
Billed as a ‘kick-ass Mexican grill’, one-time street stall Daddy Donkey has morphed into a permanent behemoth among Leather Lane’s cheap handbags, shoes and CDs. That old takeaway feel is still there, but the quality’s consistent – try a ‘naked burrito’ (sans tortilla) or the signature Daddy D with a choice of five fillings. The combinations are endless – and so are the queues.
‘DF’ stands for Mexico City’s Distrito Federal, but this affordable, mass-market offshoot of the Wahaca chain couldn’t be more London – and fashion-conscious with it. All the trademarks are here: strikingly modern design, cheery staff, no bookings and Mexican fast food with a hipster spin. Open tacos hit the spot, as do the pork pibil tortas – a trendy Mex riff on the burger.
If you need cheering up, head down to this Mexican hideaway beneath the arches by Borough Market. Owned by the Hart brothers (of Barrafina fame), Pastór is a taco joint with pedigree and a rollicking fiesta vibe. Order the mighty ‘al pastór’ pork taco, the DIY short rib or the ‘gringa’ quesadillas with fresh salsas and a blast of loud Latin music.
Now holed up in SheBu, this permanent reboot of street-food hero Matt Paice’s perambulating van has evolved from zealous veggie to likeable omnivore – and it’s an all-round cracker. What to eat? The crayfish tostadas with tomatillo salsa, the Korean-style chicken taco and the ‘cheeseburger’ combo are all excellent with a pokey tequila cocktail. No cash, no bookings, but plenty of smiles all round.
Crowdfunding does it again. Having wobbled in Shoreditch, the new incarnation of Santo Remedio near London Bridge is simply brilliant. Low-lit, inviting and spread over two floors, it seduces punters with easy-listening Latin grooves, flickering tea lights, and some inspired food – guacamole sprinkled with tiny grasshoppers, wholemeal quesadillas, Mexican-style prawn ceviche and charred lamb chops with tangy mole. There are punishing shots of mezcal too.
Venue says A vibrant Mexican restaurant with an upstairs tequila and mezcal bar, serving authentic regional Mexican cuisine and cocktails.
Despite a clipboard-toting greeter, Taqueria has a charming indie feel with its bare wood floors, film posters, Latin soundtrack and unfussy food. Tacos are the big hits (try the version with home-cured chorizo), but there are also a few tostadas, enchiladas and the usual suspects on the side. Drink Mexican beer, mezcal and tequila, or stay sober with a cooling ‘aguas frescas’.
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