Mexican

LOS MOCHIS CITY

100 Liverpool St, London

MexicanJapanese fusion spot Los Mochis has opened a second site in the City, taking up residence in a 14,000 sq ft space on the rooftop of 100 Liverpool Street, comprising a dining room, an agaveria bar and lounge, two private dining rooms and a massive 3000 sq ft covered and heated terrace. Not only is it one of the largest outdoor terraces in the capital, it’s got a 3am license, so after feasting on tacos, kushiyaki and rare tequilas, you can party until the early hours.

TAQUIZA

TAQUIZA - Cocina Mexicana, Rye Lane, London

Under the arches and adjacent to the famous music venue Carpet Shop Peckham (sister site to Corsica Studios) is the Mexican restaurant Taquiza. The site is led by head chef Sam Tarneberg and his partner, who, through travels and previous roles have both obtained plenty of knowledge of authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s off the beaten track, and its cosy interiors and dim lighting give a neighbourhood feel to it, ideal for date night. As tacos go, Taquiza’s tacos are relatively large and packed full to the brim with filling. They come in singular portions and it’s recommended you choose two per person when dining. Their taco menu is short and sweet, consisting of five different variants, all their inventive takes on the classics. As for dessert, though there’s only one on the menu (the lime zest flan Napolitano), in our eyes, it’s so good you wouldn’t want anything else.

IXCHEL

33h King's Rd, London SW3 4LX

Right in the heart of Chelsea, Ixchel is a modern Mexican restaurant bringing a taste of the Yucatan peninsula to London. The concept comes from restaurateur Fraser Carruthers and Mexican chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez (previously of Brat, Ella Canta and Madera at Treehouse London in the capital and at Dulce Patria in Mexico City) and borrows its name from the Mayan goddess of the moon and textiles – you’ll find hints of her influence throughout the restaurant, including moon motifs and contemporary macrame. The interiors at Ixchel are stunning, it’s been fitted out with furnishings made using natural materials and handcrafted artwork that draw both on London’s brutalist architecture and Mexican folk art. Fair warning: it’s beautiful and in Chelsea, so expect the full ‘influencers in the wild experience’, ring lights and all. Also expect a show-stopping food menu from Ximena that includes a selection of ceviches, tacos, tostadas and sharing plates. There are a lot of highlights, but you don’t want to miss the short rib with smoky adobo and pineapple salsa or the crispy potatoes with salsa verde. Drinks-wise, they’ve got a comprehensive selection of well-executed twists on the classic margarita, devised by bar manager Manuel Lema (previously of Cavita and Le Bodegra Negra). Plus, their bar boasts one of the largest collections of tequila in Europe, so if you’re a fan of agave-based liquor, this is a must-visit.

KUSHI

Love kushiyaki? Then you’ll want to get down to Old Spitalfields Market and try out the skewers from Kushi. The Japanese-inspired kitchen comes from the same team behind Crunch (and is the unit next door) and centres around skewers, with the likes of chicken wings, chicken skin, smoked quail eggs, miso butter corn, lamb neck and grilled mackerel on the menu. They’re available individually, ranging from £2 – £5 each, or you can get a meal box with skewers and sides like wasabi sweet potato mash, mushroom gohan, and Japanese pickles for £12. Don’t miss the okonomiyaki waffle either.

SONORA TAQUERIA

After past lives as Pollo Feliz (specialising in grilled chicken), a tortilla delivery service and a Netil Market stall, Sonora Taqueria finally landed its first brick-and-mortar site up in Stoke Newington. Founded by Michelle Salazar and Sam Napier, Sonora centres around its menu of Northern Mexican food which includes the likes of carne asada, caramelo, lorenza, adobada, campechano or nopales from the grill, as well as a range of quesadillas and guisados (stewed) dishes. The plates are all made using their absolutely epic handmade flour tortillas. There’s usually a queue for this spot and with good reason.

ZAPOTE

What was formerly home to St Leonards, and before that Eyre Brothers, has been reinvented once again and turned into modern Mexican restaurant Zapote. It’s the debut restaurant from Mexican chef Yahir Gonzalez  and hospitality veteran Tony Geary. Yahir is really putting his own spin on familiar Mexican dishes, including making tortillas in-house using native corn varieties. And what tortillas they are – truly some of the best we’ve ever had. Happily they make quite a few appearances on the menu, including folded into a delicate little quesadilla filled with smoky wild mushrooms; crisped up into a tostada topped with actually spicy chilli-flecked crab and ruby red slices of fresh yellowfin tuna; and served on the side of a superb dry-aged beef ribeye with salsa roja and habanero aioli to make tacos. Don’t miss the smoked aubergine with tamarind and chilli, the al pastor skewers with a vibrant citrusy guac and pork skin crispies; and the chorizo, potato and burnt cheese. Zapote delivers sophisticated, refined food without veering into super high-end territory, and it’s a great addition to the neighbourhood.

CLUB MEXICANA

Brightly coloured vegan restaurant Club Mexicana is known for taking over your insta feed with some of the best plant-based Mexican food in London. It’s recently launched a new brunch menu, that’s available every weekend at its Spitalfields site. Living up to the name, the menu is banging and includes a selection of its vegan takes on the classics like the mex-shuka and a Mexicana fry-up (featuring probably the longest vegan chorizo in London). It wouldn’t be brunch without a cocktail, and all can be washed down with some of the special brunch tipples, our personal favourite being the marmalade margarita. Available Sat and Sun, head there for plenty of fun energy and a knock-out vegan brunch.

CAVITA

Do brunch Mexican style at Adriana Cavita’s namesake Marylebone restaurant Cavita. Not only does the place look the part, with exposed bricks, earthy colours and plenty of cacti, but it delivers her take on traditional dishes, including chilaquiles, aguachile rojo and tacos de cochinita pibil. If it just ain’t brunch without some eggs and the huevos rancheros is a winner, with two fried eggs on tortillas covered with red and green salsa, smoky bacon and Oaxacan style beans. And you can really get stuck in with DIY tacos de asada; a huge plate of rump steak, chargrilled spring onions and nopales, radish and cucumber, arbol sauce, and tortillas for you to fold up and chow down on. For something sweet, finish up with pan de elote, a traditional Mexican cornbread served with honeycomb ice cream and cajeta. All of that with a round of spicy mezcalitas (made with Ojo de Dios Espadin, fresh lime, homemade sugar syrup & fresh jalapeno), is how to do the weekend right.

LA CHINGADA

La Chingada Mexican Food, Rotherhithe New Road, London

The original La Chingada occupies a very unassuming spot round the back of the Surrey Quays but it’s well worth seeking out because this place is turning out some of, if not the best, tacos in London. But if you’re north of the river, there’s a new La Chingada in Euston too. We don’t like to play favourites but the al pastor – marinated pork, pineapple and diced onion – edges it for us (the al pastor quesadilla is also excellent) but the suadero (confit beef), carnitas (confit pork), chorizo and baja prawn tacos are well worth your time. Fresh tortillas, juicy fillings, great salsas, what more could you want? There’s no bells and whistles here (apart from the Comic Sans sign) but that makes it all the better because all the effort has been put into the food. Order as many tacos as you can physically eat because you’ll regret it if you don’t. And if they’ve got margs on the go, have a couple of those too.

CORROCHIO'S

76 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB

A slice of Mexico has come to Dalston as Ruby’s has got a brand new kitchen and bar. Corrochio’s, run by chef and cocktail wizard Daniel Corrochio (who actually used to run Ruby’s and has worked with founder Tom Gibson at his pub The Bluecoats in Tottenham as well) is tucked away across from the main bar at Ruby’s and it’s a proper intimate spot – real basement vibes with a bar at one end, a fireplace on the wall and a little water fountain in the middle. Daniel’s menu combines authentic Mexican dishes, with recipes inspired by his mother featuring lesser-known Mexican ingredients. The dishes change fairly regularly but there’ll always be a handful of tacos to choose from, made with excellent corn tortillas. In fact, the tortillas are so good that you’ll defo need to order the guac and totopos too so you can try the crispy versions as well. The drinks list features a range of tequila, mezcal, sotol and raicilla as well as inventive cocktails like the Mezcalita and the Monarca but they shake up a mean marg too for those who want to keep it classic.

SANTO REMEDIO MEXICAN CAFE

55 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HP

London Bridge’s much-loved Mexican restaurant Santo Remedio has opened a second site in Shoreditch. The Mexican joint run by Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes first opened in Shoreditch six years ago on Rivington Street, they were forced to close the restaurant after five months after problems with the building. Now the pair are back in the neighbourhood, this time on Great Eastern Street. The menu at Santo Remedio is a mix of tacos, tostadas and quesadillas, all designed to be shared amongst the table. Our faves are the baja fish tacos, pork carnitas tacos, hibiscus quesadillas and the prawn & padron peppers raja cazuela. You can’t go for tacos without having some margaritas, and Santo Remedio have plenty of them to offer, including the dangerously good peach mezcalita.

TACOS PADRE

Borough Market Kitchen, Winchester Walk, London

Located in Borough Market, Tacos Padre is the Mexican spot from hot Irish chef Nick Fitzgerald who earned his stripes at Pujol, Mexico City (on the World’s 50 Best don’t ya know). The stall serves some of the best tacos in London, including beef short rib suadero with morita salsa, cauliflower al pastor with salsa macha and lamb barbacoa with gauc, alongside homemade bottled sauces, local beers and mezcal margs. And the annual summer residency, where Nick sets up on the terrace by the stall, has a bangin’ dinner menu with dishes like oysters divorciados, crab tostada with guajillo & tamarind, gilt head bream with shiso ceviche, confit pork chop cochinita with charred x-ni-pec, smoked celeriac with orange habanero glaze & macadamia sikil pak, and bueñuelos with morita cajeta. 

KOL

9 Seymour Street, London

Mexican chef Santiago Lastra, who worked at Rene Redzepi’s Noma Mexico pop-up in 2017 and has cooked at the Tate Modern finally opened his debut solo restaurant Kol in London in 2020, after a more than a year of looking for a location. Kol is broadly Mexican, drawing influence from across the country as well as making use of British produce too with dishes like langoustine tacos with sea buckthorn, kohlrabi ceviche, lamb leg totasta cured in gooseberries with walnut oil, and tamal with corn husk ice cream. You can see some of the work that goes into the food thanks to the open kitchen, complete with tortilla station, right in the middle of the first floor dining room. As well as a biodynamic wine list, Kol also serves up mezcals, tequilas and less well-known Mexican spirits like whisky from Oaxaca, gin from the Yucatan and rum from Puebla in the dedicated mezcaleria on the lower ground floor.

SANTO REMEDIO

152 Tooley St, London SE1 2TU

Run by husband and wife team Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes, Santo Remedio is one of the best Mexican restaurants in town. They’re famous for their grasshopper-topped guacamole but everything on the menu is legit great, especially the soft shell crab tacos, the beef short rib with mole negro and the churros. They shake up a great marg here too and if you want to get your weekend off to a flying start, their bottomless brunch featuring free-flowing said margs, is the way to do it.

EL PASTOR

7A Stoney St, London SE1 9AA

El Pastor is the mini-Mexican group from the Hart Brothers (the pair behind Barrafina and Quo Vadis), who are not only top restaurateurs but Sam Hart actually lived in Mexico City for many years, operating a cult nightclub El Colmillo, so he certainly knows a thing or two about tacos. The original El Pastor is under the railway tracks in Borough Market, a long thin room with high tables and a bar at the front, and a small dining room and kitchen at the back. Whilst you should start with some guac with chicharron and the tuna tostadas, tacos are the main focus on the menu and you don’t want to miss the namesake al pastor, the baja and the epic sharing short rib served on the bone and with a bowl of fresh tacos to roll up your own. Can’t get into the Borough restaurant? Fear not, there are El Pastor locations in Soho and Battersea, and a Casa Pastor in King’s Cross.

CALDERA

8 Monohaus, 143 Mare St, London E8 3FW

Whether you want a burrito and a margarita or some more inventive Mexican dishes, Caldera is the place to go. The Mare Street spot serves up all the classics like nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos – the baja fish tacos are particularly good, chunky pieces of fish with a smokey kick, though you do have to eat them quick or risk the filling dropping out. And if you go by during the day, they do a £5 burrito lunch offer. It’s also worth trying out some of the other, more inventive plates; the mole-miso marinated lamb cutlets are insanely moreish and you will find yourself gnawing at them to get every last bit of flavour off. You’ll also find yourself scraping the pot of dulce de leche dip that comes with the churros and that’s ok too.

SANTO REMEDIO

152 Tooley St, London SE1 2TU

We’re already fans of Santo Remedio – it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in town – but now they’ve got a new bottomless brunch menu, we love it even more. It all kicks off with some of their famous guac and chips before a sharing starter; we can highly recommend the pork belly tacos with chicarron and tomatillo salsa because they are SO GOOD. And they don’t skimp on the filling either, so you’ll need both hands to stuff them in. The mains feature classic dishes like chilaquiles, torta agohada and chicken enchiladas suizas, which come in a moreish tomatillo sauce and topped with Chihuahua cheese. The huevos motulenos – corn tostadas with black beans, grilled bacon, plantain, fried eggs and salsa roja – is a bit like a Mexican fry-up and if you like eggs in the morning, this really hits the spot. There’s only one way to finish here and it’s with a pot of churros and cajeta (dulce de leche sauce) for dippage, trust us when we say you really don’t need anything else (expect maybe another portion). Bubbles and beers are both amongst the bottomless options but this is a Mexican brunch so it’s gotta be the margaritas – and they do shake up a particularly great one at Santo Remedio.

CLUB MEXICANA

Kingly Court, London W1B 5PW

Vegan Mexican? It’s happening at Club Mexicana, which you can find inside KERB Seven Dials and at their first proper restaurant in Kingly Court. The restaurant, inspired by the street-side joints in LA and Mexico City, features an open kitchen so you can see the vegan al paastor spit in all its sizzling glory, as well as a bar where you can sip on margs and palomas on tap, pickle juice-spiked Micheladas and Mexican beers. The menu features a range of plant-based tacos, small plates and some Club Mexicana classics including the beer-battered Tofish tacos, BBQ short ‘rib’ tacos, and corn & black bean salad with jalapeno lime dressing. OLE!

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