Authentic Mexican food exists well beyond the realms of uninspiring Tex-Mex tacos and mild salsa. While the UK certainly can’t match the range of options available further afield, recent years have seen London’s Mexican restaurant scene diversify, bringing with it more varied and rich Mexican dishes to be had.
We invite you to uncover the true depth of flavours on offer in real Mexican food beyond the limits of cheap and cheerful takeaway burritos. Whether you're looking for a sharing type of situation or a filling and warming dish all to yourself, we have Mexican meals, mezcal and more to satisfy all cravings.
So if you're ready to swap soggy tacos for light and crispy quesadillas and graduate from watered-down cocktails to punchy margaritas then look no further than our round up of the best Mexican restaurants in London.
Genuine Mexican food is hard to come by in London, however Mestizo offers just this. Lauded as a restaurant offering home comforts that are true to tradition, this is one place that does Mexico’s vibrant flavours real justice. Beyond offering all the usual favourites like enchiladas and tostadas, Mestizo also has a selection of dishes that are harder to come by in London - from nopales (grilled cactus leaf with tomato, onion and queso fresco) to pastel de elote (a corn cake).
High-quality meat is marinated and cooked to perfection, with tangy margaritas to match. Likewise, with a substantial vegan menu also available, there’s no reason for anyone to skip out on the joy at this restaurant. Friendly service and generous portions solidify Mestizo’s sterling reputation as one of the best Mexican restaurants in London. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more authentic and delicious Mexican spot.
Location: 103 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 3EL
KOL adapts seasonal British ingredients to the fresh flavours of Mexican food. This restaurant transcends your typical taco affair, instead offering a fine dining experience that expertly balances carefully curated ingredients with Mexican soul. While the octopus and seared bone marrow is the clear standout on this menu, we strongly recommend trying their tasting menu and paying that bit extra for the wine pairings - an intimate treat that sees tasters overlooking a private kitchen.
This is the type of place where you savour every mouthful, with dishes providing complex flavours that develop as you eat. By no means your everyday meal, KOL instead serves up layered, thoughtful and beautifully crafted meals that are perfect for a special occasion where you're seeking something more special. Welcoming and attentive staff cultivate a welcoming and entirely unpretentious ambience which makes this a memorable experience. Be warned, however - this is one restaurant that you'll need to book well in advance (particularly for tables of two), so we recommend looking sooner rather than later.
Location: Seymour Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 7BA
3) El Pastór
A small taqueria just outside of Borough Market, El Pastór offers much more than just tasty tacos. Honouring the spices and fragrant flavours of Mexico, each morning tortillas are made fresh at their own tortilleria in Bermondsey from non-GMO corn direct from their Mexican partners. A lively restaurant with delicious food to match, sometimes the simplest things are the best, and this can certainly be said of their fresh guacamole which makes for the perfect starter for any meal. On the drinks side, we strongly advise their avocado and passion fruit margarita which is sure to become your new favourite drink
It wouldn’t be right to leave without trying one of their tortillas, and for that reason we must implore you to try their short rib sharing plate - a 12-hour braised Angus short rib served with warm tortillas and the most divine pickled red onion salsa and spiced sugar. With desserts and cocktails that are on a par to their main menu, El Pastór is one place you will not leave hungry from.
Location: 7A Stoney St, London SE1 9AA and and several other venues as here.
Covid update: Corazón are hoping to re-open in June, however be sure to double check beforehand.
Corazón is a warm and welcoming Soho favourite, serving up fresh and food and zingy cocktails at fair prices. While there are tacos, tostadas and taquitos aplenty on offer, our personal favourites here include their deliciously citrusy crab cakes and slow roasted pork belly carnitas. All ingredients are of the best quality and this comes through in the flavour of their dishes.
Friendly service and tangy mezcal sours make this one of our favourite Mexican restaurants, with knowledgeable staff always happy to go the extra mile to ensure you're well looked after.
Location: 29 Poland St, London, W1F 8QR
While temper's offering has seen a slight shift since lockdown, their USP remains the same: excellent quality, in-house butchered meat and traditional corn tacos. With Mexican classics such as carnitas, mole and tortillas on offer, the menu also draws influence from Argentinian, Spanish and Korean dishes to produce flavourful food that hits the mark.
You’ll want to make sure you order a fair few of their small/medium plates to ensure you've had your fill and get to sample as many as possible. For those looking for an upgrade on their usual tacos, we suggest their cochinita pibil, a Yucatan dish of spiced braised pork that has sweet and earthy tones to it that balance one another. Pair with their lamb kimchi carnitas and roasted sea bass for a culinary treat. Though each temper branch’s menu varies somewhat, we recommend heading to their Soho arm for a buzzy, atmospheric meal.
Location: 25 Broadwick St, London, W1F 0DF and several other locations as here.
6) Breddos Tacos
Located in the heart of Clerkenwell, Breddos Tacos promises to satisfy your taco cravings. Taking influence from the many taquerias and restaurants its founders visited on their travels through Mexico and America, this atmospheric East London restaurant uses locally sourced meats to deliver satisfying Mexican inspired dishes.
Portion sizes make this the perfect place for sharing a selection of plates, with sticky tamarind chicken wings and fresh sashimi grade tuna tostadas making for ample starters. When it comes to mains, our personal favourites have to be their baja fish and birria de res tacos. Smoky habanero mayo and pico de gallo complement the tempura cod of their baja fish, while guajillo and ancho chillies infuse braised beef shin and short ribs with vibrant flavours. Pair with one of their well-loved cocktails, or perhaps some mezcal or tequila, and you’re in for a real treat.
Location: 82 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7DB
A cheerful Mexican restaurant in West London, Taquería balances traditional and modern Mexican street food. Dishes are created using only the best ingredients, whether organic prawns or locally sourced meats, and this quality truly comes through in the flavours.
Their panko crumb deep fried oysters are reason enough to visit, though their speciality is undoubtedly their tacos, of which we recommend getting the fish. For particularly indulgent days, we advise rounding off your meal with some warming, sweet churros which are served with cajeta (a type of dulce de leche). Charming and buzzy, Taquería is definitely one to have in your dinner planning arsenal - just be sure to book ahead.
Location: 141-145 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RS
8) Santo Remedio
A modern Mexican restaurant promising delicious food, this lively spot offers generously portioned plates designed for sharing. While you might initially be unconvinced of the grasshopper topped guac on offer, if you’re able to get past that you’re in for a good meal.
A casual restaurant near London Bridge, our top dishes here have to be their fresh tuna tostadas and crab tacos which promise to be spicy, citrusy and crispy all at once. A firm favourite on the menu, while the crab is not to be missed, their potato and avocado make for a tasty taco alternative for veggies. Spread across two floors, the bright interior at this spot makes for a pleasant setting, best enjoyed with one of their refreshing coconut margaritas in hand.
Location: 152 Tooley St, London SE1 2TU
9) Cravings La Carreta
Humble yet hearty, Cravings La Carreta is a warm, colourful Peckham spot serving up Mexican grub in the form of filling burritos and tempting totopos. Abundant portions at great value, Cravings La Carreta blends favourite recipes from Mexico and Venezuela in one menu, delivering authentic flavours that you'll remember long after your visit.
Quality comes through in their homemade sauces, fresh rice and meats that are combined with Mexican and South American spices to make for satisfying meals. Menu highlights are their generously packed burritos filled with all the extra trimmings and slow roasted pork carnitas tacos. For those going meatless, we highly recommend their delicious vegan tacos filled with crisped potatoes and cactus leaves. It can be tough to find a decent Mexican restaurant in London that won't stinge you on portions, however Craving La Carreta will certainly leave you feeling satiated.
Location: 3-5 Station Way, London SE15 4RX
10) Tacos Padre
As you might've gleaned from their name, during the day Tacos Padre specialise in flavourful tacos. Set in bustling Borough Market, this taqueria is home to a solid lunch menu of tacos ranging between £3-3.50, as well as smaller plates that include a mouth-watering grilled corn on the cob. You'll want to get about three of these considerably sized tacos to have your fill here, with our menu highlight being their tender pork cochinita tacos.
However, Taco Padre's evening offering is what you really want to try and get a spot for. With covered outdoor seating available, in the evening the restaurant offers a whole other menu. Only on offer Thursday - Saturday on summer evenings, some standout favourites from this selection include their crab tostadas and seared scallops. It's the quality of ingredients that really come through in the flavours here, which make it one of our favourite Mexican restaurants in London.
Location: The Borough Market Kitchen Padre, Winchester Walk, Jubilee Pl, London, SE1 9AG
Soho House's iconic West Hollywood Mexican eatery has made its way to London. Situated on the seventh floor of Shoreditch's Hoxton hotel (with a spacious outdoor covered terrace too), if you visit on a warm evening as the sun is setting, the rooftop views and plant-filled decor give the illusion that California and east London are closer in similarity than you might initially think.
With a dedicated guacamole cart, which the waiting staff make freshly in front of you, and crisp signature margaritas, Maya has the staple ingredients of a go-to Mexican restaurant but also serves sharing plate-style dishes unique to its Baja-Mexican origins like spicy tuna tostadas and plant-based mushroom quesadillas. Yum.
Location: The Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern St, Hackney, EC2A 3HU
This cantina, which opened in 2020 in south London's Balham area, is named after the year in which the Mexican revolution started. Celebrating Mexico through its name, cooking, drinks and decor, the restaurant also hosts events celebrating key dates in the country's calendar like Mexico Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo.
Our favourites on the food menu are the baja fish tacos, the tuna tartare tostadas and, of course, the burritos and enchiladas - where you can never go wrong. The restaurant regularly features guest chefs too meaning you can keep returning to 1910 and be met with new dishes.
As for drinks, 1910 has an expansive bar (and tequila selection) and its cocktails range from the classics (Tommy's Margarita and Paloma) to the Mexican twists like Mezcal Negronis.
Location: 3 Ramsden Road, Balham, SW12 8QY.
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