The best Mexican restaurants to try in London

The best Mexican restaurants to try in London

What better excuse to indulge in delicious Mexican food than Cinco de Mayo? The Mexican celebration, which falls each year on (yes) the fifth of May, is a commemoration of Mexico's victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Whilst its nuanced history is perhaps lost on most, what lingers is the exuberant celebration of the nation's rich culture.

It makes it the perfect time to discover some of London's finest Mexican restaurants for joyous Mezcal-laced reverie. The capital has plenty to choose from – from cult local haunts to sleek, penthouse eateries.

Here is our pick of six of London's finest.

(courtesy Charlie McKay)
1) El Pastor, Soho/London Bridge/King's Cross

With outposts across London, El Pastor is something of a Mexican institution in the capital. Though differing in size and style, the taquerias are all united by great ingredients, menus full of classic fare, and a guaranteed buzzy atmosphere. This year, the Soho haunt, with its brilliant basement bar Mezcaleria Colmillo (named after the nightclub that El Pastor’s founders, Sam and Crispin, ran in the '90s and '00s in Mexico City) will be hosting a Cinco de Mayo party. With a DJ set from Seb Chew, a short menu of El Pastor’s heirloom Mexican corn tacos, tostadas, totoposand guacamole, and some celebratory cocktails including an ‘Oaxaca Old-Fashioned’ made with Herradura Reposado and chocolate and mole bitters, this is the best spot in town for a real fiesta.

El Pastor, across London

(courtesy El Pastor)
2) Kol, Marylebone

If you prefer a more luxurious feel to your Mexican dining experience, look no further than Kol. The Marylebone restaurant is achingly chic, and has a truly innovative, yet authentic menu. Inspired by chef Patron Santiago Lastra’s Mexican heritage and his widespread global travel, the food here is a mouthwatering hybrid of cultural influences, grounded in the spirit of Mexican cuisine. The venue also boasts a gorgeous mezcaleria with a groaning list of superb cocktails, tequilas and mezcals, to accompany a roster of delicious food, which includes langoustine tacos and Masa dumplings.

Kol, 9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA

(Brian Dandridge)
3) Decimo, Kings Cross

Ever since its arrival on the London scene in 2019, Decimo (nestled in the upper enclaves of The Standard Hotel) has been a heavy hitter. Blending critically acclaimed Mexican food with a heady vibe, this is an ideal venue for that rare mix of great dining and a killer night out. To mark Cinco de Mayo, it is therefore hardly a surprise that Decimo is hosting a very special dinner with guest chef Fernando Hernández from Moyuelo in Puebla. The five-course menu will pair traditional Pueblan dishes with Spanish flavours, Casamigos Tequila cocktails and live salsa music until the early hours of the morning.

Decimo, The Standard Hotel, 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG

(courtesy Decimo)
4) Doña, Stoke Newington

An in-the-know, under-the-radar haunt, Doña is a female-owned live music venue, bar and restaurant. It is owned and run by two female friends with a passion for high-quality mezcal and great Mexican food. The cocktails are punchy and fun and the taco menu is genuinely excellent – almost as good as the friendly, playful feeling of Doña – going some way to explain why this is such a cult favourite in the capital.

Doña, 92 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7NY

(courtesy Pasco photography)
5) Los Mochis, Notting Hill

The slogan "where Tokyo meets Tulum" may not immediately inspire confidence, but it should. Los Mochis, a small but mighty eatery and bar in Notting Hill, serves a divine blend of Japanese and Mexican dishes; its sushi as delectable as its soft-shell crab taco . Naturally, the restaurant is celebrating Cinco de Mayo all week, from 2-8 May, with traditional Mexican cakes, frozen palomas and live performances from a mariachi band.

Los Mochis, 2-4 Farmer St, London W8 7SN

(Adam Lynk)
6) Temper, Soho/Shoreditch/City/Covent Garden

At Temper venues across the city, the meats are as smoky as the margaritas. The original Soho venue is designed around a giant fire pit, where those who snag a bar seat can watch their aged beef nachos and smoked miso salmon tacos be constructed. From the brisket to the mezcal prawns, the Mexican food here is imaginative and lovingly forged by some of the best chefs in London. It is little wonder that it has spawned three offshoots across the capital.

Temper, across London

(courtesy Temper)

The hottest spots in town to celebrate Cinco de Mayo