True fact: there’s nothing in life that can’t be solved with a big bowl of chips and guacamole. Since taco-mania hit London, it’s showed no signs of letting up: find street food-style Mexican dishes with nothing but a napkin and paper plate for company, or Latin American recipes served with a fine dining twist at some of the best restaurants in London. One thing’s for sure: Mexican dining is here to stay, and it doesn’t get much better than at these joints…
1. Café Pacifico Book Café Pacifico
Topping our Mexican restaurant in London poll is Covent Garden veteran, Café Pacifico. Having opened back in 1982, this lively joint is known for its rip-roaring tequila bar, and hearty, homely Mexican fare. There’s a slight Tex-Mex twist to the menu too: expect banana leaf-baked sea bass, sizzling beef fajitas and smoky chicken quesadillas, and the downtown-Mexico-City vibe is authentic as you’re likely to find in the capital.
2. Cantina Laredo Book Cantina Laredo
Found within the quaint confines of St Martin’s Courtyard, Cantina Laredo brings raw passion to its modern Mexican recipes, sourcing fresh ingredients from 20 trusted suppliers. Perfected over time, signature favourites include the now-legendary guacamole (which is freshly mashed at the table), margaritas made with 100% agave tequila, and juicy citrus tiger prawns.
3. Santo Remedio Book Santo Remedio
A burst of colour restaurant & tequila bar, Santo Remedio is a cute little hideaway just a stone’s throw from London Bridge. Ingredients are sourced direct from Mexico as well as from the bountiful local suppliers of South East London, and there is an impressive selection of requilas and mezcals behind the bar. Classic signature dishes include tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas, many of which are served with a creative Santo Remedio twist.
4. Leicester Square Kitchen Book Leicester Square Kitchen
Presenting a sharing-style mashup of Mexican and Peruvian flavours, Leicester Square Kitchen is a chic and exotic setting offering respite from the hubbub of its world-famous namesake area. Instagram-worthy dishes and zingy cocktails are name stays here: think soft tacos, super-fresh ceviches, and margaritas.
5. Las Iguanas Book Las Iguanas
Paying homage to South America’s most famous dishes an weaving them with exciting fusion flourishes, Las Iguanas is a firm family favourite. Signature dishes include adventurously topped taco planks, burritos, fajitas and enchiladas, or ‘Aztec’ chocolate fudge cake for dessert. Cocktails and coolers are served at the bar, and as well as an extensive vegetarian and gluten-free range, there are mini versions of dishes made specially for children.
6. Ella Canta Book Ella Canta
Set inside the InterContinental London Park Lane, Ella Canta is a celebration of bold Mexican cuisine and freshly-stirred cocktails. Visually stunning signature dishes include guacamole served with ricotta cheese, pomegranate and a golden grasshopper, black bean soup with foie gras and mezcal and sea bass and cabbage tortillas.
7. Chiquito Book Chiquito Leicester Square
A consistent crowd-pleaser due to its mammoth menu, family-friendly Chiquito Leicester Square presents an eclectic mix of recipes from across both American continents. Juicy steaks, BBQ favourites and wholesome salads are served alongside crispy tacos with corn on the cob, Acapulco chicken fajitas and a hand-shaken mix of margaritas, mojitos and daiquiris.
8. La Bodega Negra
Concealed behind a flashing Soho façade, La Bodega Negra is probably London’s only Mexican restaurant within an ‘adults-only’ establishment. This intimate, distressed-decored lair serves up trios of tacos, freshly-rolled burritos and refreshing ensaladas, and celebrities are often known to frequent this secret restaurant in London.
Having started out life as a Portobello Road stall, Taqueria’s permanent dwelling in Westbourne Grove is famed for one thing in particular: its tacos. Fillings span from plantain and ‘roadside’ chicken, to cider batter-fried cod and slow-cooked pork. The simple, rustic dining room features bare brickwork, exposed lightbulbs and an Art Deco-style bar (which happens to mix a mean margarita, and pour a variety of 100% blue agave tequilas).