My favorite type of food is Mexican or Tex-Mex – I did grow up in Texas after all – but it is not easy to find outside of Texas or Mexico. I was very skeptical about finding good Mexican restaurants in London especially since they call plain tortilla chips nachos, but I was pleasantly surprised.
London is better known for its British food and curries, but is it possible to find a delicious Mexican meal?
You might be surprised to learn about some of the tasty Mexican food that you can find in London. Let me tell you more about the Mexican restaurants that I recommend.
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Mexican Food vs Tex-Mex
Traditional Mexican Food is different from Tex-Mex mainly because of the ingredients that are used, however, I know many people use the terms interchangeably (including me). I am including both cuisines in this list.
London Mexican Restaurants
The London restaurant scene has really come a long way in recent years. Mexican food is definitely growing in popularity in London, so I do recommend getting reservations in advance for these restaurants.
I should also mention all these restaurants have lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options. None of these restaurants’ food was too spicy, although I am sure you can request dishes spicier if you like. So if you happen to be in London and in the mood for some Mexican food, here are the places that I think have the best Mexican food in London:
Lupita London is a Mexico City style restaurant that has three locations in London – one is very close to my office in Covent Garden. You must order the guacamole which is made tableside, it ranks up there with any I have had in Texas.
They also have a wide selection of tacos which are all excellent. I can also highly recommend the chicken enchiladas, just like when my friend Jacki makes them. Lupitas Restaurant also has burritos, but I prefer the tacos or enchiladas.
The margaritas at Lupita restaurant are also excellent, especially the fruit ones. My favorite is the mango, but the passion fruit is pretty good too. I recommend ordering a pitcher of the best margaritas in London, these go down easy!
For dessert, the churros are excellent and come with either chocolate or caramel sauce. Our waiter was really nice and gave us both. The menu says that the churros will take 10 minutes, but it seemed like they came out faster than that.
Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant also has lunch specials during the week. It is a popular place so make a reservation if you have a party of 6 or more or try to go early.
Mestizo is a traditional Mexican restaurant with an excellent selection of tequilas, that is located close to the Euston Square tube station. They were really accommodating to us when we visited.
We got there for an early dinner on Saturday after our visit to the British Museum and they were having a plumbing issue so had to close the downstairs section. Even though we did not have a reservation they squeezed us in.
The food was excellent. For our main course, we had what they call the perfect sharing dish – Molcajete ‘Mestizo.’ It is served in a large volcanic stone bowl and you get to choose which meats and sauce you like. We had a combination of chicken and beef with a tomatillo sauce. The dish also had chorizo, which was really good.
One of the restaurant’s other specialties is their mole sauce. I think next time I go, I will try the Enchiladas de Mole. There is also a location in Madrid.
Wahaca is a trendy Mexican restaurant that was founded by Thomasina (Tommi) Miers, who won the British MasterChef competition in 2005. The menu is filled with interesting twists on Mexican favorites. Many of the dishes in the street food part of the menu are tapas-sized so I would encourage you to order a bunch and share.
The guacamole, while not made tableside, is an excellent choice to start with. I was very excited to see that they have a taco featuring one of my favorites food – plantains – but all the tacos we tried were excellent.
Their cocktail list is also very innovative. My favorite was the hibiscus margarita. They also have one of Katherine’s favorite drinks, a michelada (which she recently enjoyed in Costa Rica).
Wahaca has locations throughout England. I visited the location in Covent Garden. At the Oxford Circus location, you can also get a Mexican breakfast.
If you want to make some of Thomasina Miers food at home, she has written some cookbooks (check them out here). They also now have a line of products (taco kits, hot sauce) available at grocery stores in the UK or on Amazon. I am a big fan of the chipotle chile sauce because it has a rich smoky and spicy flavor to it.
The founders of El Pastor spent a decade running the cult nightclub, El Colmillo, in Mexico City before opening several restaurants in London. They make their tortillas in house using heritage Mexican corn.
We went to the location in Soho, which also has a basement bar called Mezcaleria El Colmillo. In the restaurant, they focus on tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, but also have a innovative cocktail menu featuring mezcal and tequila.
Our meal started with some guacamole. While it’s not made tableside, it was tasty. The chips that can with it were thick and crisp which meant you could pile it on.
For our main course we shared the short rib. It came out on the bone and then the staff shredded it for us at our table, which was a nice touch. It literally fell off the bone and was quite flavorful.
It came with as many corn tortillas as we wanted and toppings for tacos. The salsa has a bit of pineapple and the sweetness went well with the meat. There was also a sugar mixture which also added a nice flavor although I couldn’t quite place what spices were used.
We also had a few cocktails with our meal. I tried the avocado and passionfruit margarita as well as the spiced mango margarita and enjoyed both. Russell liked the Diablo Rojo cocktail so much he had two.
El Pastor takes limited reservations, so that they do have some space for walk-ins.
UPDATE: Unfortunately Cantina Laredo has permanently closed.
Cantina Laredo is a modern Mexican restaurant located in the heart of the theatre district with a nice outdoor patio and bar area. We went with a large group and everyone enjoyed the dish they ordered.
For starters, their guacamole is made table side and they also have chile con queso. For my main course, I had tacos, but they have a good selection of traditional favorites.
Their signature drink is the Casa Rita and it was excellent. I also tried the avocado margarita, which was good, but I preferred the Casa Rita.
They also have a pre-theatre menu where you can get a set two or three course meal for a discount before 6:30. Be sure to join their mailing list, they send out great discounts.
Can you find good Mexican Food in London?
Yes, if you know where to go there are some excellent Mexican restaurants in London. It’s also becoming more popular, so new places will be opening all the time.
Have you tried any Tex Mex or Mexican food restaurants in London? I know there are some that are disappointing. If there is one that you think I should try, I would love to hear about it.
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Last Updated on November 11, 2021