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Mexican Food in London

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I moved here about a month ago from L.A, and I have been absolutely fine until now...
and now I'm desperatly craving mexican food, is there anywhere in London that I could get semi- decent mexican?

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  1. I've found absolutely nothing and had absolutely nothing recommended to me. You can find good Colombian and Brazilian fare but that's about it. Sooo... I started making my own! I had never done it before, but I managed to make tamales, pupusas (El Salvdaoran), my own large tortillas and then huaraches and quesadillas all on a series of whims over a period of two week.

    1. I've seen this name before, plus I've actually eaten at the place so feel it's a worthy recommendation - at least from having had one meal. The Texas Embassy is just that... large place, big bar.. a bit noisy but fun. I had ribs so really can't comment on the 'Mexican' side of things. I think it's worth a try if you are Mexican-deprived. It's right off Trafalgar Square. Somehow it didn't make me feel homesick because I'm from the East Coast. :-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        I can second the Texas Embassy suggestion. I'm a Londoner born and raised but my dad is Californian, and Mexican food has always been my favourite. The Texas Embassy Cantina is fine for tex mex, it's nothing particularly special, but I've never had something there that I thought was bad. It's pretty loud, gaudy and soulless, but fun too. It was a favourite of mine growing up. There is another place on Leicester Square that is large, commercial and not bad, called (I think this is right) 'Chiquitos'. Unfortunately, because it's really not part of our culture over here, you're unlikely to find the real deal very easily; there aren't very many Mexicans in London, and there are few independent establishments in town. One plus point is that nowadays you can buy most of the ingredients that you would need to make your own in supermarkets. This was not always so; in fact, my family used to run quite the bootleg trade in hauling tortillas across the Atlantic, so it could be worse!

        1. re: aguelff

          I can't remember where I said it, but my idea, too, was that it's so easy to make one's own tacos or fajitas. When I moved to England about 4 years ago, I was amazed to find all that El Paso stuff in the supermarkets. I do wish there was a decent salsa (I used to like Paul Newman's a lot), and I don't cook Tex-Mex but it's very easy. What I do miss a bit is real Mexican food - it's really delicious and gourmet-ish but I'll have to go elsewhere to find that again.

          1. re: aguelff

            Avoid the Texas Embassy Cantina like the plague. I wouldn't eat here again if someone paid me to go.

            Saying that, I am using the term "eat" loosely, as we were never given a meal after waiting nearly 3 hours, only to be told by our very inexperienced and extremely unhelpful waitress that the kitchen was closed. Our group was furious and demanded to speak to the manager who was equally inept at his job. How a riot wasn't started due to the amount of distressed (and rightly so) customers is beyond me. The only consolation we were given was a free beer for our troubles. Never mind the fact that we ended up having to go to McDonald's afterwards as it was the only establishment nearby that was still serving food!

            Absolutely shocking. I will be telling all of my friends to steer clear of the place and to visit Crazy Homies in Nottinghill if they are looking for good Mexican in London. At least if you have to wait a long time for your food there you can sip on their potent, tasty margaritas. -

        2. Mestizo on Hampstead Road surprised me: it was started up by a group of Mexicans, and thus offers something much more faithful to real Mexican food than the international-standard Tex-Mex one would expect. I recommend it for a proper meal. If you're looking for a quick fix, they also have a downstairs bar dishing out burritos and tacos (haven't tried these yet) from 12-4 weekdays, and £1 tacos from 6:00 on Thursdays.

          1. I just came back from London and happened to go to Leather Lane Market (Holborn) early one day. I discovered "Daddy Donkey", a big white trailer serving Mexican food, mostly burritos. While I didn't order, I warn you the prices may shock you; burritos cost over five pounds each.

            1. I have no personal experience but have read a number of blog entries on this. Take a look here:

              Dos Hermanos--
              http://majbros.blogspot.com/search?q=...

              and here
              Londonelicious--
              http://kristainlondon.typepad.com/din...

              There are a number of choices. How good they are, I don't know. Sacrifice yourself to some self-experimentation and report back to us!

              BB

              1 Reply
              1. re: bombaybeauty

                the much missed beach burrito in berwick st w1 has re-opened around 200 metres north of its old site as Mexicali.

                they do burritos, fajitas, etc at around £5 a shot. Not an expert on mexican food - but they taste pretty good to me!

              2. As a fellow Californian (and spouse to an Arizonan), I feel your pain. There's nothing even remotely close to what you'd find back home here in London. Just lots of awful Tex-Mex slop that passes off as Mexican. Heck, you can't even find decent tequilla here without searching pretty hard and paying a fortune for it. (By the way -- Vintage House in Soho has an excellent selection, but you'll be paying for it).

                There is a place in Brighton, where I used to live, that served Spanish and Mexican food (more emphasis on the Spanish). It's called El Mexicano and it's located in the North Laines. Might be worth a visit if you find yourself taking a day trip to the beach when the weather perks up again next year. They also have a proper tequilla selection (!), so definitely have a margarita if you visit.

                1. Green and Red in Bethnal Green! (http://www.greenred.co.uk/index.asp

                  )

                  It's not Tex-mex (that's in short supply, though Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden will do in a pinch), so no burritos, but it's very, very good. They have a great tequilla bar, and I think their guacamole is top-notch. We often go eat at the bar and have small appetizers (carnitas, guac, etc.). It helps that we live down the street, but it's easy enough to get to.

                  We're Californian ex-pats too, so I feel your pain...I've actually brought our favorite burritos back from San Francisco on the plane once or twice.

                  1. Perennial problem... reasonable run down of the situation on:
                    http://www.nickster.com/mexilondon/

                    El Panzon in Brixton is pretty decent, probably as good as it gets in London (and has a stall in Camden some weekday lunchtimes). But a trek otherwise, and not really a patch on good stuff Stateside. And I haven't tried the other market stalls in Exmouth Market, Leather Lane, etc. Wasn't impressed by the new place on Upper St. Beach Burrito was passable, must try Mexicali soon. Mestizo seems to be liked by Mexicans, more regional dishes. Taquiera is run by the Cool Chile company, which is a good source of ingredients (albeit pricey).

                    1. I liked Wahaca, in Covent Garden - it's had a fair bit of reviewer attention so far, and it's definitely some of the better/more authentic Mexican I've had in London. Green and Red did great food, but had absolutely appalling service - slow, forgetful and indifferent, so I won't be back there in a hurry. La Perla on Charlotte Street is ok, and I really like Daddy Donkey - only takeaway but worth a look! Still yet to try Mestizo and El Panzon but I've heard good things about both of them. I wouldn't go to Chiquitos or the Texas Embassy if my life depended on it - this is the kind of food that gives Mexican a bad name - greasy, generic, rubbish and overpriced!

                      1. is Nachos still open on Fulham Road, not too far from the ABC cinema?

                        1. the best place i've been to thus far is the one in stoke newington whose name escapes me at the moment. BombayB gave you the link to my blog--check it out.

                          i also like crazy homies in westbourne grove. decent burritos and great chips and salsa and guac. they make the chips on premises. don't just show up though. try to get a booking if you can.

                          1. A few days ago I walked past Taqueria, in Westbourne Grove. Looking at the menu, it looked virtually identical to what one finds in a Mexican restaurant, and a taqueria in particular, IN MEXICO (read no Tex Mex/burritos/etc.) We took a look at what the diners were having, and it looked pretty legit.

                            We'll try it soon and report. But if you like (real) Mexican food, it might be worth a try. Probably best avoided if you equate Mexican food with a burrito. (Don't get me wrong, I love burritos).

                            PS: Portions seemed on the small side (as in a taqueria in Mexico), but prices seemed steep (unlike in a taqueria in Mexico, but very much as in most of, and especially in this part of, London).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: D Hound

                              Whatever you do, don't go to the Texas Embassy Cantina. In fact, avoid this place like the plague! I wouldn't eat here again if someone paid me to go.

                              Saying that, I am using the term "eat" loosely, as we were never given a meal after waiting nearly 3 hours, only to be told by our very inexperienced and extremely unhelpful waitress that the kitchen was closed. Our group was furious and demanded to speak to the manager who was equally inept at his job. How a riot wasn't started due to the amount of distressed (and rightly so) customers is beyond me. The only consolation we were given was a free beer for our troubles. Never mind the fact that we ended up having to go to McDonald's afterwards as it was the only establishment nearby that was still serving food!

                              Absolutely shocking. I will be telling all of my friends to steer clear of the place and to visit Crazy Homies in Nottinghill if they are looking for good Mexican in London. At least if you have to wait a long time for your food there you can sip on their potent, tasty margaritas. -

                              1. re: MinnesotaGirl

                                Tacuba - Mexican street food and cocktail bar.
                                10 Bedford Hill, Balham
                                SW12 9RG.

                                Good cocktails and a range of Mexican tidbits. I like it here and it's different to the stuff you'll find in your typical London Mexican.