Transplants from across the pond can occasionally be heard bemoaning two particular things about food in London:
1. The dearth of good Mexican food in London
2. The dearth of good Mexican food after 11 p.m. in London (or, for that matter, the dearth of anything that is not a kebab or a hot dog after 11 p.m. in London, but that is a Londonist round-up for another day)
Why the lack of Mexican restaurants in such an international city? El Azteca , Cool Chile, and MexiGrocer provide access to the necessary ingredients. And quesadillas are showing up more and more as bar snacks. Rumor even has it that former Masterchef winner, Thomasina Miers, is set to open a new Mexican restaurant in Covent Garden this spring. So the seeds are there. In an effort to promote adoption, we've crammed as many of the known London Mexican establishments as possible into one easy reference guide. If we've missed any, do let us know. Gracias.
4 Berwick St
It doesn't get much better than this. Cheap, fast, summery, and centrally located. Berwick Street also offers some great people watching. We had the tacos, and we loved every bit. (They were a little heavy on the guacomole on the day we visited, but that's not a bad thing.)
125 Westbourne Park Road
Fun and lively, but beware the long waits on the weekends. Great margaritas. Slightly kitschy decor. Get there early and/or call ahead to see what they crowd is like. Enjoy the fantastic and generous homemade chips and salsa. And don't tell your friends.
Pitch 102, Leather Lane Market, EC1N
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays
Londonist recently profiled The Daddy himself, Joel Henderson. He and his team serve up some pretty great Mexican grub at attractive prices, from a location convenient to Farringdon tube. Stay tuned for the Daddy Donkey delivery service.
51 Bethnal Green Road
This place is not your typical Tex-Mex. (It's run by the same guys who run Hawksmoor and TimeOut Gastropub of The Year, The Marquess.) Green & Red specializes in regional cuisine from Jalisco, the home of tequila. It's a gourmet (and more expensive) alternative to the options mentioned previously, but the tequila list is truly outstanding. Convenient to Liverpool Street station.
168 Goswell Road
This very small storefront on Goswell Road, frequented by local City University students, does a decent burrito. If you live in the general Clerkenwell area, they'll even deliver! Check the Web site for details.
139-143 Westbourne Grove
Run by the folks over at Cool Chile—the same team that runs the chile stand in Borough Market—Taqueria makes the most of finely sourced ingredients. The cuisine is very traditionally focused. You won't find burritos as big as your head here, although you will find fine cocktails. Decor is very low-key.
Other Mexican restaurants in London..
Cafe Pacifico, Covent Garden
La Perla, Covent Garden
La Perla, Charlotte Street
Cafe El Paso, 350-354 Old Street, London EC1V 9NQ
El Panzon @ The Dogstar, Brixton
Mexifresh, Wimbledon home delivery
Mercado, Stoke Newington
High Chaparral, 35 Greenwich Church Street, London, SE10 9BJ
Other Web Sites that Address the Topic
MexiLondon @ Nickster.com
London's Lack of Mexican @ Phil Gyford