London’s best Mexican restaurants and cafes
While the craze for pairing two unexpected foods together and making a restaurant out of it continues (Lobster and Burger and Bubbledogs, anyone?), we’ve noticed another food trend sweeping The Big Smoke – Mexicana.
Yes, it’s the spicy sensation that’s sweeping the nation, and it seems we can’t turn a Soho corner without tripping over another Mexican tapas restaurant or someone lusting after a Wahaca treat. So, without further ado, here comes our wrap-up (sorry) of London’s hottest (double sorry) Latino joints.
London’s first Mexican bakery, Bethnal Green’s Los Pastelinos specialises in pan dulce (pastries usually eaten for breakfast) and conchas (sweet Mexican bread). Some of the specialities at this lovely bakery include Empanadas, sweet, light, buttery pastries filled with sweet, spicy pumpkin. Sip a strong coffee and enjoy it with a Mexican wedding cake, which unlike its name, is actually a little floury cookie made with butter, orange and almonds, for a sweet start to the day.
When someone says ‘Mexican’, gourmet cuisine may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but for something a little different, try Cantino Lareda on St Martins Lane. Although it will hit your wallet harder (mains are £15-£20), it’s an authentic dining experience rather than a stuff-your-facefeast. With a great cocktail menu and a variety of authentic Mexican beers, you’ll get a ‘proper’ restaurant experience rather than a sneer from a Sombrero. Lots of veggie options too! Head here for Latin cuisine that exceeds your mex-pectations.
This Battersea haunt gets the party started from the moment you arrive, with lively Salsa and Mambo tunes and incredible frozen Margarita cocktails. Highly recommended are the veggie Enchiladas and the Mexican Flautus – basically deep fried tortillas, stuffed with spicy shredded chicken and cheese with a mango chilli dip. Plus, look at the deals on the website for a bargain – kids eat free Monday to Thursday and there’s currently half-price vouchers for groups. Arrrrrrribba!
After moving over from a little store just west of Mexico City, where it attracted people from all over the city to try their Charcoal Tacos, Lupita set up in Embankment in 2010. Its reputation for really delicious, authentic and affordable food has spread quickly, and the extensive menu in this case is a selling point, with the only difficulty being what to pick! From Tacos to Tostadas and Tortillas to to Topos, they also have a great selection of hard-to-find beers and Mexican wines. They’re now branching out, with Lupita East launching in Spitalfields shortly – handy for future residents of East Village.
If you’re in the mood for a quick stop-off rather than a full meal, get yourself down to Leather Lane to queue for a warming Daddy Donkey dish. What better feeling on a cold day than to know one of the following spicy delights awaits your be-gloved hands: the ‘Three Amigos’ (three small tacos), a ‘Naked Burrito’ (tortilla replaced with salad) or a ‘Daddy D’ burrito, with its choice of six fillings? We’re hungry just thinking about it…in fact, we’re off right now to get a burrito. Toodles!