Mexican food has become immensely popular in London over the past few years.
And tacos, for the most part, can take the wrap.
Because not only are they cheap and delicious, but wildly varied to boot – which is why we’ve deliciously researched and scientifically evaluated the best tacos in London, which evoke nothing less than complete, plate-licking satisfaction. And you can find them at…
Del 74 | Dalston
Run by two chef buddies, Enrique Vivas and Jorge Felizardo (formerly of Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado), Del 74 is a raucous bolthole filled with genuine spirit and delicious tacos. The music is loud, the decor extravagantly kitsch, and those tacos come loaded with house-made salsas, slow-cooked meats and sumptuous chunks of sweet potato for the veggies. READ MORE
Details: 129 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB | Open Mon-Tue 5-11pm, Wed-Thur 12-2.30pm, 5-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12-11pm
Santo Remedio | London Bridge
Santo Remedio translates as ‘holy remedy’. And their tacos will cure whatever ails you, thanks to toppings like soft shell crab, pork belly, or 8-hour braised beef – all delicious with a side of their signature guacamole. Which, we should probably forewarn you, comes topped with grasshopper. READ MORE
Details: 152 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU | Open Mon-Sat from noon
El Pastor | London Bridge, Bermondsey, King’s Cross
The hype around the Barrafina duo’s Mexican venture is entirely justified. The signature dish here is, of course, the taco al pastor (“shepherd style”), an import from the Lebanese who emigrated to Mexico in the 50s and 60s. Though inspired by lamb shawarma kebabs, it’s actually made with pork that’s been marinated for 24 hours in dried chillies, spices and orange juice, piled up on a house-made corn tortilla and crowned with chunks of zingy, fleshy pineapple. A-yes please.
El Pastor: 7a Stoney Street, SE1 9AA | Open Mon-Fri 12-3, 5-11pm, Sat 12-4pm, 6-11pm, Sun 12-4pm
Tortilleria El Pastor: 58 Stanworth Street, SE1 3NY | Open Thurs 5-10pm, Fri 12-3, 5-10pm, Sat 12-4, 6-10pm, Sun 12-4pm
Casa Pastor: Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, N1C 4AB | Open Mon-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-9.30pm
Breddos Taqueria | Clerkenwell
Former street food kings Breddos Tacos make all their taco bases in-house, following millennia-old techniques… but the flavours are anything but traditional. Expect hits of pepper-punched kung pao pork belly and shredded Brixham crab with just enough Mexican flourishes to remember what you’re eating. READ MORE
Details: 82 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DB | Open Mon-Fri 12-11pm, Sat 1-11pm, closed Sun
Taco Queen | Peckham
Taco Queen came about when owners Lucy Lightowlers and Ryan McCannd decided to pack-in their jobs in music and try chef-ing instead. Four years later and you’ll find them on Peckham’s Rye Lane serving the likes of battered avocado tacos and cheesy jackfruit nachos to queues around the block.
Details: 191 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4TP | Open Tues-Sat 12-3pm and 6-10pm; Sun 12-3pm
La Bodega Negra | Soho
Ah, La Bodega. A heady, incense-suffused basement grotto with a killer tequila list and some seriously strong date night game. The tacos here are petite but game-changingly good, and come with toppings like soft shell crab with chipotle crema, and tender lamb with a peppery, beery splash of ‘drunken salsa’. And yes, its frontage looks like a genuine Soho sex shop – but to tell you how to recognise it would somewhat spoil the fun. READ MORE
Details: 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF | Open Mon-Sat 5.30pm-1am, Sun 6pm-midnight
Homies On Donkeys | Walthamstow
Yielding, blue corn tortillas loaded with slow-cooked pork in chipotle salsa; roasted peppers with refried beans; and garlic prawns with pickled onions – made all the sweeter by their two for a fiver deal.
Details: Unit 38 Wood Street Indoor Market, 98 Wood Street, E17 3HX | Open Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm
Corazon | Soho
This retro-looking Soho spot has ten signature tacos on the menu, from homemade herby chorizo with confit onions, and 12 hour slow roasted lamb rib with a spicy Pasilla rub – but the big deal is the weekend brunch, where you can get breakfast tacos like the Huevos Benedict, which comes with ham hock hash, eggs, caramelised onions and green chilli hollandaise. READ MORE
Details: 29 Poland Street, W1F 8QR | Open Mon 12-2.30pm, 5.30-9.30pm, Tues-Thurs 12-3.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-4pm
Temper | Soho
When you find Temper, prepare to lose it over their tacos. Because these bad boys are as far from traditional as you can get, but are, nonetheless, excellent. Served as precursors to the hefty portions of barbecued meaty mains, these tacos set the tone with toppings like bone marrow, soy-cured beef, black vinegar mushrooms and even aged cheeseburger. READ MORE
Details: 25 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DF | Open Mon 4-10.30pm, Tues-Weds 12-10.30pm, Thurs-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-9pm
Club Mexicana | Hackney
Welcome to Club Mexicana, where the tacos are (animal product) free. Their vegan takes on tacos and burritos replace baja fish with battered tofu, and pulled pork with fleshy barbecued jackfruit, to create some of the most filling of fillings. Find them at London’s first all-vegan pub, The Spread Eagle.
Details: The Spread Eagle, 224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS | Open Mon-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri 4pm-2am, Sat 12pm-2am, Sun 12-10.30pm
DF / Mexico
Tucked into the Old Truman Brewery, this eponymous eatery comes from chef Thomasina Miers (who launched Wahaca) and promises a crash course in modern Mexican food via NYC. Tacos arrive in ingenious metal holsters, laden with buttermilk fried chicken with avocado mojo, marinated steak with grilled cheese, and oven-roasted mushrooms with ancho chilli and feta. READ MORE
Details: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL | Open Mon-Wed 12-10.30pm, Thurs-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-10pm
Lemlem Kitchen | London Fields
Eritrean street food traders Lemlem Kitchen have created a little heap of genius: the Afro-taco. Instead of using maize dough like traditional tacos, they cook up gluten-free injera, a spongy, crumpet-like pancake that’s used to serve several typical Eritrean dishes. Here they play host to flavoursome toppings like beef shin braised in coffee and black cardamom, and garlicky, gingery stewed red lentils.
Details: Netil Market, 23 Westgate Street, E8 3RL | Saturdays and selected Sundays 12-5pm
Last updated: 29th of January 2020 | Main image: Del 74
Full up with the best tacos in London? Time to move on to one of London’s best tequila bars…