Tigre Tacos/Pasco Photography
Hattie Lloyd 11/01/21
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…
Mexa | Tottenham Court Road
The first permanent spot from the team behind the legendary Sonora Taquería is without a doubt a destination spot for tacos in London. You’ll find them in Arcade Food Hall, the high-end street food hall that houses equally big hitters like Plaza Khao Gaeng. Mexa uses a flour-based recipe for tortillas which, combined with a little lard, gives their bases a moreish, slightly chewy texture. Try the beef suadero, a classic Mexico City taco made with confit beef brisket and salsa rojo.
Details: 103-105 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DB
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.
Details: 129 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
Tigre Tacos | Clerkenwell
Despite the name, Tigre Tacos don’t serve meat. They’re an all-fish & veggie outfit that take their inspiration from the laid back beach vibes of ’70s Southern California, then pack it all into hyper-fresh and creative tacos. Currently you can track them down at Borough bar Nine Lives, their own bricks and mortar spot, and in residence at Clerkenwell pub The Gunmakers which, despite being 300 years old, manages to remain cutting-edge in its choice of kitchen residencies. Prepare for beer-battered Baja fish, butterflied prawns in citrussy aguachile, and a whole damn octopus served up with a heap of tostadas & trimmings, all in the pub’s gorgeous secret garden.
Nine Lives: 8 Holyrood Street, SE1 2EL
The Gunmakers: 13 Eyre Street Hill, EC1R 5ET
Tigre Tacos Stoke Newington: 92 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7NY
Santo Remedio | London Bridge & Shoreditch
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.
Santo Remedio: 152 Tooley Street, London Bridge, SE1 2TU
Santo Remedio Café: 55 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HP
El Pastor | London Bridge, Bermondsey, King’s Cross, Soho
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
Casa & Plaza Pastor: Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, N1C 4AB
El Pastor Soho: 66-70 Brewer St, W1F 9UP
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.
Details: 82 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DB
Taqueria | Clerkenwell
Tostadas, quesadillas, tacos…these guys have ’em all. Over from Notting Hill, where their first site has been flying high for over fifteen years, they’re bringing a proper taste of Mexico to the city, helped along by three varieties of chelada style beer and half a dozen margaritas – everything from a refreshing watermelon number to zingy chilli.
Details: 8 – 10 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, East London, EC1R 4QA
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.
Details: 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF
Tacos Padre | Borough
After years of cooking at the esteemed Pujol in Mexico City, Nicholas Fitzgerald has moved to London and opened his own boutique taqueria, Tacos Padre. They specialise in authentic Mexican tacos – beef short-rib with morito salsa and pulled pork with burnt habanero pickled onions for instance – which are well worth your time. They also do a small number of other Mexican small plates, as well as regular and frozen margaritas, all served up al fresco in the heart of Borough Market.
Details: The Borough Market Kitchen, Winchester Walk, Jubilee Place, SE1 9AG
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.
Details: 25 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DF
Club Mexicana | Soho
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.
Details: Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW
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.
Details: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
Last updated: 30th March 2022
Full up with the best tacos in London? Time to move on to one of London’s best tequila bars…
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