Mexican Restaurants in London

As promised, I’m back this week with part two of my Mexican food mission. This week I’m giving you our thoughts of the Mexican sit-down places Andy and I have sampled since arriving in London. It’s raining (again) and I’m hungry so the timing seems perfect.

Below, I share with you a list of the places we have tried for a sit-down Mexican meal and our thoughts on the food, drinks, service and price.

Desperados

Desperados was probably one of the first meals Andy and I had here in London. Desperados, apparently, has two locations – one in London and the other south east of the city. This review is for the London location.

Food: The menu at Desperados is a bit of a mix. That is to say, it’s not true Mexican cuisine. It’s not even Tex-Mex cuisine. It appears to be a bit of everything. It offers nachos and fajitas, but it also offers things like garlic bread, meatballs and burgers. We’ve only ever had the guacamole starter (which is served with tortilla chips), and have sampled the enchiladas, chimichangas and fajitas as mains. While the portion sizes are good, the food is just average.

Drinks: It offers a variety of beers, cocktails and margaritas.

Price: Reasonably priced. A plate of fajitas can set you back £11 while the tacos platter goes for £9-£11. The drinks are also reasonably priced.

Service: Service at Desperados is ok. During our first visit there, we experience good service which is what made us return – despite the mediocre food. The few times after that have been on busy nights so the level of service wasn’t the same. The staff did forget our drink orders a few times but managed to bring our food in good time.

Overall: I can understand why Desperados is consistently busy on the weekends. While the food at Desperados isn’t great, it is reasonably priced and the drinks are pretty good. If you do happen to visit, be sure to go to the toilets for some great artwork!

Casa Negra

This place came recommended to us by some website or another which claimed it to offer some of the best Mexican food in London. Located in Shoreditch, it claims to serve “traditional food, awesome tequilas and lots of fun.” Too bad it didn’t live up to its claim. Here’s why.

Food: While it might be traditional Mexican food, it’s not good Mexican food. I sampled a few of the tacos along with the rice and beans while Andy had one of the mains. We both agree that the food lacked flavor and was a real let down.

Drinks: Being a tequila bar, it offers a wide selection of tequila cocktails. It also offers beer, wine and non-tequila cocktails.

Price: While most of the food on the menu is reasonably priced, Casa Negra charges between £2.50-£3.50 for one taco. One teeny, tiny taco.

Service: Good and attentive service – no complaints.

Overall: Unfortunately for us, Casa Negra was a bust. The food was just not good and we couldn’t get over how expensive the small tacos were.

Wahaca

Wahaca, the proper way to pronounce the word Oaxaca – a type of cheese and a region in Mexico, claims its fame by offering Mexican Market Eating. Currently, it has about 15 locations, two food trucks and three bars.

Food: Wahaca’s menu is split up into Nibbles (starters), Street Food and Platos Fuertes (bigger plates). It offers things like guacamole, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas and grilled meats. Its menu also explains the difference between the Street Food and Platos Fuertes and provides some guidance to make sure you leave full.

Drinks: It offers beer, wine, margaritas and other cocktails. The margaritas are consistently good although often come with too much ice.

Price: Very reasonably priced! The most expensive “big plate” costs around £10.25. The margaritas are a bit steep – hence my point about too much ice.

Service: Unfortunately, the service here is usually bad. Both times I’ve been here, I’ve been forced to wait forever to get my drink (although I can see my drink ready and sitting by the bar) and have had a hard time getting the waiter’s attention. This place is also usually busy so you can expect to wait for everything.

Overall: Andy and I have differing opinions on Wahaca. He doesn’t like and never wants to go back. I, on the other hand, am willing to overlook the bad service and expensive drinks because I really do enjoy the (cheap) food.

Mestizo

Mestizo came recommended in a newsletter published by Andy’s company. It topped the newsletter’s list for best Mexican in London and we knew we had to try it. Located in Euston, Mestizo has a second location in Madrid.

Food: It offers traditional Mexican foods, like tacos, enchiladas, and chicken and pork dishes. The tacos were tasty and the mole sauce was some of the best mole sauce I’ve ever had.

Drinks: As expected from a tequila bar, Mestizo shakes up some good drinks. It offers margaritas, beer, wine, tequila cocktails and mezcal cocktails. We each had margaritas and really enjoyed them.

Price: Reasonable. Most main courses are under £20. The tacos range between 6-8 quid but come two to an order. The drinks are pricey with margaritas ranging from £8-£11.50.

Service: Mestizo offers an interesting system and one I have yet to see anywhere else in London. Waiters are not assigned tables and, instead, you get a marker placed at your table. Set it to green when you are ready to order and any of the waiters come by to take your order. We did have an issue with one of the waiters who forgot both my drink and the chorizo in the starter therefore I’m not sure how effective this system really is and wonder whether the traditional system of assigning table to waiters might work better.

Overall: Mestizo probably offered the best sit-down Mexican food experience we’ve had since arriving in London. Although we would recommend it, we’d also suggest that unless you are not a big drinker, given the price of the drinks you save it for a special date night (or for when your bonus check come in 🙂 ).

As for us, I think our Mexican food mission is now complete and hope you’ve found some great options for whenever you find yourself craving Mexican in London. Have you tried any of the restaurants mentioned above? Share your thoughts on them in the comments section below!

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