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London’s Top Five Mexican Restaurants With A Difference

Mexican food is often associated with casual dining. Street food stalls and chains like Wahaca have popularised the cuisine more recently, but it’s not often that you can find somewhere that does both enchiladas and evening-wear.

However, this has changed in the last few years, with stylish Mexican eateries cropping up all over Soho and some even spilling over into Mayfair. We have rounded up some of our favourites for you to taco look at. Sorry.

Stylish Mexican eateries have been cropping up all over Soho and some even spilling over into Mayfair.

El Pastor

6-7A Stoney Street, London Bridge, SE1

The look: Exposed brick walls and industrial fittings merge beautifully in this long space, where communal tables are the norm. The statement lighting adds to the contemporary feel, and the overall atmosphere is buzzing and colourful. 

The food: Corn tortillas are made daily in-house, with the tacos truly being their speciality. The restaurant is named after the Mexican classic, Al Pastór, which is also their signature dish – a 24-hour marinated pork shoulder, which comes with caramelised pineapple.

Don’t miss: The Short Rib. Its soft meat slides off the bone – add roasted bone marrow to really complete the experience.

 

Ella Canta

One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J

The look: The theme here is ‘magical realism’ and the decor delivers. Pink walls, fantastical wooden screens and succulents are the order of the day and combined with the mid-century modern furniture, the interiors almost feel like if Frida Kahlo decorated a funky seventies lounge.

The food: Chef Martha Ortiz, a Mexican native, is a proud proponent of her country’s traditional fare. Her love of fantasy and magic strongly influence not only the substance of the food but the style, with the menu divided into Overtures, Main Acts and Final Curtains. Seafood features heavily and there is no shortage of inventive vegetarian dishes, too.

Don’t miss: Try the traditional Michoacán style pork carnitas with Arbol Chile salsa, you won’t regret it.

 

Breddos Tacos

26 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B

The look: This is the most intimate venue on the list and one that has remained true to its roots. Breddos started life as a makeshift taco shack in a car park in Hackney and has gone through many iterations before finding its home in Clerkenwell and once again in Soho. The narrow space pairs wooden floors with colourful walls and tables for two - ideal for date night.

The food: As you can probably guess from the name, tacos reign supreme. The menu is slight but refined and split into the aforementioned tacos, which come in pairs, and larger dishes such as sea bass a la talla.

Don’t miss: Of the tacos, the Puebla style lamb shoulder Arabes salsa Blanco in a flour tortilla is a winner.

Corazon

29 Poland Street, Soho, W1F

The look: The red neon outside combined with the buzzing atmosphere inside leaves you in no doubt that you’re in Soho. The vibe in Corazon is clean and bright, with pale green cladding and pure white walls lit by dangling orbs.

The food: Mexico meets California on this menu, while everything is made with fresh British ingredients. The result is an exotic take on hearty English food with dishes like Baja Fish, beer battered haddock, red and white pickled cabbage and chipotle mayo - Mexico’s answer to a UK classic: fish and chips.

Don’t miss: Though the food is outstanding, we would recommend trying the pomegranate and hibiscus margarita. We warn you, it’s hard to have just one.

 

La Bodega Negra

16 Moor Street, Soho, W1D

The look: Of all the entries on this list, this is the one that makes you feel like you’ve just wandered in off the streets of Mexico City. The upstairs is misleading, full of neon signs advertising ‘adult’ shops, but as soon as you reach the basement you are met by moody lighting, flickering candles, artfully faded walls and, in one corner, a grand piano full of candles.  

The food: Don’t let the gimmick-y nature of the decor put you off, there is good Mexican food to be had here. The menu suits almost all dining intentions, from the small sharing street food plates to the enormous mains fresh off the grill.

Don’t miss: The crispy duck leg carnitas in tamarind, mango and chipotle sauce with corn tortillas. Trust us.

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