Jun 11 2005

Mexican food in London, or the lack thereof

by in United Kingdom, Western Europe

I give up, the British are hopeless when it comes to Mexican food (or shall I say, Tex-Mex?).

After a long day of studying ethnic conflict, the stagnation of the Communist Party under Brezhnev, and other mind-numbingly boring topics, Crystal, Taline, and I headed off to a nearby pub for dinner. For an appetizer, Taline ordered the “Mexican platter” which apparently consisted of nachos.
This is what the waitress brought us:


Our first reaction was “Oh no, that’s not ours. We ordered the Mexican platter” to which the waitress replied

“This IS the Mexican platter.”

Now you may be thinking, but Lindsay, where are the nachos? Why are there onion rings on that plate? And what are those things that look like reject chicken McNuggets?

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post about nachos, many British people do not understand that the vital ingredient of nachos is CHEESE. So where’s the cheese? Well, on this “Mexican platter” there was no cheese, therefore the pub needs to take a big fat black marker and cross “nachos” off the list of items included in the Mexican platter.

Secondly, the chips were Doritos…even worse, though, was the fact that they were COOL RANCH FLAVORED DORITOS. UGH! What self-respecting Mexican platter has cool ranch Doritos? That’s right, none…unless you are in Britain.

And look at those small bowls of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Are they serious? We could dip maybe four chips into that thing of guacamole before it was gone! And the guacamole, of course, is the pre-packaged stuff you can buy at Sainsbury’s or Tesco…not really deserving of the name guacamole.

About the onion rings…uhhh I really have no idea why there are onion rings on a Mexican platter. They weren’t on the menu. I can honestly say that I have NEVER been to a Mexican restaurant that served onion rings. However, this was not too surprising, as I had already noticed that Tesco included onion rings in their “Best of Mexico” section of their online grocery store. This “onion rings are Mexican food” business needs to stop…NOW.

As far as the things that look like McNuggets, they were breaded peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese, which is very authentic, considering ricotta came from…oh right, ITALY, not Mexico.

You’re probably thinking “Well, duh, Lindsay, you shouldn’t have expected there to be real Mexican food in a tacky British pub in the center of London. How about the Mexican restaurants in the UK?”

Right…Mexican restaurants. There are a few that I know of in the city. One is Chiquito’s in Leicester Square (a HUGE tourist area). I haven’t eaten there, but have had drinks there, and the atmosphere is so ridiculously funny. There is a girl that walks around wearing a bandoleer filled with shot glasses (instead of, uh, shotgun shells) and two holsters that carry big bottles of Jose Cuervo. When you order a shot, she makes an announcement and blows on a whistle or something. It’s really authentic, especially with that British accent she has…makes me feel like I’m back in SoCal.

One place I have eaten at is Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden. I’ve been there twice, and so far, have not been very impressed. It is a decent meal, and a nice change from British/dorm/take-away food, but is nowhere near authentic.

First off, you only get one complimentary small bowl of chips and salsa (and they act like this is a big deal…oooh, a free bowl of chips, thanks!). If this restaurant was located in California, it simply would not survive due to this issue. Unlimited baskets of warm chips and big bowls of salsa are CRITICAL for a Mexican restaurant, and Cafe Pacifico truly fails in this regard.

Second, the menu is kind of weird. “Lobster & Papaya Quesadillas with Mango Cream” freaks me out. Like, whoa, where did THAT come from? Also, they have “Mango, Jalapeno, and Brie Quesadillas.” Uhhh…brie? The, uh, FRENCH cheese that ALMOST KILLED ME?

There is also a whole section of the menu dedicated to “Modern Mexican” (whatever that is) and a ton of seafood dishes, which I don’t particularly like. I had the chimichanga the last time I was there, and while it was decent, it was sooooo small. I couldn’t believe it! It was maybe half the portion you would get at a restaurant in California. And the refried beans tasted like they were from a can (which they probably were).
Also, Cafe Pacifico is insanely overpriced for what you are getting (I know, I know…it’s in Covent Garden, and should therefore be expected). If you ever want to try the fajitas there, perhaps you should first drop by your local bank to take out a loan…you might need it once you see the bill.

Oh, the drinks there are good…especially the pina colada (VERY hard to find good pina coladas here) but at �4 per drink (aprox $7.25), you might want to have just one and then head down to the Three Tuns for �1.70 pints of Strongbow.

I came across this review of Cafe Pacifico that a British guy wrote. He mentioned that his wife is from LA, so he’s probably had some real Mexican food:

“They deserve to be sued by the Mexican embassy in London for the insult to Mexican cuisine. They make Taco Bell look like cordon bleu. Save yourself money and have a McDonalds, it will taste better and be spicier. If you value your taste buds eat elsewhere.”

Heh…gotta love the British.

So, basically, my experience with Mexican food in the UK had been rather disappointing. Right now I’m craving some greasy taquitos from Robertito’s in Oceanside (oh, you know what I’m talking about…the ones slathered in guacamole and sitting in refried beans and rice…sooo good, yet so unhealthy).

I wish I could import entire restaurants into this country. I’d take El Mirasol, Las Casuelas, El Gallito, and La Gran Fiesta from the Coachella Valley (R.I.P. Taco Shop), Old Town Cafe from San Diego, and Anita’s and Robertito’s from Oceanside. Then the British will be able to enjoy some REAL Mexican food.

I should probably mention that this problem is not confined to London, though. Washington DC’s Mexican food sucks, too. And don’t leave a comment saying that “Lauriol Plaza is good”, because it’s not (I don’t care what the Washington Post says), or “There’s a place in southeast you should try…” because I have, and it sucked. I did have some amazing fajitas in Moscow, though…go figure.

(If you have come across good Mexican food in London, though, let me know, because I would be willing to try it out…yes, I’m that desperate for some good Mexican food!)

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35 Responses to Mexican food in London, or the lack thereof

  1. From Emily:

    I promise not to praise the food at Lauriol or Las Placitas, but I WILL praise the obscene margaritas, free-flowing chips, and especially Eduardo, proprieter of the now defunct Las Plas on 8th SE and El Jefe de Cocaina.

    Posted on June 11, 2005 at 5:24 pm #
  2. From Lindsay:

    LoL, I totally forgot the name of the place in SE…Las Placitas! I remember the first time I went there was “Ladies Night Out” for the College Dems E-board…good times, good times.

    Posted on June 11, 2005 at 11:37 pm #
  3. From Gayle:

    You should try Cafe Sol on Clapham High St. Well worth the trek down to South London. The only decent Mexican in London! Beware though, it should not be confused with its sister restaurant in Greenwich, as although they are related the Greenwich one is definitely from the dodgy side of the family!

    Posted on June 15, 2005 at 10:21 am #
  4. From Cincysundevil:

    I howled with delight at this post! TY for hitting The Texas Embassy and warning me ahead of time. I love the onion rings and Cool Ranch Doritos. I’m convinced I should just move to the UK to start up a great Mexican restaurant; I think I could make a kililng.
    I was talking to a friend who lives in Windsor about the whole Mexican restaurant thing. She had lived in the States for a while. She was just laughing when I told her about this post. Especially the chips and salsa thing. I told her I couldn’t believe they didn’t give out free chips and salsa; she laughed and said that nothing is free in the UK.
    If I get to hit the UK this fall as I plan to, I’ll have to send over some stuff for some proper Mexican food (my infamous green chile, cheese, and chicken enchiladas) and give you a proper meal. Keep up the great posts!

    Posted on June 15, 2005 at 1:43 pm #
  5. From El Capitan:

    What about the Rock’n Baja Lobster Bar and Grill in Newport Beach? Even better, good old Lil’ Alberto’s still has THE best carne asada burritos.

    Posted on June 15, 2005 at 7:40 pm #
  6. From Ryan:

    I still contend that La Taqueria was good, bitch.

    Posted on June 16, 2005 at 7:18 pm #
  7. From Lindsay:

    Gayle, thanks, I’ll give Cafe Sol a try
    Cincy, you seriously need to open a REAL Mexican restaurant here…you’ll be a millionaire. I know that I would be there everyday…and my friends from CA, too…they miss real Mexican food just as much as I do.
    Capitan, Oceanside also has a Rock’n Baja Lobster…love that place…I miss the shrimp tacos!!!!!!!
    And Ryan, La Taqueria was so overrated!!!! (but still better than anything I’ve had in the UK, lol)

    Posted on June 16, 2005 at 11:24 pm #
  8. From Kelly:

    Found your blog totally random while googling for “Mexican” and London. I agree with everything you wrote spot on! I’m from Boston, not known for it’s equisite Mexican but what I wouldn’t kill for a decent frozen Margarita over here! Heck, at this point I’d be happy with some genuine tostitos, let alone some warm, freshly made chips with real salsa…
    A friend did take me to Cafe Sol after a fit of desperation and it was not bad, but if you come across better, please post!

    Posted on June 26, 2005 at 6:40 pm #
  9. From cindy-campbell.com:

    I’m still here

    I am convinced this is how we get old… time is flying by so fast, I am just going to wake up one day, be 50 years old and be like WHAT HAPPENED!? It seems like the weekend just ended, and it is already 1/2 way to the next.
    I have has somewhat of …

    Posted on June 28, 2005 at 4:44 pm #
  10. From Cion:

    very good, loved your ‘review’ of Cafe Pacifico even more because i used to work there and you certainly hit the nail on the head!
    can’t really go in to details but you are spot on with the tortilla chips. they were adamant that customers were only allowed one free bowl of each.
    not sure what kind of chimichanga’s you are used to if the ones they do are small, besides thats hardly mexican and also not that great a dish anyways.
    interested in many of the recommendations people are making, and having just come back from mexico i too am desperate for real mexican food

    Posted on June 28, 2005 at 5:00 pm #
  11. From Glenda:

    Maybe you came to London a while ago…? I am Mexican (100%, not Mexican-American, and not Californian!!!), and I have travelled around my country quite a bit.. I am so proud to announce that there IS an A U T H E N T I C Mexican restaurant in London.. its called MESTIZO… try it… mole, tortillas de maiz, nopales, agua de horchata.. you name it.. they got it. You can even buy cans of zanahoras en escabeche!

    Posted on September 7, 2005 at 5:30 pm #
  12. From Sara:

    I think this is hilarious, and so true. Its even hard to find decent Mexican on the East coast, so I held out no hope for London. But, at the Camden Town market there is a little Mexican vendor with not half bad food. It’s not anywhere near stuff from CA or Mexico, but it holds its own.

    Posted on July 13, 2006 at 5:03 pm #
  13. From Adam Pode:

    I would be very interest in your opinion
    Mexican Food in London Is a Joke? Think Again: Richard Vines
    By Richard Vines
    Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) — Good Mexican food is about as hard to find in the U.K. as a decent curry in the U.S. It’s there. You just have to know where to look and tourist areas are the wrong places.
    Try a random Mexican restaurant in London and you may face a jumble of sombreros, cactuses and mariachi bands before catching sight of a menu top-heavy on Tex-Mex specialties such as fajitas, nachos and chili con carne. Here are three eateries that serve authentic fare at prices that won’t break the banco.
    Pick of the bunch is Mestizo, near Euston station. The menu is long and the food authentic. There are a dozen starters, a dozen varieties of tacos and 20 mains. The salsas on each table come in mild (with avocado), hot, and scorching (with habanero).
    A couple of Mexican friends took me along and said the chef is from southern Oaxaca, where a lot of time and care goes into the preparation of food. The house specialty is Molcajete “Mestizo,” a stone bowl crammed with beef or chicken or a combination, with cheese, chorizo, spring onions, cilantro and avocado and a choice of salsa roja, tomatillo, mole or chipotle.
    It’s almost a meal in itself at 11.50 pounds ($21.75) a head for a combination bowl. (The vegetarian version is 8.80 pounds.) It’s steaming hot and a social event as you load contents onto tortillas and mix in your favorite salsa.
    My Mexican guests recommended the sopa de tortilla, a rich, fresh tomato soup with fried corn tortilla strips, sour cream and sliced avocado. They also enjoyed the mixiotes, lamb shank with chili, garlic, onion and oregano wrapped in banana leaves.
    Crepes and Caramel
    There are so many tempting dishes, it’s easy to over-order. Desserts include the flavorsome crepas de cajeta: crepes with caramel sauce, chopped walnuts and a dash of wine, served with vanilla ice cream. Margarita pitchers are 26 pounds for two pints.
    The ground-floor room, with large windows, has a high ceiling and a rhubarb-and-custard color scheme. An illuminated Aztec calendar decorates one wall. The real action is in the downstairs lounge. It’s packed on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Mexican nights, when fresh tacos are 1 pound and Corona beers 2 pounds.
    Mestizo is a meeting point for Mexicans and worth seeking out.
    Green & Red, on the edge of Shoreditch, offers home cooking from Jalisco, the central state that is home to tequila. It’s a cool place, with DJs in a basement bar that can be hired for private parties. The ground-floor dining room has a utilitarian look, with wooden walls, dim lighting and an absence of stuffed donkeys. The waitress and the chef are both from Mexico City.
    Watery Salsa
    Green & Red is good, though not great. The menu is too short – – five starters, six mains, four desserts — and the salsa served up as a snack is watery. The starters also lack bite.
    Ceviche of sea bass is bland and chewy. Salad of chayote (a kind of squash) with grapefruit won’t have you hopping on the plane to Guadalajara for more. Chile Relleno — a chili stuffed with aged ewe’s milk cheese, spring onion and herbs — is mild.
    Chargrilled shrimps with a roasted cherry tomato and habanero salsa (Camarones Puerto Vallarta) are better — meaty and fresh, while pan-fried chorizo with shallots and coriander (Chorizo Asado) finally adds oomph.
    Among the mains, slow-braised lamb shank cooked with beer cloves and ancho chilis (Birria) is rich and peppery. All dishes come with corn mini-tortillas (in a pot with a lid), refried beans, shredded cabbage salad and house salsas.
    My favorite main was carnitas, a Mexican classic of slow- roasted pork belly and ribs with pasilla chili and orange salt, served with an avocado sauce. This is a sensual treat.
    The salsas were all freshly made, and a rib-eye dish (carne asada) came with salsa de chipotle, one of Mexico’s best-known and hottest chilis. My Mexican guest, who appreciated this, along with a side dish of whole arbol chilis (chile de arbol) prepared the “toreado” way, scorched under the grill.
    Margaritas and More
    Desserts include watermelon dusted with crushed piquin chili and lime, an acquired taste that I picked up in seconds. There’s also creamy baked vanilla custard with cinnamon and orange zest (Jericalla) and churros con chocolate, a stick of sweet fried dough served with a thick spiced chocolate dip.
    Portions aren’t huge at this restaurant, owned by the same people as Hawksmoor steakhouse. If you tire of the food, there are plenty of good cocktails, such as a pineapple and sage margarita.
    Drinks are also a feature at Crazy Homies, a west London bar that is owned by Tom Conran — son of the restaurateur Terence Conran — whose venues include the Cow and Lucky Seven.
    The basement was the site of the original West Indian shebeen in London, which in its day was visited by Christine Keeler, Stephen Ward and other figures in a 1960s scandal that brought down the minister of war, John Profumo, according to the Crazy Homies Web site.
    Crazy Homies is a very cool bar, especially if you can get there around 6 p.m. and grab the table at the door. The cocktails are excellent and the platters diners can share are surprisingly good. If you don’t like it, I’ll eat my sombrero.
    The Bloomberg Questions
    How much? About 20-25 pounds a head, plus drinks.
    Sound levels? Lively.
    Special features? Basement lounges.
    Private rooms? Yes, for parties.
    Date places? Si.
    Will I go back? Yes, in this order: Mestizo, Crazy Homies,
    Green & Red.
    Green & Red, 51 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA. Tel. (44) (20) 7749-9670 or go to http://www.greenred.co.uk/ .
    Mestizo, 103 Hampstead Road, NW1 3EL. Tel. (44) (20) 7387-4064 or go to http://www.mestizomx.com/ .
    Crazy Homies, 125 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QL. Tel. (44) (20) 7727-6771 or go to http://www.crazyhomieslondon.co.uk/ .
    (Richard Vines is London food critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
    To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Vines in London at rvines@Bloomberg.net .
    Last Updated: September 1, 2006 00:45 EDT

    Posted on September 5, 2006 at 9:51 am #
  14. From tony:

    We decided to look for a venue for my birthday party . We decided to have it at TU CHICAS KHAYA 12-14 Leopold Road , wimbledon , london , sw19 7bd – a mexican restaurant with a touch of South African & ZIM .Our party of 34 decided to choosethe party menu @ £15/person which a glass of wine ( we were given 7 bottles of wine ) a choice of starter anda choice of main meal – an excellent value for many.
    All kept seperate tabs and paid seperately for all their fantastic cocktails/shooters , draft/bottle beers
    My birthday drink was something to remember FLAMING FERRARI
    We had a a very very good night and all of us enjoyed ourselves and we look forward to returning soon.

    Posted on October 11, 2006 at 8:31 am #
  15. From Lindsay:

    Adam, I’m no longer in London but would definitely like to try the places listed in the article if I ever move back. They sound much better than Cafe Pacifico, et al

    Posted on November 19, 2006 at 12:47 pm #
  16. From Simon:

    Lindsay – enjoyed your review of the dire london mexican food scene 🙂 now a year later things are changing. A new burrito bar has opened up in Islington called Mucho Mas. It has had a bunch of good reviews including a spot on market kitchen last week. I’ve never been to california but i’m reliably informed it is up to your standard – see this American ex pat forum thread: http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=37987.msg517472#msg517472 I am betting in a year these will be all over london

    Posted on November 1, 2007 at 7:05 pm #
  17. From Michelle:

    I am certainly greatful that I am not alone in my disdain for the Uk’s version of mexican food. I am new to the uk recently married to a brit
    and originally from Southern California with Nicaraguan parents. I love mexican and cuban food. I live in the west midlands and have tried to locate something similar to my experieces growing up in neighborhoods where there were mexican eateries and taco trucks within walking distance but have been unsucessful. I was very shocked at the chips and salsa quality and to be honest baffled at the menu options I have encountered at these “Mexican Restaurants” I have been to here. Chili beans in a Mexican Restaurant? Oh god and the mushy rice and canned beans. Ofcourse I was polite and only fumed to my husband..its not the poor cooks fault…he’s English! In my desparation now that I am pregnant as well and can’t stand to look at bangers and mash which I enjoyed before, I have begun a search for Mexican markets where I can get my own ingredients for Mexican homecooking which I have never done but am sure I can accomplish better then Chiquititos. I wish I would have known of Mestizos for my November Birthday because it sounds like its the bomb…London has to be a special trip for me. Does anyone know of any great little mexican joints in Birmingham, Worcester or even Bristol? What a about a Latin or Mexican market?

    Posted on December 28, 2007 at 4:50 pm #
  18. From Suzanne:

    Try Mexicali in Notting Hill. The resaurant was recommended to me recently and it was everything I hoped for. Run by an American it has a really cool vibe and the food was to die for. Margaritas made from any of the dozens of tequilas they stock helped the night along swimmingly. Apparently they also have cafes in Soho and Chelsea so I’m checking them out next.

    Posted on January 12, 2008 at 9:54 am #
  19. From Carrie Daniel:

    I just discovered a tequila bar in Chelsea that is ‘experimenting’ with a food menu – fabulous tacos! Check out the link for more info. I highly recommend it!

    Posted on May 2, 2008 at 4:53 am #
  20. From Kimberley Gorse-Macias:

    I found everything you say to be absolutely true! Im half mexican and half english but have grown more with that mexican culture :D. I live in the UK and i am not at all ashamed to say the the UK SUCKS when it comes to mexican food.. sorry let me rephrase.. REAL Mexican food! not any of that tex mex crap like shell tacos with shredded chees on top, but the real deal like: taquitos al pastor, sopes, tacos de pollo en salsa roja etc. i really could go on a never endin list!
    I have been to almost every mexican resturant there is in london and in the middlands! but nothing has yet to impress me or the ‘Don’ that is my proud, strong blooded mexican mother :P.
    i was slightly enlightened by the tacos at ‘ La Taqueria’ in notting hill, London. the atmosphere was decent with all the waiting staff either from mexico, spain or colombia. but its a nice to enter and just hear all the chatters of spanish speaking people :] and they even had a little tortilla press shop where you could buy fresh tortillas and other little what nots that would be needed in a mexican household.
    But i have to admit the one place you will ever! i mean EVER find tacos or mexican food and im talking REAL MEXICAN FOOD is the ‘Carnaval del pueblo’ its on this year on the 3rd August 2008 on burguess park south london. >>> http://www.carnavaldelpueblo.co.uk < all food is hand made by u guessed it MEXICANS! and you can watch how they prepare it! it is probably the best you will get in the UK!! and well worth it if you missing that homecook taste or just a good well prepared meal that you dont regret paying for. and the ambience will just take your breath away :D:D:D i recommend you come take a visit. but keep with your search for good mexican food and keeps us all posted 😀

    Posted on July 20, 2008 at 3:41 pm #
  21. From Juan:

    Trust a Gringo to moan about everything and anything. Whatever the food,from whatever country, will never be like it is in it’s native country. Ask an Indian if their traditional food they try in another country is the same as back home, the answer will be,no. It is the same with Mexican, Chinese and whatever world cuisene you would like to mention.I guess you will never find a Quarter Pounder like you will in The States.Funny question, do you have anything other than McDonalds and KFC in The States, and Restaurants making Gross Coffee? If anyone is looking for a really great place to buy stuff like Groceries(Proper Coffee), traditional mexican cookware and a lot more, try Casa Mexico in Winkley Street London, it is not far from Bethnel Green Station, you will find all you will ever need, and you will get a feel of Mexico(without the weather). They have another shop in Guadalajara, Mexico so everything is for real,(where the shop is in Guadalajara, there is a street market every Sunday, with Miles and Miles of stalls selling all kinds of traditional hand made goods, it’s a really great place, and a very proud historical city) and all Mexicans will know all the brands in the shop.(jajaja, Moaning Gringos are every where, what would we do without them).

    Posted on August 24, 2008 at 5:48 am #
  22. From gary olmstead:

    I owned a mexican resturant in bury st edmunds until i got ill and could nt chef anymore i was born and raised in Santa Barbara Ca and surfed up and down Mexican and californian coast during 50s until i left in 1992 I agree Mexican food in uk is mostly crap. I was on bbc for my cooking and being near American bases was hugely popular with them. We only gave one helping of chips and salsa at our res because of price of corn tortillas plus they are generally crap I made my own at first but got so busy had to buy ready made and they really were horrible Our menu had homemade tamales,chilli rellenos etc Health better hoping to start cooking again soon got 37 chilli plants tomatillos etc growing in my garden let you know when I start burning stuff again not always able to get to computer phone 0787 7576008 gary

    Posted on August 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm #
  23. From gary olmstead:

    Just to let you know if your in Santa Barbara try Lilys taqueria just 8 kinds of tacos on menu carnitas, carne asada,cheek,eyeball,and the rest of the pig 6or7 different salsas plus fresh cilantro,onions radish and limes 1 dollar 25 a taco

    Posted on August 26, 2008 at 9:57 am #
  24. From proslaviy:

    Hi, how I can send PM?

    Posted on September 16, 2008 at 12:13 pm #
  25. From Monkey Botherer:

    Interesting that you think Nachos are “Mexican”, They’re most definitely an American dish, as is the cheese. Try going to Mexico and eating the food, I’m not talking about the high end hotel or restaurant stuff, I mean the dirty little village in the middle of nowhere that lives off of turkey/chicken with beans and tortillas, that’s proper Mexican food, and most of it is frankly vile.

    Posted on August 26, 2009 at 9:46 am #
  26. From JD:

    Ha, ha! Your post has made me laugh with agreement and empathy. A friend and I tried desperately several years ago to find good mexican food in London to very little avail, coming to the same conclusions you have about the same restaurants. I have since returned almost ten years on hoping the ‘fresh food’ revolution in Britain would have opened their eyes to Mexican cuisine, but it seems only marginally so. I did find a decent sort of place on Goodge street that serves tacos, burritos, etc. in the style of Mo’s where you go down a line and indicate which wrapper you want, which filling, toppings, etc. It’s still not what we get in the US but it’s better than what’s been here before (and may possibly be more authentic but I’ve never been to Mexico.) Still wish I could find monterey jack in shops but will have to find a restaurant connection . . .

    Posted on September 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm #
  27. From Mike:

    Hi – I am English but lived in California for 10-years and just moved back here. You are right – its a shame and a real Mexican place could do so well. There is great find though – go to the Borough Market and you will find an actual Mexican guy selling actual corn tortillas… They are great. I lived in San Francisco which has amazing Mexican food (especially from roach coaches!) but I know Robertito’s well (lived in Oceanside) and love it…

    Posted on October 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm #
  28. From Terry:

    Boy can I relate. How can those English yayhoos claim it’s Mexican when they are completely clueless about what Mexican even IS!

    That’s laughable that they’d use Cool Doritos as their “nachos”. Unreal. And onion rings?!? Some restaurant owner is sure showing s/he’s not much of a world traveller — at least to the SW USA.

    Think I’ll go down to London and straighten them out Texas style. 😀

    Posted on March 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm #
  29. From DmrTns:

    I AM MEXICAN 100% just moved to London this year and have been to every mexican restaurant there is here. First of all let me tell ALL of you that mexican food is NOT a wrap with beans, rice and meat and sour cream…. WE DO NOT EAT THAT!!!! so californians, english, and everyone. stop saying that is true mexican…. burritos, nachos, hard shell tacos and all that crap is tex-mex. Wahaka is shit shit shit, the only good one that I can mention is Mestizo, the flavors are real except for the corn tortillas which are not fresh, the taste is the closest thing to Mexico but the portions are crap specially for the tacos platter… I have looked and looked for true and authentic mexican food everywhere and can tell you that the only way to have is actually making it yourself and do not go to tescos and by Old El Paso or any of the fajita mix??? salsa mix for enchiladas… WHAT?!?!?!?! that is not authentic at all!!! it is like if you where looking for a true fresh sashimi japanese restaurant and you got fish and chips… EXACTLY like that!!!

    Posted on September 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm #
  30. From Carmen Oblander:

    Thank you so much, this was very interesting. I was actually born in Spain ( not telling what year though!) but moved around various parts of europe and lastly settled in the UK when I was 6. I dont remember an awful lot of the few years I was in spain, but the delicious smell of spanish food always seems to ring a bell in me or something. It’s weird how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I actually found a internet site dedicated to spanish recipes, which gave me great delight and thought I ought to share with your readers. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my son to add your feed to my rss thing…

    Posted on December 2, 2010 at 7:15 am #
  31. From adriana:

    I randomly saw your site as I typed “Mexican restaurants in London”. Could not stop laughing since everything you say is so true. I moved here from miami and I had the same dilemma looking for Cuban food. This was a JOKE! I went to some cuban place where the menu had “nachos”… seriously.. still havent found a decent cuban place because I just figured english people like the sound of a cuban restaurant because it sounds exotic but the food will never be cuban.. or just be overpriced ( I get a huge steak, rice, beans, plantains for 7.50 in miami.. UNHEARD of in london..here a steak comes with 3 salad leaves and maybe two plantains.. and dont complain!)

    Posted on February 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm #
  32. From luis trejo:

    Hi there.

    I am a Mexican guy who has been investing some time and money to make the perfect taco with the very best mexican sauce…I would like to asociate with someone to set up a real mexican restaurante. I know very well mexican cousine. If some one is interested feel free to contact me at amgine42@hotmail.com

    Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm #
  33. From charles:

    And I was wondering if possibley their was good mexican restaurants in London, I guess now I know. I live in Arizona usa and you would think you could find very good mexican restaurants here, boarder state and a large population of mexicans and mexican americans But their are just a handful that are worthy of mention and perhaps more that I haven’t yet experienced. To begin, nothing tops hand made corn tortillas, fresh house made salsas; and any mexican restaurant worth its salt provides unlimited amounts of corn chips and salsa. Ideally the chef and assitent chef are mexican(that’s a good start) if all they serve is food items that are inventions of. Americanized mexican I generally stay away. Authentic mexican food is so delicious for me one of the best foods in the planet. Using natural organic fresh food and spices. I lived with a mexican gentleman for well over 15 years and he cooks mexican food that is absolutely delicious. In fact I used to joke with him (although I was really serious) that we should move to England and open up a small mexican restaurant. Im sure without a doubt with him cooking the restaurant would have been a huge success. He’s since moved back to mexico. 🙁

    Posted on July 12, 2013 at 8:14 am #


  1. London Mexican restaurant reviews: Cafe Sol in Greenwich | At Home In The Wasteland - December 3, 2009

    […] Just remembered that Gayle left a comment on my previous rant about Mexican food: "You should try Cafe Sol on Clapham High St. Well worth the trek down to South […]

  2. Good Mexican food in D.C.: Tacos Pepito’s Bakery | At Home In The Wasteland Travel Blog - September 17, 2011

    […] of you who followed my adventures in London might recall how I constantly bemoaned the lack of decent Mexican food in the British Isles. A similar – although much less severe – problem plagues the city of Washington, D.C. […]

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