By Simon Cassar
14th Apr 2023
There’s nothing quite like the culinary offering and zest of Mexican cuisine; its regional specialities and diverse dishes have captured the hearts and stomachs of us all. From the subtle addition of crisp and balanced pico de gallo in slow-cooked beef tacos, the dynamism of Mexican food is second to none.
So sit back and sip pretty on your Margaritas, because we’ve rounded up a list of the best Mexican restaurants you can find in Melbourne for 2023:
Led by the same team as Seddon's Superchido, CDMX is more of a pit stop; a homage to the frenzied bustle of Mexico City with a tidy menu of tacos, snacks and drinks. The almost hole-in-the-wall destination inside Melbourne Central is typically awash with hungry punters waiting to get their hands on the speedily arranged tacos, be it the 'Pescado' a staple fish taco with battered barramundi, chipotle and zesty pico and cabbage or the 'Pastor' with grilled pork belly, house salsa, coriander, onion on a corn tortilla. Whether it's just a pit stop, or an all affair, CDMX is leading the charge as some of the best Mexican in Melbourne's CBD.
Frankie's Tortas & Tacos
From its humble origins operating out of a caravan on Smith Street to its new digs on Johnston Street,has been a staple inclusion in the best Mexican restaurant Melbourne discussion. Awash in their signature white and red-painted aesthetic, the dedicated shop features their sizable Tortas, a Mexican-style sandwich that comes in the form of the Pollo Millanesa (chicken) and Al Pastor tortas (beef) which both take centre stage. Tacos are still a staple, even opting for a dessert option in collaboration with nearby ice cream artisans, Billy Van Creamy.
The two-storey bar and eatery with over 260 Mezcal varieties,Mejicosure packs a punch. guacamole is made tableside and served alongside plantain chips to kick things off then you're able to choose between two set menus; each loading you with plenty of Mexican-influenced delights from jalapeno poppers, fish tacos, brisket and olive empanadas. Specialising in the spirit, the Mezcal range here is staggering as is the margarita offering—a great place to start is the Jalapeno Marg.
Part of the more modern Mexican contingent in Melbourne,Fonda Mexicandebuted with its quaint little diner on Swan Street Richmond way back in 2011. Now with several different spots around town, Fonda has carved out its own segment of contemporary Mexican-influenced dining, be it the cheesy pork carnitas or smoky shiitake mushroom Quesadillas or those hefty burritos. The Fonda team is also quite notable for its healthier takes on Mexican flavours, each outpost readily whips up the burrito bowls, grilled chicken salads and chargrilled corn like it's nobody's business.
It’s a cosy little space, so booking may be necessary, butSuperchido’sfood is as authentic as you’re likely to get outside of Mexico. A departure from your classic Taqueria with a small variety of options, here you'll find a menu laden with different Mexican street food specialities from Al Pastor, Birria and fish tacos to larger Los Fuerters plates (mains) like the Albondigas with meatballs of pork and beef brisket in a rich Morita tomato sauce served across Mexican-style white rice. The desserts champion the ever-popular churros and choco flan while on the bar they’ve also got multiple tequila, mezcal and margarita options, like a spiced apple or a Chamoyada mix.
Fusing the flavours of Mexico with a flare of Asian influence, the tortillas atBascoare cooked to perfection and they’ve got plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options to cater to all diners. If you’re a fish taco traditionalist, they have the Barry White tacos, with spiced tempura barramundi, slaw, guac and jalapeño mayo, but for something a little more Asian-inspired, they have a Korean fried chicken option (also available to be made vegan with cauliflower instead), with Sriracha mayo, Gochujang sauce and pickled ginger.
The Black Toro
A staple of Mexican-influenced restaurants in Melbourne's southeast, The Black Toro has been consistently impressing diners for over ten years. Here there's a more Tapas or small plates approach to dining with a menu that oscillates between bite-size entrees, Baja-influenced tacos, tostadas and more. Moving onto larger plates there's real consideration into the larger plates with flame-grilled options including whole baby barramundi that's served alongside a salsa Veracruzana or the lamb Barbacoa (slow-cooked) with chimichurri and lemon yoghurt.
The second destination from the La Tortilleria family, Chilpa, which means 'little child' is serving up the famed Mexican street food style of its Kensington counterpart. Situated in the bayside suburb of Highett, the relative newcomer is establishing itself as some of the best Mexican Melbourne has to offer, be it the Tostados, the slow-cooked beef tacos on the house-made corn tortillas with Birria dipping sauce or the full range of tequila and mezcal.
Mexican street food meets fine dining, it's a simple premise and one that Mamasita absolutely nails. The upstairs restaurant just off Spring Street is a chic open space, an ideal location for breezy long lunches and after-dark tacos. An easy contender for the best Mexican restaurant in Melbourne's CBD,Mamasita'scontinued excellence still sees a raft of new and old diners ascending to the second-level diner and bar and making their way through the curated menu of that famous fish taco, the roaster pork belly with Guajillo sauce and knocking things off with the tamarind cheesecake.
This Mexican tequila bar and kitchen is now an iconic addition to Curtin House on Swanston Street.Mesa Verdehas cemented their position on the top rungs of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne community with their pork carnitas and ox tongue tacos, crispy school prawns with salsa macha and interesting takes on more native components like Kangaroo loin skewers, with mountain pepper leaf, sour cherry chamoy and saltbush. Aside from the gourmet food menu, they also have a perfectly curated drinks list, which includes the Ghost Face Killer chilli margarita, the Frida Kahlo cocktail, sangria jugs, tequila and endless drinks by the bottle.
A seriously happening little spot on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, and one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne,Little Hop'sred shopfront is always overflowing with eager taco enthusiasts. It's narrow dimly lit space with candle lighting will often result in you being elbow to elbow with other diners as you dig into their banging fish taco with a cocktail in hand. They also have a smashing range of craft beers on tap and in tinnies.
The part Taqueria, part cantina,Hello Joséis the pint-sized Mexican taco delight just on the fringes of the Queen Vic Market. Situated on Peel Street in West Melbourne the quaint brightly-painted shopfront looks like something that's been plucked directly out of Mexico, the Taqueria sign overhead is like a shining beacon to the magic within. Specialising in Mexican street food, the menu here is a tidy collection of simple but impactful tacos like the chorizo mince, guacamole and pico de gallo a salty balanced hit of excellence or the fish ceviche tostadas which has been a mandatory order when visiting.
A sleeping giant,Taquitodoesn't need to make a lot of noise, diners will happily do it for them. Now established as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne, the Carlton destination is concerned with authenticity first and foremost, with a menu based around seasonality and quality produce. Led by Alec Villarreal (the Mexican-born owner) and Paul Clarke (the Mexican-food-obsessed New Zealand-born chef) the pair have crafted an all-out homage to the true tastes and flavours of Mexico City.
Bodega Underground is brought to you by a team who harnessed their hospitality experience atHawker HallandRoyal Saxon, so the collective knowledge here is well and truly dialled. The subterranean Mexican-influenced diner is based around a simple proposition; mezcal and tacos, both things it does excellently. While the handheld-topped tortillas are front and centre, there's also a slew of sharing plates and even a bottomless brunch offering with 90 minutes of cocktails—it's a tough one to pass up.
Keeping in with the essence of Mexican street food, Los Hermanos in Brunswick offers an affordable and cost-friendly approach to its tacos with every option coming under the $7 mark. The charming Taqueria on Victoria Street serves all the favourites from a Lamb Barbacoa, braised chicken and pulled pork number and even a chorizo and fried potato creation which is just simple perfection.
Just a few clicks down the road from its sister venue Mamasita in the CBD,Hotel Jesusis the more down-tempo counterpart on Smith Street in Collingwood. Imbued with the same artful craft of Mexican-influenced dining, the gorgeous shopfront facade of the heritage post office leads you into a light-filled space with a real laid-back communal vibe. The self-described 'No Frills' approach to Mexcian cuisine takes shape in small plates of tostadas and tacos with a variety of more experimental options be it the snapper ceviche tostada to the fried jalapeno to the spicy chicken skin tacos. There's also a bottomless lunch option and a huge range of whistle-wetters, including tequila, mezcal, cocktails and sangria on tap.
Bodriggy & Co
Themenu is quite robust and takes a more sophisticated approach to its delivery of Mexican-style dining. The beer haven, pub and restaurant all rolled into one has a collection of off-beat options to pair with every ale on rotation. With several ceviches, tacos, and small plates on the go its a great option for a beer and a snack but if you're looking to dial things up the cauliflower steak with chimichurri is a mandatory order, it's a staple of the venue and for good reason. Of course, there's also a hefty charcoal grilled porterhouse on the go as well as the 12-hour brisket Birria in a soft bread roll with pickled onions.
This fusion of food trucks and fine dining is one of the biggest highlights of the St Kilda food scene. With a menu packed with juicy authentic dishes like chipotle tamarind pork ribs, spanner crab and corn and potato and chorizo quesadillas,Radio Mexicois everything you didn't know you needed in a modern Mexican restaurant. A special mention also goes to the carnitas, which are bite-sized tacos with crispy cheese crust.
La Tortilleriais the only restaurant in Australia that stone-grinds its own tortillas from scratch. Not only are they used on-site at their Ken Kensington and Highett locales but they're also supplied to most of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne. The blue-painted taco oasis on Stubbs Street is a haven for Mexican street food with a flurry of different combinations including classic carnitas, al pastor as well as vegan options as well.
The quaint little Trippy Taco on Gertrude Street is a journey into the world of vegetarian-based Mexican food, the cosy space has an almost 70s-esque aesthetic with rich browns and orange and vintage furnishings. Open for a late breakfast and well into the evening, Trippy is the hotspot for flavour-filled vegetable-based options be it tofu Asada, cheesy beans or the red-hot breakfast number.
Serving up some of the most delicious and wallet-friendly Mexican food around,Village Cantinain Yarraville is a top choice for one of Melbourne’s best Mexican restaurants. With plenty of deals, including cheap tacos and dinner combos, the colourful eatery is always a solid option. Their chilli cheese fries and jalapeno poppers are absolutely legendary, and vegetarians and vegans are well covered with their taco options, with their selection including Frijoles, tofu and cauliflower.
Make a day of it and hit up some of Melbourne's best spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Melbourne's best restaurants
Melbourne's best cafes
Melbourne's best bars
Melbourne's best breakfast
Image credit: Hotel Jesus (Carmen Zammit)
How do Mexican restaurants get their taco meat so fine? ›
Ever wonder why some taco meat found at restaurants or in chili is ground SUPER fine and how they get it that way? That is the result of actually boiling the hamburger first. This method of cooking brings the temperature of the meat up slowly and prevents it from clumping, keeping it finely ground.What is Mexican taco meat called? ›
Carne Asada – Asada (or asado) means “roasted” in Spanish. Carne asada is a spicy, marinated grilled steak that's cut into strips. This is the meat that goes into burritos and tacos. Pollo Asado – Pollo means “chicken” in Spanish, which means that pollo asado is grilled, marinated chicken.What is the most popular taco? ›
1. Tacos Al Pastor. Tacos al pastor was introduced to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants in the early 1900s. These individuals prepared al pastor tacos using the famous Middle Eastern cooking concept shawarma.What is the #1 most popular food in Mexico? ›
Tacos. Recognized as the most popular Mexican dish worldwide, the taco has become an art. Some say is the “art of eating with tortilla” and, of course, Mexicans would never deny a taco to anybody.Does Taco Bell use real meat in their tacos? ›
We use 100 percent USDA premium beef in our seasoned beef. We prepare it much the same way you prepare taco meat at home: after simmering, it is drained of excess fat and pre-seasoned with our signature blend of 7 authentic seasonings and spices.Are Mexican tacos unhealthy? ›
In general, tacos can be a good source of protein and fiber that isn't too high in calories. However, certain condiments or extra items can significantly increase the number of calories and amounts of fat or salt. This is particularly true of tacos from restaurants.Are Mexican tacos junk food? ›
Tacos Can Be Healthy Food and Junk Food
According to several dietitians and health experts, tacos can be considered both healthy food and junk food. This will greatly depend on the ingredients that are used in our taco dish, as well as how we prepare the tacos.
Barbacoa is typically made out of tougher cuts of meat that require long, slow cooking times. When done traditionally, barbacoa is made with large cuts of meat or whole animals. In the United States, barbacoa is usually associated with beef. However, in Mexico, barbacoa is made from beef, goat, lamb or mutton.What is the most famous taco in Mexico? ›
1. Tacos al pastor. An al pastor taco is probably the most well-known Mexican street food—a very simple combination of roast pork on a grilled tortilla.What are blood tacos called? ›
Moronga or black pudding or morcilla, as the Spanish people call it, is coagulated blood! Yes!
What is the most expensive taco called? ›
A taco of luxury
According to Gourmet Food Store, Beluga caviar can be priced up to $10,000 per kilogram and is the most expensive caviar on the market. The taco is finished with a salsa made of dried morita chiles, añejo tequila, and luwak coffee (per Globe Trender).
While sour cream has become a favorite of many taco fans for adding a refreshing creaminess to temper the spiciest salsas as well as savory pork and beef, we want to reiterate that it is not a traditional Mexican topping.Who eats most tacos in the world? ›
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut broke the world record for most eaten tacos back in 2017 when he ate 126 tacos in 8 minutes. That's over 15 tacos a minute!What do Mexicans eat on Christmas Eve? ›
In Mexico, and many Hispanic households, Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, is when the largest Christmas feast is eaten. As far back as I can remember, my Luna family would gather on Christmas Eve and enjoy a spread of our favorite Mexican dishes – enchiladas, tacos, flautas, empandas, rice, pozole, mole, and more!What do Mexico eat at Christmas? ›
Mexican Christmas foods include hearty fares such as bacalao navideno and pozole with traditional sides such as the romeritos made of sea blite. Tamales take center stage over the season along with Mexican sweets such as buñuelos, rosca de reyes (Three Kings Bread), and the chocolate drink called champurrado.What do Mexicans eat for breakfast? ›
Breakfast in Mexico is almost always a mix of simple ingredients – eggs, beans, salsa and tortillas. But add in ingredients such as chorizo, bacon and sausage with fresh Mexican flavours and you have something truly epic.What is the most eaten thing in Mexico? ›
Corn is the most eaten staple among Mexican consumers. It is the base ingredient of tortillas, a type of slim flatbread and, one of the most representative and widely consumed food products in the country, used for the preparation of both tacos and quesadillas.What is the most popular drink in Mexico? ›
1. Tequila. Of all the popular shots in Mexico, tequila is the most famous, and it's found behind bars all over the world.What is a typical lunch in Mexico? ›
Tortillas, Quesadillas, Enchiladas, Burritos, and Tamales are all made with 'Masa,' a maize flour dough. The taco is the most well-known of Mexico's street meals, and its origins may be traced back to a pre-Hispanic practice of scooping up other foods with tortillas.Is Taco Bell meat horse meat? ›
Fast food giant Taco Bell said Friday it has taken beef off the menu in its three UK outlets after tests on ground beef from a European supplier revealed traces of horse meat. The discovery of rogue horse meat in a wide range of beef products has thrown the European meat industry into disarray in recent weeks.
Does McDonald's use real beef? ›
Every one of our McDonald's burgers is made with 100% pure beef and cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else—no fillers, no additives, no preservatives. We use the trimmings of cuts like the chuck, round and sirloin for our burgers, which are ground and formed into our hamburger patties.Does Taco Bell have fake meat options? ›
**Beyond Carne Asada Steak is made from simple, plant-based ingredients like vital wheat gluten and faba bean protein. ***Taco Bell defines “vegan” as containing no animal ingredients.Is taco healthier than burger? ›
While it may look healthy, if it comes smothered in mayonnaise or some other sauce, the hamburger isn't as good for you as a taco. However, prepare a taco with the same lean meat and you're going to come out with less fat and fewer calories.Which taco shell is the healthiest? ›
Offering a firm, chewy texture, corn tortillas come out ahead in a side-by-side nutrition competition with other types. Corn is a good-for - you whole grain, Keating explains, and corn tortillas typically contain less fat and simpler ingredients, and are very low in sodium.What is the healthiest Mexican taco? ›
Order the grilled chicken, lean steak, or grilled fish on a baked corn tortilla. Those have 70% more fiber and less than half the fat of their white flour counterparts. Skip the chorizo, fried fish, and carnitas (fried pork or beef), which are higher in unhealthy saturated fat.
The unhealthiest dish you can order at a Mexican restaurant is… the chimichangas. A chimichanga is essentially a deep-fried burrito. It is a Tex-Mex dish made with a large tortilla stuffed with multiple servings of rice, beans, cheese and meat.Are enchiladas healthy? ›
At their base form, enchiladas are a healthy recipe made with protein, carbs and fats. But like many recipes, some are healthier than others. They're also made with a sugar free enchilada sauce (We love the Siete enchilada sauce), black beans (fiber!) and protein-rich shredded chicken.Are tacos healthier than fast-food? ›
Tacos Use Fresh Ingredients.
Tacos are often served either with beef or chicken and fresh vegetables such as beans, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes. Even if you get a fast-food taco, it is healthier than the other more processed foods on the menu due to the fresh ingredients.
barbacoa, (Spanish: “barbecue”) a method of cooking meat that originated in Mexico; the term also can refer to the meat itself.What is asada meat? ›
Let's start with the basics—carne asada is a traditional Mexican dish composed of marinated skirt steak or flank steak that has been grilled and thinly sliced. The term carne asada in Spanish translates to roasted or grilled meat in English.
Is barbacoa a cow or goat? ›
Barbacoa, in its most traditional form, is lamb or goat meat that has been slow-cooked over an open fire. However, in modern Mexican cuisine, beef or pork are often used as well.What are hard tacos called in Mexico? ›
Hard shell tacos are sometimes known as tacos dorados ("golden tacos") in Spanish, a name that they share with taquitos, a similar dish.What was the biggest taco ever made? ›
The largest flour taco in the world weighed 750 kg (1,654 lb) and was made by the city of Mexicali and Cocinex SA de CV, in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico on 8 March 2003.What is the top selling taco in America? ›
- #5: Carne Asada Tacos Dorados — La Taqueria. ...
- #4: Migas Taco — Veracruz All Natural. ...
- #3: Al Pastor Taco — Los Guachos Taqueria. ...
- #2: Carnitas Tacos — Carnitas Uruapan. ...
- #1: Fish Tacos — Ricky's Fish Tacos. ...
- Top 5 Restaurants.
Moronga, rellena, or morcilla is a sausage related to chorizo: it is made from a variety of spices (such as oregano and mint); it is encased in the pig's intestine; it is a classic Mexican dish—a delicacy, even. What makes Moronga more unique is that it is made of the pig's blood and boiled in the casing.What are the pink things in tacos? ›
A Pink Taco is a pink soft outer tortilla with a layer of frijoles (Pureed beans) on it which is then wrapped around a pink hard taco shell.What is the pink taco name? ›
Passion and flavor by the truckload.
LA Woman, Gypsy Queen and Brandy. These are the names of the three taco trucks that wear the Pink Taco name and carry the reputation across the nation.
Mexican chef creates $25,000 taco -- but no takers yet
Shrimp, caviar, truffle and gold flakes aren't standard ingredients in Mexico's popular tacos. But chef Juan Licerio Alcala uses them to create the world's most expensive taco at $25,000 (P1. 26 milllion).
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (February 28, 2017) — The world's most expensive taco debuts at the new Grand Velas Los Cabos for $25K USD. Available at the resort's Frida restaurant, the culinary masterpiece includes such premium ingredients as langoustine, Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle brie cheese.What is the most expensive meat to buy? ›
Not surprisingly, the most expensive meat in the world — the Kobe beef A5 Wagyu Tomahawk — is also the highest quality of beef. Only a specific type of cattle from a certain region of Japan are selected to make Kobe beef, according to Ventured.
Do Mexicans put tomatoes on tacos? ›
Ground beef tacos are delicious, authentic, and so easy to make. This traditional Mexican dish is packed with well-seasoned ground beef tacos, wrapped in soft flour tortillas, and topped with tomatoes, onions, and cheese.Do Mexicans put pineapple on tacos? ›
Just as with pizza, some people believe that pineapple simply doesn't belong in a taco. Still, purists are a minority, and 60 percent of Mexicans seem to love some pineapple in their tacos.What cheese do Mexicans use on their tacos? ›
What Cheese is Most Used in Mexico? Cotija cheese is one of the most used varieties in Mexico. You'll find it in several different recipes such as enchiladas, tacos, beans, salads, and soups. It's a white crumbly variety with a similar flavor and texture to feta.Who eats the most Mexican food? ›
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Tacos are thought to come from Mexico, long before the Spanish arrived. Ancient Mexicans used freshly made, soft, flat corn tortillas and gave them with fillings like fish and cooked organs. It was a staple meal that provided vital nutrients and energy to those who consumed it.Who eats tacos for breakfast? ›
The Origins of Breakfast Tacos
Tacos have long been eaten for breakfast in Mexico, but there's nothing especially breakfast-y about them outside of the time of day. You can enjoy the same tacos at lunch or dinner, frequently consisting of fresh tortillas topped with a filling of meaty stew.
Tacos. It's the most popular Mexican dish globally. Usually served with fillings like steak, chorizo, offal, etc.What is Mexico's special dish? ›
Mole poblano from Puebla features Mexican chocolate among its many ingredients. Mole is widely considered one of Mexico's most iconic dishes, ranging in color from rich brown and fiery red to verdant green, yellow and black — just to name a few.What is America's favorite Mexican dish? ›
Tacos. What's a Mexican restaurant without tacos? By far Mexico's most beloved dish, tacos are an art form at this point. They can be filled with numerous fillings, from beef to chicken to fish.What are the 2 most popular foods in Mexico? ›
Like tacos and burritos, enchiladas are among the most popular Mexican foods outside of Mexico. They consist of rolled corn tortillas stuffed with a variety of fillings like meat, beans, cheese, potatoes, and vegetables before being drenched in a sauce.
What is the most popular meat in Mexican food? ›
Beef is the most popular meat in Mexico. It's often used in tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. The most common cuts of beef used in Mexican dishes are flank steak, skirt steak, and ribeye. Other popular Mexican meats include pork, chicken, and lamb.What is the most popular food in Mexico City? ›
Mexico City is best known for its variety of street foods like tacos, tortas, pambazo, and tlacoyos. Mexico City also has many well-known traditional sweets including churros with hot chocolate and sweet bread. There are endless opportunities to find these foods within Mexico City.What do Mexican eat for dinner? ›
- Enchiladas. This dish of Mexican cuisine is similar to tacos, but it differs by carrying a lot of cheese and being much spicier. ...
- Fajitas. To make the authentic Mexican fajitas meat is prepared in tomato sauce, which is rolled in a corn or wheat tortilla. ...
- Burritos. ...
- Tacos. ...
- Pozoles. ...
- Empanadas. ...
- Totopos. ...
Tacos. Tacos need no introduction! This traditional Mexican food is beloved all over the world and is one of America's favorite comfort foods. Authentic Mexican tacos were made with soft-shell corn tortillas and best eaten immediately.What is the most eaten food in the world? ›
Rice is a food staple for more than 3.5 billion people around the world, particularly in Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa. Rice has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. Scientists believe people first domesticated rice in India or Southeast Asia. Rice arrived in Japan in about 3,000 years ago.