Tacos, taquitos and tostadas – where to find the best Mexican food in Brisbane
When it comes to world cuisine, we have a lot to thank the country of Mexico for. While a lot of us are no strangers to a humble burrito, true Mexican food enthusiasts know there is so much more to it – fresh flavours, crisp textures and simple recipes are what make an authentic Mexican dish truly great. Other countries have also borrowed from Mexico’s rich and vibrant culinary culture to create food fusions that we could only dream of – so whether you’re a purist when it comes to your pozole or you don’t mind a bit of Tex-Mex action, Brisbane has got you covered. We’ve rounded the best spots to get your Mexican food fix in Brisbane – let’s taco ‘bout it.
Pepe’s Newmarket, Coorparoo and Jindalee: The mantle of Brisbane’s best Mexican restaurant undoubtedly goes to Pepe’s – ask any local and they’ll let you know. The beloved institution has been pumping out authentic Mexican eats since 2006 – we’re talking flautas, enchiladas and empanadas stuffed with the freshest ingredients going, all washed down with perfectly blended margaritas. The kitchen is also extremely accommodating for people with dietary requirements – so your vegan and gluten free mates will enjoy it just as much.
La Quinta, Bulimba: The team from La Quinta has been dishing out its fresh-as-heck Mexican for more than 14 years, priding itself on providing a genuine and authentic experience for its loyal patrons. You can find traditional eats as well as Tex-Mex faves, but the Alhambra Bake is a must-try – we’re talking jack cheese, bacon, onion, bell peppers and salsa with your choice of mouth-watering protein, all topped off with sour cream and guacamole (of course).
Mucho Mexicano, South Bank and Hawthorne: Boasting two mouth-watering outposts, Mucho Mexicano should be your go-to for polished and inventive Mexican fare. The menu features fun twists on traditional dishes, using the authentic concepts as a base and then putting some fancy spins in there (we’re looking at you, truffled chicken and mushroom quesadilla). You can also cop fresh or frozen margaritas by the jug, as well as beers imported from Mexico – bottoms up.
El Torito, West End: Those seeking a truly homemade Mexican experience best make tracks to El Torito, a family-run restaurant that has been feeding West Enders since 1996. Built on a foundation of traditional Mexican dishes like chilaquiles and chochinita pibil, eventually more well-known eats like burritos, chimichangas and fajitas came to join the menu – meaning there is something for everyone. As for the drinks, the authenticity carries over – margaritas, micheladas and horchata can be found flowing here.
El Camino Cantina, Bowen Hills: Everything’s bigger in Texas, so it makes sense that the offering at Tex-Mex haunt El Camino Cantina is larger than life. If unlimited self-serve corn chips and salsa, frozen margs the size of your head and burritos fit to burst are your vibe, this might just be your new favourite spot. Many of the menu items are based on traditional Mexican dishes, but with a Texan flare – cheeseburger tacos, anyone?
California Native, Coorparoo: Considering they share a border (and a penchant for amazing food), the fusion of Californian and Mexican cuisine was pretty much inevitable – and one spot where you can get your hands on the fruits of this union is California Native. Starters like baja fish tacos, beef taquitos and charred elotes make way for mains of Mojave barbecued half-chicken, wagyu japaleno cheeseburgers and seared salmon with romesco sauce.
Comuna Cantina, Brisbane City and Everton Park: While it might not be a straight-up Mexican eatery, don’t dismiss Comuna Cantina – this lively eatery draws inspiration from all over South and Central America. Starters like grilled corn, guacamole and tacos hint to the menu’s Mexican influence, while heartier options like nachos, quesadillas and burritos have all been given a pan-Latin spin. Be sure to check out the crazy cocktails – there’s a dedicated section for margs, of course.
Baja, Fortitude Valley: If Mexican food makes you think of layers of cheese and sour cream, allow Baja to take you down a fresher route. The modern Cali-Mex eatery focuses on health and quality, showcasing local ingredients interpreted into classic dishes inspired by the culinary scene of its geographical namesake. Chow down on burrata with a smoked-cashew salsa macha, twice-cooked octopus tentacles coated in a squid-ink and burnt-jalapeno soy sauce, and the signature Baja fish taco with beer-battered kingfish and chipotle slaw served on a la Tortilleria tortilla.
Ivory Tusk, Fortitude Valley: When the Woolly Mammoth shed its shaggy fur and re-emerged as Ivory Tusk, we were delighted to see that the venue pivoted towards Mexican fare. The easy-breezy Acapulco-style spot specialises in fun feasting that is perfect to share – think Baja fish tacos, pork chicharrones, lamb barbacoa, eye-fillet steak skewers, chorizo sliders, Mexican street corn and gazpacho shooters. The bar also stocks an impressive selection of cocktails on tap – and before you roll your eyes, you can be rest assured that these batch-brewed concoctions are the goods.
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