if you know only one thing about me, it's that i love mexican food. probably because for such a long time i wasn't able to eat it because every single dish out of mexico included onion apparently (i'm allergic, and it doesn't); since moving to the big smoke, my eyes (and taste buds) have been opened to the wonder that is fresh and flavourful mexican food, made to order, and perfectly onion-free. here are my top five (some more obvious than others!):
giraffe world kitchen
if you read my review of giraffe from a few weeks back, you'll know these prawn tacos were a pleasant surprise. i'd grown up with hard shell tacos back home but since moving to london, all i seem to find are soft ones. these were somewhere in between. soft, but firm enough to keep their form, and big enough to need two hands to hold. the true sign of a good taco is its size. i mentioned in my review that there was maybe too much filler cabbage for my liking, which is probably due to the size of the shells, so a bit of a catch 22 when it comes down to what you prefer: more filler or more filling. you decide!
bonus reason to head to giraffe - as if you needed them, is there impressive cocktail range (and happy hour!), and the wicked salted caramel sundae with added popcorn and pretzels as a garnish. i mean, what even is that? how do you decline that? the answer is: you don't. find all the locations here.
japanese tacos. you didn't see this one coming, did you? this dish comes with two varieties on the plate - one salmon and one tuna, and they're created a bit more like burgers than tacos. marinated sashimi sits inside two crunchy taco shells, and are dressed with some of those asian specialities like lemongrass and chilli and all that good stuff. i tasted these for the first time when i was at an event at inamo in camden to pick up some skills in inadoodle drawing, but instead, picked up a taste for japanese tapas. they were initially only available in the new camden restaurant, but come april they will be available across all london branches. mark your calendars, these are an absolute culinary delight! all locations are here.
this one probably comes as a surprise to nobody considering how often i bang on about these guys on the blog, but wahaca were the first mexican restaurant i ever visited that offered to remove onion from my dishes so i could enjoy it without dying. because of that, i've been back time and time again, and always order the same thing: pork pibil (no onions) and sweet potato chiquitos with the house margarita because tequila is second only to tacos in my mind. once, i even ordered the taco special because it was taco tuesday and i figured i'd give anything a try for a quid, and found their fish taco to be the absolute preferred way to eat fish going forward. worth a try, i swear! find your closest here.
mole taco bar
i first discovered mole's tacos at taste of london a few summers ago, and then again the following christmas, and then summer after that. they're my "food festival favourites", and since learning about their in real life restaurant in central london, i have been a bit gutted because i think that means they probably won't be at the festivals anymore. although it does mean i can, you know, just buy their tacos from the restaurant whenever i want, but that's not the deal. they're my food festival go-to, and if they're not there, i don't know what i'll do! their pork taco is one of the tastiest things i've ever encountered, and - despite the price tag that comes along with an order (food festival prices, boo!) of one taco, the quality and taste totally make that one valuable taco.
i'd only been to barrio east once or twice for drinks before, because - like giraffe, they have an outstanding cocktail menu and happy hour, but never for tacos - until recently. on a first date with ben, we were getting a bit too lairy on the old half priced mojitos so we dipped into the menu and ordered a variety of the tacos on offer. my faves were easily the beef barbacoa and the baja fish (deep fried fish is the one!), but the variety in-house is pretty good - loads of different options to suit everybody (just like the cocktails)(should i stop going on about cocktails now?), and affordable to boot. find your local restaurant here.
where's your favourite taco place in london? i'd love to discover more!