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Where To Find Mexican Food In Melbourne?

Having a craving for Mexican food in Melbourne can be difficult due to the abundance of Mexican restaurants in the city. If you're craving tacos and tequila, you're in luck: we've identified the best places to satisfy your cravings and kick off the party. In that case, I invite you to join the celebration by scrolling down this list of the 11 finest Mexican eateries in Melbourne.

Can you remember when Mexican food meant a box of hard-shelled tacos, a block of cheddar, and a packet of spice mix?

That era is long gone, and we've moved on. Modern cantinas in Melbourne not only serve drinks that go with the Mexican fare they serve, but also serve authentic Mexican ingredients like rare chillies and different kinds of corn. Tacos and tostadas go great with a michelada, tequila, or mezcal, so do as the Mexicans do and order a few rounds.

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Mexican Food In Melbourne

Having a craving for Mexican food in Melbourne can be difficult due to the abundance of Mexican restaurants in the city. If you're craving tacos and tequila, you're in luck: we've identified the best places to satisfy your cravings and kick off the party. In that case, I invite you to join the celebration by scrolling down this list of the 11 finest Mexican eateries in Melbourne.

Mamasita

Established in 2010, Mamasita is a popular Mexican eatery in Melbourne that stays true to its mission of serving genuine Mexican food. Changing up the menu with seasonal ingredients and new takes on classic dishes from around the world is a surefire way to keep things interesting. They even have a Mezcalier on staff who can answer any and all of your questions about mezcal and other agave-based alcoholic beverages.

Mamasita, a popular Mexican restaurant chain, received a long-overdue update to its interior and menu in 2019. The updated decor pays homage to Mexico City eateries of the 1950s, whose decor mimicked that of American diners.

There are still massive monochrome prints of Spanish "hot babes," or mamasitas, staring down at diners from the wall, and grand old windows that look out onto Collins Street below. Black and white patterned tiles serve as the subfloor.

Chef is Mexican, but he was born in Argentina. His menu is a modern take on traditional Mexican fare, reflecting what's popular in Mexico's dining scene right now. Beefier, heartier dishes representing the north of Mexico are served in the winter, while in the summer, seafood dishes from the Pacific coast are served.

An innovative twist on traditional Yucatán ceviche, the rockling is lightly cured in a mixture of coconut, tomatillo, mint, and tomatillo.

Chiles tornados (chargrilled jalapeos or serrano peppers seasoned with lime juice and salt) are served alongside the beef short ribs that have been cooked low and slow. Tacos and tostadas will always be available, as will the chargrilled corn with cotija (a Mexican cow's milk cheese), lime, and chipotle mayo.

There is a wide variety of tequilas and mezcals to choose from if you want to pair a traditional Mexican drink with your meal. The Smoky Margarita is made with Peloton, dry curaçao, agave, lime, and salt.

Touché Hombre

Going strong since 2011 and showing no signs of stopping, Touché Hombre is all about the fiesta, shareable snacks, long communal tables and an impressive list of 80 different tequilas. Choose from a range of tacos, elotes, fried chicken, spiced corn, ceviche, and so much more. So for some of the best Mexican Melbourne has to offer, Touché Hombre is a winner.

La Tortilleria

Our goal at La Tortilleria, a family-run business, is to make the finest, most traditional tortillas in town. Located in Kensington, among the warehouses on Stubbs Street, La Tortilleria is a bustling little restaurant.

one of the few places in Melbourne to serve authentic tortillas.

A quiet beacon of authentic Mexican cuisine, led by Mexican-born Gerardo Lopez and his Australian friend Diana Hull.

When the tortilla press is turned on, onlookers can see the grains, which have been soaked in lime water, transform into dough, which is then crushed on a stone grinder before being pressed into a tortilla.

A "real, Mexican concept" that isn't pretentious, according to the reviewer. In the back, diners can relax in one of several brightly coloured rooms while they enjoy tacos that won't crumble in their hands. Quesadillas, sopes, and some of the finest guacamole this side of the Pacific can also be found here.

Tortillas are the main attraction at La Tortilleria, and you can buy them by the stack, the half-kilo, or the kilo.

Mesa Verde

The bold and unique Mesa Verde is dishing it out with the traditional Mexican flavours and one of Australia’s largest tequila and mezcal collections. If you want to up the spice factor, add some of their ‘Hazard sauce’ to any dish, guaranteed to have even the toughest guys weeping. Check it out on a Friday or Saturday, where the atmosphere is festive with live DJs.

Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria

Los Hermanos is the best place to go if you want to experience a genuine Mexican celebration. A late-night stop for tacos or to keep the party going. You can't go wrong if you and your companions split a few plates and a few drinks. As one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne, it has all the hallmarks of a genuine Taqueria.

Bodriggy Brewing Co

Bodriggy Brewing Co, from the owners of Dr Morse across the road, was years in the making. And it shows. The atmosphere transcends the basic cellar door-type breweries Melburnians are used to, where food is often an afterthought.

Bodriggy’s menu features light, fresh and zingy Central and South American food that’s somewhat familiar but includes some interesting diversions. For example, stuffed jalapenos are packed with meaty smoked swordfish. Likewise, anticuchos – a sort of Peruvian satay or shish kebab – are common enough. 

But the rendition here is a sticky char-shiu like a combination of beef heart and grilled potato. Other hits might include elote (corn on the cob), big pulled pork plates, and a zippy take on ceviche. The menu makes it worth coming here to eat, regardless of anything else.

If you’re here for the beers, Bodriggy covers a decent amount of ground. There are light, accessible options such as a crisp pilsner and summer ale, right through to geeky, obscure styles such as kettle sours and lichtenhainer (a low-alcohol wheat beer).

But again, the place’s strength is that beer is only one part of what it does. After a pét-nat? Bodriggy has one on tap along with four other wines. A tequila or mezcal? You bet – consult the towering, soft-glowing shelves behind the bar. 

Take our advice and skip your usual order for one of the three unique options on tap. A cascara (coffee cherry) number tastes a little like chinotto, and a Mexican tepache, made by fermenting pineapple juice, has a powerful funk balanced with a citrus garnish.

Though Bodriggy is licensed for 424 people, it feels much smaller. The cavernous warehouse has been carefully divided into separate areas, each with a distinct feel. There are big, group-friendly trestle tables, smaller stand-up tables and a quasi-restaurant area with comfy banquettes, booths and smarter finishes. 

In the middle, a flame tree stretches out of a gigantic rusted-iron planter box to tickle the rafters. Then there’s an intimate’ 70s-style cocktail den with fun, fluorescent drinks, plus a spinning disco ball and “high-end Australiana” energy.

Hello José

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Developed by two housemates after a trip to Mexico, Hello Jose was born, where the tacos are plentiful, and the tequila is ever-flowing. The atmosphere is relaxed, and all the worries of the world can be washed away with a couple of margaritas, some tasty Mexican food and great company. Check it out on a Tuesday for some free comedy.

 Hotel Jesus

Also a part of the Mamasita crew, Hotel Jesus offers a bright and fun interior with loads of attention to detail and, of course, the food! Its 70s inspired Mexican taqueria style lacks pretentiousness, serving up simple and authentic Mexican dishes. You won’t be disappointed spending an afternoon or evening sampling the shareable dishes. It’s a little slice of Mexico in Melbourne.

Mamasita’s owners think of their second venue as the Mexican equivalent of an Aussie fish-and-chip shop. Casual, fast-paced – the type of place where you can drop in for a couple of tostadas or tacos and a beer, then move on. The restaurant’s third partner, James Brown, took care of the fit-out and branding through MASH Design.

The kitschy interior is inspired by the traditional ’70s-style taquerias and tostaderias of Mexico. It has blue banquettes, red stools, flimsy tables, slow ceiling fans and tiles in various pastel shades. There’s a Guadalupe on the wall and another Catholic iconography. There’s also a quote from Lane’s favourite film, The Big Lebowski: “Nobody fucks with the Jesus”.

Tostadas (toasted tortillas with toppings) are made in-house from scratch via a traditional method that involves dehydrating the tortillas for 24 hours to make them crispy.

They’re topped with ingredients such as prawns with ginger oil and chilli; tuna, ponzu and wasabi; mushrooms, corn and smoked avocado; or beef with leek and cotija (a dry Mexican cheese). 

Tacos, tortas, ceviches, and snacks such as corn with black mayonnaise and pickled jalapenos. A condensed version of this menu is available for takeaway over the counter. On Taco Tuesday, get tacos for $2 each from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Peters, Australia’s only master mezcalier, assembled the impressive tequila and mezcal list. There are also imported Mexican beers, served chelada-style (with a rim of salt, lime and ice). In addition, six cocktails are on tap, including a Mexican Espresso Martini, sangria, and Jesus Maria (like a Bloody Mary, topped with a chicken chicharrón – a popular snack made from fried skin and fat).

Radio Mexico

Owned by the St Kilda stalwarts responsible for Galleon café, Radio Mexico keeps it traditional for the most part; there’s the roast pork belly Al Pastor (a Mexican classic), lamb barbacoa and rockling ceviche with topo chips.

You can go the snack route with the menu and choose from the botanas small plates menu. Otherwise, go big and order a plate of tacos or main sized dishes like the mole Verde de Pollo (chicken with green sauce). 

Opt for the Ensalada options if you feel like a break from the meat-heavy dishes – the frijoles con aguacate y elite (slow-cooked black beans with queso fresco and avocado and corn salad) is filling without making you feel like you’re missing out on the meat.

Radio Mexico has their tequila menu, and no, they’re not saying you should shoot the hard stuff over your tacos. Instead, try the tequila flight, which gets you a tasting selection of Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilas and sip it as you would wine.

 Try Mexican versions of familiar concoctions like the spicy tequila Bloody Maria, the Tequila Sunrise, or sample the margarita list if that’s much too intense for you.

Bodega Underground

Co-owners of Bodega Underground, Julian Downing and Geoff Machirus, have gifted Melbourne with something we never knew we needed: all the agave and the spirit of Mexico. We’re grateful but wary. Mezcal is a dangerous thing. Add tacos and a closing time of 3 am, and you’re in for a wild night.

You’ll recognise Bodega Underground from the ominous red neon glow on the corner of Crossley and Little Bourke Streets. Venture in, and you’ll descend into a basement plastered in posters from the golden age of Mexican cinema – tits, ’taches and Tecate. 

The tables and stools are more cantinas than the bar, and the prime place is perched up at the counter. But beware, shots are the drink of choice there, and the fast-paced music will always make you think you’re one behind.

Cocktails involve innovative applications of tequila and mezcal. You’ll see some familiar favourites such as the Tommy’s Margarita or a play on the gin-based El Last Word, subbing out the juniper for agave to tempt the tentative, tequila beginner. For more adventure, order the Aloe Señorita, a punny floral refresher marrying tequila, aloe vera and lime. 

Mezcal lovers can step up to the Pancho’s Ancho, a smoky, savoury and sweet attack on your palate using mezcal, agave, grilled lime and the fruitiness of crushed ancho chillies to liven up the salt rim, creating a drink robust enough to stand up to the food.

Paco’s Tacos

Paco's Tacos, located in Melbourne, serves up some pretty tasty Mexican street food. Paco's Tacos' chefs make fresh corn tortillas from scratch every day and expertly combine them with farm-fresh ingredients and regional flavours from Mexico. It's a great spot to hang out with friends over $6 tacos, local beer, or a traditional Margarita.

Si Senor Art Taqueria

When Vince Tesoriero (of nearby cafe Glass Merchants) took over a Chinese takeaway back in 2013, he realised the street desperately needed a cultural change. He loves Mexican food, so the choice was obvious.

The execution was harder. Head chef Cindy Flores was flown over from Mexico to run the kitchen to ensure a properly authentic menu. Her menu has all the usual suspects, such as tacos and burritos, plus signature dishes such as Guacamole Del Senor – totopos (tortilla chips) with chorizo, cheese and fresh salsas; and the popular Al Pastor slow-roasted pork marinated in chillies and pineapple.

A Mexican team down the road makes all the tortillas and totopos using traditional techniques. In addition, ingredients such as dried chillies and Clamato juice come directly from Mexico.

Even the sombreros, skulls and artwork you’ll find dotted around the building belonged to traditional Mexican families or were brought in by the staff. Everything is styled to feel like you’re dining in a 1950s Mexican home, replete with laminated tabletops and peeling turquoise paint.

With plenty of nooks and quiet spots across the two floors, there’s an area for every mood. 

Relax on the sofa by the fire, dine upstairs with a large group and work your way through the menu. On warmer days, the courtyard is the place to enjoy a few Coronas or Micheladas.

Little Hop

The colourful and narrow Little Hop feels like an invitation to escape busy Brunswick Street. Sit at the bar and have a chat. Sip a beer, eat tacos, watch the turntables turn.

After Brunswick Street’s B’Stilla Cantina closed in 2015, the team behind it changed gears and created Little Hop. They decided the large street-facing window needed tacos. So they invited nearby Mexican restaurant Los Hermanos to join them. What was a month-long pop-up has endured, and the marriage of craft beer and tacos continues.

Two turntables provide a soundtrack that traverses from blues to classic rock to reggae. Local hospitality workers stick their heads in for a quick chat and a taco before their shift. It’s open until 1 is on weekends, so many returns for a wind-down drink after work too.

The co-owner loves NZ beer, and modern Kiwi classics such as 8 Wired and Epic are favourites through the two taps. The fridge also has a great range of local and Kiwi drops. Unfortunately, tequila is the only spirit on offer, and the only cocktail you’ll get is a Margarita.

When it’s all this good, you don’t need anything else. It’s casual simplicity at the highest standard.

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Super Chido

Perhaps surprising to others, Pineda decided to switch careers. While travelling through the Americas, he discovered a new favourite cuisine. He began making imitation Mexican food at home and eventually became skilled enough to start a catering business. Before leaving engineering in May 2021 to launch Sperchido with his sister Sarah Pineda and business partner, hospitality had always been a side hustle for him.

Pineda discovered the true crowd-pleasers among his dishes during his earlier catering gig. A "best of" selection, complete with origination regions for each dish, is what he describes as being on the menu.

The famous al pastor tacos of Mexico City are made with pork belly that has been marinated in earthy achiote paste and then roasted on a vertical spit, a cooking technique brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants.

There could be vegetarian options such as a taco from Mexico City filled with queso aejo and fire-roasted pumpkin, a taco from Baja that features barramundi, and a taco from the north of Mexico that features carne asada. This one is served on flour tortillas made in-house as opposed to the corn tortillas at La Tortilleria.

Black Angus birria, a slow-braised beef stew originally from Jalisco that has recently gained popularity in southern California, could be served as a main dish option. You can order it in a bowl and have some corn tortillas on the side to dip it in. The Yucatecan cochinita pibil features pork ribs and pork belly marinated in citrous juice and slow-roasted inside banana leaves. A Pueblan peanut and cheese tamale is another option.

Roasted seasonal vegetables in a sesame mole (sauce).

The restaurant's front bar features a wide variety of Mexican beers and spirits, some of which are featured in the restaurant's signature cocktails and mocktails. Take, for example, the cashew horchata made in-house, the Tommy's Margarita infused with lavender, the Sloe Gin Fizz, the mezcal Paloma spiked with chilli salt, and the La Pineda, a concoction made with tequila, pandan, ginger, lime, and cream that pays homage to Pineda's Filipino heritage.

FAQs About Mexican Food In Melbourne

Most Mexican-born people that arrive in Australia come with the initial intention of temporary settlement. However, Mexico’s persisting insecure economic and social situation has prompted many to seek permanent residence. It is estimated one-third of Mexicans living in Australia have an Australian-born partner or spouse.

Signature Mexican flavour can stem from oregano and cumin, and these two spices are the main herbs used to spice up dishes. In addition, a rich, earthy flavour in dishes results from Mexican oregano.

However, Mexican food is still authentic and unique because even though the Spanish tried to impose their food and diets, the Mexicans held on to their traditions. Much of the traditional food from Mexico is available as street food and in restaurants.

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