Best tacos in London: Where to get your Mexican fix

Updated on 09 May 2019 • Written By Rosie Conroy

Best tacos in London: Where to get your Mexican fix

How you weigh up the best tacos in London may come down to opinion, although we can't help but think there’s absolutely something for everyone when it comes to these little Mexican delights. We've rounded up a whole host of options that should hit the spot, whether you're a purist looking for slow cooked pork or someone after a quick Tex-Mex hit with all the trimmings.

For us, the best tacos are small soft tortillas that can be gobbled up in just a few bites, and topped with something delicious that balances flavours and textures perfectly.

Our prices per taco are for one small taco, unless otherwise noted. So if searching according to budget bear in mind that you'll need a few tacos to fill yourself up, as the classic saying goes.

El Pastór

With a whole section of their menu dedicated to some of the best tacos in London we couldn’t create a list of such Mexican magnitude without including El Pastor. In fact, this restaurant is named after their signature dish, tacos al pastor, so they take these delicious bites pretty seriously. Their namesake, the taco al pastor, is made up of two soft tortillas, 24 hour marinated sweet, sticky pork shoulder, caramelised pineapple grilled alongside the pork, freshly made guacamole, punchy white onion and the citrusy hit of lime and coriander. Other offerings on the menu include fish tacos with caramelised onions and a refried beans veggie option with cheese and sweetcorn.

Average price per taco: £3.50 (although portions are served as two at around £6-8 each)

Area of London: Borough, Bermondsey and King’s Cross

Booking policy: You can't book at Borough and Bermondsey El Pastor restaurants, but they allow you to put your name down and go off for a drink while you wait for your table. So that's something. And for those who like to pre-plan you can book a table at Plaza Pastor at King’s Cross.

Perfect for: A lively evening out with friends

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Ella Canta

Ella Canta takes Mexican food and elevates it to new heights through unusual techniques, luxurious ingredients and beautiful presentation. The menu at this Mayfair restaurant is theatrical and plays through from appetisers (named ‘overture'), where the tacos are, to desserts (labelled as ‘the final curtain’), showcasing some of Mexico’s finest ingredients. Ella Canta’s tacos are, as expected, a little snazzier than your average. Their delicious mouthfuls are made with beef chilorio, which sees beef slowly cooked down in fat (a bit like a confit) then fried with spices and dried chillies for a real explosion of flavour. Shredded cabbage, crème fraiche and arbol chile sauce finish things off. Although these are currently the only tacos on the menu, a lot of the mains are served with larger tortillas, allowing you to mix and match to create your own tacos if you wish. Albeit slightly unconventionally.

Average price per taco: £10 (for an appetiser portion)

Area of London: Mayfair

Booking policy: Ella Canta takes bookings online and over the phone

Perfect for:  An impressive date-night venue

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Wahaca

Sometimes Mexican cravings come in thick and fast, and all that’s needed is a speedy solution of tasty tacos. In this event our mainstay is Wahaca. This no-frills, fast and fun Mexican restaurant chain by Thomasina Miers dishes up tacos by the tonne, and a good job of it they do, too. We’re fans of choice, and Wahaca offer traditional small corn tacos in portions of three, and larger corn and flour Baja tacos in portions of two. Stipulated as being ‘grilled and filled’, each has a distinct flavour. Favourites of ours include sweet plantain paired with a smoky, spicy chipotle paste and salty feta cheese, as well as a crisp buttermilk chicken option that’s topped with chilli and onion relish and a spicy mayo – the perfect Tex Mex twist. Incidentally Wahaca have just released a new menu which pays homage to the humble taco three times over. Choose from grilled chicken & avocado tacos with ancho rub, guac and a green tomato salsa, grilled mushroom and cheese tacos with sweet ancho rubbed mushrooms and crispy grilled cheese or the rib-eye taco – chargrilled steak served with grilled cheese and fresh guac.

Average price per taco: £1.60 for small, £3 for large

Area of London: Various locations, all over London

Booking policy: You are able to book at most Wahaca venues, although they keep the majority of tables for walk in only

Perfect for:  Family-friendly feasting

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La Bodega Negra

Dining at La Bodega Negra’s restaurant (as oppose to the adjoined café) is certainly an experience. Tucked away behind the façade of a sex shop, this might not be for everyone, but the dimly lit basement dining has a certain appeal that is hard to find elsewhere. If we had to choose, the soft shell tacos are our favourite, from a list of five choices. The sweet crab is coated in a contrasting savoury squid ink tempura and served up with smoky chipotle aioli and a classic pico de gallo, to freshen things up at the end. Our suggestion would be to order a few and share between the table, accompanied by a margarita or two, of course. 

Average price per taco: £5

Area of London: Soho

Booking policy: Bookable, but open to over 18s only

Perfect for: A party with pals

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El Camion

This late night diner serves up tacos alongside plenty of delicious drinks for those looking to fuel themselves through to the early hours. While the décor leaves a little to be desired (we’re not sure a wall installation of hot sauces is our thing), don’t let that fool you. Tacos are tasty and hit the spot if you’re looking for something decent before or after the theatre. While the main ingredient differs, the toppings for all tacos at El Camion remain the same – a tried and tested combination of guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and homemade salsa. The main elements vary from pork carnitas (a sort of pulled, confit pork, rich with fat and flavoured with dried chillies) to chicken tinga (sweet, shredded meat mixed into a lightly spiced tomato sauce). For the more adventurous there’s a flavourful goat mole option and for vegetarians a Portobello mushroom medley.

Average price per taco: £4

Area of London:  Soho

Booking policy: Bookable online or by phone

Perfect for: The opener or finisher to a night out

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Breddos Tacos

With tacos in their title, you’d hope Breddos Tacos know a thing or two about these Mexican mainstays. We’re happy to report we‘re of the opinion that they do. This popular restaurant grew from humble beginnings; a market stall manned by two friends who dreamt up the idea while living together in Dalston. As the queues grew, so did the revenue (we assume), allowing the duo to open up a bricks and mortar residence serving up some of our favourite tacos in London. Using best-of-British produce and giving it a hit of Tex-Mex love somewhere along the way, our favourite versions include baja fried fish with pickled red cabbage and flank steak topped with miso and macha salsa. As you might expect with a restaurant nearly entirely dedicated to this simple foodstuff, there are options. Pick between meat, veggie or sharing – where they bring salsa, pickles, limes, tortillas and your chosen toppings to the table and you build them yourself.

Average price per taco: £5 (although they offer all you can eat tacos on Sundays for £20, with the added bonus of bottomless booze for another £15)

Area of London: Soho

Booking policy: Bookable online or by phone

Perfect for: A group get-together

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Corazon

If you’re in search of an elusive ‘Instagrammable’ restaurant then you’ll find it in Corazon. Fitted with sweet-shop-style pastel green cladding and softly glowing globe lights, the interiors are nearly as pretty as the plates the chefs serve up. Tacos range from the tried and tested pork carnitas and baja battered fish to options for the more adventurous diners – think grilled calves livers, beer onions, salsa negra and watercress. While the tacos aren’t the cheapest you’ll find on our list of best tacos in London, the service and ambiance allow room for a leisurely pace, so take your time and treat yourself to an evening working your way through the menu. 

Average price per taco: £4.50

Area of London: Soho

Booking policy: Bookable online or by phone, although the bar counter is always kept unreserved for walk ins

Perfect for: An after work treat

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Café Pacifico

If their claim to the best Margarita in London (held between 2017-2019) can’t tempt you, then add to that some of the tastiest tacos and we think we’ve given you a pretty solid excuse to visit Café Pacifico. Having been a Covent Garden stalwart since the 80’s, this is a well-oiled machine where the slightly scuffy, diner vibe adds to the ambiance. Being the only taqueria in our round-up, as far as we know, to offer up a duck option immediately makes this one for the to-dine list (we hope we’re not the only ones who harbour those). Breast strips are rbbed with a mole mixture and topped with crispy skin bits then finished off with caramalised onion chipotle salsa, avocado, rocket, blackberry, goat’s cheese and balsamic glaze. Not forgetting the sweet potato chips. Quite the mouthful. If you needed any further persuasion they offer a bargain lunch and kids menu.

Average price per taco: £6, although this includes sides, when ordered as a set portion of three, such as Mexican rice and sweet potato chips

Area of London: Covent Garden 

Booking policy: Bookable online or by phone

Perfect for: Big groups and family feasting

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Fancy a different dish? Try one of our top Mexican restaurants in London