Time Out Melbourne

Don't know your ensalada from your enchilada? Your tacos from tostadas? Peruse our handy guide to Melbourne's best Mexican

First we had Taco Bill's and cheap (read: dirty) margaritas, then all of a sudden we were queueing up to eat slow cooked al pastor beef tacos and drinking Jarritos orange sodas. Melbourne is now one of Australia's best spots to try top-notch Mexican: we've put together some of the best eateries from the traditional to the unabashedly inauthentic. Already thinking about your next international food adventure? Try Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants, Chinese eateries and pizza joints.


It's been years since this Collins Street eatery opened, and yet you still need to queue up the entrance stairwell to score a seat. Centred on banquet-style dining, Mamasita's menu offers quesadillas, tacos, tostadas (think taco filling on toasted tortillas), and palate-cleansing ceviche to share. Melbourne.

Paco's Tacos

Paco's Tacos is brought to you by the MoVida crew – but unlike MoVida, you won't have to save up for a decent spread. In fact, the tacos will only set you back $6. Options include the carnitas, blue grenadier pescado, and the carne ahumada slow cooked brisket with cactus salad. Melbourne.

Los Hermanos

Lords of the late-night taco, Los Hermanos serves flavour-packed street-style shells for $5 a pop. A de pollo taco includes slow-cooked chicken in chipotle salsa and green tomatillo salsa, and for the vegetarians, there's the Tex Mex-style zucchini and corn calabazitas with sour cream, grilled manchego and fresh tomatoes. Brunswick.

Mesa Verde

Located one floor below Rooftop Bar and one above the Toff in Town, this Mexican eatery is perfectly situated for a pre-drinking lunch or dinner. Pick from the list of tacos or try the Mexican take on grilled cheese sandwiches called queso fundido, melted oaxaca and local cheeses in warm tortillas. Melbourne.

Trippy Taco

Expect your corn tortilla tacos to come out packing a jammin’ combo of chilli-spiced and grilled tofu or black beans with thick slices of avocado, mozzarella cheese, and a fresh tomato salsa. Vegos rejoice: every last burrito and taquito (crisp corn tortilla cigars coated in cheese, guacamole and salsa) is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free. Fitzroy.

Fonda Mexican

Fonda Mexican adds a touch of fun to the old cantina. The menu pushes traditional fare including the pulled pork al pastor and juicy fried fish tacos. The ensaladas (salads, not to be confused with enchilada) lighten things up if you're not into a meaty meal. Try the refreshing horchata and make it loco with some extra booze for added punch. As well as the Richmond original, there are also branches on Flinders Lane and in WindsorRichmond.

Los Amates Mexican Kitchen

It's a fiesta every day of the year at this colourful Fitzroy Mexican eatery. Sharing is encouraged so bring a few buddies. For a crash course in Mexican street food, try the street food platter, which includes grilled corn, tacos, quesadillas fritas, taquitos dorados (fried rolled up tacos) and sope. Fitzroy.

Chingon Cantina y Taqueria

It’s a straight shooting menu here. They’re doing six types of tacos, a zesty guacamole and save for a weekly special that’s the whole story. And yet, you’ll be hard pressed to land a table on a Tuesday. Melbourne clearly wants a simple serve of good times with tasty snacks on the side. Chingón has both in spades. Richmond.

La Tortilleria

La Tortilleria does a small menu of Mexico City street food: the crowd favourite is the Mexican barbecue classic, tacos al pastor. The filling is free-range Otway pork that is marinated in achiote, ancho and guajillo chillies and – wait for it – cola. Kensington.

El Chino

You don't come across a taqueria, bakery and coffee shop hybrid very often, but at El Chino it works. The menu is made to share and changes seasonally, with winter offerings centered on meaty, belly-warming dishes while summer sees cool specials like housemade paletas (icypoles) and granitas. Fitzroy North.

Radio Mexico

Settle into Radio Mexico's sunny courtyard and go the snack route with the botanas small plates menu, where you can munch on like the chilaquiles chips. Otherwise, go big and order a large plate of tacos to share or main sized dishes like the juicy mole verde de pollo. St Kilda.

Beach Burrito Fitzroy

We don’t have a beach in Fitzroy, but we do have a skate bowl in a restaurant. While you won't get an authentic taste of Mexico here, you will get wallet-friendly tacos, burritos, fajitas, and chimichangas. Peruse the margarita and tequila menu with caution. Fitzroy.

Bay City Burrito

Burritos are pretty much the ultimate portable meal: you get beans, guac, rice, cheese and meat all wrapped up in one compact package. The guys at Bay CIty Burrito really get and they have the codiment-to-rice-to-protein ratio down pat with their San Francisco style burritos. If you're a picky eater, there's also the option of creating your own burrito. St Kilda.

Updated on 25 Sep 2015.

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