First published on 23 Mar 2012. Updated on 5 Mar 2014.
At Los Amates, they make their own mole. Impressed? You should be, it takes two days to prep, roast and combine the smoky chilli peppers, bitter Mexican chocolate and umpteen spices into that smooth sauce with transformative powers. Owner Arturo Morales is a Mexican star in a Texican city, so make sure you try the specials, hit a tequila with housemade sangrita (like citrusy salsa in drink form) and get braised cactus on your tacos. Fitzroy.
Terrariums! Tequila! Corn! Queues! That’s Mamasita for you, where the best snacks are hand-held. Try mix and match tacos served soft-shelled and smacking fresh – think limey grilled fish, slow roasted pork shoulder or turkey breast bathing in a rich, sweet, bitter black mole. Head in after 11pm on a Friday or Saturday when the ‘taqueria’ menu (a limited selection of taco based foods) runs until 2am. Melbourne.
Here they’re doing six types of tacos, a zesty guacamole and save for a weekly special that’s the whole story. You’ll get tres tacos for a cool $15, making these the cheapest yet most amply stacked snacks in town. Pork, crackling and grilled pineapple, flamed strips of medium rare steak with a rough corn salsa and plump prawns with creamy heat from a chipotle aioli are all winning fillers. Richmond.
Kangaroo burritos, smoky mayo-smothered corn and house made salsa are all well and good, but we’ll keep coming back to Fonda’s for their boozy slushies. Stick a straw in your elderflower, lychee’n’tequila ‘margarita’ and schlep it out to the raging bright fuscia and orange courtyard with some crunchy pork rinds (Chicharrón) and a cheesy quesadilla. Richmond.
For breakfast order up a plate of huevos divorciados (translation, divorced eggs). You get a pair of sunny yolked fried eggs, salsa roja (red), herby salsa verde (green) and refried beans soaking into warmed tortillas. It'll only set you back a tenner, or you can add guacamole or chorizo to anything for $4. No brekky Margaritas here so you'll have to sette for a well made coffee or a grapefruit Jarritos soda – pride of Mexico. Fitzroy North.
Unless you’ve got an Aztec granny, these are the best tortillas you’re gonna lay your hands on in Melbourne. Australian corn maize is soaked, cooked overnight and stone ground to make a thick dough that's fed into a machine and, like magic, soft yellow discs emerge. They also do a small menu of Mexico City street food, including tacos al Pastor - free-range (Otway) pork marinated in achiote, ancho and guajillo chillies and – wait for it – cola. Kensington.
Mi Corazon wouldn’t look out of place in its homeland – wicker chairs, religious iconography and 120-plus tequilas holding up the bar. Whet your appetite with a mezcalita – smoky mezcal, orange liqueur, lime juice and a chilli salt rim, and don’t go past the chalupas de frijoles: housemade tortillas served flat and laden with beans, cactus, lettuce, green salsa and mashed potato (damn right!). Brunswick East.
S’up fools! You want some streetwyze tacos? Inside Davis Yu’s brand spanking new city den, there’s a wrestling ring, '80s video games and animals in sombreros overseeing the make-believe Mexican menu. The word 'authentic' left the conversation months ago, so why not have tacos with chimichurri (which is Argentinean), or lambs brains; or how about a mint, lime and tequila snow cone? Melbourne.
Here, amidst the 70s orange tiles and bamboo benches your corn tortilla tacos 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. Plus they do the fiercest Margarita we’ve ever fallen into, served straight up in a short salt-rimmed tumbler. Fitzroy.
Sign up to our monthly food & drink newsletter