Sydney

The Best Mexican Restaurants in Sydney

Sydney's Mexican cuisine is improving. Here's the proof.

SoCal
Photo Courtesy Of www.yasminmund.com

Mexican restaurants in Sydney have come a long way, yet with all the offerings available, it seems we still have a long way to go, for more variety, more styles, and more culture. Not to mention, importing ingredients from South America is much easier in Northern Hemisphere countries than it is in Australia. 

With that said, over the past seven years, Sydney’s Latin American cuisine game has stepped up, and Sydneysiders are loving it. From Taco bars to margarita bars, here are Sydney’s best Mexican restaurants to try. 

Cartel
Photo Courtesy Of Cartel

Cartel

Chippendale
This fun and buzzing Mexican joint brings a lot of South American flavours, and culture to the table. They’re unapologetic in what they serve, including a traditional style ceviche (served in a bowl), and they do as much as they can, in the traditional way. You will notice the empanadas are not puff pastry and the corn chips are not the corn chips you know. Instead, they import dried corn, reboil it and mill it into flour to be made into masa (maize dough), which is then used to create tortillas, corn chips, and the pastry for the empanadas, among other things. Their drinks are also a standout, with cocktails made from avocado-washed tequila, cactus cocktails covered in worm salt, and a margarita tree that comes with 10 cocktails on a tree apparatus. International mixologist, is a whiz behind the bar, constantly breaking the rules and coming up with new concoctions that we haven’t seen before. It doesn’t get any better, or more authentic than Cartel.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Londres 126

Circular Quay
When it comes to offering a one-of-a-kind experience in Sydney, Londres 126 leads the pack. Meticulously designed in a heritage building on Loftus Street, the 1940s-inspired venue is rich in timeless detail and pays homage to Frida Kahlo’s infamous parties of yore. The menu reflects Mexico City’s dynamic food scene and champions Australia’s produce. A highlight is the signature guacamole served with chicharron crackling, a dusting of arbol chilli and agave syrup. The Al Pastor Fish tacos are a must—the addition of fennel salad is genius. Other highlights on the menu include the street corn drizzled with ancho mayonese, and the spiced duck breast with Davidson plum mole. While the food is phenomenal, the drinks take centre stage. Sample an extensive and rare range of wild agave mezcals and boutique tequilas. The cocktails take a spin on the classics, and even if you don’t like spirits, they have an Australian-led wine list to pair with your dish. If you’re looking for fancy Mexican food, rich in tradition and culture, book a table at Londres 126. You won’t regret it.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Rosa Cienfuegos Tamaleria

Dulwich Hill
This authentic Mexican deli serves one thing—tamales—and they serve the best tamales in Sydney. Each parcel is handmade in-store. You can take them home to enjoy or purchase ingredients from the store to make your own. If you’re nervous, just ask Rosa for tips. There are two types of tamales you can get. The first is Mexico City-style, with chicken and green salsa steamed in a corn husk and the second is Oaxaca-style—spicy Mexican capsicum with cheese steamed in a banana leaf.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Itacate

Redfern
Rosa Cienfuegos also owns Itacate, a casual all-day Mexican eatery and deli. This vibrant eatery is packed with generations of knowledge and Mexican flavour. Diners will find huevos divorciados, tacos, garnachas, and more. You can even pick up rare Mexican pantry finds such as spices and sauces. There’s nothing fancy about Itacate. Everything here is fun, colourful, and unbelievably tasty. Try it for yourself.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Casa Mérida

Potts Point
Casa Merida is a 70-seat venue drawing inspiration from the city of Mérida and offers a Mexican dining experience you won’t find anywhere else in Sydney. The palatial elegance and Mayan ancestry, juxtaposing stone and rustic time-worn interiors with chandeliers and luxe gold detailing creates a feeling of nostalgia and history. Although the menu is where you will find traditional Mayan cuisine, including the Cochinita Pibil—a traditional Yucatán pork dish. This is a must when dining here, but the chicken tacos are also good. For dessert, opt for the classic flan or the bitter orange dessert is also a crowd-pleaser.

Carbon Bondi
Photo By Kitti Gould

Carbon

Bondi
Carbon is all about Mexican woodfired dishes using traditional South American ‘parrilla’ techniques. Here, you will find a menu filled with classic dishes, including a range of tacos from chicken to mushrooms and larger main dishes that are ideal for sharing. Think charred cauliflower, lamb shoulder, half-roasted chicken, and grilled octopus served with Kipfler potatoes and chipotle pesto. The signature is to make your own tacos which you can choose from a range of meats and ingredients to make a delicious taco that’s all your own. The drinks here are just as important as the food. Choose from an extensive range of mezcals and a selection of blue agave tequilas, which will transport you to Mexico. Of course, you can always savour a margarita or try a mezcal old-fashioned.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Chula

Potts Point
Mexican cuisine doesn’t have to be all about tacos and burritos. Chula focuses on seafood, offering up a light and fresh menu with Mexican flavours and techniques from ex-pat chef Alvaro Valenzuela, who moved to Sydney from Mexico City. Start with tuna sashimi tostadas or a classic ceviche before digging into the Baja tacos and garlic prawn quesadilla. While seafood is their signature, be sure to try their other offerings, including slow-cooked brisket tacos, octopus, and enchiladas filled with braised chicken or mushrooms. If you want a taste of everything, the set menu ($55 per person) is a great way to travel with food. Expect BBQ corn cob, potato and chorizo enchiladas, and more. You might also notice the sizeable bar, offering margarita options and other fun tequila cocktails. Chula is a great place to explore Latin America without leaving the country.

Sonora
Photo By Kitti Gould

Sonora

Potts Point
The team behind Bondi’s Taqiza, Carbon, La Palma & Calita, is also operating this Mexican restaurant and mezcal bar in Potts Point. Sonora is inspired by the dining scene found in Roma and Condesa, not to mention the coastal town of Sonora, known for its love of flour tortillas over corn. The menu is small, but the flavours are big, and they love their flavours. You will find tuna ceviche, kingfish aguachile, BBQ eggplant, octopus zarandeado, and wagyu flank steak with chimichurri on the menu. Enjoy a selection of homemade salsas to accompany any of the dishes. As for dessert, there are no churros, but you will find flan and grilled pineapple with agave syrup. If you’re looking to feast, the bottomless menu is a 1.5-hour session of unlimited tacos, salsas, and all-you-can-drink margaritas.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Ricos Tacos

Roseberry, Marrickville, and Chippendale
After being forced out of The George In Waterloo, partly due to the pandemic, Toby Wilson took his tacos on wheels, introducing us to Ricos Tacos. You can find these flavour-packed tacos at Grifter Brewing Co. in Marrickville. They also have a permanent brick-and-mortar store in Chippendale. The menu is always changing. Following their Instagram page is a good way to see what’s cooking. Expect a range of tacos from cauliflower to pulled beef, topped with different kinds of salsa, including the infamous Taco King salsa. The hashbrowns are also legendary.

Bad Hombres
Photo By Bad Hombres – Madeleine Ryan

Bad Hombres

Surry Hills
This Mexican inspired eatery is vegan, which is not something you hear a lot of. The menu is a playful take on Mexican classics including nachos, quesadillas, ceviche, and others. For example, nachos come with cashew cream, and mushrooms replace fish in the ceviche. You will also find tacos filled with miso eggplant, Baja jackfruit, and chipotle potato. The sharing plates are great for when you want to try a little of everything including oyster mushrooms stir-fried Peruvian style or mole enchiladas with sweet potato, kale, corn, and house ‘cheddar.’ Their drinks list also contains natural wines and a range of mezcals.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Chica Bonita

Manly
Literally meaning pretty girl, Chica Bonita marries Mexican flavours with Australian ingredients. Think steak and chorizo tacos or crispy tempura corn with spicy miso tacos. You will even find a cheeseburger taco on the menu, which features beef, cheese, avocado, white onion, mayo and pickles. While tacos rule the dinner service, lunch focuses on burritos and bowls. Burritos come in all kinds of styles, including veggie, crumbed fish, chicken, steak, and lamb. Any of these flavours come in the bowls too. As for drinks, there’s a list of margaritas and mezcals on offer, including several types of tequila.

SoCal
Photo Courtesy Of www.yasminmund.com

SoCal

Neutral Bay
SoCal, short for Southern California, is an airy, light-filled restaurant in Neutral Bay serving up a slice of the Southern California vibe alongside a Latin America-inspired menu. Expect street food, low n slow-smoked meats, house-made sauces, and indulgent sides. Bite into a soft-shell crab taco or an Australian take on a taco dubbed the chip butty. There are also a number of shared dishes, including fried smoked wings, jerk chicken thigh cutlets, Kingfish tiradito, tiger prawns, and achiote cauliflower with cashew cream and tomatillo. The drinks menu includes everything from daytime cocktails to tequilas and plenty of cervezas. SoCal is famous for its fiestas, so be sure to check out their Instagram to keep an eye on the next event, including a comedy night and tequila masterclass.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Cantina Bar

Balmain
Head to Balmain for this Mexican watering hole slinging $5 tacos on Tuesdays and $10 margaritas on Saturdays and Sundays between 12 pm to 5 pm. The menu is fun and down-to-earth with simple tacos and big flavours. Suppose you’re up for the challenge, opt-in for the tacos tasting board, which comes with six different tacos for $40. You will also find quesadillas, duck tostadas, tuna ceviche, a fajita salad bowl, and spiced chipotle wings. Let’s not forget about the desserts. Churros, a Latin pavlova, and not to be missed, Xocoatl, which is a Mexican chocolate and avocado mousse served with crushed pistachios, pomegranate, candied pasilla and sweet tostadas. There’s a lot to love about Cantina Bar—see for yourself.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Esteban

CBD
Hailing from the team behind Tequila Mockingbird is Esteban, a two-storey Mexican restaurant with one of the biggest collections of premium tequilas and mezcals in Australia. Upstairs you will find the restaurant, and if you venture downstairs, there is a mezcal bar and a laneway dining space to enjoy. They make their corn tortillas in-house, and the custom-built Parilla grill and vertical charcoal rotisserie turn out all the yummy meats for the tacos and larger main dishes, including an Ironbark grilled chicken. The restaurant upstairs focuses on indulgent options from wattleseed rubbed duck breast and a Wagyu 1kg Delmonico rib eye served with a selection of sides, including charred carrots with agave butter and grilled broccolini. Downstairs, the menu takes a street food approach, with tacos, ceviche and tortas available from lunch until late.

El Loco
Photo Courtesy Of El Loco

El Loco

Surry Hills
Walk around Surry Hills and you’ll come across a vibrant little eatery, serving a little of Mexico in Sydney. Operated by Merivale, this cheeky spot, is a great lunch break, or for after-work drinks. If you’re a night owl, stick around, El Loco’s DJ’s will have you sipping and dancing all night long. The menu is extensive and includes tacos, either signature or DIY style, quesadillas, large plates, and sides, so if you have a group of friends or are on a date night, El Loco is a great place for any occasion. The DIY taco platters are a crowd-pleaser. You get eight soft flour tortillas, lettuce, pickled jalapeños and onion, guacamole, grilled corn, refried beans, and pico de gallo. Sip on margaritas or enjoy a range of Caballito shooters packed with colour and flavour.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Mejico

CBD
How do you like your guacamole? Smashed tableside? We Agree. Mejico is a modern Mexican restaurant and bar on Pitt Street, that has been serving Central American cuisine since 2013. Still a popular haunt, Mejico has an industrial vibe inside with exposed brick walls, and concrete beams, but the menu is refined and sophisticated. Focusing on market-fresh food, the menu is split into street snacks, tacos, and mains. The street snacks include empanadas, jalapeno poppers, corn ribs with chilli, and patatas bravas smashed potatoes with paprika and smoked cayenne aioli. Their tacos are classics including chicken, beef, and prawn, but are a must-try. The market menu is where flavours and techniques shine. Expect to find beef tartare, beetroot carpaccio, chargrilled octopus with Amarillo sauce and puffed rice, and a watermelon salad with mint and habanero sprinkled with Mexican dukkah. To drink, choose from over 230 tequila and mezcals, or work your way through the cocktails list including a Mexo Espresso.

best mexican restaurants sydney

Flying Fajita Sistas

Glebe
Despite its comical name, Flying Fajita Sistas serves serious festive flavours in its little shop in Glebe. It’s mostly known as a local haunt, but you will find out-of-towners digging into small and large plates designed to be shared. The prices are on the more affordable side, with two tacos for $13 or three for $18. You can choose your filling with options such as jackfruit, roasted cauliflower, mango and avocado, grilled chicken, and beef brisket. You will also find nachos and burritos on the menu along with their signature fajitas which you assemble yourself at the table. To pair with your fajita or taco, trust in the sangria of the week. They know how to make a good one.

Calita
Photo By Kitti Gould

Calita

Bondi
The team behind Taqiza and Carbon is also continuing their love of Mexican fare here at Calita, which appropriately has a focus on seafood. While enjoying seaside views of Bondi, dig into sustainably sourced seafood and Baja Peninsula-inspired dishes in the form of tacos or botanas, also known as snacks and share plates. Think blue swimmer crab tostadas, calamari ceviche, smoked trout, and spiced prawn tacos. There’s even a Mexican take on fish and chips. For dessert, a pineapple and tequila sorbet awaits as well as homemade churros with dipping sauces: dulce de leche, macadamia, and chocolate. The drinks menu highlights several beers, but you would be amiss if you didn’t give the Tommy margarita a try.

Taqiza
Photo By Kitti Gould

Taqiza

Bondi
Here is another Bondi Mexican joint, from the same owners as Calita and Carbon. Taqiza, meaning taco party is exactly that. Here, you will find taco combinations like BBQ salmon, beef cheeks, grilled barramundi, octopus, and pork belly—to name a few. It’s the perfect place for taco lovers looking to expand their taqueria knowledge. Of course, they have a few other items on the menu including quesadillas and ceviche as a starter. If you love a taco Tuesday, be sure to drop by here for $6 tacos and $14 drinks.

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Sydney

All of the Sydney Food News You Need to Know

For all your Sydney food moments.

Family or friends having pizza party dinner. Flat-lay of people clinking glasses with red wine over rustic wooden table with various kinds of Italian pizza, top view. Fast food lunch, celebration (Family or friends having pizza party dinner. Flat-lay
Photo By Foxys_forest_manufacture/Getty Images

There’s plenty to celebrate this year, from new menus to restaurants throwing parties, bottomless brunches, and more.

Here, we have the latest on Sydney’s food news, from chefs taking over restaurants to limited-edition menus and feasts for all your friends to enjoy.

  • To celebrate World Gin Day, and for one week only, gin and food lovers can try nagashi-sōmen—translating to ‘flowing noodles’— which sees noodles sent down a bamboo chute for diners to collect with chopsticks. The one-off experience will be hosted at Kid Kyoto, where guests can enjoy their flowing noodles alongside a menu paired with delicious KI NO BI Gin cocktails. Purchase tickets here.
  • Tuck into a Fireball Burger
  • Feeling the cold? Fireball Whisky and Bar Luca have teamed up for the ultimate firey menu. Offered for a limited time only, head down to Bar Luca for $6 Fireball shots all day, a Fireball shot and cocktail on arrival, and an all-you-can-eat bites of the full “Blame Fireball” menu on Saturday, July 1. Book a spot here
  • For two nights only, on Tuesday the 20th and Tuesday 27th of June, Graeme Hunt, Head Chef of Sydney’s trending late-night bar and dining venue at Zaffi, will be stepping up to the kitchen at award-winning bar PS40. Pop-up guests can expect a mosaic of colourful Lebanese-inspired bar snacks paired with exclusive midweek sips made by the mastermind behind the experimental bar, Michael Chiem.
  • Fan of Cinderella? The Great Hall is transforming into The Royal Palace for an enchanting high tea from July 1-2. There will be dancing and fun, and then Cinderella will run out of the venue leaving behind her glass slipper—the search for the missing beauty will begin. Tickets for the Cinderella High Tea costs $80-85 and you can purchase them here.
  • Grill’d has dropped two new burgers, and they’re beyond anything we could have imagined. Taking inspiration from Mexico, Grilld’s two new burgers are a Zesty Mexi and Luxe Nacho Burger. The Zesty Mexi features a black bean pattie with corn chips, tasty cheese, slaw, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo mixed with green tomatillo lime salsa. For meat lovers, the Luxe Nacho Burger is the same as the Zesty Mexi, but with a premium Wagyu pattie.

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