Fantastic tacos and where to find them (in London)
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner and hope on the horizon, it seems the perfect time to get together with friends and family and dig into our favourite Mexican food. Tacos are always a great option for sharing and there’s something inexplicably satisfying about seeing those little circular tortillas loaded up with an array of colourful fillings. Here are our favourite fresh tacos and DIY kits for collection and delivery across the capital – and beyond.
The classy collaboration: Casa Calavera
2021 has been a year of many firsts, and among them is Casa Calavera, an exciting and perhaps unlikely new collaboration between the Hakkasan Group and Tom Booton of The Grill at The Dorchester. This virtual Mexican popup, available for London delivery, is the first venture of its kind, conceived last summer as an online-only service. When it comes to tacos, the iconic London hotel’s youngest-ever head chef has some fresh new ideas, and the Casa Gets Grilled Taco is certainly worth a try. The dish, inspired by the Cumbrian beef tartare dish at The Dorchester for which Booton is renowned, is a satisfying and classy mix of crisp taco, spicy beef, smooth egg yolk cut through with zingy pickled radish. Create your own Mexican fiesta at home by enjoying taqueria classics with a contemporary twist. The tacos are available via Deliveroo until 17th May within 2.5 miles of St James and the City.
The trusty chain: Wahaca
You’d have to have been living in lockdown your entire life to not have heard of Wahaca – and actually, thanks to their delivery service, even a quarantine couldn’t keep us away from one of the nation’s favourite Central American-inspired chains. This Mexican restaurant has built a reputation on its high-quality street food-style plates and cocktails as well as its sociable vibe, in which sharing is actively encouraged. There’s no better feasting food than tacos, and their range is extensive and eco-friendly, from the classic pork pibil and slow-cooked beef brisket to their new additions Grilled Halloumi “Al Pastor” and vegan-friendly Hibiscus-Glazed Aubergine. The new summer menu has a focus on seasonal, sustainably sourced produce including free-range pork and chicken, and it’s also over 50% veggie. Wahaca is also flying the flag for Cinco de Mayo from 30th April – 5th May with two special feasting menus and, of course, margaritas all round, including the brand new Picante which packs a spicy kick and a chilli garnish. Order online here for delivery or click and collect.
The nationwide newcomer: Taca Tacos
While the past year has not been great news for a lot of the hospitality industry, some new businesses have flourished on the delivery scene. Among these is Taca Tacos, whose range of DIY taco kits have proven incredibly successful since the service was launched less than a year ago in May 2020. It seems apt to celebrate their upcoming birthday by giving the kit a go ourselves, and we opt for the Mushroom “Carnitas”, comprising of juicy pulled King Oyster Mushrooms cooked in spices alongside freshly made corn tortillas, white and pink onions, house-made salsa, tortilla chips, a guacamole kit, pico de gallo, queso (hot cheese dip), lime, coriander and radish. There are also a set of easy-to follow instructions, and the results are devoured almost instantaneously. Order a kit online here – you can customise your kit for two, four or six, and there is also a Beef Birria and Chicken Pibil option.
The market trader: Tacos Padre
Tucked away in the ever-popular hub of Borough Market, Tacos Padres is a hot spot for foodies, offering up small Mexican plates alongside refreshing mezcal and margaritas. On this occasion, we avoid the bustle of the stalls with a DIY delivery. The Beef Short-Rib Suadero Taco Pack is a treasure trove of delicious treats: the box comes with the tender beef itself alongside indulgent beef fat tatemada, ten corn tortillas, lime, onion, coriander and extra spicy habanero guacachile salsa. Providing enough tasty ingredients to serve two, Tacos Padre have you covered for a night in. This kit offers the best of both worlds: it tastes just as good as one you’d be served at the counter, and yet you get all the fun of assembling yourself. There are three other tempting options to choose from, ranging from the Lamb Barbacoa and Pork Pibil Conchita to the Cauliflower Al Pastor. Order online here.
The Japanese twist: SugoiJPN
If you haven’t heard of noritacos yet, you are missing out. SugoiJPN, run by husband and wife team Felipe Preece and Veronica Silva, offers a crispy seaweed tempura shell with fillings inspired by both Latin American tacos and Japanese sushi. The couple claims to have spent “over a year” developing the snack, which they bring to multiple sites for home delivery and collection: Stockwell, Soho, Shoreditch and South Wimbledon. Order online here.
The cocktail pairer: DF Tacos
DF tacos is the fast-food spinoff of Wahaca, and despite being branded as casual comfort food, this Mexican restaurant serves some of the best tacos in town. With established sites in Tottenham Court Road and Shoreditch and now a newly opened venue in Brixton, this trendy joint – the kind with industrial-looking ceilings and fashionably exposed bricks – is also available to enjoy in homes across London. The pork pibil, the Chile beef, the classic chicken and the fish are all exceptional, with the slow-cooked beef (with ancho chile marinade, avocado salsa, crema and melted cheese) and the pork (with Achiote and citrus marinade, sour cream and pink pickled onions) stealing the limelight. It’s also worth picking up some chorizo nachos, and don’t forget a couple of punchy cocktails – the Frozen Passion Fruit Margarita and the Raspberry and Hibiscus Margarita both hit the spot. Order online here.
The comforting kit: Santo Remedio
The name of this London Bridge restaurant comes from a popular Mexican expression meaning “Holy Remedy”. Founders Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes felt that there was no better God-given cure than food, a crucial part of their national culture which is considered an unparalleled source of comfort in any and every situation. We couldn’t agree more, and their tacos are definitive proof. Though their business is South London-based, the husband-and-wife team have also produced a range of DIY taco Remedy Kits for two which come in three mouthwatering meaty options: Duck Carnitas, eight-hour slow-cooked Barbacoa Lamb Shank and 12-hour cooked Bone-in Short Rib. They also come complete with fresh garnishes and sides including house-made black beans, citrusy potato salad, crispy slaw, totopos and salsa roja. Visit their website here for nationwide delivery or local collection.
The impossible choice: Taqueria
The appeal of al fresco tables is difficult to resist. It’s a pity, though, that the same lure is attracting a huge crowd. Luckily, in addition to outdoor seating, Taqueria offers their tasty menu for takeaway. Placed into sturdy, perfectly shaped boxes, the tacos won’t run the risk of losing bits and pieces along the way, guaranteeing the delivery of succulent Mexican bites to enjoy in the comfort of your house, garden or local park. The danger lies rather in missing the classic El Pastor Tacos, filled with savoury charcoal-grilled pork. And as three is the magic number, tasting perfection is reached by ordering together with the Roadside Chicken and Fish Tacos – or any other mouth-watering combination from their list, really. Jumping to the rest of the menu, the restaurant also has unforgettable quesadillas – the Mexican Chorizo one particularly packed with explosive filling – and tostadas – choose the black bean for the original take. For the real party to begin, pick and dip crunchy totopos in smooth guacamole. And don’t forget to order the dessert! Order online here.
The success story: Breddos Tacos
Clerkenwell joint Breddos Tacos was originally founded as a taco shack in a Hackney car park back in 2011, before popping up around the world and then setting up a permanent home in the capital. Now the restaurant is making itself available Londonwide with Tacos El Rey, a dedicated delivery service forged in collaboration with Kitchen Ventures. While the food is inspired by roadside taquerias encountered throughout America and Mexico, the tacos are made with the best of British produce and come in five delicious flavours: Beef Rib Barbacoa; Chicken Tinga; Cochinita Pork Pibil; Cauliflower; and Butternut Squash and Potato “Chorizo”. The classic pork is a must-try, containing spicy braised pork shoulder, x-ni-pec and coriander along with rice and beans, onions and limes, house salsas and six corn tortillas. We’d say less is more when it comes to loading the tacos, and don’t forget the tortilla chips and guac for some much-needed crunch. Order online here.
The local love story: La Casa del burrito
We are nothing if not dedicated to the quest of finding the best tacos in the capital, and there’s nothing better than discovering a neighbourhood spot that justifies staying clear of central London. La Casa Del Burrito is a family-run restaurant serving traditional Mexican food in the heart of Stoke Newington. Offering a selection of burritos, tacos, quesadillas and delicious cocktails, this is a far cry from the Tex-Mex cuisines we’re more used to. Instead, La Casa Del Burrito serves some of the most authentic Mexican food this side of town that wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of Mexico City. We go for the chicken tacos and the pork tacos, which are absolutely delicious and packed full of meat, black beans, jalapenos, salsa verde, pico de gallo, guacamole and cheese. Don’t miss out: order online here for local delivery here or stop by for collection.
London’s staple: Mestizo
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine, you also can’t go wrong with Mestizo. The restaurant has earnt a stellar reputation built on its commitment to replicating not just bold Mexican flavours but also the colour, vibrancy and diversity of the country’s renowned culinary culture. Londoners lucky enough to have visited already might have witnessed the delightful taco tray, featuring a rainbow of different toppings which customers can use to create their own delicious tacos. This comes with a choice of four of the restaurant’s signature fillings, ranging from the shredded chicken Tinga Taco and Chorizo Taco to the black corn mushroom Cuitlacoche Taco and Flor de Calabaza Taco (courgette flower) – as well as garnishes such as guacamole, beans, pico de gallo, salsa roja, salsa verde, onion, coriander and sour cream. Order your tacos online here for local delivery or collection.
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