Remember when Mexican food was a box of hard-shelled tacos, a block of cheddar and a packet of spice mix?
We've moved on from those days. Not only are Melbourne's next-generation cantinas importing the obscure chillies, types of corn and other ingredients required to make authentic Mexican food, but they also have the drinks to match. So do it like the Mexicans do: order a few rounds of tacos or tostadas, and match with a michelada, tequila or mezcal.
When you get the munchies for some Mexican food, it can be pretty overwhelming with the variety of Mexican restaurants Melbourne offers. Luckily for you, we’ve pinned down the ultimate spots to curb your taco cravings and get the party started with some tequila cocktails. Join the fiesta and keep scrolling to see the best Mexican restaurants Melbourne has to offer.
There’s something about Mexican food that instantly transports you. It’s the smokiness, the crunch, the lime, the avocado, the chilli and the coriander. Quite simply, it’s everything.
The Best 20 Mexican Restaurants In Melbourne
There’s nothing quite like the culinary offering of Mexican cuisine. Its regional specialities and diverse dishes have captured the hearts and stomachs of us all.
From the subtle addition of crisp and balanced pico de gallo in slow-cooked beef tacos, the romance of Mexican food is second to none.
So sit back and crack open an ice-cold (no, not that one) because we’ve rounded up a list of the best Mexican restaurants you can find in Melbourne.
If hour-long lunch lines are anything to go by, then the CBD’s Mamasita is the best in the biz. These guys rode into Melbourne on the new wave of modern Mexican restaurants several years ago. However, they’re still kicking goals to this day with their delicious braised prawn tacos, mojo chicken tostadas and bbq octopus.
Also, you absolutely can’t leave without treating yourself to a cocktail. It’s the salted grapefruit Paloma for us.
Melbourne based Mexican restaurant Mamasita has had its door open since 2010 and continues from strength to strength in its pursuit of authentic Mexican cuisine.
Experimenting with regional flavours and seasonal dishes provides an ever-changing menu to keep things exciting and fresh. They even have an in-house Mezcalier to talk you through everything to do with agave spirits.
As one of Melbourne’s original taquerias, Mamasita still brings it. We recommend eating your way through the vibrant menu, starting with the rockling ceviche with ají panca, fennel, pomelo and river mint, moving on to the mushroom tostadas with poblano, huitlacoche and cotija, and then the lengua tacos with braised ox tongue, arbol salsa and crema.
This Mexican tequila bar and the kitchen is the latest addition to Curtin House on Swanston Street. Mesa Verde has cemented their position on the top rungs of the Melbourne Mexican scene with its pork carnitas tacos, kingfish ceviche tostada and Mexican mushroom quesadillas.
Aside from the gourmet food menu, they also have a 10-page drinks list, which includes the Ghost Face Killer chilli margarita, the Frida Kahlo cocktail, sangria jugs, tequila and unlimited drinks by the bottle.
The bold and unique Mesa Verde is dishing it out with the traditional Mexican flavours and one of Australia’s largest tequila and mezcal collections. If you want to up the spice factor, add some of their ‘Hazard sauce’ to any dish, guaranteed to have even the toughest guys weeping. Check it out on a Friday or Saturday, where the atmosphere is festive with live DJs.
A seriously happening little spot on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Little Hop's red shopfront is always overflowing with eager taco enthusiasts.
Its narrow, dimly lit space with candle lighting will often result in you being elbow to elbow with other diners as you dig into their banging fish taco with a cocktail in hand. They also have a smashing range of craft beers on tap and in tinnies.
Visiting Queen Vic Market now means more than just rip-off ugg boots and hot jam doughnuts, and it's all thanks to Hello José
who's nestled in on the fringe of the fresh fruit and 1D memorabilia hub.
Though the menu may be pint-sized, the flavours will have you binning your Old El Paso soft taco kits before the day is through. Choose from seven different taco fillings and tummy liners like chipotle chicken wings, chargrilled corn, tostadas and churros.
Developed by two housemates after a trip to Mexico, Hello Jose was born, where the tacos are plentiful, and the tequila is ever-flowing. The atmosphere is relaxed, and all the worries of the world can be washed away with a couple of margaritas, some tasty Mexican food and great company. Check it out on a Tuesday for some free comedy.
Taquito took a while to find its footing but has now established itself as some of the best Mexican eats this side of the city. Concerned with authenticity first and foremost, you can trust Alec Villarreal (the Mexican-born owner) and Paul Clarke (the Mexican-food-obsessed New Zealand-born chef) to take you on a culinary journey to Mexico City and beyond.
When it comes to Mexican food, the humble tortilla is king. The flat, circular bread is the anchor for most of Mexico’s most popular dishes, which makes it somewhat surprising that Taquito is one of the only spots in Melbourne that makes its own on-site. La tortilleria – which is also on the list – does as well, but given the city’s high density of authentic Mexican restaurants, you’d think there were more.
This small Carlton kitchen is a stickler for detail, dressing up those stone-ground gluten-free corn tortillas to the perfect proportion, highlighting how much better Mexican is when not only texture and flavour is paramount, but dimension too.
The perfectly sized tacos come with plenty of different fillings, such as crispy skin chicken chicharron, Baja style crispy fish, slow-cooked pork hock, and chamomile baked sweet potato. However, it’d be a mistake to stick to just tacos here, with other essentials like the kangaroo tartare on a blue corn tostada with leek cream and cured egg yolk and eggplant barbacoa with pineapple salsa and Mexican rice.
Tacos and booze are the ultimate combos for any day of the week so that you can enjoy Mexico’s best (and booziest) culture in Bodega’s cool underground venue. Plus, you can’t beat their 3 am tacos.
This little underground spot is the perfect place in Melbourne to grab some Mexican food. Bodega Underground is (as you can probably guess) in a basement. It’s got you covered for all your favourite Mexican dishes including, octopus tacos, sweet and spicy pork carnitas, prawn ceviche and totopos with guacamole. Not to mention the impressive wall lined with 70 mezcals and 20 tequilas.
There’s now a reason to head to Brunswick that isn't cheap custom-fitted jeans...and that’s $5 tacos. With seven different taco fillings, including lamb, chicken, zucchini and green beans, potato and Jalapeño-infused eggs, all at $5 a pop, you’ll never feel so full having spent so little then at Los Hermanos. (You can then spend all that money you saved on tequila).
For a real Mexican fiesta, you can’t go past Los Hermanos. It’s the type of place for some late-night tacos or to keep the party going. Share a few dishes over some drinks, and you really can’t go wrong here. It’s everything you’d want from a traditional Mexican Taqueria and one of the best spots for Mexican food Melbourne has to offer.
For authentic Mexican dishes served well into the night, head to Los Hermanos. The de barbacoa (if that sounds familiar because it’s the origins of the word “barbeque”) is a stand out – slow-cooked leg of lamb served on an open tortilla.
Mamasita fans rejoice because they have a SECOND VENUE. Hotel Jesus is the Collingwood-based little brother of the CBD’s Mexican matriarch. Smack bang in the middle of Smith Street, this tostaderia is renowned for its pork and pineapple tortillas and seafood-stuffed tacos, but also its huge range of whistle-wetters, including tequila, mezcal, cocktails and sangria on tap.
Also a part of the Mamasita crew, Hotel Jesus offers a bright and fun interior with loads of attention to detail and, of course, the food! Its 70s inspired Mexican taqueria style lacks any pretentiousness, serving up simple and authentic Mexican dishes. You won’t be disappointed spending an afternoon or evening sampling the shareable dishes. It’s a little slice of Mexico in Melbourne.
It’s referred to as a no-frills Mexican bar and diner, and while it’s not frilly (think white and blue tiles and Coca-Cola signs), it’s filling. For a relatively small venue, the menu is big, so we recommend going for “feed me” – a chef’s selection of the restaurant’s favourite dishes designed to share.
South Of The Wall
Still one of our favourite openings of 2017. South Of The Wall stole our hearts with their endless margarita menu (TEN different margaritas, baby) and their Donald Trump mural in the sunny courtyard outback. A cracking venue for work functions, after dark tequila shots and lazy Saturday arvos. The decor has a vaguely Tikki kind of feel. Weird, but it works. Pro tip: go for the kingfish ceviche.
Bodriggy & Co
The Bodriggy & Co menu is quite robust and a little more ‘sophisticated’ than your typical Melbourne Mexican place. I mean, if you tend to roll your eyes at the sight of ‘tacos’ on your run-of-the-mill pub menu, there’s none of that here. Instead, we’re talking ceviche, cauliflower steak if you want to get fancy, and even some juicy beef short rib if you’re feeling hungry. There are also tacos, of course. And they’re great.
This fusion of food truck and fine dining is one of the biggest highlights of the St Kilda food scene.
With a menu packed with juicy authentic dishes like chipotle tamarind pork ribs, spanner crab and corn and potato and chorizo quesadillas, Radio Mexico is everything you didn't know you needed in a modern Mexican restaurant. A special mention also goes to the carnitas, which are bite-sized tacos with crispy cheese crust.
Radio Mexico’s casual eatery in Melbourne serves up Mexican street food from their custom-built ‘Carro de tacos’. Walk-ins are welcomed here, so grab a menu and have a cheeky beer and a taco or order a bunch of shared food in a group. Plus, 2-for-1 Margaritas on Mondays are a good enough excuse to check this place out.
If you’re after traditional (not nachos made with potato wedges), you need to put a hot date to Jalisco Mexican on your calendar toot sweet. These guys have street corn to phone home about, stuffed jalapenos worth returning for and fish tacos that’ll have you ruining the day you ever ordered nachos from Taco Bill on UberEATS.
La Tortilleria is the only restaurant in Australia that stone-grinds its tortillas from scratch and takes it from us. They’re solid. This little boutique restaurant is tucked away in a quiet Kensington culdesac and is quite possibly the west’s greatest hidden secret.
Every Tuesday, you can grab some of their delicious tacos (made with homemade tortillas) for only $4.50 each ($5.50 for fish tacos). Leaving without trying their vanilla flan is also basically a crime, so don’t make the same mistake we did the first four times we went for marinated pork tacos.
Mexican born Gerardo Lopez and business partner Diana Hull are known for their original production of their award-winning tortillas. You can even stock up on your tortillas to take home with you.
If you want to experience the real taste of Mexican tortillas without the trip, La Tortilleria has got to be one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants Melbourne has to offer.
Nestled on Gertrude Street is Trippy Taco, Melbourne's entirely vegetarian Mexican restaurant. Open for a late breakfast and well into the evening, Trippy is the hotspot for craft beer-swilling hipsters, but in no way should that deter you.
Get your butt into that cute space and order a sangria jug, teamed with a big plate of nachos and a burrito and topped all off with some sick beats, then tell me you don't love it.
Serving up some of the most delicious and pocket-friendly Mexican eats around, Village Cantina in Yarraville is a top contender for some of Melbourne’s best Mexican eats. With plenty of deals, including cheap tacos and dinner combos, you’ll want to hit up this colourful little eatery stat.
Si Senor Art Taqueria
“Eat, Drink, Love Taco” is Si Senor’s motto, and we’re vibing with it. Not only does the quirky taqueria have one of the best and colourful courtyards around, but take a seat and order up some truly stunning Mexican eats. From tacos to chunky guac, wash it all down with some tequila or margaritas, and you’ve got yourself a fiesta.
Headed by Mexican chef Cindy Flores, Si Senor Art Taqueria, one of the best Mexican restaurants Melbourne offers, is an art-filled, neon-infused space for some good Mexican food. Cheese oozing burritos, pulled beef brisket tacos, zesty prawn ceviche and refried bean frijoles are just some of the offerings you can expect. Pair with an imported Cerveza or a classic mojito.
Fonda Mexican is an ideal entry point to casual, Mexican street food. This is pick-it-up and put-it-in-your-mouth-immediately kind of food – from the chargrilled corn with chipotle aioli and the fried green tomato tacos to the pasilla chicken quesadilla with pico de gallo, there’s everything to love about this colourful, bustling eatery.
Address: 248 Swan St, Richmond,
You can expect some pretty tasty Mexican street food at Melbourne’s Paco’s Tacos. Fresh corn tortillas are made daily combined with fresh farm produce and Mexico’s regional flavours expertly cooked by Paco’s Tacos chefs. It’s a fun and lively place to enjoy an affordable $6 taco, sample the craft beers or a classic Margarita and catch up with mates.
Address: Level 1/500 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Going strong since 2011 and showing no signs of stopping, Touché Hombre is all about the fiesta, shareable snacks, long communal tables and an impressive list of 80 different tequilas.
Choose from a range of tacos, elotes, fried chicken, spiced corn, ceviche, and so much more. So for some of the best Mexican Melbourne has to offer, Touché Hombre is a winner.
Address: 233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Frankie’s Tortas & Tacos
Fresh-faced Frankie’s Tortas and Tacos looks a bit lonely on Smith Street, but this formidable Collingwood kiosk has plenty of company when it comes to the regular queue of hungry folk wreathing around the spot.
It’s that old-school paper plate appeal that Melbourne locals can’t resist, offering a fuss-free atmosphere with a tiny, roughly defined dining area caged by wall wire fencing.
Collingwood was given this bare-bones kiosk late last year, and throughout the pandemic, it’s been a beacon for simple take-home enchiladas made to nothing but perfection. On the regular, the menu sticks true to the name – tortas, tacos, and not much else.
And whether it’s a Milanese-style beef torta or one of those powerful al pastor tacos, it’s unlikely any fan of Mexican street food would leave disappointed.
Address: 384 Smith St, Collingwood
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants
You can find some of the best Mexican food in Melbourne at Touché Hombre, Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria, Si Senor Art Taqueria, Bodega Underground, and Mamasita, to name just a few places.
Some of Melbourne's top Mexican restaurants are open as late as 10 pm or even midnight. Going the extra mile is Bodega Underground, which is open until 3 am every day of the week.
Read the facts:
- There are three different colours of corn tortillas: Yellow, red and blue.
- In the USA, Mexican food is called Tex Mex.
- Tortillas are in the diet of hundreds of families in México.
- Mexican food is healthy because it has the perfect blend of all food groups between carbs and proteins.
Today Mexican Cuisine is a nice blend of indigenous and Spanish cuisine. It is still based on beans, corn, tortillas, and chilli peppers, but they are usually served with some meat and cheese. Most dishes come with some rice and spices as well, a clear nod to the European influence.
Since ancient times, the most important foods in the Mexican diet have been corn, beans, squash, tomatillos, and chile peppers. The role of these ingredients in Mexican food culture through the centuries is the basis of this volume.