Sin Vida | Image credit: Ariana Gillrie
It's been a while since we took stock of the taco and tequila slingers about town. There have been a few newcomers to the scene since we last met, shaking their maracas in the face of the Mexican institutions we've come to know and love. But, in the words of a very wise niñita, ¿porque no los dos?.
The Mexican bandwagon has well and truly rolled out of town, leaving only the softest of tortillas and tastiest mole in its wake. It's time to taco bout some of the best Mexican restaurants in Brisbane...
From the team who brought you Mighty Mighty and Buffalo Bar, sultry newcomer Sin Vida won us over right from the starters: pork crackling with achiote and lime? Blackened sweet corn with queso fresco cheese and chilli crema? Ay dios mio! The menu at this Day of the Dead-themed cantina in M&A Lane is made for sharing... except the caramel quesadilla with sweetcorn gelato. Get your own.
Cranking up the heat at The Barracks, Los Villanos specialised in quick and tasty Mexican morsels. Think house-made tortilla chips with super-fresh salsa, tostadas, tacos, burritos and quesadillas. The taco roulette platter isn't much of a gamble if you're dining with friends / just really like tacos. Los Villanos is also the good amigo of Gordita if you're feeling a little less mezcal and a little more sangria.
Juan More Taco
Insert "said no Juan ever" joke here. All puns aside, Juan More Taco is one of our favourite Brisbane food trucks. They specialise in traditional corn tortillas piled with slow cooked pork, Yucatan-style chicken, spicy braised beef and all the salsas under the southern sun. Wash it down with an agua fresca: a creamy rice and cinnamon drink, or iced tea made of dried hibiscus flowers.
California Native in Coorparoo serves their Mexican with a laidback cali-style menu that includes jalepeno poppers, chilli fries, spiced corn and heavenly soft fried tacos. For those up to the challenge, nachos are offered in a 'mountain' size with all the delicious refried beans, salsa fresca, guacamole and sour cream you canpossibly eat.
If you wept unashamedly into your sombrero upon realising Fiesta Ole is no longer at its Spring Hill quarters, fear not: the family-run restaurant has simply relocated to Auchenflower! Pull up a pew in a leather booth and sink your teeth into home-style Mexican, like traditional chicken in chocolate sauce (mole poblano), green enchiladas with salsa verde, and chipotle-spiked tortilla soup (caldo de tortilla).
California knows how to party, and it also knows how to eat when hungover from said parties. Rubbing shoulders with Mexico means the Golden State has a strong Latin American current running through its food scene, and New Farm's St Baxter wants to introduce you to it. There's nothing wrong with a little Tex-Mex (or, in this case, Cali-Mex). Haters gonna hate, we're gonna eat fish tacos with cactus salsa.
The Oi! Taco food truck is spreading the Mexican love all over Brisbane Town one lucky suburb at a time. Favourites include the chorizo and goats cheese quesadilla and the yucatan chicken taco with nopales (cactus!) and because Oi! Taco have you covered for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, eating tacos is essentially #guiltfree.
Let's have one great, big Mexican wave for La Quinta! Keeping the spice levels up in Bulimba is no easy feat, and La Quinta have been doing it for more than a decade. The eats on offer favour substance over style and are made to pair with a little something-something from the long list of cocktails, which boasts no less than nine different types of margaritas.
West End's El Torito is another long-serving member of the burrito brigade. It actually edges out La Quinta in the longevity stakes, having been around since a time when Spice Girls roamed wild and free. Wrap your mouth around tinga poblana, a lip-smacking trio of shredded beef, pork and chorizo, or the humble chilaquiles, aka next-level nachos.
Villa Maria brings the fiesta to Camp Hill in a big way, straying further than south of the border to bring Latin and South American flavours to our fair city. Menu items are tagged with their origin, from Brazilian coxinhas (crumbed, fried parcels of deliciousness) to Peruvian lomo saltado, bursting with Inca spices. Villa Maria also embraces two of our favourite compound words: gluten-free and take-away.
Want more of the best Mexican restaurants in Brisbane? Search 'Mexican' in our Directory!