Mexican food. Does a better cuisine exist? Is there a living soul on earth who has dived head-first into a quality burrito, gulped it down in record time, then emerged sloppy faced and not begged for more? The answer is no.
It’s time to dust off your sombrero, throw on your brightest poncho, and take the journey through some of the Gold Coast’s most loved Mexican joints.
If you’re both a Gold Coast local and a Mexican connoisseur, you’ll have already experienced Bonita Bonita’s Central American delights. If modern Mexican had a home, this would be it. Consider the spicy chicken and chorizo quesadilla (with smoked sour cream and jalapeno salsa), the beef, chicken or mushroom burrito bowls on offer, or Taquerias ranging from classic pescado (crispy fish with tomato pico, mango crema and queso fresco) to premium grilled achiote chicken (with agave prosciutto, smoked sour cream, green cabbage and habanero jam). Arrive early and pull up a stool at Bon Bon Bar. Try a tequila, mezcal or your choice of margarita, guaranteed to make your food taste even better.
MexiCali Bar Y Taqueria
It’s extremely difficult to walk down MexiCali’s staircase and out onto the street without a giddy smile plastered across your face. This place is about fun, fresh food and cold drinks. The menu is stacked with options. Try the Baja style fish taco (battered flathead, red slaw, pineapple chutney, chipotle mayo, coriander, radish and fresh lime), or the chorizo quesadilla (black beans, white onion, buffalo mozzarella and chipotle sauce). One glance at MexiCali’s Instagram page tells you drinks are a big part of its game. There are seven types of margarita, plenty of Mexican beer (be brave and try something other than a Corona!), sangria and an impressive cocktail selection. Locals tip: try and grab a spot on the balcony for when the sun goes down.
Tupe-Aloha Bar and Grill
When you have the urge for no-fuss Mexican, delicious drinks and a little live music on the side, Tupe is the place to come. Is it Hawaii? Is it Mexico? Who cares! Come for an afternoon cocktail, stay all night. Dive into the Tropicana Fried Chicken Burrito (fried chicken tenderloins, spicy slaw, lettuce, cheese and chipotle mayo), or the Pulled Pork Paradise Taco (pulled pork with slaw and minted sour cream). There’s also a pretty special ‘surf and turf’ too. There are loads of weekly specials, two-for-one deals and happy hours. Whether you’re chasing a post-surf feast or a rowdy night out, be sure to stop by this gem.
Tucked away off popular James Street, you won’t stumble upon Hail Mary by wondering aimlessly around Burleigh. You’ve got to know where to go. And this place is it. Hail Mary has around ten different tacos for your choosing, including the Crispy Squid (with tamarind and ginger dressing, rocket and sour cream). It’s also bursting with burritos, nachos, chips, dips and share plates. The beverage menu is as long as your arm. It’s packed with all your standard favourites, plus a healthy selection of margaritas, cervesas, mezcals and tequilas. With food and drink specials each weekend, Hail Mary is, quite possibly, the perfect launch pad for any unruly night out in Burleigh town. Is this is one of the best spots for great Mexican on the Gold Coast? Absolutely!
Beach Burrito Company
Born in Bondi, Beach Burrito has established itself as a popular force in the Mexican market. It feels like a cross between Australian beachside culture, and Mexican colour and pop. The type of place you could chair up with a bucket of frosty Tecates and watch Coolangatta pass by. The menu is honest and uncomplicated. Try the Chilli Taco (chilli con carne, rice, pico, cheese, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole), the Shredded Beef Quesadilla (beef, smoky salsa and cheese, with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream on the side) or for something a little different, the California Burrito (chipotle chicken and HOT CHIPS, cheese, lettuce, jalapenos, tomato sauce and aioli). There’s also a handy children’s menu. Look for the two large palm trees next time you’re on Marine Parade and swing in for a feed.
You'll easily spot this joint thanks to it's excellent balcony position on the GC Highway, boasting epic views out to Palm Beach. Frida Sol's menu is full of Mexican classics with a modern twist. Start with snacks like grilled corn smothered in cilantro crema and you can’t go wrong with the beef cheek empanadas or the market fish ceviche with cucumber chili salsa and tequila. If you’re having trouble choosing, opt for the ‘Feed My Belly’ meal. For $40 per person you’ll feast on a selection of grilled corn, tostadas, quesadillas, spicy chicken wings and cauliflower ensalada. Pair it with one their delish tipples, like the Mama Cass with vodka, passionfruit, pineapple juice, elderflower liqueur and mint or the Troppo Locco with strawberries, vodka, citrus and lemonade.
Image Credit: Kaitlin Maree Photography for Urban List