There’s nothing quite like the culinary offering and zest 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 dynamism of Mexican food is second to none.
So sit back and sip pretty on your Margaritas, because we’ve rounded up a list of the best Mexican restaurants you can find in Melbourne for 2023:
The almost hole-in-the-wall destination inside Melbourne Central is typically awash with hungry punters waiting to get their hands on the speedily arranged tacos, be it the 'Pescado' a staple fish taco with battered barramundi, chipotle and zesty pico and cabbage or the 'Pastor' with grilled pork belly, house salsa, coriander, onion on a corn tortilla.
Whether it's just a pit stop, or an all affair, CDMX is leading the charge as some of the best Mexican in Melbourne's CBD.
Frankie's Tortas & Tacos
From its humble origins operating out of a caravan on Smith Street to its new digs on Johnston Street, Frankie's Tortas & Tacos has been a staple inclusion in the best Mexican restaurant Melbourne discussion.
Awash in their signature white and red-painted aesthetic, the dedicated shop features their sizable Tortas, a Mexican-style sandwich that comes in the form of the Pollo Millanesa (chicken) and Al Pastor tortas (beef) which both take centre stage. Tacos are still a staple, even opting for a dessert option in collaboration with nearby ice cream artisans, Billy Van Creamy.
The two-storey bar and eatery with over 260 Mezcal varieties, Mejico sure packs a punch. guacamole is made tableside and served alongside plantain chips to kick things off then you're able to choose between two set menus; each loading you with plenty of Mexican-influenced delights from jalapeno poppers, fish tacos, brisket and olive empanadas.
Specialising in the spirit, the Mezcal range here is staggering as is the margarita offering—a great place to start is the Jalapeno Marg.
Part of the more modern Mexican contingent in Melbourne, Fonda Mexican debuted with its quaint little diner on Swan Street Richmond way back in 2011. Now with several different spots around town, Fonda has carved out its own segment of contemporary Mexican-influenced dining, be it the cheesy pork carnitas or smoky shiitake mushroom Quesadillas or those hefty burritos.
The Fonda team is also quite notable for its healthier takes on Mexican flavours, each outpost readily whips up the burrito bowls, grilled chicken salads and chargrilled corn like it's nobody's business.
It’s a cosy little space, so booking may be necessary, but Superchido’s food is as authentic as you’re likely to get outside of Mexico. A departure from your classic Taqueria with a small variety of options, here you'll find a menu laden with different Mexican street food specialities from Al Pastor, Birria and fish tacos to larger Los Fuerters plates (mains) like the Albondigas with meatballs of pork and beef brisket in a rich Morita tomato sauce served across Mexican-style white rice.
The desserts champion the ever-popular churros and choco flan while on the bar they’ve also got multiple tequila, mezcal and margarita options, like a spiced apple or a Chamoyada mix.
Fusing the flavours of Mexico with a flare of Asian influence, the tortillas at Basco are cooked to perfection and they’ve got plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options to cater to all diners.
If you’re a fish taco traditionalist, they have the Barry White tacos, with spiced tempura barramundi, slaw, guac and jalapeño mayo, but for something a little more Asian-inspired, they have a Korean fried chicken option (also available to be made vegan with cauliflower instead), with Sriracha mayo, Gochujang sauce and pickled ginger.
The Black Toro
A staple of Mexican-influenced restaurants in Melbourne's southeast, The Black Toro has been consistently impressing diners for over ten years. Here there's a more Tapas or small plates approach to dining with a menu that oscillates between bite-size entrees, Baja-influenced tacos, tostadas and more.
Moving onto larger plates there's real consideration into the larger plates with flame-grilled options including whole baby barramundi that's served alongside a salsa Veracruzana or the lamb Barbacoa (slow-cooked) with chimichurri and lemon yoghurt.
The second destination from the La Tortilleria family, Chilpa, which means 'little child' is serving up the famed Mexican street food style of its Kensington counterpart. Situated in the bayside suburb of Highett, the relative newcomer is establishing itself as some of the best Mexican Melbourne has to offer, be it the Tostados, the slow-cooked beef tacos on the house-made corn tortillas with Birria dipping sauce or the full range of tequila and mezcal.
Mexican street food meets fine dining, it's a simple premise and one that Mamasita absolutely nails. The upstairs restaurant just off Spring Street is a chic open space, an ideal location for breezy long lunches and after-dark tacos.
An easy contender for the best Mexican restaurant in Melbourne's CBD, Mamasita's continued excellence still sees a raft of new and old diners ascending to the second-level diner and bar and making their way through the curated menu of that famous fish taco, the roaster pork belly with Guajillo sauce and knocking things off with the tamarind cheesecake.
This Mexican tequila bar and kitchen is now an iconic addition to Curtin House on Swanston Street. Mesa Verde has cemented their position on the top rungs of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne community with their pork carnitas and ox tongue tacos, crispy school prawns with salsa macha and interesting takes on more native components like Kangaroo loin skewers, with mountain pepper leaf, sour cherry chamoy and saltbush.
Aside from the gourmet food menu, they also have a perfectly curated drinks list, which includes the Ghost Face Killer chilli margarita, the Frida Kahlo cocktail, sangria jugs, tequila and endless drinks by the bottle.
A seriously happening little spot on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, and one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne, Little Hop's red shopfront is always overflowing with eager taco enthusiasts. It's 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.
The part Taqueria, part cantina, Hello José is the pint-sized Mexican taco delight just on the fringes of the Queen Vic Market. Situated on Peel Street in West Melbourne the quaint brightly-painted shopfront looks like something that's been plucked directly out of Mexico, the Taqueria sign overhead is like a shining beacon to the magic within.
Specialising in Mexican street food, the menu here is a tidy collection of simple but impactful tacos like the chorizo mince, guacamole and pico de gallo a salty balanced hit of excellence or the fish ceviche tostadas which has been a mandatory order when visiting.
A sleeping giant, Taquito doesn't need to make a lot of noise, diners will happily do it for them. Now established as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne, the Carlton destination is concerned with authenticity first and foremost, with a menu based around seasonality and quality produce.
Led by Alec Villarreal (the Mexican-born owner) and Paul Clarke (the Mexican-food-obsessed New Zealand-born chef) the pair have crafted an all-out homage to the true tastes and flavours of Mexico City.
The subterranean Mexican-influenced diner is based around a simple proposition; mezcal and tacos, both things it does excellently. While the handheld-topped tortillas are front and centre, there's also a slew of sharing plates and even a bottomless brunch offering with 90 minutes of cocktails—it's a tough one to pass up.
Keeping in with the essence of Mexican street food, Los Hermanos in Brunswick offers an affordable and cost-friendly approach to its tacos with every option coming under the $7 mark. The charming Taqueria on Victoria Street serves all the favourites from a Lamb Barbacoa, braised chicken and pulled pork number and even a chorizo and fried potato creation which is just simple perfection.
Just a few clicks down the road from its sister venue Mamasita in the CBD, Hotel Jesus is the more down-tempo counterpart on Smith Street in Collingwood. Imbued with the same artful craft of Mexican-influenced dining, the gorgeous shopfront facade of the heritage post office leads you into a light-filled space with a real laid-back communal vibe.
The self-described 'No Frills' approach to Mexcian cuisine takes shape in small plates of tostadas and tacos with a variety of more experimental options be it the snapper ceviche tostada to the fried jalapeno to the spicy chicken skin tacos. There's also a bottomless lunch option and a huge range of whistle-wetters, including tequila, mezcal, cocktails and sangria on tap.
Bodriggy & Co
The Bodriggy & Co menu is quite robust and takes a more sophisticated approach to its delivery of Mexican-style dining. The beer haven, pub and restaurant all rolled into one has a collection of off-beat options to pair with every ale on rotation.
With several ceviches, tacos, and small plates on the go its a great option for a beer and a snack but if you're looking to dial things up the cauliflower steak with chimichurri is a mandatory order, it's a staple of the venue and for good reason. Of course, there's also a hefty charcoal grilled porterhouse on the go as well as the 12-hour brisket Birria in a soft bread roll with pickled onions.
This fusion of food trucks 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.
La Tortilleria is the only restaurant in Australia that stone-grinds its own tortillas from scratch. Not only are they used on-site at their Ken Kensington and Highett locales but they're also supplied to most of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
The blue-painted taco oasis on Stubbs Street is a haven for Mexican street food with a flurry of different combinations including classic carnitas, al pastor as well as vegan options as well.
The quaint little Trippy Taco on Gertrude Street is a journey into the world of vegetarian-based Mexican food, the cosy space has an almost 70s-esque aesthetic with rich browns and orange and vintage furnishings. Open for a late breakfast and well into the evening, Trippy is the hotspot for flavour-filled vegetable-based options be it tofu Asada, cheesy beans or the red-hot breakfast number.
Arbory Afloat, emerging from winter hibernation, has rebranded as Afloat Viva Mexico, offering a Cantina-style oasis inspired by Mexico's rich culture and cuisine. The venue has undergone a complete transformation, featuring touches of Mexican coastlines, sun-soaked lounges, and live events reminiscent of Dia De Los Muertos.
A revamped food and drink menu showcases a variety of Mexican dishes, including tacos, tortas, tostadas, gringas, and jocoque, while the bar serves up festive mezcal and tequila cocktails, margaritas, and more.
Serving up some of the most delicious and wallet-friendly Mexican food around, Village Cantina in Yarraville is a top choice for one of Melbourne’s best Mexican restaurants. With plenty of deals, including cheap tacos and dinner combos, the colourful eatery is always a solid option. Their chilli cheese fries and jalapeno poppers are absolutely legendary, and vegetarians and vegans are well covered with their taco options, with their selection including Frijoles, tofu and cauliflower.
Make a day of it and hit up some of Melbourne's best spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Image credit: Hotel Jesus (Carmen Zammit)