‘I don’t like Mexican food’, said no juan ever, right? But lately, fast food Mexican has been giving tacos and nachos a bad rap and we think it’s about time the real deal came back into the spotlight. So let’s taco ‘bout it. We know just where you’ll find the best Mexican restaurants Brisbane has to offer – the ones with sombreros on the wall and everything. Are you craving fish tacos or quesadillas? Margaritas or fajitas? Well we’re about to get jalapeño business.
Sin Vida | Fortitude Valley
Even a ‘por que no los dos!’ attitude ain’t going to cut it here, not with seven different tacos to choose from. Do yourself a favour and order them all, but don’t pass up a chance to munch on chicharron – crispy pork crackling with lime and achiote – with your watermelon margarita.
Fiesta Ole | Auchenflower
It doesn’t get more authentic (or festive) than the Mexican fare at Fiesta Ole. With more delicious options than Juan Direction, from marinated pork and pineapple tacos to rich chicken mole and chilli prawns, you might not even have room for a post-dinner cocktail. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try the weekly special.
La Quinta | Bulimba
Be sure to peruse the chilli meter on the front page of the La Quinta menu before making your choice, with a range from ‘a little bite’ to ‘extreme’ to choose from. Get just your level of spice whether you order the enormous tostada bowl with chilli con carne or a selection of Mexican street food, but just be sure you have nowhere to be in the morning – 9 different margaritas do not make for a quiet night.
El Torito | West End
While El Torito serves up all the regular Mexican fare with finesse, their true prowess lies in less familiar flavours. Ever heard of chilaquiles? You’ll be glad you did after chowing down on corn chips smothered in sauce and topped with feta cheese, sour cream, guacamole, whole black beans, and shredded beef. What about Pollo Pibil? Or tinga poblana? We’ll let you discover the delights of those on your own.
Pepe’s Mexican | Newmarket
Breakfast, dinner, kid’s meals, desserts – what can’t Pepe’s do? If you head in for dinner and want the full Pepe’s Mex-perience, start with the jalapeno poppers and move onto pulled pork tamales – slow cooked BBQ pork steamed in corn husks served with rich chilli con carne.
Villa Maria | Camp Hill
Serving up Alamo your favourites, Villa Maria takes great pride in their daily made, gluten free tortillas (coeliac amigos welcome!) Line your stomach with some authentic Mexican and Latin American fare before getting stuck into the extensive beer and tequila list. Did someone say fiesta?
Cactus Mexicana | Wilston
Holy guacamole, if you thought you liked Mexican before, just wait until you try Cactus Mexicana’s cheesy cactus bread, cheesy beer and bacon oysters and sizzling fajitas. Questions of authenticity aside, just accept the fact that nachos with potato wedges are a thing, order a jug of sangria and enjoy the moment.
We don’t know about you, but we always have a Mexican restaurant in Brisbane on speed dial in queso emergency.
Words by Rebecca Grady