If you had to eat just one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would you choose? For me, Mexican food wins hands down every time. I could happily munch on chilaquiles for breakfast, enchiladas for lunch, pozole for dinner and still have room for a few tacos al pastor or some juicy tamales…all washed down with several delicious micheladas of course. I spent a year working in Mexico after I finished university and it wasn’t nearly long enough to sample all the delicious treats on offer, although I did manage to squeeze in tequila ice cream, grasshoppers and mezcal with worm salt, amongst other things!
So where can you get your Mexican fix in Madrid? Avoid the expensive chain restaurants and the Tex-Mex joints, and instead try one of these gems:
Taquería Mi Ciudad (Calle Hileras 5 and Calle Fuentes 11 <m> Sol/Ópera)
As the name suggests, tacos are the star of the show here: pastor, cochinita pibil, tinga, carnitas…they’ve got them all, as well as the usual staples like guacamole, quesadillas and frijoles. My personal favourite is the Gringa, a heavenly combination of carne al pastor, cheese and pineapple sandwiched between two flour tortillas…it needs to be eaten to be believed! If you sit at the bar you can watch the taco man work his magic, although there are plenty of tables for larger groups. Alternatively, you could hop one street over to the original restaurant on Calle Fuentes, which has standing room for about 10.
La Malinche (Calle Torija 10 <m> Santo Domingo)
This place is the real deal, a Spanish-Mexican husband and wife dream team. He concocts delicious micheladas and margaritas at the bar upstairs, whilst she rustles up delicious sopes, huaraches and all other manner of delights in the kitchen below. Even the tortillas are homemade. The portions are very generous so make sure you go with an empty belly! Great value for money.
Antigua Taquería (Calle Cabestreros <m> La Latina/Tirso de Molina/Lavapiés and Calle Áncora 19 <m> Palos de la Frontera)
An amazing hybrid of traditional bar de toda la vida and Mexican hipster joint. The menu here is limited – just tacos, nachos and quesadillas – but everything on it is absolutely divine. I have a particular weakness for their quesadillas and always end up ordering the huitlacoche one…it translates as corn smut which sounds grim, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Heap some of their delicious salsas on top and you’re good to go…just watch out for the red one! Luckily they also make a mean margarita for you to wash it all down with.
Tepic (Calle Pelayo 4 <m> Chueca)
I had my first ride in a pick-up truck, learned to dance to banda and tried ceviche for the first time in the Mexican state of Tepic, so I’ll always think of it fondly. Tepic in Chueca doesn’t disappoint either, with its varied menu of tacos, flautas, enchiladas and other tasty treats. They even have soups, salads and vegetarian options, just make sure you leave room for one of their delicious desserts! If you’re looking for a more upmarket meal in a swanky restaurant which manages to avoid all the usual Mexican clichés whilst still being thoroughly Mexican, this is your place.
For more on Tepic, check out our friends post here with mouth-watering photos.