For taco purists, there’s no better destination than Mexico. But, thankfully for the tortilla-obsessed, tacos have grabbed hold of hearts the world over. Now you can find top-notch varieties in Europe and Asia’s coolest cities – here are some of the best.
A decade ago, you’d have struggled to find an authentic Mexican joint in Seoul. Not anymore. Places like El Pino 323, Gusto Taco and Paco Loco are firm favourites for traditionalists. Then there’s trendsetting Vatos Urban Tacos, which serves Korean-Mexican dishes like BBQ short rib tacos and kimchi carnitas fries. Sleep it off right around the corner at Good Stay Itaewon.
When it comes to quality Mexican, Bali has officially joined the party. Taco Casa started the trend, with a spicy Tex-Mex menu that continues to draw crowds. Taco Local, Lacalaca and Taco Beach Grill are all worth a stop, the latter known for its Balinese spiced tacos. And in such a fun place, you can expect plenty of joints that cater to a party crowd – Motel Mexicola has epic cocktails, and Kabula Villa is conveniently just up the beach.
In a city as food-obsessed as London, tacos get their fair share of diverse renditions. Try Tacos El Pastor if you’re after authenticity, Corazón for Mexico City vibes, or Breddos for a Californian-style menu. Then there’s Temper, which does theatrical to a tee. Bearded chefs char meat and grill fish in the open kitchen, whipping up inventive dishes like cheeseburger tacos. Continue the hipster vibes at The Soho Hotel.
New Delhi, India
Delhiites have also followed the siren call of the tortilla. Monkey Bar, which serves ‘Indianised’ international foods, hosts a Taco Libre Festival full of funky creations like jackfruit and curry tacos, Mumbai breakfast tacos and ‘banoffee’ mint dessert tacos. Then there’s the chain Twisted Tacos, and the taqueria Arriba, which is known for its smoky grill and margaritas. Thikana Delhi is a very homely place to spend the night.
Santorini is an unexpected addition to this list, given its island location and relatively sparse population. But, in fact, this dreamy destination has two highly rated Mexican restaurants, both well worth a visit. Señor Zorba has massive servings and some of the best views you’re likely to find. Then there’s Taquería Los Tres Amigos in Fira, which gets stellar reviews for its fresh and spicy tacos. Stay nearby at Le Petit Greek.
Singapore is a foodie paradise, and they represent Mexico’s most famous export with due diligence. Not to be missed: Super Loco, a trendy spot right in Robertson Quay, or El Mero Mero, which has its own taco factory. Then there’s the reliable chain Guzman y Gomez, authentic sit-down spot Viva Mexico, and the Korean-Mexican tacos of Vatos Urban Tacos, which opened in Singapore after their Seoul success. Chinatown is fun as a base – try Ann Siang House for an overnight stay, which can be found in a restored heritage house.
At long last, you can find Mexican food in Paris. And not the Americanised, fast-food style that is too often served around the world. The real deal. There are delicious spots in almost every arrondissement, but some of the top-rated ones are Distrito Francés in the 2nd, Luz Verde in the 9th and Candelaria in the 3rd. To really feel like a local, opt for an apartment in the Marais – Transparent Marais has all the trappings of home.
You might have to hunt a bit to uncover Tokyo’s best tacos – but the search will be worth it. In the midst of all the greasy spoons are some true gems: Chiles Mexican Grill, Taco Libre and Hacienda de Cielo are all excellent. La Holla, Fonda de la Madrugada and Junkadelic really go for the kitsch, with pinatas, mariachi bands, and red, white and green decorations. If you’re into that sort of thing, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is a top-rated hotel with massive Godzilla sculpture on the roof.