Or so the stereotype goes.
Forget luminous salsa and tortillas you can play frisbee with, forget sombrero-wearing staff and margarita mix from a bottle... this is authentic Mexican fare.
Whether they're serving authentic street food, the best Mexican beer, homemade tacos and tortillas or boasting Master Chef winners at the helm - all the restaurants listed below have earned their place in our list of Best Mexican Restaurants in London.
Now that's worth an "Ay-aii-aiiii".
The best Mexican food in London
Every time we hear ‘tacos’ our mouths water so lucky for us the Viva Mexican grill has opened up in Dalston to give us what we want. Viva is a mixture of cocktails and contemporary Mexican food that will satisfy the staunchest traditionalist. Obviously the margaritas have to be sampled along with a section (actually, try every flavour) of the taquitos.
This Soho restaurant and cocktail bar serves up tacos, burritos and quesadillas that are as authentic as possible. Burritos are filled with grilled tilapia and bavette steak, and there is a wide range of salsas and dips. Food is available to take away, and and from Wednesday to Saturday they serve till 2 am.
El Pacifico isn’t the cheapest Mexican restaurant you’re likely to find in London but it is one of the capital’s most established. This is the place to come for large groups and families who expect an authentic environment to go along with their tacos, fajitas and enchiladas. The food is wholesome and the list of tequilas is impressive.
At this taqueria only the best ingredients are used, including Mexican cheese, herbs and edible cactus. Salsas are prepared freshly to order, and the guacamole is prepared at your table with a stone pestle and mortar.
Simple Mexican food comes served up in baskets in the informal setting of Benito’s Hat. The food is excellent and the fun and colourful atmosphere matches the culinary plaudits.
When Thomasina Miers won Master Chef a few years ago she didn’t just bask in the glory but instead decided to open up a chain of Mexican street food restaurants. Now London has a few different locations and the popularity of Wahaca’s vibrant restaurants and excellent contemporary dishes continues to rise.
Every new food fad has its outstanding new venue and La Bodega Negra is the one that sticks out in the Mexican scene. Joining the current craze for setting up in sleazy Soho locations, its café is located behind the door of a sex shop. It may sound pretentious but so what, it’s great, in fact, if only more restaurants would set up in sex shops. The drinks are delicately prepared and the interior is as stylish as you’ll find but you still come away thinking about the food.
Street food truck parks on Leather Lane and begins selling burritos, success quickly follows leading to now legendary status. That pretty much sums up Donkey Daddy. After spending some time in Mexico its co-founder returned to London and showed us how to do it. It’s no surprise that lunchtime queues go on forever because the burritos are something special.
You can tell a quality Mexican establishment by whether or not they make their own tacos and tortillas – Taqueria do and with a name like that, so they should. Everything is freshly prepared on the premises, the atmosphere is lively and they serve the underrated Mexican lager Pacifico. It’s simple and very effective.