Taqueria

Mexicans in London have proudly declared Taqueria to be the best Mexican restaurant in the capital.  Though I’m yet to visit Mexico (a WIP), I’m not surprised.  This bustling Notting Hill (or really, Westbourne Grove) establishment offers excellent comida corrida, which isn’t easy to find in London.  

Taquería started life as the Cool Chile Co stall on Portobello Road, where they served tacos and aguas frescas.  In 2005, they opened Taquería.  True to their (business) roots, you can buy the salsas, spices, and tortillas for your own DIY tacos night.  With just the right balance of spicy-smokey favours from the habanero chill, a bottle of their deliciously moreish chilli sauce is worth trying (and buying).

Dropping in to Taqueria is (fairly) easy – whilst it’s always full, the tables turn over fairly quickly and as per the new normal, there’s a small (heated) terrace on Westbourne Grove.  The spot must be one of the liveliest restaurants in the area.  With Latin beats turned up loud and an indie boho vibe that’s very Notting Hill, this cheerful and delightfully casual taqueria provides the ideal setting for some messy Mexican street food.  The General Manager, Mitlon, also makes you feel right at home and kindly gave us a table at the corner of the restaurant besides the window, offering a full view of the restaurant buzz and the pavement out.

Taquería offers a range of vegetarian options and dishes can be adapted to be vegan.  The servings are small plate sized, so you’ll need at least three antojitos, sides and/or nibbles for two people, plus tacos.  To start, we went for the classic Guacamole and totopos (£7.50).  The dip was perfectly limey and the chips crunchy fresh.  It’s a well-tried combination of flavours, so it is to their credit that they deliver it successfully and so memorably.

Tostadas wise, I went for the Black bean toastada (£3.90) with refry beans and roasted tomato salsa.  Cooked down into a puree and generously topped with fresh lettuce, the beans were satisfyingly creamy.  It’s definitely a dish to pair with a good drizzle of their chilli sauce for an added dollop of punch.

Served with traditional and modern fillings on housemade soft corn tortillas, the tacos were the star of the evening.  Particularly the Plantain tacos (£7.90).  Deceivingly well-filled, these were packed with deliciously sweet fried plantain, more creamy refry beans, smokey chipotle salsa and fried green chilli.  This must be some of the best tacos in town.  Fresh and authentic, they’re definitely best eaten by hand.

Besides the food, Taqueria make a popular hand-shaken margarita and pour a variety of 100% blue agave tequilas, mezcales, micheladas, and wines.  Their hisbiscus agua fresca is top notch.  Taqueira’s longstanding presence is testament to its skill.  There’s now one on foodie hotspot Exmouth Market so if you’re after more taqueria action, head there.

Taqueria, 141-145 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS

Website: https://taqueria.co.uk

Rating: ****

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