Remember when tacos came in a cardboard box?

Thankfully, those days are past us. Melbourne's new breed of taquerias is much more faithful to Mexico. At these spots, you can expect to find real-deal nixtamalised corn tortillas, imported chillies and vibrant house-made salsas. And the best bit? No knives or forks required.

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Best Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne
Tacos y Liquor, Geelong

Mamasita

Restaurant

Melbourne's most popular Mexican restaurant. Of course the tacos are excellent.

Level 1 11 Collins Street, Melbourne

Hotel Jesus

Restaurant

Try the mushroom and huitlacoche (corn fungus) taco.

174 Smith Street, Collingwood

La Tortilleria

Restaurant

There's a compact tortilla factory on site.

72 Stubbs Street, Kensington
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Bodega Underground

Restaurant

Not only are these tacos good, you can get them until 3am every day of the week.

55 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Frankie's Tortas and Tacos

Restaurant

This taco and torta (sandwich) stand in Collingwood is a fun and fairly unique proposition in a city where tacos are less often seen in their natural environment: the street. Step up for al pastor (pork) carved straight from the spit, or breaded beef milanesa or asada mushroom grilled to order. There are a couple of tables to eat at, or you can whisk your lunch away.

384 Smith Street, Collingwood

Radio Mexico

Restaurant

Eleven choices, from prawn to roast pumpkin.

11-13 Carlisle Street, St Kilda

The Happy Mexican

Restaurant

This small, modestly decorated restaurant sits on a stretch of road best known for horrendous traffic. Yet the food is entirely legit. Go for the excellent, generously stacked tacos: with pork al pastor and charred pineapple; slow cooked beef; and deep-fried flathead with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo. Wash it all down with a Mexican beer or a classic Margarita.

106 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford
339 Victoria Street, Brunswick

Little Hop

Bar

Los Hermanos is in permanent residency.

277 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Hot Lips Hacienda

Restaurant

Tacos that rep different regions of Mexico, so you can taste you way around the country.

2 Railway Parade, Highett

Paradise Alley

Bar

Little Latin Lucy is in permanent residence at this warehouse bar and serves generous, incredibly moreish tacos from a small kitchen out the back.

Paradise Alley & Little Latin Lucy 25 Easey Street, Collingwood

Mesa Verde

Restaurant

Roasted cauliflower and smoked-cashew salsa. Yes.

Level 6, Curtin House 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Hello José

Restaurant

José has one commandment: "make fresh corn tortillas each day."

85 Peel Street, West Melbourne

Bar Texaco

Restaurant

A former McConnell chef is behind this intimate bar serving Texas-style brisket, pork belly, jalapeño kransky and four types of taco. There’s also a tidy selection of tequila, mezcal and bourbon.

644 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Trippy Taco

Restaurant

Where vegetarians and vegans have all the fun.

234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Tres a Cinco

Restaurant

This lively cantina is all about home-style Mexican. Expect beef tacos exactly how they're served in Mexico, prawn-and-chorizo tamales and a jiggly chocolate flan. Plus: eight different Margaritas and hard-to-find agave spirits.

3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Village Cantina

Restaurant

Six meaty options and four veggie options. Everybody wins.

30 Ballarat Street, Yarraville
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