Best Mexican Restaurants in Sydney

Updated 6 days ago


Sydney’s Mexican scene is positively booming. The right ingredients have never been easier to source, and a new wave of Mexican-born chefs are using Australian produce to execute generations-old family recipes. And while many of us are accustomed to Tex-Mex (which still has its place), it shouldn’t be conflated with the explosion of genuine south-of-the-border cuisine in Sydney.

These restaurants are leading the pack. A few do fusion in a respectful way, but for the most part they work with traditional ingredients such as ancho, guajillo and poblano chillies; 100 per cent agave tequilas and mezcals; and perhaps most importantly of all, nixtamalised white-corn tortillas.

  • Move over tacos and enchiladas. This humming diner explores Mexican cuisine in a way few Sydney spots do, with lesser-seen street food dishes and innovative fillings. Plus, find Margaritas shaken five different ways.

  • Rosa Cienfuegos has been instrumental in shaping Sydney’s Mexican dining scene. At her tiny inner west shop, you can grab her cult tamales freshly made, or grab all the ingredients to make them yourself. Plus, street-style tacos and Mexican specialties you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Sydney’s “al pastor king” is serving tacos out of a century-old pub – and we’re stoked about it. Come on Sundays for carne asada in the leafy courtyard, or head upstairs for drinks and disco till late.

  • It’s always family night at this unpretentious Mexican spot, which boasts the same bright blue as Frida Kahlo’s house. Buy wine en route and order loaded quesadillas, nachos and tacos – including a knockout pork confit number.

  • This spot offers a hint of the flavours you might find on Mexico's Caribbean coast. It's all about boutique tequila and DIY tacos: you select all of the fillings you want and assemble the taco yourself. It's so simple – but so fun and practical. We wish it was more commonplace around town.

  • Vibrant Mexican food, super-rare tequilas and million-dollar views are all on the menu at this smart harbourside diner. But to really feel like a millionaire, splash out on the signature gold leaf Margarita.

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  • There's no better suburb than Avalon to canvas Alma's coastal Mexican flavours. Seafood dominates the menu, but the tight list of tacos and strong vegetarian options shouldn't be overlooked. The country's national spirit is also in abundance.

  • Set within a former bank, the younger sibling to Alma in Avalon cashes in on its coastal location with a seafood-driven menu that errs on fine-dining territory. It’s also serving zesty cocktails, including five different types of Margarita.

  • This Mexican diner's menu is entirely plant-based, and it's all the better for it. If you're a veg-lover and a fan of Mexican flavours, this is the spot for you. When your tortilla's loaded with pastor-style mushrooms, pico de gallo and pineapple; you won't even notice the meat's gone.

  • A bright Barangaroo taqueria doing mezcal and tequila cocktails, plus stellar tacos and share plates marrying Mexican flavours and cooking techniques with Australian produce.

  • Southern Californian cuisine is a unique beast, combining vibrant Mexican flavours and elements of American barbeque. Socal nails it every time. Grab a Margarita and head to the lively terrace for tacos and guaranteed good times.

  • Fine dining meets Oaxacan flavours at this casual CBD spot. There's a rollicking bar with such vast quantities of tequila and mezcal, bartenders use a library ladder to access the top shelf. A pre-dinner flight here is highly encouraged – and well worth it.

  • At this Mexican restaurant (from the former owners of Barrio Chino), there's a particular emphasis on seafood. Pink scallop tostadas, raw prawns sliced like sashimi and de-boned snapper have all starred in the past.

  • This rustic little bolthole, hidden in a Manly back alley, is one of the seaside suburb's most popular and enduring eateries. We can see why. The laid-back atmosphere belies just how seriously this team take their food.

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  • A moody Mexican laneway diner in an old CBD printing shop. The upstairs restaurant serves tacos al pastor, a one-kilogram Wagyu rib eye and a riff on the Pina Colada for dessert. But downstairs in the bar, it's all about mezcal and tequila.

  • Late-night Mexican and beats from Barrio Chino. Come here for tacos, tequila and lots of dancing.

  • You won't find any sugar skulls or sombreros here. This eatery and mezcal bar is inspired by the coastal state of the same name and the executive chef's heritage, flour tortillas are preferred – and they're used to make Wagyu burritos.

  • Merivale’s good-times Mexican joint is home to the tacos secreto, where the filling is a surprise until it hits your table. Secreto or not, every taco here is wallet-friendly. But we recommend the DIY platters – they’ll give you even bigger bang for your buck.

  • Don’t let this sleek eatery fool you – it serves honest Mexican street-food including tacos, nachos and burritos stuffed with slow-cooked beef, chipotle or quesabirria with consomme. Pair those with a tart Margarita for the full experience.

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  • One of Sydney’s original Mexican joints has been pleasing the neighbourhood with creative takes on Mexican cuisine for more than a decade. Think jackfruit tacos, classic enchiladas, hefty deep-fried burritos and signature Margaritas. Arrive hungry.

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  • Calaveras pays homage to Mexico’s vibrant cantina culture with down-home tacos and fajitas served in a rowdy little space above Newtown Station. In pride of place is the fairy-lit bar, stocked with hundreds of imported agave spirits.

  • Just off The Corso, you’ll find a spot deftly melding Mexican and Peruvian classics. Enjoy ceviche, tacos, Margaritas and Pisco Sours in a buzzy whitewashed space with the air of a beachside hotel in Playa del Carmen.

  • Journey to this Baja Peninsula-inspired spot for fish’n’chip tacos, ceviche and Margaritas by the sea. Plus, blue swimmer tostadas (made from locally sourced seafood) and natural wines.

  • In this inner-west terrace, find a chef with experience in Michelin-starred restaurants and a mezcal expert creating one of Sydney’s most distinctive Mexican experiences. Come for 40-ingredient moles and mezcal-fuelled cocktails.