New generation Mexican cantinas have sprung up all over town, and we want you to know about them. From bite sized bocaditos and sticky finger street food, to tantalising tostadas and tequila añejo, the robust and colourful fare of Central America continues to excite.
Los Amates clings to the edges of Melbourne's Spanish district in Fitzroy and has been serving authentic regional Mexican food for over a decade. The restaurant is colourful and atmospheric, embracing the true spirit of Mexico. On warm nights, the courtyard is the perfect place to linger over a premium Mezcal.
Located in East Brunswick at the northern end of Lygon Street, Mi Corazon (meaning 'my love' in Spanish) is the ultimate tequila bar. There are over 100 tequilas to choose from that include blanco or plata (harsher tipples with the bold flavors of the distilled agave up front) as well as reposado and añejo (rested and aged), which are smoother and more complex drops.
Fonda harnesses simple provincial ingredients to create authentic Mexican dishes. Fonda Windsor is the playful, charismatic younger brother of the original Richmond outlet. For the ultimate dining experience head upstairs to the Atico Bar for a frozen margarita, then enjoy the Mexican style street snacks in the main restaurant.
Professing to be Melbourne's first true 'taqueria', Mamasita Restaurant is a spicy CBD venue. If you can stand the wait for a table, the fresh, vibrant tacos and authentic Mexican share plates will definitely make it worth your while. On a Friday or Saturday night after 11pm the ‘taqueria' menu runs until 2am.
Trippy Taco is a vibrant eatery in Fitzroy serving hearty vegetarian, Mexican food. This happy, funky little place evolved from a food stall at music festivals and is now located in a 45-seat dining room, where you can get your Mexican fix at any time of the day. The breakfast tacos are popular with its combination of eggs, salsa and fresh corn tortillas.
Staying true to the simplicity of Mexican street food, Chingon Cantina y Taqueria prides itself in bringing people together with tacos. Located right in the heart of Richmond, this rustic little restaurant offers a concise menu of soft corn tortilla tacos and salsa made in-house.
Located right next to Luna Park, just 400 metres from St Kilda Beach, Bay City Burrito claims to have bought the ‘real' burrito to Melbourne shores. The eatery started life in the Mission district of San Francisco and the authentic flavours from the bay have translated well across the Pacific.
Tucked behind the Novotel on the Kingsway strip, The Black Toro is the venture from former Ezard chef, Garen Maskal - a chef who believes that simplicity and respect for quality produce is the key to great cooking. The Hispanic cuisine, with its Mexican and Peruvian overtones, has been reworked to suit an Australian palate.
Melbourne's Carlisle Street is home to the hip and atmospheric taqueria Radio Mexico, whose personality fills the gap between a street-style taco truck and a classy CBD restaurant. Serving up the classic comida Mexicana, which we have come to know and love, patrons can expect tantalising tacos, generous-sized pinchos, palate-pleasing ceviche and more.
Located on St Kilda's bustling beachside strip, Acland St Cantina is a hip Mexican eatery with industrial-chic decor and earthy trimmings. The menu is an innovative spin on crowd-pleasing Mexican fare with a focus on organic produce, whilst an extensive list of smoky cocktails, tequila and rum pulls Melbourne's party crowds.