Pretty much every foodie knows just how fun and entertaining a Mexican meal can be. Whether it’s a celebratory fiesta with your amigos or a casual dinner with la familia, Mexican food has some of the most delicious and explosive flavours to please everyone’s tastes.
Melbourne, in particular, is one of Australia’s biggest hotspots for Mexican cuisine. From no-fuss, casual Tex Mex street food to fine dining establishments that require navigating a lengthy queue before entry, there are a plethora of choices in this foodie-friendly city.
In this article, we’ll look at 15 of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne that deliver authentic Mexican cuisine with fresh and punchy flavours.
Location: 260 Centre Road, Bentleigh, Vic 3204 Ph: 03 9557 6663
Boasting a humble interior decor and serving simple and inexpensive Tex Mex food that is fresh, wholesome and filling, Mexico City Bentleigh is an unpretentious Mexican eatery.
We’ve not tried the sister restaurant in Surrey Hills, but we can vouch for the Bentleigh venue if you’re looking for classic Mexican street food that will not bust your wallet, but will satisfy your hunger.
Editor’s note: You can read our more detailed review of Mexico City here and see why we rate it amongst the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: 1/11 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9650 3821
At the top end of Collins St, is one of Melbourne’s most popular Mexican venues. Taking pride in the simplicity of Mexican cuisine, head chef Andrew Logan and his team have created one of the most vibrant dining hotspots in the CBD.
This is modern Mexican street food at its finest. The venue is bustling, noisy, and zinging with atmosphere and the food is fast, unpretentious and delicious.
Mamasita has provided dishes that pack a flavour punch for over a decade now, and in doing so has cemented itself as one of the must-try restaurants of the inner city.
The chargrilled corn with cotija, lime and chipotle mayo has developed legendary status (and should be tried by every diner), the tacos and tostadas are fresh and zesty, and there is an extensive cocktail and beverage list.
The modest seating area is small and reached after traipsing up an unassuming staircase, but the vibes are buzzing and optimistic. Perch on a bar stool and order the Smoky Margarita whilst awaiting your table.
The food may appear to be deceptively simple, but always looks flawless on the plate and delights the senses.
There isn’t a great deal of space for large groups of friends, but this is the perfect restaurant in which to eat heartily, drink-a-little-too-much and laugh loud and often. Mamasita has just got that kind of vibe. For us, it’s definitely one of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: 174 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066 Ph: (03) 9650 6054
Kitsch has never been as cool as it is at Hotel Jesus. The younger sibling of trend-setting Mamasita (see above), is a retro-tiled wonderland with strong diner vibes and a bright and breezy ambience. But make no mistake, the crew here are just as serious about serving the best Mexican food as their Collins St counterpart.
At Hotel Jesus the focus is on the tastiest Mexican street food on the plates and plenty of Mezcal, Tequila and tap Beers behind the bar.
If there’s a better beer snack than their Chicharron ($16/28), we’ve yet to find it. These curls of Fried Pork Skin with Guacamole & Rajas are the finest pork scratchings you’ll ever eat. Fancy a hand-pressed Tortilla? At Hotel Jesus, the vegan Coliflor Pibil ($7/21) of Frijol (Beans) & Salsa Xnipec (Habanero Salsa) is as filling as it is addictive.
Of course, the Cocktail list features a number of exemplary Margaritas. But if you feel like going rogue, we recommend the Dirty Horchata ($20). This winning blend of Liquor 43, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, Vegan Horchata & Cinnamon ensures that any gathering starts with a bang.
Yep, Hotel Jesus is definitely one of the top Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
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Location: 339 Victoria St, Brunswick VIC 3056 Ph: (03) 9381 1787
Translating to ‘The Brothers’, Los Hermanos is Mexican taqueria (tacos eatery) and cocktail bar in the hib suburb of Brunswick.
This is a busy venue that thrives as both tacos restaurant and trendy inner-city bar. It’s perfect for the late-night hunger pains after an evening out.
The dishes are simple, traditional Tex Mex – full of flavour, fresh ingredients and zip. The menu is simple but interesting, easy-to-read and choose, and the food is delivered quickly.
You can enjoy your meal at one of their long benches out the front of the restaurant or in the vibrant and energetic indoor seating area.
This is a vibrant, energetic place with a party vibe. There’s always something happening. Want to learn more about what you drink? Sign up for one of the bar’s mezcal/ agarve master classes.
The combination of high quality Mexican cuisine and the friendly party atmosphere makes Los Hermanos one of the best places to dine out in the city.
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Location: 84 High St, Preston VIC 3072 Ph: 0431 178 288
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays; 5pm till late Wed – Sunday.
Located in High Street, Preston, this is a very cool and trendy Mexican eatery. There are not many restaurants made out of shipping containers, but hey, why not? This place is seriously funky.
Enjoy the rooftop views and alfresco dining areas, hang out with trendy young things of the inner northern suburbs, and celebrate this eclectic venue and its friendly vibe.
The food is everything you need in a Tex Mex: simple, inexpensive, plentiful, fresh and flavoursome.
The tacos dorados and fish burrito were pefect for me. My dining companion, however, ordered the Benzina dog – Pork Frankfurt with grilled mozzarella cheese, chipotle mayo and guacamole – and loved it.
There’s a good range of beverages and a regular cocktail of the week. Enjoy.
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Gomez Y Gomez is an Australian success story with more than twenty outlets in Melbourne alone (Malvern East, Hawthorn, Box Hill, CBD, Morrabbin, Eastland, Highpoint, North Melbourne, Tullamarine, Croydon, Fountain Gate, Tarneit, Cranbourne, Burnside, Werribee, etc).
If you’re looking for a no-fuss Mexican restaurant chain, that serves food of a high standard and consistently excellent service, then consider the success story that is GYG.
The Guzman Y Gomez menu features all of the classic Mexican staples like burritos, nachos and tacos, but has the nice touch of letting you take full control over your meal choices, so you can select your own preferred type of filling and level of spice/ heat.
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Mexican food should be fun, understated and irreverent. Gomez Y Gomez delivers this in spades. Create your own flavour combinations, try something new or stick to the classics – it’s up to you.
You can’t go wrong here.
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Location: 11-13 Carlisle St, St Kilda, Vic 3182 Ph: (03) 9534 9990
Open 7 days for dinner. Open for lunch Friday – Sunday.
We head to over to St Kilda for another of the top Mexican restaurants Melbourne.Radio Mexico has been loved by locals and tourists alike for over a decade.
The share plates and tacos are very fresh and tasty. The venue is warm, inviting and intimate. There’s plenty of choice and the menu is lean, nutritious and almost entirely sugar and gluten-free. (Most dietary requirements are also catered for)
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The margaritas are fabulously zesty and made with freshly cold-pressed lime. The well-stocked bar is easy to lose yourself in, and the waiting staff are only too pleased to recommend food pairings.
You can order any number of their traditional Mexican sides to accompany their sharing platters. It’s a great way to eat as you’ll end up with lots of different plates and bowls, all exploding with vibrant colours and flavours.
You can even try their cook at home taco kit. They’ll give you the specially prepared ingredients for you to whip up a feast in the comfort of your own home.
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Location: 1b Morton Ave, Carnegie, VIC 3163 Ph: 0476 265 626
Bringing all things Mexican Cantina to Carnegie, in Melbourne’s south-east, is Poco Loco Cantina.
A great little find, serving up delicious craft cocktails and authentic Mexican food out of a ‘pimped up’ surburban garage. The hilarious bingo nights and $2 pots makes this place a local cult favourite.
Dizzy The Bartender’s cocktail of the week can be legendary: try the Hibiscus Maragarita, refreshingly sweet and sour and the Tequila Mockingbird.
Editor’s note: Sadly, Poco Loco Cantina has gone. We suspect another pandemic casualty. But all is not lost. In its place a hip new bar has risen – The Carnegie Commons. Whilst we’ll miss Poco Loco Cantina, it’s great that the site is now home to another hospitality business.
Location: 3-5 Hosier Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 3038
Is it a bar? Is it a Mexican cantina? Who cares, really?! What we can confirm is that this cheery little place halfway up Hosier Lane does some great Mexican tapas.
But then, that’s exactly what we’d hope for given that the kitchen is helmed by Sarai Castillo who spent 5 years at Movida down the cobbled laneway.
We were first drawn in by the bright green bar, warm ambience and promise of range of Margaritas. We ended up staying for the friendly service, delicious Crab Tostada and yummy Cauliflower Taco.
This charming eatery is perfect a light bite or a fortifying drink. That’s why it makes our rundown of the top Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
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Location: Level 6 Curtin House, 252 Swanston St VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9654 4417
Kitchen is open Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm -10pm. The bar stays open late.
Found on the sixth floor of the famed Curtin House in Swanston St., Mesa Verde is a legendary late-night haunt for those frequenting the CBD.
Something less of a typical restaurant and more of a cocktail bar, Mesa Verde allows you to take in a more Spanish inspired tapas-style meal alongside some of the best drinks in town.
Their drinks menu contains plenty of universal favourites as well as some lesser known Mexican cocktails. The bar food is excellent and goes down just as well the alcohol. The plates might be small but each one is bursting with flavour.
Naturally, this isn’t the most child friendly dining experience but it is the perfect place to relax and socialise. We come here for the cool vibes and buzz, get pleasantly sloshed and always end up raving about the food.
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Locations: Melbourne Central, Southern Cross Station, South Melbourne, South Wharf DFO, Highpoint, Chadstone, Doncaster, Broadmeadows, Watergardens
Mad Mex is fast food, Mexican style. So really, we had to include it in this rundown of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
We love the simplicity of Mad Mex. There’s no pretence of fine dining or delusions of grandeur. Mad Mex knows what it wants to be and delivers on the brand promise.
This is expertly prepared and healthy fast food: it has a home-made quality, and a focus on fresh, pure ingredients with as few oils, sugars and preservatives as possible. This is food that you would be very happy to serve to your family at home.
Intriguingly, Max Mex also publishes its recipes on its website, so that you can make the dishes at home. It also lists the nutritional information of every product it sells. This is level of openness and transparency is commendable.
As the Mad Mex ethos states: You should never have to choose between a quick meal and quality healthy food.
The name of this restaurant is not inappropriate, as their hot sauces pack enough punch to make your eyes water and your head sweat. You can try them in the restaurant or buy a bottle to take home.
As well as the healthy range of ingredients, they also invite you to try out meat-free Mondays. This great idea allows you to sample some delicious vegetarian cuisine and do your part to help the environment.
As you would expect, Mad Mex is very food-inclusive and makes it easy for customers to choose vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, high protein, low cal and low carb dishes.
Location: 293 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Ph: (03) 9690 1278 & Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre, Eat Street, T13/70 Middleborough Rd, Burwood East, VIC 3151 Ph: 0434 854 108 See Website For Further Locations
We’ve only experienced the original (and very cosy) South Melbourne venue, but we note with interest that Rosa Mexicano brand has now expanded the brand with an additional two restaurants (the others being in the newly redeveloped Burwood Brickworks and at Nelson Place, Williamstown).
The whole vibe of Rosa Mexicano is to create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere to enjoy classic Mexican food. The decor is colourful, modern with cool Frida Kahlo murals and a vibrant pink bar. The food is well prepared, plated attractively and competitively priced.
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The original founders of Rosa Mexican have a strong local heritage in the hospitality industry, and this experience is visible in the competent, accommodating staff and clean, uncluttered and welcoming environment.
Sometimes the tastiest dishes are the ones that can get a little messy and we left our table worse for wear. Rosa Mexican certainly doesn’t skimp out on gooey sauces and burritos that are bursting with filling.
There’s a lot of competition in the lively foodie scene of South Melbourne, but Rosa Mexicana more than holds its own. Give it a try. It may well end up being one of your top Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
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Location: Eastland Shopping Centre, Town Square, Ringwood Ph: (03) 8820 8000
As well as being delightfully named, Paco’s Tacos prides itself on serving some of the best tacos in the city.
With a multitude of different taco fillings and varieties to choose from, there’s bound to be something on their menu to suit everyone’s taste. Alternatively, try one of their sharing dishes to sample some excellent Mexican flavour combinations.
The dishes here are healthy, fresh and fast – classic Mexican street food.
And the heritage of Paco Tacos is impeccable: it’s part of the Movida restaurant family, which gives context when we say that the food at this taqueria/ bar is expertly prepared and plated.
The food menu here might not be the biggest, but there are plenty of drinking options to make up for it. There are enough beers, wines and cocktails to leave you stumbling out of the restaurant!
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Location: 75-77 Hardware Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9670 7797
Situated in bustling and iconic Hardware Lane (Lonsdale St end), Amigos boasts three levels of dining in a fab location.
There’s the option of eating outside amongst all the buzz and hullabaloo of this classic Melbourne laneway. Or, alternatively, you can go old-school and internal and dine in the open kitchen and bar.
The interior decor makes this place feel dark and mysterious, so it’s the perfect spot to sit, eat small plates, sip cocktails and gossip shamelessly.
Alternatively, you could try the chef’s menu. This gives you some sizeable portions of their signature dishes and can be shared with larger groups.
Vegetarians and gluten-free diners are well catered for too.
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Location: 85 Peel St, West Melbourne VIC 3003 Ph: 903) 9326 3934
Open for dinner 5pm – late, Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Monday.
Just a short walk from Queen Vic market, this restaurant is themed around the charming story of Jose, a man who visited Melbourne and left behind some of his best Mexican recipes.
We’re not sure quite how true the story might be, but it we love the mythology and are quite prepared to go along for the ride.
As well as serving high quality tacos and small plates, Hello Jose prides itself on a fantastic tequila and cocktail range.
However, you choose to spend an evening here, we can guarantee you’ll enjoy the friendly, sociable atmosphere. It can get busy and the kitchen is tiny, but the service and ambiance is super friendly.
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Location: 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000 Ph: (03) 8686 7300
Open seven days for lunch and dinner
We had to include this Flinders Lane eatery on our rundown of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
As one of Melbourne’s busiest and most stylish Mexican restaurants, Fonda is one of the places to visit while you’re in the city.
With a wide range of tacos, quesadillas, burritos and so much more on their menu, there’s almost no chance of not being able to order something you like the look of.
The same goes for their drinks menu which features some classic cocktails and international beverages in tandem.
The only issue you might have with this restaurant is being able to get a seat. So make sure you book ahead.
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Location: 500 Victoria St, North Melbourne VIC 3051 Ph: (03) 9329 9477
Open seven days. Dinner only Mon-Wed.
El Sabor in North Melbourne, prides itself on its experienced chefs, authentic cuisine and fresh ingredients.
Of course, you can expect to find all of your favourite dishes on the menu. However, you’ll still be impressed by how good the food all looks when it arrives at your table.
The smaller size gives this place an intimate atmosphere and isn’t great for large groups. However, you might find yourself leaving with new friends and great memories.
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Location: 55 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9650 9979
This little masterpiece of a bar and restaurant in the CBD feels like it could have been imported direct from Mexico.
The red-themed paint, artwork and vintage film posters that surround you at Bodega Underground are an interesting mix of heritage (Mexican) and location (Chinatown), and the downstairs seating area really is underground.
Bodega has the feel of a well-kept secret.
It’s all about spicy and explosive flavours here; dishes are served packing a punch, with vibrant colours and the authentic Mexican seasoning.
And importantly, the kitchen is 100% gluten-free which gives piece of mind to coeliacs and gluten-intolerant diners. Bodega also provides a comprehensive vegan-friendly menu too.
This venue is one of the best reviewed eateries in the city, and definitely should be on your list for pre-theatre drinks or late night adventures.
Bodega Underground also serves a great-value Bottomless Brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, with unlimited cocktails and five courses.
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Location: La Cabra Hawthorn, 207 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn, VIC 3123 Ph: 1300 522 227 See Website For Further Locations
Whilst we’ve been sipping Margaritas and munching our way through their Burritos and Enchiladas, La Cabra Mexican has been spreading its web across Melbourne. At last count, the bright and breezy chain had outposts in Hawthorn, Hampton, Carlton, St Kilda and Mornington, with South Yarra newly launched and Ballarat slated for soon.
But then, we’re not surprised. The food is consistently good and the cocktail slip down easily – especially during Happy Hour.
What to order? Well, we can very go past a plate of Stuffed Jalapenos ($14). At La Cabra, they are halved and filled with Marinated Cheese & Kewpie Mayo. Just watch out for a hot one!
For Mains, we tend to stick with a Taco or 2. Having sampled a few, we reckon the Chimichurri Beef ($8) is the star. Fat with zingy Birria Beef, Pickle Cabbage, Cheese and that all important Chimchurri Mayo – it pings around your tastebuds. Try it and see if you’re also a convert.
Those Tacos are just one of the reasons why La Cabra is one of the top Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.
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Location: 855 Collins St, Docklands, VIC 3008 Ph: (03) 9112 9450
This Docklands cantina-style restaurant really takes an authentic approach to classic Mexican food service. Order your food at the counter and eat in the intimate indoor seating area or take it away to enjoy elsewhere.
Wherever you choose to eat your meal, the food will have you wanting to come back for more straight away! Customer reviews highlight how sizeable the portions are, without being overly expensive.
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Taco Bill’s Melbourne suburbs include: the CBD, South Melbourne, Essendon, Epping, Bentleigh, Keilor Downs, Warragul, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Springvale.
This well-known Mexican has a dozen or so restaurants in Melbourne alone, and has been operating in Australia since 1967.
The food is well-priced, well-made, prompt and healthy. If you’re looking for an inexpensive meal that will be consistently good then consider this chain.
They’ve perfected their menus to combine the best Mexican recipes and flavours with the Australian palate.
Their ethos is all about sharing food with family and friends. Kids will love the menu, and if you visit regularly Taco Bill will reward you with their special offers and loyalty bonuses.
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Tucked away behind the Arts Centre on Kavanagh Street sits bright and cheery Saporita Taquito.
This cute Mexican joint is always busy when we visit. And why not? They serve tapas-style dishes and some of the best Frozen Margaritas in town.
Start with the Guacamole and Black Beans, share a portion of their addictive Chorizo Croquettes and then move onto tacos. Personally, we love the Beef Tacos with their crunchy potato topping and the Cabo Tacos, fat with crispy beer battered fish and a moreish red cabbage salad.
If you crave something a little more unusual, check out the Veggie Tomales, steamed to soft, fragrant perfection in a banana leaf. They go down really well with a handful of Saporita Taquito’s Sweet Potato Chips.
And a Margarita.
Yep, there’s Mexican beer as well, but the chilled-spiked Margarita is hard to beat on a warm evening. Trust us. It puts this eatery firmly on our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne.