These cantinas are proof that Singapore has some wickedly good Mexican food, from amazing salsa to delicious margaritas
If you thought you couldn’t satisfy your need for authentic Mexican restaurants in Singapore (tacos! tortillas! beans!), well, you thought wrong. Here’s where to satiate your cravings. Let us know if your favourite spot isn’t on the list, otherwise, buen provecho!
Best tacos: Señor Taco
If you don’t mind big crowds (it’s Clarke Quay after all), their super satisfying tacos are a must-try. They make a mean carnitas (slow-cooked pork) taco, but if you’ve trouble deciding, drop by for Taco Tuesdays, where there’s a one-for-one deal after 6pm.
Señor Taco, #01-07/12, 3A/3D River Valley Rd, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179023, p. 6337 6376.
Best elotes: Lucha Loco
You can’t leave without ordering yourself some elotes, Mexican street-style grilled corn rubbed with mayo, chili, and cotija cheese. The heat from the chili and tangy cheese balance the sweetness of the corn beautifully. Speaking from experience, you won’t stop at just one.
Lucha Loco, 15 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089598, p. 6226 3938.
Best nachos: Viva Mexico
Nacho lovers, be prepared to be blown away. Crispy fried tortillas covered with your choice of meat, Mexican beans, properly melted cheese with chipotle paste, and get ready for it, REAL jalapenos! Big, fat vinegary jalapeno chilies, just as it should be.
Viva Mexico, 23 Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace, Singapore 229453, p. 6235 0440.
Best DIY Mexican: Mex Out
Take your pick from tacos, burritos, and salad bowls, choose your meat, top it off with Mexican rice, fresh salsas and other toppings. We vote for their cochinita pibil (Yucatan style pulled pork), which is tender and juicy and their mango salsa. Fresh and tasty Mexican food right in the middle of the CBD, what’s not to like?
Mex Out, #01-01, 39 Pekin Street, Singapore 048769, p. 6536 9953.
Best burritos: Muchachos
It’s hard to mess up a burrito, and this place serves up some good and authentic Mission-style ones outside of San Francisco. It’s all about the tortillas, which are imported directly from North America. Stuff it with rice, refried beans, your choice of meat, some lettuce, and don’t forget the guac! Try the tender and flavourful lamb barbacoa or the carnitas.
Muchachos, 22 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089129, p. 6220 0458.
Best enchiladas verdes (and ambiance): El Mero Mero
Mexican food isn’t all about tacos and burritos. At El Mero Mero, their creamy enchiladas verdes (corn tortilla filled with prawns, tomatillo-serrano salsa, and cheese) is a real crowd-pleaser. Extra points for the amazingly classy feels at this upscale dining spot!
El Mero Mero, #01-20 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996, p. 6337 1377.
Best guacamole and chips: Piedra Negra
This brightly coloured bar and restaurant is hard to miss as you wander around Arab Street and Haji Lane. A must-try here is their chunky guacamole that’s made fresh right in front of your eyes. Paired with warm and crunchy tortilla chips, their guacamole will definitely hit the spot.
Piedra Negra, 241 Beach Road, Singapore 189753, p. 6291 1297.
Best margaritas: Cafe Iguana
Expect the top-notch Mexican cuisine at this hangout, from tacos to burrito bowls. Their margaritas, made from 100% Blue Agave, are positively lip-smacking. Plus, the restaurants generous drink promos will make sure you never go thirsty.
Cafe Iguana, #01-03 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road, Singapore 058282, p. 6236 1275.
Best for live music (and quesadillas): La Salsa
At La Salsa in the ritzy Dempsey neighbourhood, you can have your live music and eat tacos too. On Fri, Sat and Sun between 7pm-10pm, you’ll hear local music veteran Mogan play renditions of classic rock anthems. And let’s not forget La Salsa’s stellar grilled chicken quesadillas. There’s your dinner and entertainment sorted!
La Salsa, 11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673. p. 6475 6976. Open Sun-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri 12pm-1am, Sat 12pm-2am.
Best for supper: Hombre Cantina
Snoozing with a belly full of booze won’t do wonders for you the following day, so end your post-work drink sesh with a couple of tasty tacos and burritos at Hombre Cantina. Open ’til midnight, Hombre Cantina serves up authentic Mexican meals like tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos. If that’s a bit too heavy for you, simmer down from your night of revelry with the chicken tortilla soup or chill out with paletas (homemade Mexican ice pops). You’ll even get to enjoy a riverside view to boot.
Hombre Cantina, 53 Boat Quay, Singapore 049842. p. 6438 6708. Open Mon-Sat 11am-12am. Closed on Sun.
Best for a quick lunch: Guzman Y Gomez
Just ’cos you’re strapped for time doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on a hearty lunchtime feed. Pop by Guzman Y Gomez and order some gut-busting Mexican classics like burritos, tacos, fajitas and quesadillas. You’ve got a modest selection of fillings to choose from, both spicy and non spicy, but our firm favourite is the signature spicy chicken (in a burrito!). The food here is takeaway friendly and the service is fast, so you’ll be in and out in no time.
Best for Tex Mex: Barrio by Mex Out
Like your Mex with a side of Tex? You’ll be happy to hear of this brand new Mexican taqueria at 313 Orchard. Barrio, the latest venture by Mex Out, is a 70-seater restaurant that places a particular emphasis on fresh ingredients and authentic flavours. Expect tortas (Mexican burgers) and larger dishes like marinated flank steak and pan-roasted snapper. Goes without saying that Mexican classics like burrito wraps, rice bowls tacos and salads are also on the menu. Stave off the spice with a refreshing jug of sangria or their mean margaritas.
Best salsa: Margarita’s
Like slathering copious quantities of fresh spicy salsas on… everything? If you’re particular about your pico de gallo, Margarita’s offers one of the best, chunky, spicy salsas in their selection of Mexican staples. Come here with your possé to enjoy the carne asada – la campestre completa para tados. That’s almost as much of a mouthful as the size of this complete Mexican steak cookout! The platter features grilled prime grain-fed steak, tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole and black beans for the ultimate DIY taco extravaganza.
Margarita’s, 11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673. p. 6471 3228. Open daily 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm.