When we look at the current state of Mexican food in Ireland’s capital, we should all just take a moment to congratulate ourselves. Even just ten years ago, there weren’t any real contenders for Mexican in Dublin. I’m not even talking about authentic Mexican, I’m just an American after all. My objective is to eat something involving a tortilla that tastes good. I personally really enjoy Taco Bell, but the truth is that you unlock new layers of flavour the closer you get to the real thing.
What it really comes down to is the soft corn tortilla. This is the single best indicator of authentic Mexican food (at least when you’re this far removed) and I use it as a litmus test. If you’ve only had Mexican in the form of nachos in the pub, “fajitas,” or a jumbo burrito, I urge you to get out there and see what’s it’s all about! I’m talking simple, quality ingredients, a world of spices, and varied textures.
Read on for 4 spots serving up amazing food in soft corn tortillas (and where to buy them yourself).
Best for: Trendy Mexican Brunch
Don’t let the hip styling and trendy vibes put you off; we love 777 for their creative dishes (sashimi tostados, pigs head carnitas), all day Sunday brunch, and delicious cocktails. Prices are not cheap, but everything is 7.77 on Sundays!
Lord Edward Street
Best for: Mexican Comfort Food
Azteca’s got all of the trappings of a cosy meal, down to the friendly staff and no nonsense Mexican comfort food. I’m pretty sure no one else in Dublin is serving up chilaquiles (fried tortilla strips simmered in green or red salsa) or huaraches (I can’t even begin to explain but it’s not a shoe, just Google it) and they come highly recommended. Bonus: as noted on the sign outside, the food is made by Mexicans
Lower Baggot Street
We believe Sharing is Caring! 🌮🎉🥂 pic.twitter.com/W5EULBamHU
— Xico (@XicoDublin) 11 April 2018
Best for: Mexican-inspired Cocktails
No one knows how to pronounce this place and I’m no exception (Ex-i-co? Zyco?). The trick is to mumble it very quickly and then spell it out, in case the person that you’re speaking to is reasonably still unclear what you’re talking about. The cavernous atmosphere is stylish and dimly lit with a Dia de los Muertos theme and an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal. Open for dinner only, the food portions are fairly small so it is a bit on the pricey side but it is a one of a kind experience for Dublin.
Best for: Mexican Street Food
Serving up some of the best and most legit Mexican food in Dublin in a tiny space just inside Temple Bar, you’ve gotta try the tacos al pastor. Sure, they have lots of other cool stuff on the menu too (burritos, tortas) but al pastor combines all of the goodness of meat cooked on a rotating spit (think kebab) with the Mexican flavor profile. Plus: They’re open till 4am on Fridays and Saturday (See more: Late Late Night Eats in Dublin)
Want to make your own?
For authentic Mexican ingredients and fresh corn tortillas, look no further than Picado. It is a world away from the Old El Paso shelf in Dunnes and you won’t find any Extra Mild sauce here, just quality Mexican products.