Let’s talk tacos.
Comfort food for a Tuesday night; you know exactly what it is. A perfectly melted plate of cheesy nachos. Homemade salsa and guacamole. Toasty tortillas loaded up with a mountain of toppings. Squeeze of lime. Dollop of sour cream. #TacoTuesday is back. If this weekly ritual has taken place in at-home kitchens the last couple months, it’s time to venture out — with a couple of good friends in tow — for a fun fabulous night of a Mexican fiesta. Endless rounds of margaritas included. We’d never turn down a tasty taco, especially when it comes from one of these restaurants Mexican restaurant below.
11 Westside needs no introduction; especially since it’s the brainchild of chef Esdras Ochoa, or better yet known as ‘Taco King’. Naturally then, the corn tortilla-wrapped packages are the stars of the show here, all hand-made with jet-fresh ingredients from Mexico with authentic recipes. Ones to look out for when you pay a visit: the table-side guacamole and a pick n’ mix selection of the generous tacos — the Baja Fish and Al Pastor are among favourites.
Cool and sleek, like the sophisticated older sister of simple taqueria joints, this is Chino. A spot for an authentic taco pick-me-up this is not, but rather expect modern Mexican plates fused with a distinct Japanese-inspired twist – shared influences that has moulded owner and executive chef Erik Idos’ culinary upbringing. The menu here is fresh, seasonal and ever-changing, and ties together the best flavours from both cultures. We’d recommend going for the Kanpachi Tostadas sprinkled with Furikake and Duck Carnitas taco, garnished with grape and tomatillo, for something a little less quotidian.
For Cinco de Mayo, which Chino has amusingly dubbed Chino de Mayo, the restaurant launches three limited-time serves: tlayuda (toasted tortilla) topped with chorizo and black beans; shrimp and clam salsa tostada; and a wagyu hard-shell taco. Watermelon margaritas to wash it all down. Salud!
Chino, 1B-1C, 18 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2606 0588
What you see is what you get at this cosy Sai Ying Pun taqueria. No fuss, no frills; just an honest serve of tasty Mexican favourites. Not to mention it’s one of superb value too: generous plates that you’ll still be munching through at lunch the next day, with very affordable price tags. Words we love to hear. Sweep through the gargantuan menu of quesadillas, tacos and, the margs. The margs! Never to be forgotten, especially since its hammered in bright green letters — right next to ‘Taco’ atop the storefront. Taco Chaca is a favourite among many, so pop over when you can. Guaranteed you’d be headed over every chance you get after.
Taco Chaca, G/F, 119 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District, Hong Kong, +852 2559 9519
Taqueria Super Macho
You’ve likely visited this Black Sheep Mexican mainstay, known for its laid-back atmosphere — graphic-printed exposed walls; bright neon lights — and loved for the its convivial atmosphere. The après-surf taco bar has only one simple request for patrons: To kick back, relax and enjoy a great evening with even greater food from Chilean-born chef Billy Otis. The energy here is unserious and unfussy; if there’s ever a place that encourages you to get your (sanitised) hands dirty from an overflowing taco, this would be the place. Throw back three cocktail too many — the daiquiris and Paloma are easy downers — and join in the next wave of a hearty hollering of “Tequila!”
Don’t forget to ask for the Cinco de Mayo specials: a HK$48 Classic Margarita from 6pm onwards and an off-menu beef birria taco made Tijuana style (3 for $108).
Taqueria Super Macho, 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2333 0111
Te Quiero Mucho
What makes a good Mexican cantina? When you find yourself not only returning for it’s boozy tequila-based tipples but the tacos and nachos and guacamole and chips. The list continues. Te Quiero Mucho is a place like such. Tucked away at the first two floors of Ovolo Hotel in Sheung Wan, this energetic eatery serves an endless selection of Mexican beers, zingy cocktails made with the in-house selection of artisanal tequilas and mezcal, and very real, very delicious Mexican serves.
Te Quiero Mucho, G/F & 1/F, The Sheung Wan, 286 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3423 3290
Off the far end of Third Street in Sai Ying Pun is El Macho. Likely to be lesser known than some other big players on this list, it’s by no means elusive and unassuming. Not at all. Matching a similarly loud and boisterous energy of traditional roadside taquerias, this buzzy neighbourhood spot ups the antes with striking Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) décor, meaning bright zingy neons, larger than life murals that wrap around the outer walls and a ceiling lined with colourful sombreros. The menu serves just as bold, extravagant plates; nacho loaded up with mountainous toppings and cheese; generously stuffed tacos that lean and spill onto one other. If you think that was impressive, the servers will dress up in wide-brimmed sombreros and matching ponchos, too. All in the name of a good time. Only thing missing is the cheery strums from an animated mariachi band.
Cinco de Mayo perk: Margaritas are just HK$68 a glass from 5 to 6 May!
El Macho, G/F, 1 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District, Hong Kong, +852 2523 2488
A taste of Tex-Mex is what Caliente is serving. Cheesy quesadillas, sizzling fajita plates and some very tasty chicken chimichangas. There are tacos too, but the broad menu will make you want to venture a little further pass the average corn-tortilla bite. However, it’s worth nothing of some unconventional takes on the classic taco. The Taco Bomb, for one, is a hefty number comprised of an indulgent fusion of foie gras, sea urchin and fatty tuna. Nobody said tacos had to be simple, Drinks wise, the menu is as extensive as ever. Take a gander and take a sip; it’s the start of a fun evening.
Caliente, 3/F, 6 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2723 5968
Header image courtesy of Taqueria Super Macho