Vienna’s certainly not known for its Mexican cuisine scene, but determined to find some, we’ve walked the city in search of a praise-worthy Taco, Enchilada, Mole or bowl of cheese and Guacamole smothered Nachos.
These 4 casual Mexican taqueria cum bars cum cantinas is what we came up with:
Taqueria Los Mexikas – Best Mexican restaurants
Where: Lange Gasse 12, 1080
This place is somewhat the golden child amongst the slim pickings of the Mexican cuisine in Vienna. Most locals will quote it as one of the best in the city. And while we feel it lacks the spice and ‘something extra’ that a Mexican place getting praise should provide, we’d still recommend it as a great option for those muchachos craving food from the land of Aztecs, Mayans and Mariachis.
It’s definitely authentic (while tamed a little for the European tastes in the spice department), with all of the corn-obsessed dishes you’d find on the streets and in the eateries of the homeland in the menu. Not only do they have your typical Tacos and Quesadillas, but they’ve also got traditional Tacos al Pastor made with spit-grilled pork meat, Huarache (the classic Mexican flat bread ‘sandal) with a variety of toppings, including green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro and a variety of meats, and an Enchilada, smothered in the red or green salsa, or the famous Mole sauce, that might have you serenading it like a Mariachi after every bite. Meanwhile, the guacamole is Muy Rico (meaning: delightfully delicious!)
Mexican beers beyond Corona – like Modelo and Sol – can be shot back, while you can also experience the flavour bomb that is the Michelada (a beer prepared with lime juice, assorted sauces, and a ring of spices and peppers around the glass). And, of course, the tequilas are a aplenty, while they also have a few artisanal Mezcals on their shelves (be sure to sip it… this stuff is strong!).
Tin-Tan Tacobar – Best Mexican restaurants
Where: Florianigasse 1, 1080
This Mexican bar in the 8th district gets its name from the Mexican actor, singer, and comedian, Tin-Tan. Good ol’ Tin-Tan was a buoyant, intelligent, kind-hearted, but chaotic fellow, not unlike the soul of this place. It might not look super fancy, but there is a special vibe going on in here. A mix of pop and Latin music play while disco lights work the dancefloor. It all was definitely welcoming for us to show that our hips don’t lie, but unfortunately upon our visit it was too early for doing so (a tequila shot might have convinced us, otherwise).
The food makes up for what the interior is lacking. We couldn’t look past the typical entrada (aka starter) for such a place, Nachos, which was a tasty chips-and-melted-cheese situation. As for the main dishes, the friendly waitress recommended the ‘especialidades de la casa’ (the specialties of the house). We went for it and found ourselves served with ‘enchiladas suizas’ and ‘quesadilla de champignon con queso.’ The oven-baked, extra cheesy enchiladas were filled with all sorts of veggies accompanied by green salsa and sour cream – a cheesy heaven, indeed. Our favourite was the quesadilla, though – the mix of tortilla filled with mushrooms, and guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side made for that wholesome Mexican flavoured dish one seeks out when the taco cravings hit.
Tin-Tan doesn’t only serve delicious food, but also becomes a feel good place of drinking and dancing until early in the morning (it’s open until 4am). They have delicious-sounding cocktails, 4 types of Mexican beers, and a total of 23 different tequila brands (yes, we counted… but we may have lost count after the 5th). If you’re in the mood to let loose, you can go for the Fiesta Mexicana – a pitcher of Margaritas paired with Nachos for 39€. Or there is always the Mezcal with the worm inside.
What we like: they have a “Pronounciation ABC” on their menu. Very convenient if you don’t know any Spanish.
Good to know: There’s live music happening on Wednesdays.
Margarita = 10.90€
3 tacos = 8.40–9.30€
Enchiladas = 9.70–10.90€
Doña Irma – Best Mexican restaurants
Where: Löwengasse 29, 1030
Located close to the famously colourful Hundertwasser Haus is one of the most charismatic and colourful Mexican restaurants and Cantinas in Vienna. Everything from Doña Irma speaks to our inner Latino soul (as everybody wants to be Latin, don’t they… well, at least when on the dance floor) to eat, drink, and dance the night away. Open since 2010, and only for dinner, the whole atmosphere can be summed up by the smile of the “Doña” (Spanish slang for ‘boss’). She will not only guide you towards what you really want (just like a real Latin mother) in the menu, but also have you enjoying your meal (whatever you choose) until you’ve licked up every last drop of Mole from your plate.
The selection in traditional Mexican fare goes far beyond tacos. We go for the tostadas (grilled tortillas) and the Northern Mexico Tex-Mex inclusion, Chimichanga – DIOS MIO! Both are delicious. You can get your Enchilada drowned in a red or green salsa, or a tasty Mole sauce, while we recommend taco fans go for the Tacos Mixtos, which is a combination of the 5 tacos of your choice. And there are not many places in this city that will rival the tamales (traditional dish made of corn-based dough, which is steamed in a banana leaf, filled with mince meat and mixed vegetables) that are served up here.
‘Meanwhile, we suspect you’ll be able to speak fluent Spanish after downing a couple of the Margaritas made in “la casa,” and give the Frida Kahlo a go if you’re into sweet and sour cocktails. The tequila and Mezcal selection is impressive, and they also stock the most popular Mexican beers. But if you’re not waiting to stand out like a gringo (actually, there’s no chance of that happening, we’re afraid) go for a Bier Als Michelada (think beer, salsa, salt, lime and chilli)… and do so while twisting your real Mexican looking moustache (we think such stereotypes are just as lame as you do, but we had to slip this in there for the crowd… we could have thrown in a donkey).
Plus: If you are really not sure of what to eat, try ask for a mixed plate so you can try a bit of everything. Most of the time, your waiter will make this happen… especially if you ask nicely.
Margarita = 7.50€
Enchiladas = 9.50€
Tacos = 10€—11.50€
Acapulco – Best Mexican restaurants
Where: Berggasse 30, 1090
Google will tell you it’s Peruvian, but we’re featuring it in our Mexican greatest hits list… fear not, dear readers, the world has not gone mad – Acapulco in the 9th district is both Peruvian AND Mexican! Two birds, one stone, and all that. Plus, this place is also named after Mexico’s murder capital, so we thought it it might be worth a look.
Our night started off with a Pisco sour cocktail, a traditional Peruvian concoction made of lemon juice, egg white and Pisco brandy, not found in many places in Vienna, and it certainly lived up to the “sour” in its name –an acquired taste, indeed.
The lovely owners recommended our meals for the evening: Lomo Saltado (Peruvian) and Fajitas de Pollo (Mexican). The Lomo Saltado is a Stir Fry kind of dish, with beef, rice, onions, tomatoes and chips, while the chicken Fajitas were a make-your-own kind of deal, as they should be. The Fajitas comes with 4 different mini pots of dips and salsas and a basket of soft tortillas. Both of the meals rated as the kind of wholesome comfort food that you could easily cook at home, but nothing that would blow you away. In a city with few Mexican restaurants, this place does the trick.
The restaurant has a friendly, homey atmosphere, plus live music twice a month (we scored a mariachi band – woohoo!).
Lomo saltado/Fajitas de pollo = 12.90€
Beer = 3.90€