This little gem is located in the gritty El Raval neighborhood and is a favorite among the local in-crowd who gather at the bar for micheladas and nachos on a Friday night. More of a bar than a restaurant, there is very limited seating space and you need to be willing to share your table when you do get one. But the atmosphere at El Pachuco is matched by the quality and authenticity of the food. Less of a Mexican restaurant, more of a really hip eaterie that serves excellent Mexican food and drink, there’s not a sombrero in sight at El Pachuco (thankfully). Don’t be put off by the crowd if you arrive on a busy night, hold your ground and order a drink, it will be well worth the wait.
Carrer de Sant Pau, 110, 08001 Barcelona, Spain, +34 931 796 805
A quirky mixture of old and new, a hint at modern day Mexico, that’s the best way to explain the atmosphere at Rosa Negra. The menu offers a selection of classic Mexican dishes – tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, you name it – and more original Mexican-themed creations. There’s a wide choice of cocktails on offer too, with everything from margaritas and mojitos to signature cocktails and of course a selection of Mexican beers. Come to Rosa Negra on a weekday at lunchtime and you can enjoy three small courses and a drink for a bargain €9.90.
Via Laietana, 46, 08003 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 101 798
A self-described ‘gastronomic taquería’ – that’s a taco house to you and me – Tlaxcal also claims to be the Mexican restaurant most preferred by Mexicans in Barcelona. While that’s something we can’t quite confirm, we can ensure that Tlaxcal serves one of the best guacamoles in town, bursting with flavor and freshness, served as a perfect accompaniment to any dish. There’s an impressive selection of tacos to choose from, with everything from fish to meat and vegetarian. The cochinita pibil – a Mexican slow roast pulled pork dish – is a favorite, as is the rajas poblanes, sliced poblana pepper with sour cream and cheese. And if you’re a sports fan you’ll be pleased to hear that on big match days the TV tends to pop out, but get there early if you want to get a table.
Carrer del Comerç, 27, 08003 Barcelona, Spain, +34 932 684 134
How do you a judge a good Mexican restaurant? The freshness of the guacamole? The depth of flavor of the chili? What about a Michelin-star? Part of the group of restaurants opened by Catalan chefs Albert Adrià – responsible for the innovative dishes at the world famous elBullí – and Paco Méndez, Hoja Santa received a Michelin star in 2015 for their innovative take on Mexican cuisine. With their signature touches of molecular gastronomy – think a smoked mezcal foam on your margarita or a deconstructed plate of nachos. This is not the place for greasy burritos and cheap beers – or the cheap and cheerful prices that come with it – but rather a unique culinary experience you’ll remember for a long time.
Av. de Mistral, 54, 08015 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 482 194
This sophisticated restaurant pays tribute to the ancient customs and culinary wisdom of Mexico, back from the days of the pre-colonial civilizations. The menu at Oaxaca is not your regular list of tacos and quesadillas, but rather a journey through the country’s terroir and gastronomic heritage, head chef Joan Bagur having learnt the recipes from Mexican mayores – wise elders. Think roast corn Coyoacán style with chili ash, or roast chicken with the house mole – the traditional Mexican sauce. If you’re a fan of mezcal, the cocktail bar next door serves a great selection of signature mezcal and tequila cocktails.
Pla de Palau, 19, 08003 Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 190 064
This relative newcomer to the Barcelona Mexican food scene, Taco Alto specializes in what the Mexicans call ‘antojito’, in other words the Mexican version of street food. The nachos are especially worth a mention, served using fresh tortilla chips that scream of the real thing and topped with generous lashings of guacamole, jalapeños and sour cream. This is finger food perfect for sharing with a group of friends, all served with a warm, friendly welcome and laid back atmosphere. The unpretentious presentation and décor betrays the humble approach of cooks who pride themselves first and foremost on the quality of the dishes.
Carrer del Portal Nou, 62, 08003 Barcelona, Spain, +34 936 339 742