The Auckland edition
Following on from Natalie's in-depth reviews of the best taco places in Sydney, here are the results of my extensive research in Auckland.
I have come to the conclusion that there is a major drought of good Mexican and tacos in Auckland. There are only about five places in total, none of which are particularly amazing. But -my love of tacos and Mexican food prevails. Any suggestions of new places to visit are more than welcome!
This is where Taco Tuesday began. Natalie and I used to come here after work almost every Tuesday where we’d bitch and gossip over a taco (or two) and a coke. After we would always cross the road and get some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for dessert. The atmosphere is about as Mexican as I am (i.e. nada), but it's still good for a quick and relatively cheap taco on the go. Just don't expect stellar service. There are new owners now so it's not as good as it used to be - they put hot salsa in my ex-boyfriend's taco once, and he almost cried. Shame.
(A sidenote - according to Wikipedia, 'taquería' is a Spanish word meaning taco shop).
The Mexican Café, City
Everyone says this inner city restaurant is gross, and well, they're right. I secretly love it though. Not so much for the tacos, but for the jugs of margarita. The passionfruit flavour is the best, but I'm also partial to a jug of slushie pineapple or strawberry. Yum. They do the usual - tacos, fajitas, chimchangas - but it's quite expensive and not that great (although I'm seriously craving one of their chicken fajitas right now). It's always busy and very loud too, so has a great atmosphere.
Mexicali Fresh, Newmarket
There are two Mexicali Fresh restaurants in Auckland, but I frequent the Newmarket one. The tacos are very hit and miss - some nights they're brilliant and others they're like slop in bread. It sort of reminds me of a fake Mexican place they'd have in Los Angeles -because there's always a random skateboarding video playing on the big screen and a Playstation Portable in the corner. There's a reason I only visit the Newmarket restaurant: the other is in the Viaduct (ew), and was recently busted for serving alcohol to minors.
Hola! Mexican, Parnell
Could this be the quietest Mexican restaurant in the world? When I went there were five other tables of people, but everyone seemed to be whispering because the music was barely audible. Which made the dining experience a tad awkward. But isn't it such a cheery name? Hola! has lime green walls and funny Mexican inspired memorabilia all around - my favourite being a picture of a cheeky looking woman wearing a lizard as a hat. The food is average - who knew French fries counted as Mexican food? With a cute bar area, an outside dining deck, and relatively cheap prices, this restaurant could be great - if only they would turn the music up.