Now that a respectful mourning period has been observed since the closure of local favourite Illegal Jack’s on Lothian Road last year, it’s time for hungry locals to settle on their new favourite Tex-Mex restaurant.
We’ve lassoed a list of the strongest contenders, but it’s up to you to decide which one is good enough to fill Jack’s boots (and Stetson).
A popular fixture on Rose Street since 1991, Miro’s Cantina Mexicana is one of Edinburgh’s oldest Tex-Mex restaurants and has a long-standing reputation for being the best. They’re famous for making done-to-death nachos exciting again, and for their frozen margaritas.
184 Rose Street, EH2 4BA – more info
Taquito is the perfect venue for a speedy, spicy bite, not far from Princes Street. What this compact restaurant lacks in space, it makes up for with reasonably priced, fresh Mexican food. Grab a highly recommended burrito to take away for a lunch time treat.
32 Home Street, EH3 9LZ – more info
Diehard Illegal Jack’s fans might find it difficult to pay a visit to Pinto (which opened next door to the former Tex-Mex Mecca shortly before the serving of its final burrito). If you can bring yourself to eat through the pain, though, you’ll find great comfort in what the small Glasgow chain has to offer. Open until midnight at the weekend, the Lothian Road branch of Pinto is surprisingly spacious and has some great food and drink meal deals that may or may not involve a high volume of tasty margaritas. What’s more, they’ve also expanded their mini-empire to a second branch on Shandwick Place to cater to the West End crowd.
119 Lothian Road, EH3 9AN / 6 Shandwick Place, EH2 4R – more info
Located in the busy Grassmarket, Mariachi is known for its bustling atmosphere and generous portion sizes. Their menu helpfully alerts diners to how spicy each dish is, lowering the chance of any embarrassing, fire-breathing incidents in front of a full restaurant. While Mariachi mostly serves traditional Mexican fare, there is a hint of Scottish fusion, particularly with the extremely popular mussels cooked in a spicy tomato broth.
7 Victoria Street, EH1 2HE – more info
The Basement Bar
Both a trendy pub and a reputable Mexican restaurant, The Basement Bar is worth a visit almost purely for its beautiful décor. Decked out with eye-catching ‘Calaveras’ (more commonly known as ‘sugar skulls’) and other colourful knick-knacks, the place still somehow manages to look uncluttered and effortlessly cool. The Basement Bar are often praised for their unique take on the Tex-Mex style, serving dishes like pork with black pudding and frozen margarita cheesecake.
10a-12a Broughton Street, EH1 3RH – more info
Despite being a fairly large UK chain, the Edinburgh branch of Las Iguanas only opened in September. Although technically classed as a Latin American restaurant, the menu has an entire section dedicated to ‘Mexican Classics’ and they serve an impressive array of Mexican cocktails too.
141-143 George Street, EH2 4JY – more info
Cha Cha Laca
This small but perfectly formed restaurant popped up almost overnight in the city centre last summer. Their modern, Mexican-inspired decoration inside is striking and the staff are super friendly. You can choose from a reasonably priced set menu, or go à la carte – but make sure to try the cinnamon churros for dessert.
87 Hanover Street, EH2 1EE – more info
Usually ordering a takeaway for dinner involves plumping for less than the best in order to enjoy it in your pyjamas. However, in the case of Los Cardos former Leith residents will happily travel for miles to get their hands on what are rumoured to be Edinburgh’s best burritos. Consider yourself lucky if you live close enough for a delivery, otherwise you’d better get your coat on.
281 Leith Walk, EH6 8PD – more info
More Edinburgh food tips:
Cheap eats in Edinburgh: 16 of the best budget restaurants and cafés
5 of the best places for brunch in Edinburgh
6 places for perfect pizza in Edinburgh
10 of the best breakfast spots in Edinburgh
The best places to eat authentic sushi in Edinburgh
5 of the best places for vegetarian food in Edinburgh
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