If this week’s Small Kitchen Mission wasn’t indicative enough, let me just state that I love love love Mexican food. We were worried before we made the move about finding any decent Mexican cuisine, and while the places we have found still don’t compare to what’s in the states, some come pretty close.
Before we even start, I’ll tell you the portions here are going to disappoint you if you’re used to enormous burritos served with mounds of rice and beans. But this just means you get to try more stuff! And in a foodie town like Tokyo, it’s always worth ordering multiple dishes to share.
These five are worth checking out if you find yourself craving tacos while visiting the land of ramen and sushi:
Mucho Modern Mexicano, 2-7-3 Tokia Building 2F, Chiyoda-ku
Mucho is the place to go for a more swanky, club vibe. We went there for Cinco de Mayo this year. Guac bar? Awesome. Pitcher of mojitos? Excellent. But the food was more on the mild side. Located in a pretty crowded business area, you’ll always need a reservation for this one.
Salsita, 4-5-65 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku
Craig and I had to try this place after buying some of their salsa and chips from National Azabu. They also serve a strong margarita and some tasty tortilla soup I struggled to share with Craig. I enjoyed the tacos with carnitas and, of course, the trio of salsas they came with.
La Jolla, 5-16-3 Oyasu Building 2F, Hiroo, Shibuya-ku
Not too far from Salsita is La Jolla, which was recommended to us by fellow expats from California. In terms of portion size, this place is the winner. We had pretty big burritos here and left stuffed. The staff is very friendly and they serve hearty, no-frills food.
Frijoles, multiple locations
I found Frijoles by accident on one of my first solo outings near our temporary apartment. I managed to find my way (with a few wrong turns) to Azabu-juban and when I saw it, I almost cried. I walked in, saw the English menu and all the white people and felt like I was at the U.S. Embassy. A little dramatic, I know, but I was about a month into our time here. While I cannot confirm they’re owned by Chipotle, the decor, setup and menu are all nearly identical, even if the flavors are a bit different. When I’m out and about, this is the only fast food I’ll stop for.
La Cocina Gabriela Mexicana, 7-5-10 Clover Building 2F, Roppongi, Minato-ku
Our most recent discovery (tonight), La Cocina Gabriela Mexicana, was our hands-down favorite for flavor and atmosphere. We tried their chicken lime tortilla soup, some tacos, guacamole and enchiladas and loved every bit of it. I know we will be back. Oh, get the pomegranate margarita.
Has the search for the best Mexican food in Tokyo ended? Not a chance. I can always find an excuse to get Mexican food. In the meantime, I will continue tweeting at Chipotle, asking them to get over here.