Mexican food is only recently becoming popular in South Africa. For the population, Mexican restaurants in Johannesburg are scarce. Here is a quick guide to the few available places to eat Mexican in Johannesburg.
Set in Melville, just off the famous 7 de Laan, this half bar, half restaurant offers authentic Mexican food at good prices. Swinging saloon doors open into this casual restaurant which offers touches of authentic Mexican decorating. Your eyes will be drawn to the large picture of Frida Kahlo in front of you as you head to the tables in the back. The waiters are friendly and will forgive any Spanish mispronunciation, as they may even be guilty of doing so themselves.
The traditional menu offers starters of Totopos (chips and beans) and Chili Poppers. You can also get Nachos and a Summer Salad with Tijuana roots. Main courses include excellent Enchiladas, as well as Burritos Especiales and Quesadillas. If you are looking for an informal meal to match the decor, try the Nachos Cantina Grande.
You don't need a reservation to get a table, however Tuesday nights are packed in by the Tequila Tuesday special (buy a Silver or Gold Cuervo and get one free). As an added bonus, if you are staying in the Melville area, you can order from Cafe Mexicho from Delivery Extreme by calling 011 726 2277. Just have an idea of what you are looking for and it will be delivered to your door within the hour.
Start with the Jalepeño's de Lucky Luke which are deep-fried jalepeño's with bacon and cheese. For your main, order the Chimichangas, which is a plateful of food (and something you are not likely to recreate at home). Whatever you order, make sure you get an extra side of the Refried Beans. Round off your meal with your favorite Tequila.
- T: +27 79 165 9617
- A: 78 4th Avenue, Melville
Not quite fast food, but almost as close as you will get for Mexican take-aways in Johannesburg. Conveniently situated just off Jan Smuts, it is a natural choice for anyone in the Sandton, Randburg and Rosebank areas. The decor is more fresh than Mexican, but the food is both. There are a few tables, that spill out on to the sidewalk in front of the shop, but for the most part the food is designed for grab and go.
The menu is simple, affordable and delicious. The most popular items are their burritos. There are four different varieties, from Grilled Veg to Burrito Maximo. There are also Enchiladas, hard and soft Tacos and Fajitas. Whether it is to go with the fresh theme or to introduce Mexica flavors gently to the South African market, the menu isn't spicy to start with, however they will add it if you request. You can always order a side of their chilli, which you may want to do, because there is no substitute for it.
A full menu for Mexican Fresh is available on their website. You can use it to call in your order, which is a good idea as everything is made to order, which means it can take just a bit of time to have it ready. Alternatively, have a seat and enjoy a Corona with your meal. The staff are adept at helping you to find the right meal for your palate. Platters are also available with some notice and these always go down a treat for casual gatherings.
The Beef Burrito Mexicano has both rice and beans for a delicious and filling meal. Request for chilli to be added to the burrito while cooking for a bit of spice. Alternatively try the Prawn Baha Crunchy Tacos which are filled with tomatoes, onions, and coriander.
- W: www.mexicanfresh.co.za
- T: +27 11 326 2276
- A: Shop 4, Riverview Center, cnr Conrad and Hillcrest, Craighall / Blairgowrie
Although there are a few Cantina Tequila restaurants scattered around northern Johannesburg, the one at Valley View Centre in Fourways, certainly has a following. It is a favorite night spot for the Tequila crowd on weekend evenings. The decor is authentic, with much of it having been imported and the shop front is an eye catcher.
Although the primary menu offering is Mexican, there are also options for diners who prefer more standard South African options, such as a Prawn and Calamari Combo. On the Mexican side, starters include Alejandro's Chimichangas Starter and Rosa's Toasted Tortillas, akin to quesadillas. Main dishes include Burritos, Enchiladas and Pescado a la Mexicana, which is a Mexian styled line fish. Desserts are simple, but delicious.
The menu is reasonably priced and reservations are advisable, though not always necessary. Complimented by a specials board and complimented by a range of Margaritas and Mojitos, Cantina Tequila in Fourways is not just a meal - it is an experience.
Begin with Agustina's Jalapeno Poppers or Guadalupe's Nachos Starter. For your main, order the Fajitas, with your choice of vegetarian, chicken or beef. They bring the ingredients to your table and you put it together yourself. It is a great way to experience the flavors to discover what it is you enjoy most. Round off with Banana Flambé and of course enjoy the meal with the Margarita flavour of the day.
- W: cantinatequila.yolasite.com
- T: +27 11 467 7429
- A: 13 Valleyview Centre, Campbell Rd, Fourways
Check on the map below for directions to your pick of these restaurants. Although there are only a few Mexican restaurants in Johannesburg, the public seems to be hungry for more. This is clear by the growing number of Mexican ingredients available in supermarkets. If you are interested in Mexican cooking, you can find common ingredients at most Woolworths around South Africa. Several of the Spars, such as the one in Craighall Park offer a great selection. For harder to find ingredients, check with Thrupps in Illovo.
78 4th Ave, Johannesburg 2109, South Africa
Shop 4, Riverview Centre Cnr. Conrad & Hillcrest, Craighall / Blairgowrie
13 Valleyview Centre, Campbell Rd, Fourways