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Tokyo Tacos: 5 Great Mexican Restaurants in The City

From street-style tacos to savory enchiladas, these five restaurants will satisfy your craving for authentic Mexican cuisine.

By 3 min read

Tokyo has some of the best food in the world. In fact, the city has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world—some of them are even humble ramen shops. However, one cuisine in Tokyo where there is a bit of a blind spot is Mexican food.

That’s not to say there isn’t any Mexican food—like American BBQ; you just have to look a little harder to satisfy your cravings for tacos, burritos, enchiladas and (good) queso. So whether you’re looking for a casual taco joint or the whole mariachi band experience, there’s a taste of Mexico in the heart of Tokyo.

1. Tepito

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A charming, rustic atmosphere.

Tepito in Setagaya is worth a visit for the interior alone. It is a home converted into an authentic Mexican restaurant. The rustic and charming vibe is thanks to the owner and chef, Kumi Takizawa Oroarte. In her youth, Kumi fell in love and married a member of the band Trio Delfines, who was famous enough to play for President Kennedy at the White House.

In Japan, her husband missed and was nostalgic for Mexican food, so Kumi learned to make the dishes herself. Thus, Tepito was born out of love for her husband. Although he passed away in 2016, Kumi still serves authentic dishes like enchiladas, chorizo, tamales, burritos and over 100 kinds of tequilas.

3-19-9 Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo - Map
www.tepito.jp/

2. Chiles Mexican Grill

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Only authentic ingredients.

Chiles is a popular Mexican restaurant in Harajuku, the city’s fashion district, just off Takeshita Street in an alley. When you’re recommended good Mexican food in Tokyo, it is usually Chiles. The owner and chef, Carlos, was born and raised in Mexico City. He brought his family’s home-style cooking to Japan in 2004.

Since then, Carlos and his small but lively restaurant have become one of the best spots in Tokyo for authentic Mexican cuisine, from favorites like tacos, burritos and enchiladas to less common Mexican dishes like chiles relleno and mole. There is also a selection of tequila and mezcal cocktails.

If you want to try Chiles in Harajuku, it’s a good idea to call and book ahead—especially on taco Tuesdays!

1-8-24 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo - Map
www.chiles-grill.com/

3. Fonda de la Madrugada

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Is it Tokyo or Cancun?

While not everyone will agree on which restaurant has the best food, it’s to argue against Fonda de la Madrugada’s atmosphere. The building’s pueblo interior and high ceilings feel like a whole new city. A mariachi band will even make the rounds to serenade you and compliment the aesthetic.

There is an extensive menu, with all the usuals but also Mexican favorites like jalapenos relleno, jaibas rellenas, brochetas de res and chicken con salsa. Overall, the unique decor and festive atmosphere make it a fun spot for a night out with friends or a date.

Villa Bianca B1, 2-33-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo - Map
www.fonda-tokyo.com/

4. Los Tacos Azules

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It’s all about the tortilla.

Although stepping away from authenticity a bit, Los Tacos Azules takes tacos very seriously. Tortillas are made fresh daily using organic blue corn imported from Mexico. Ingredients are seasonal, and their website has a lot of words about the appropriate amount of moisture, temperature and degree of alkalinity. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is.

 It’s a very stylish taco bar. While the atmosphere is pretty chill, they do ask one thing before visiting:

“All our food is made from scratch using the highest quality ingredients. The tortillas and salsa are all made fresh, so it’s a job that requires careful labor and time. Please don’t expect the same price as fast food tacos you’ve had in the US or Mexico just because of the image of tacos.”

That being said, tacos start at around ¥500. But it might be worth it for such a really good taco in Tokyo!

1-17-9 Kamiuma , Setagaya, Tokyo - Map
www.lostacosazules.jp/en

5. La Jolla

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Probably the best chicken mole in town.

La Jolla opened way back in 1987 when Mexican food had yet to catch on in Japan. They’ve been serving up Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican dishes ever since, and, allegedly, most chefs working in Mexican restaurants in Japan have worked at La Jolla at one time or another.

The chicken mole is particularly popular, including chocolate chicken mole mixed with four types of chili peppers. There are enchiladas, verde burritos—wrapped in original tortillas inspired by gyoza wraps—and about 60 kinds of tequila to try. Best of all, the portions are huge!

5−16−3 Hiroo Koyasu Building 2F, Shibuya - Map

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