From crispy corn tortillas filled with succulent beef to soft flour tortillas overflowing with fresh fish and tangy salsa, we’ve left no stone (or tortilla) unturned in the quest for Sydney’s best tacos.
Sydney is a melting pot of culinary experiences, and tacos are no exception. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Mexican flavours or a fusion twist, these ten places have got you covered. From the bustling streets of Newtown to the beachside suburbs of Bondi, you can indulge in some of the best tacos Sydney has to offer. So grab your friends, and your appetite, and start your taco tour today!
Nativo Mexican, a small but lively restaurant in Pyrmont, offers big Mexican flavour under the leadership of Chef Manuel Diaz, formerly of Bar Patron. Diaz, originally from Oaxaca, Mexico’s gastronomic capital, has translated the dishes of his childhood into Sydney’s dining scene, incorporating native Australian ingredients and produce. Nativo’s menu honours traditional native cooking methods while celebrating the union between Mexican and Australian cultures. Signature tacos include the Al Pastor Pork Shoulder Tacos with saltbush morita salsa and the Zarandeado Octopus Taco with Tasmanian octopus, chimichurri, confit onions, and potato.
Toby Wilson, the creator of Sydney-famous Al Pastor Tacos, has opened Ricos Tacos’ first permanent space in Chippendale. The sunny dine-in taqueria features yellow and white paint, playful graffiti art, and peach-coloured foldable chairs. Ricos Tacos’ lunch menu boasts the irresistible Barbacoa Taco made with chuck steak and a guajillo chilli sauce, and a vegetarian-friendly fried cauliflower taco with a delicious salsa macha. The house-made chorizo, with its distinct spicy aroma, is a standout ingredient, crumbled with potatoes for a zesty taco bursting with cumin and cloves. Unlike its Spanish counterpart, Mexican chorizo is coarser and adds a unique touch to each taco.
St. Alma burst into Freshwater last year with platefuls of beachside charm and modern-Mexican share plates that fuse authentic Mexican flavours with seasonal ingredients. Owners, Leary and Christensen travelled to Mexico, where they ate and tasted menus from around 30 eateries on the east coast. The menu is designed to share with a diverse range of meat, fish, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, including highlights like Fish Tacos with coleslaw and peanut macha aioli, Prawn Tacos with coleslaw and peanut macha aioli, and Carne asada taco with guacamole, flank steak, and burnt chili sauce. St. Alma is a must-visit dining destination for sunny Sydney days.
Boasting Australia’s largest tequila range is no mean feat, and at Méjico you can find just that. Located in the heart of the CBD on Pitt Street, this market-to-table Mexican eatery delivers modern dishes inspired by regional flavours and authentic culinary techniques. Whether you’re looking for a date-night spot or want to gather your crew for a long-overdue get-together, Méjico will welcome you with open arms. Start with street snacks like fried jalapeno poppers stuffed with 3 kinds of cheese before tasting your way through flavourful tacos such as; the Pork Carnita with dragoncello, pineapple salsa and coriander; a veggie-friendly Crispy Mushroom Taco with portobello, oyster + enoki mushrooms, hibiscus salsa and sage salt; plus the signature Achiote Salmon Taco with caper salsa and arbol mayo.
Tequila Mockingbird’s team has brought new life to the CBD’s Mexican food scene by elevating beyond the usual Mexican fare. The 65-seat basement bar features slide-in wooden booths, industrial beams, caged drinks lockers, and a back-lit bottle cabinet. The 45-seat restaurant upstairs has an open kitchen where restaurant-goers can catch a theatrical display of the Chef grilling pork on a custom-made parrilla for their signature Al Pastor Taco. The Adobo-marinated pork taco is served with onion, coriander, salsa verde, and pineapple on a soft, house-made smoky tortilla with crisped edges for a signature taste of Esteban.
Flock to Paddington’s Five Ways and you’ll stumble upon the humble Latin American-influenced bar-meets-restaurant, Tequila Mockingbird. Finding its home in a lovingly restored terrace, this dining destination is a must for fans of flavourful cuisine. While it might not technically be entirely Mexican, the Tacos are second to none. Try their crunchy Ceviche Taco with ají amarillo and charcoal salt for a mouthful of Tequila Mockingbird flavour before moving onto more hearty tacos of Crunchy Pork Jowl with kiwi jalapeño and lime salsa.
Chica Bonita, a hidden taqueria in Manly, boasts a magical wonderland of music icons, silver star-shaped lights, and fresh tortillas. They serve signature tacos such as the Cheeseburger Taco, made with beef, cheese, avocado, white onion, mayo, and pickled red onion, and the Quesabirria Taco, consisting of slow-cooked brisket, cheese, consommé, and radish in a crisp tortilla. The music is loud, the Tecates are crusty, and the atmosphere is electric.
Bad Hombres offers an all-vegan menu with inventive dishes that will still satisfy even the most carnivorous of tastebuds. The rotating taco of the week is determined by seasonal produce. You may find your tortilla filled with Pastor Mushroom, cashew crema, pico de gallo & pineapple, or perhaps it’ll be the Jackfruit Tinga with red cabbage, chipotle mayo, pickled onion & coriander. Other standouts include the Miso Eggplant with pineapple habanero salsa & miso caramel.
Established by Peter Lew and Nicole Galloway, Chula serves up lesser-known regional specialities of Mexican cuisine in a stylish venue designed by Joshua Clapp. Chef Alvaro Valenzuela showcases the fresher, more vibrant side of his native cuisine with eight unique tacos on the menu. Among the specialities is the Cactus and Mushroom taco with queso, morita salsa, onion, and cilantro, and the Cangrejo Taco with spiced soft-shell crab, chipotle mayo, cabbage, onion, and cilantro. The elegant venue features warm desert tones of terracotta and agave, and woven cocoon-style lighting transporting guests through their own little Mexican adventure.
Maiz Mexican Street Food began selling traditional sopes at a farmer’s market, which soon became a Sydney cult-fave, prompting Head chef and co-owner Juan Carlo (Milpa Collective) to open a fully-fledged eatery on south King Street in 2021. Sopes are still the biggest hit on the menu, and although technically not a taco, we’ve deemed them a close enough (and delicious enough) a relative to make the list.
Comprising of a thick fried masa base, snack-size sopes are loaded with unique and flavourful toppings such as the Barbacoa de Venado with wild Sambar venison barbacoa, mezcal salsa borracha and burnt avocado, as well as the Pato con Mole made with confit duck, lacto-fermented ancho-mango mole sauce and sesame seeds.
There you have it folks. The tastiest, most mouth-watering tacos that this beautiful metropolis has to offer. So buckle up, bring your appetite, and get ready to fiesta!