William Putnam

Where is the best Mexican food in Bangkok?

Here are some ideas to satisfy those Mexican food cravings.


After living in Bangkok for more than a year, I have realized that the city offers a wide variety of delicious food options.

You can find Thai cuisine from any region, authentic Japanese food, ubiquitous Chinese food, varied Indian food, decent burgers and fries, and even French food if you're willing to pay more than you would in France (surprisingly, you can get a three course meal with foe grais in France for about 20 euros in many parts of the country).

However, Bangkok does seem to lack one of my favorite cuisines: Mexican.

There are days when I miss many aspects of Mexican restaurants: the free chips, the margaritas, and the perfect blend of spices. Thus, I have tried to find good Mexican food in Bangkok. Many times I have been disappointed, but I have actually found some pretty good places. I have written some of my thoughts below.

Sunrise Tacos:

Often deemed "a necessary evil", this is an old standby for many. With at least three convenient locations, it is easy to see why so many Westerners with a craving for Mexican frequent this place.

The downside is that the food is not all that good. It is not bad, despite what many say, but it's also not great. Truth be told, many of the dishes are quite bland. It's not cheap either, though it's not the most expensive on this list.

A meal for two (without drinks) should run around 600 baht. Unless you're really in a rush and cannot go far from Sukhumvit Road, I would not recommend this place too much. I have heard good things about a secret menu they have though (3/5).

El Diablo:

What a great place! Free chips, huge burritos, decent guacamole, it's everything I look for in a Mexican restaurant. The location is a bit inconvenient though. It's near the intersection of Sukhumvit 22 and 24, near the Phrom Prong BTS.

The burritos are large and cheap (around 180-220 baht for a 10 inch burrito). There are also two-for-one margaritas on Tuesdays (150 baht for two glasses). I frequent this place multiple times per month (4.5/5).

Tacos and Salsa:

Another great find. This restaurant is all the way at the end of Sukhumvit 18. The burritos are good, though I found that the seasoning was not quite as good as El Diablo's, and there are no free chips.

The food is cheap (220 baht for a 12 inch burrito), but the margaritas are less so (170 baht each). If you are looking to eat a lot or come with a large group of friends, then come here, as there is more space than at El Diablo (4/5).

La Monita:

This is probably where the best Mexican food in Bangkok can be found. The burritos are delicious and enormous, and there is a fantastic salsa bar at the restaurant. The location is also more convenient than El Diablo's or Tacos and Salsa's; it is located down Soi Ruamrudee near the Phloen Chit BTS station.

Now, the food is great, but there are a few negatives to this place. One, it is often crowded, and it does not take reservations.

Two, it is more expensive than the other restaurants on this list; expect to pay around 300 baht for just a burrito. Still, this place is worth a try, even if one's desire to not wait in line for 30 minutes or pay 1.5 times the price makes one frequent El Diablo more often (4.5/5).

Overall, I prefer El Diablo, but La Monita is definitely worth going to as well. And Tacos and Salsa is a great place to go with friends. Even Sunrise Tacos is not as bad as many people say.

Unfortunately, I have not found a Mexican restaurant in Bangkok that compares to the ones back home yet, but I have found a few good places for my Mexican fix.

Overall, it's not easy to find great Mexican food in Thailand. Luckily, it is hard to complain, since Thai food is so abundant and fresh. Still, I often miss my staple foods.

 




Comments

Thanks for sharing such a useful post. I love Mexican food. This post is very helpful for me.

By Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks, CA (24th December 2018)

Well I am looking to open a Roberto's Taco Shop here in Thailand, we are out of San Diego, CA and up & down the west coast.
So far what I have tried is so so at best, there are three malls we are looking into now.

By Robin, Phichit, Thailand (1st March 2016)

Just wondering, is this authentic Mexican food, like Mole, real tacos, or more like Tex Mex? are there any places in Thailand with a good mole?

By todd, Bangkok (2nd February 2016)

I have to agree on La Monita. Living in Khon Kaen, decent Mexican food is non-existent. I only go to BKK when I have to, usually for US Embassy trip, and discovered La Monita when I had some time to kill. Was happily impressed. I understand from something I was reading not too long ago that they have a couple of other restaurants now.

Incidentally, to @angsta: It is not necessary to go to Mexico to get good Mexican food. I grew up in the Los Angeles area, where there was, and still is, a large Latino population. The food was authentic if you went to the right places. I worked with Latinos and was treated to the places that were quite authentic, to the point of little or no English being spoken and not too many Caucasian faces. You might try someplace other than Taco Bell to do your comparisons.

By Tony, Khon Kaen (3rd June 2015)

I swear by Tacos y Salsa on Sukhumvit 18, and I'm happy to say the owner, Lisa, is 100% Mexican. She can also do special requests with advanced notice ... for a friend's birthday, they were able to muster up a truly authentic Chicken Mole, and at less than 300 THB per plate for the special order.

Do beware the Margaritas, they are pricier, but more potent. Not the place to go if you have an early lesson the next day.

By Allen , Bangkok (19th May 2015)

The only time I've ever had authentic Tex-Mex food in Thailand was back in the 1970s at a little restaurant called Rios. Located behind the Indra Hotel, it was owned by a Tejano named Agipito Rios. Unfortunately, when he broke up with his Thai wife, she turned it into a seafood restaurant. What you can find today is close, but still not quite the real thing.

As to "Mexican food" in general, there is a tremendous variety. The cuisine of southern Mexico is far different from Tex-Mex. Most Americans wouldn't even recognize it.

p.s. Mexico is in North America.

By Cliff Seaman, Bangkok (16th May 2015)

So the author is Mexican? When he refers to 'back home' he means in Mexico? Or is he referring to the bastardized version you get in the states?

Confused.

By angsta, Bkk (13th May 2015)

You missed one of the top Mexicans in town - senior picos in the Rembrandt. Fantastic food in there and great margaritas. It is also the most expensive of all the Mexican restaurants...

By Thaipirate, Right behind you (12th May 2015)

Although it's a bit far out, Que Pasa is my recommendation. It's run by an American guy so I don't know if that makes it Tex-Mex or not, but it's in a nice setting just outside Nichada Thani / ISB. The prices are VERY reasonable compared to what you'd pay downtown too and the quality of the food is good.

Rather than having that hip 'n' trendy feel that a lot of the downtown Mexican places have, this one feels like an more honest representation of what a Mexican restaurant in the USA is probably like... not that I'd know. Oh, and they do the free chips :-)

Their website is http://www.quepasa-th.com/

By Gary, Nonthaburi (11th May 2015)

You need to visit Sabrosa Mexican Tapas, Suk Soi 23. Only authentic Mexican cuisine in BKK. Chef Jorge Bernal moved from Tacos & Salsa and opened this new eatery.

By Mark Weber, Bangkok (10th May 2015)

Do you mean Mexican food or do you mean Tex-Mex food? There is a big difference.

For example, burritos aren't Mexican food. Why? The burrito wraps are made of wheat -- Mexican food is corn based. Corn is what to Mexico, what rice is to Thailand.

Burritos (along with cheddar cheese) are known as "Tex-Mex" cuisine, a mixture of North American and Mexican influences.

By t., .th (6th May 2015)

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