Ah, Mexican food, a huge point of Beijing foodie contention: is it authentic? Is it Tex Mex? Is it better than what you get in San Diego, Mexico City, or Los Angeles? Regardless of what you might think, our readers seemed pretty satisfied with what we have in our city, and thankfully, there’s a fair bit to choose from.
The Taco Bar took home the biggest prize in this category during our the Beijinger 2016 Reader Restaurant Awards. This was certainly no surprise for anyone with tastebuds, as The Taco Bar has been buzzing even without proper signage ever since moving into Sanlitun. And even before that for those of us who have been around in the hutongs for a couple of years.
We’re not only huge fans of their namesake tacos, but also their guacamole (RMB 40 for a small portion, and RMB 70 for a large portion), as it is one of the only genuinely freshly-made guacamoles in town. I'm not ashamed to disclose that I have thought of just sitting there and eating it with a spoon many a time... We know you have too.
As for the outstanding awards, Palms LA Kitchen and Bar took the prize there, as well as Q Mex. Both of these have a special place in our hearts. Palms LA Kitchen and Bar, with their margaritas and centrally-located Liangmaqiao patio, makes for an interesting twist on Mexican food with Korean fusion elements. Q Mex, on the other hand, although it might not be our absolute favorite food in town, is a great place to go in a large group, and also, we really approve of their discounts.
In fact, we’ve now been so often that we can remember their schedule off the top of our heads:
Monday: Half-Price Burritos
Tuesday: Half-Price Pizzas
Wednesday: Half-Price Nachos (and quiz night)
Thursday: Meat Lover's Fiesta with Half-Price Steak, BBQ Ribs, and Habanero Chicken
A definite favorite on my part is the chipotle chicken pizza, not quite the most Mexican item in this city, but really delicious, especially in the thin-crust rendition. We recommend checking it out on a Tuesday, when it's half price (RMB 65 originally, RMB 33 on Tuesdays).
If you're a hutong dweller like me, Pebbles Courtyard is a good place for Mexican liquid food: their margaritas are excellent and buy-one-get-one-free on Fridays. Get some nachos on the side, and you're set for a good pre-drinking session (there's even a rooftop). Our favorite thing about their nachos is that they are all laid out, and not a single nacho remains sad, soggy, and toppingless on the bottom.
We don't recommend going specifically for Taco Tuesdays, as their Taco Tuesdays deal is just so confusing. You can choose any taco you like except you have to get a minium of five for two free sides and you have to order at least three to get the deal of RMB 10 a piece, and then certain categories can only be ordered if you order a minimum amount of them. We don't approve of having to use that much brain power for tacos, but, the margaritas and nachos do get our stamp of approval.
Photos: Margaux Schreurs, The Taco Bar, Q Mex
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