Mexican food in Amsterdam
There’s no reason you can’t have a fiesta in Amsterdam. Taco bars and burrito joints are found all over the city, offering up Mexican cuisine that tastes so authentic you’ll think you’re in Guadalajara. Taste the native flavours of the country – sweetcorn, chili peppers, beans, avocado and much more – celebrated on the menus of these Mexican restaurants in Amsterdam.
You don’t have to travel far to nosh on some real Mexican food. With four locations on the borders of the city centre, you can grab a taco at Los Pilones at any time. Los Pilones was founded in 2001 by three Mexican brothers, so you know you’re getting the real deal. At the Leidseplein and Jordaan locations you’ll find their most extensive menus, filled with lots of variations on famous dishes such as enchiladas and tacos. More adventurous eaters can try out the lesser-known Mexican specialties such as cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork stew of Mayan origin from the Yucatán. At the Nieuwmarkt location is their taquería, a taco restaurant serving up 14 different types of tacos: camarones a la diabla tacos use spicy prawns and the Toluca showcases cactus. The Kerkstraat 59 location is a breakfast and lunch joint with Mexican-inspired salads, soups and sandwiches. After the meal, take the flavour home with a bottle of Los Pilones’ own line of salsas.
Los Pilones, Kerkstraat 63, Eerste Anjeliersdwarstraat 6, Geldersekade 111, Kerkstraat 59
One of the newest additions to a growing list of Amsterdam taco bars, this taquería offers tacos the way Mexicans eat them. They’re not the crunchy-shelled, tomato and onion-filled ground beef tacos that most people are familiar with – no, these are authentic beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetarian tacos served with homemade salsa and chipotle cream. If you’re not into tacos, you’re not out of luck – you can still munch on a sweet potato quesadilla or avocado fries. While you wait, take a seat at the bar (it’s not called Tacobar for nothing) for a margarita or Bloody Mary.
Taqueria Tacobar, Tweede Helmersstraat 26
With the aim of setting new standards in fast food ('good food, fast' is their motto), Salsa Shop serves up freshly made Mexican meals using the most natural ingredients available at their growing army of locations in Amsterdam. Pick up a burrito, salad, burrito bowl or three tacos as take-away or for delivery from the De Pijp, Amstelstraat, Central Station or Oud-West locations. All meals come with your choice of six signature salsas, ranging in intensity from the Rollin' Roasted Tomato to the Fiery Yellow Habanero, which comes with a warning - and for very good reason. Only the bravest need apply!
Salsa Shop, Amstelstraat 32, Stationsplein 43, Ferdinand Bolstraat 1, Oud-West coming soon!
Named after the main street in Little Havana, the heart and soul of Cuban and Latin American culture in Miami, Calle Ocho blends multicultural cuisines to offer a menu with feisty flavours and surprising ingredients. Though you can always find tacos and freshly made salsas, the chefs change the menu weekly to highlight the different cuisines of South and Central America. Treat yourself to freshly-made chilled ceviche and chicken tinga or, if you’re in the mood for a challenge, test out a dish featuring the impossibly hot Trinidad moruga scorpion pepper. Of course, you can cool off with a refreshing margarita from the bar.
Calle Ocho, Albert Cuypstraat 226
Open every day until the wee hours of the morning, Louie Louie – inspired by the 1960s rhythm and blues hit – gives you a taste of Mexico and a little bit more. With menu items such as huevos rancheros in the morning and salmon tiradito in the evening, you’ll be able to try out the daily cuisine of Latin America without ever leaving Amsterdam. At the bar, sample the agave-based Mexican mezcal, or try a twist on the classic Cuban mojito. But there’s truly something for everyone at Louie Louie – Korean BBQ appears on the menu in a quesadilla for an Asian-Latin American fusion dish.
Louie Louie, Linnaeusstraat 11
Tex-Mex is not the ‘real’ Mexican cuisine but it is its own cuisine entirely, meshing Mexican and American flavours. Tomatillo, which operates primarily as a take-away stop but offers limited seating, offers a menu filled with the typical Tex-Mex fare found in the southwestern US. Burritos stuffed with rice, beans, salsa and shredded cheddar cheese, piping hot fajita/burrito combinations and oven-baked tostadas are available for delivery every day of the week from late afternoon until 22:00. A kids’ menu and Mexican ‘hot’ chocolate cookies from Amsterdam’s Homemade Happiness make Tomatillo a family-friendly spot to grab a fresh, affordable Tex-Mex meal.
Tomatillo, Overtoom 261
As one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in Amsterdam, Rose’s Cantina has shown that its kitchen can stand the test of time. The restaurant, well-known to locals, opened in 1982 with a Mexican menu with which no other restaurant at the time could compete. Now, over 30 years later, Rose’s Cantina is still a local legend with a Pan-American menu featuring chicken marinated in pineapple juice, lamb with mole negro and a weekly fish dish. In addition to the main restaurant, Rose’s Cantina offers the Tequila Library and the Wagon, which feature private bars and seating areas available for events.
Rose’s Cantina, Reguliersdwarsstraat 38-40
Chiapas Taco Cartel
Inspired by the street food of the Chiapas region in Mexico, the Taco Cartel is as casual as the cuisine it’s modelled after. You can grab your tacos to go, get them delivered or stay in for a quick meal – but be prepared to serve yourself, as there are no waiters in sight. The menu, which offers only tacos, doesn’t claim to be authentic Mexican. Instead, the Taco Cartel puts a spin on the classics: the Beef Chipotle tacos are paired with pickled carrots, while Sweet Spring gets green asparagus and broad beans. Reservations aren’t available, but you can place an order online to ensure you get a meal.
Chiapas Taco Cartel, Van Woustraat 29H
This is not your average Mexican joint. Bar Brå is a cocktail bar, event venue and a pop-up restaurant: Not only does the menu change every day, the kitchen that prepares it changes, too. And for its Taco Nights, Best Coast Taqueria, a pop-up taco shop opened by an American taco enthusiast, brings €2 tacos to Bar Brå every Tuesday night. That’s not all: drink specials, including tequila shots and cocktails, complement the cheap but tasty street food. You can even check out some art while you wait for your meal – Bar Brå frequently hosts exhibitions of local artists.
Bar Brå, Jan Pieter Heijestraat 137
The Burrito Maker
Some of the most popular Mexican dishes aren’t even strictly Mexican. Burritos have their place in authentic Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex; the Burrito Maker embraces both cuisines. A small restaurant serving freshly-made salsa, traditional burritos (beef and vegetarian) and more unusual ones (chicken, bacon and avocado), the Burrito Maker is perfect for a quick bite to eat outside the restaurant – located just a short 20-minute walk from Central Station – before heading home for the night. Beef and vegetarian tacos are also on the menu, as well as salads and wraps. Easy online ordering makes the Burrito Maker a regular stop for locals.
Burrito Maker, Haarlemmerplein 29
Not in the mood for Mexican? Check out some Dutch food restaurants in Amsterdam for a taste of local traditions.