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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

where can you find cinco de mayo (aka mexican food) in taipei?

As I was munching on my carnitas nachos and fish tacos last night from Macho Tacos (Yay, Cinco de Mayo), I was thinking about how this meal would have not been possible ten years ago in Taipei.

Those of us who have been here long enough, know that we've had our ups and downs with Mexican food in Taipei, and can appreciate the options and type of stuff that's offered now compared to 5-10 years ago. Before, I would just shake my head and sigh at things like gross guacamole made with Taiwan avocados and count the days until a trip back to LA. Nowadays, I'm pretty happy with the carnitas and chimichanga options around town.  I can even find some supplies at the fancy supermarkets and corn tortillas (at Florida Bakery) to make enchiladas at home!

Just for fun, here's a rough list of the evolution of Mexican food and restaurants in Taipei (not a strict timeline but in the order that I discovered it). Not all of these are Mexican restaurants, but some are restaurants that featured dishes that I tried during the dearth of Mexican food in Taipei. There are a few more I have to try, like Libre and King Burrito, but I've linked to those that I've reviewed for info and addresses. As you can see from the number of places that opened and then closed, it's not easy to educate, market to and serve consistently good, affordable Mexican food to locals and picky expats in Asia.

  • Amigos (Taiwanese Mex)
  • Tequila Sunrise (Taiwanese Mex)
  • Chili's (American chain Tex Mex dishes)
  • TGIF (American chain Tex Mex dishes)
  • La Casita (Closed! Had good enchiladas)
  • Good Day
  • Jake's Country Kitchen
  • Bongos (Moved)
  • Eddy's Cantina- Danshui (Closed! Moved to Tianmu)
  • Mexico Sabroso (Is this place in Taoyuan still open?)
  • Yuma Southwestern Grill (Tex Mex/ Closed!)
  • El Gallo  (Closed!)
  • Oola Mexican (Closed! First to introduce Chipotlesque fast casual burritos to Taipei)
  • Macho Tacos - DaAn (Fresh mex. First to have baja style fish tacos, California fries and California burrito)
  • Taco Bar - Shida (Closed!)
  • Taco2Go
  • Macho Tacos- Shida (Fresh mex) 
  • Mayan Grill (Moved to Xinyi)
  • Cactus Mexican Restaurant (Closed!)
  • Eddy's Cantina Tianmu (possibly the only one to have Mexican owner/chef at helm)
  • Juanita (Fresh mex. Most blatantly inspired by Chipotle)
  • Barrito (Closed!)
  • Dos Chinos (Closed! Ultra popular made to order tacos until it closed)
  • Pig and Pepper (serves Cinco de Mayo specials annually in late April/early May)
  • Libre Burrito (a branch of a Japanese chain of California Mexican?)
  • King Burrito (Organic Mexican)
  • Churro K (serving lots of, yup, you guessed it, churros)
Seriously, I would have never believed you if you had told me when I first started this blog there would be so many places to get burrito bowls, soft tacos and a whole restaurant serving churros! Lol.


Steve said...

Hi, Thanks for putting up such a comprehensive list!

I live in Hualien but happened to be in Taipei with some friends on Cinco de Mayo. Since we were in the Xinyi area and had remembered reading the name Mayan Grill before, we headed over there. Unfortunately, they had nothing going on for Cinco de Mayo, which really surprised us. We ended up going to eat niu rou mian.

By the way, I remember when Eddy's was just a little stand in Danshui...pretty delicious back then.

Restaurants in indore said...

Great piece of writing, I really liked the way you highlighted some really important and significant points. Thanks so much, I appreciate your work.

TLS said...

Only one worth going to is Juanita...