As I write this, my mouth is full of a deconstructed burrito, served in a brown cardboard box from Habanero’s in Great Western Arcade. Of all the takeaway foods I could get for a quick lunch in town, it’s my favorite.
And it turns out I’m not the only one. Just Eat has taken a look at 10 million restaurant reviews across the UK, digested the data and revealed that Mexican food is Birmingham’s favorite type of cuisine.
The analysis awarded each category a popularity score out of 100 based on positive sentiments. In Birmingham, Mexican food topped the board with a popularity score of 79.45 out of 100.
Read more: Digbeth Dining Club celebrates ten years – full dates for the summer and where to find great street food
And it’s no surprise – we have some great Mexican joints in the city that deserve their plaudits. Here we’ll take a look at a few, where to find them, highlights of their menus and more.
Unit 3, Great Western Arcade, B2 5HU
Habanero’s used to be just a food van, commanding big queues near Pigeon Park at lunchtimes and serving up moreish street food at events like Digbeth Dining Club. When they got a new premises in the Great Western Arcade, with a few seats in the window to enjoy the fare on rainy days, it was a well-deserved step up for the business.
Street food is still the focus though, and they do still serve it from their trailer too. They make their Mexican food fresh, using locally-sourced ingredients.
Among the regular dishes are chicken, beef and vegetable burritos and burrito bowls, though there are daily specials including fusion options like teriyaki beef and Korean pulled pork.
Expect to spend somewhere in the region of a fiver for your bowl, with options to add tortillas on the side. We recommend the vegetable burrito bowl with all the toppings.
2) Tierra Tacos
53 Frederick St, B1 3HS
Tierra Tacos offers really authentic style Mexican food, including options you might never have tried before. Tacos are, of course, their specialty and you can get two for £ 7, with fillings like barbacoa beef, Baja fish, jackfruit carnitas and chicken tinga.
If you’re looking for super filling, cheap eats, Tierra probably isn’t the place. But if you’re looking for exciting flavors, interesting sides (try the elotes – divine) and margaritas, you really can not go wrong.
Amanda Fox reviewed the spot on Google, writing: “I’m originally from the United States and absolutely love tacos (I spent time in Southern California and Mexico so I’ve had my fair share). Since moving to the UK to be with my husband, we’ve struggled to find a place near us that did tacos right.
“Tierra is, by far, the best place for tacos! The salsa selection was to die for and I highly recommend getting the five salsa deal so that you can try them all.”
The Waters Edge, 14T Brindleyplace, B1 2HL
Peiros offers Tex Mex options, so as well as fajitas and nachos, there are burgers and whole roast chickens too. They’re a chain, with branches in Shirley and on Great Park in Rubery too.
Cocktails are on the menu, some served in cute skull glasses, and the décor and branding is really vibrant and fun, with luchadors and sugar skulls painted on the walls. For pleasant food in an Instagram-worthy setting, it’s worth a go.
Nachos are priced from £ 7 and burritos are priced from that too. On the higher end of the scale, there’s a super steak burrito for £ 9.50.
Martha gave Peiros five stars on Tripadvisor, saying: “I was craving real Mexican food. I got the fajitas, churros and fried wings and was sooo impressed. Cleaned my plate. Top tip, if you come here order Mexican, do not stick to what your [sic] used to, experiment and enjoy. “
4) A La Mexicana
175 Sandon Rd, Bearwood, B66 4AB
Outside of the city but, by all accounts, well worth a visit is A La Mexicana in Bearwood. The authentic Mexican restaurant serves up traditional eats like huevos rancheros, Gorditas rellenas – a thick corn tortilla filled with chicken, beef, pork, chorizo or vegetables – and a range of tequilas.
Expect to pay upwards of £ 11.50 for dinner options, with steak and Mexican-style potatoes and rice costing £ 14.50. Not the cheapest fajitas in town at £ 15 but, they come highly recommended by reviewers on Google and Tripadvisor.
David Clarke wrote: “I walked into A La Mexican Authentic Mexican restaurant and was immediately transported back to the cuisine’s home land. It is bright and very colorful inside this comfy restaurant. The manager Jose, a man of Mexican heritage, made me feel welcome He even gave me a lesson on Mexican regional cuisine.
“The menu will be familiar to most and best of all it has all the dishes is westerners love. Better still, they’re all prepared from scratch. I do love the zesty, juicy notes of dishes. When paired with the corn based shells , crisps, breads, you will enjoy. “
5) Bodega Cantina
12 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5RS
South American cuisine is on the menu at Bodega Cantina, which also has branches in Worcester, Leamington Spa and Leicester. They serve street food, including quesadillas from £ 6.75 and enchiladas from £ 8.75.
Tacos and Mexican cola wings are among the small plates, while those with larger appetites might opt for a Mexican pollo al pastor – chicken legs marinated in achiote spices – or a pambazo hot dog.
There are Peruvian, Brazilian and Argentinian options as well, if you’re feeling adventurous. Judging by reviews, they’ve been hit pretty badly by staff shortages recently but, do not be deterred – when the service is good (which is most of the time) it’s really great.
Their two for £ 10 cocktails are worth a go too!
For the latest on events and attractions, food and drink, and things to do around Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the Midlands, visit our What’s On home page.If you’re on Facebook, you can find our City Life page here.
Watch: We tried Wetherspoons’ new menu and the KFC-style chicken basket is finger licking good
Discover: Five great Birmingham beers you need to try – plus where to find them
Read: I went for lunch at the best garden center in the Midlands and queued like I was at an LA nightclub