There’s a dearth of decent restaurants in this touristy stretch of London, and Lupita offers no-fuss, top-quality Mexican food at reasonable prices. Move over Wahaca, there’s a new taqueria in town.
While it’s the home of the hallowed wine den Gordon’s and well-trodden path of many a tourist, the cobblestoned pedestrianised Villiers Street, seconds from Embankment, has never seen much in the way of quality restaurants. Lupita, the newest taqueria to hit London, brings a breath of fresh air to this gastronomically-deprived area of the capital. Part of the renowned El Farolito chain from Mexico City, Lupita brings casual, authentic and great value Mexican food to London with its quality tacos, tortillas, irresistible margaritas and some seriously good nachos – all at reasonable prices in pleasant surroundings. The decor is fresh and minimalist, with pale lime green walls and small metal tables – or sit at the bar and watch your food being prepared in front of you.
In this part of town, a new, funky looking restaurant is never going to be short of customers and although it’s new, Lupita is already thriving with willing taco lovers. It’s not a large venue, so with just a few customers it can achieve a fun, chatty vibe. The food comes so quickly that Lupita is perfect for pre-theatre crowd, and great to stop for a bite to eat before moving on, although it’s comfortable enough to settle in for the night.
You can watch the Mexican chefs prepare your food in front of you, with all the action and excitement of an open, flaming kitchen. The menu is diverse and extremely tempting, boasting traditional Mexican dishes, from quintessential corn tortilla tacos to soft quesadillas with meltingly delicious fillings, burritos and tortas, a traditional Mexican sandwich in warm crusty bread with cheese, refried beans, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, avocado and spicy jalapenos.
A sure party favourite is Nachos Clasicos, basic vegetarian nachos which will disappear within minutes – crispy tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream (at a bargain £5.45). Also ultra cheap, yet very filling, is the Chorizo Toluca nachos (£4.10 or £4.35 with cheese) – two corn tortillas that come piled with tons of juicy, rich, diced chorizo, livened up with chopped coriander. Salsa and dips are also brought to your table so you can tailor your meal as you wish. Always using fresh ingredients that pop with flavour, it’s a great menu with lots of choice both for meat eaters and vegetarians, and it allows you to graze or feast according to your appetite.
The perfect combo with authentic Mexican food is obviously margaritas and a refreshing beer, and there’s plenty on offer here. There’s an impressive range of margarita flavours at £5 a pop for standard (try the passion fruit, with a perfect icy balance of sweetness and saltiness) to £6 for the premium (from the favourite strawberry to the more unusual tomato). Mexican beers like Corona and Sol are a reasonable £4.50 for this part of town, and there is a small selection of wine available too.
The Last Word
Trendy, fresh and good value, if you’re after authentic Mexican in the capital, make Lupita one of your first stops.