Enjoy excellent food and drink in an informal dining arena at Taqueria.
Taquerias - informal Mexican eateries that specialise in the making and serving of tacos - line the streets of Mexico's towns and cities. Although elegant Westbourne Grove may not be the first place you might expect to see a traditional style cantina, the premise works well and the place is very popular.
Don’t be alarmed by the taco machine in the window, the selection of disembodied Mexican wrestling masks above the bar, or the vintage wrestling movies on the TV. Grab a beer and let the efficient staff find you a table or a seat at the bar overlooking Westbourne Grove. Tables are crammed together, but not uncomfortably so, although with so many diners in one restaurant perhaps it’s not the venue for the claustrophobic.
The clientele at Taqueria are a blend of Notting Hillbillies, shoppers and South Americans keen for a taste of home, all talking animatedly at once. The service is relaxed but efficient, and the pace of the restaurant is slow and laid back. For this reason - and the popularity of the place - there can be a short wait for a table to become vacant, which gives ample time to appreciate the idiosyncratic decoration. The staff do their best to make you feel welcome, and will invite you to wait at the bar while they try to accommodate you.
Antojitos (meaning a little of what you fancy), tostadas, tortas and sopas are available along with an extensive selection of tacos. The famed tacos are served two to a plate and make a delicious if messy lunch, although be aware that the dishes are fairly small.
Fresh is the name of the game, and even the tacos are cooked on the premises. Despite this, prices are reasonable at the best of times, but for even better value go at lunchtime to take advantage of the special offers that are usually available.
For authenticity, a fine range of imported beers are available at Taqueria, such as the excellent Pacifico. In addition, a wide selection of specialist tequilas - from more common varieties, to the rare Patron Gran Platinum at £20 a shot - is available to wash your lunch down (or your memory away).
Naturally, Margaritas are available, along with a very limited selection of Mexican, Chillean and Spanish wines. For those off the sauce, an adventurous selection of Aguas Frescas (Mexican coolers made with fresh juices) are available, in flavours such as hibiscus, lime, cucumber and guava.
The Last Word
Taqueria is about as authentic a Mexican eatery as you are ever likely to find in Notting Hill.