Mexicali, Nobby Beach
From Baja-style fish tacos and chorizo quesadillas to street-style corn and glorious guac’, Mexicali’s menu is filled with fresh and delicious bites. Grab a spot in the sunshine, order a Jug’urita (yes to margis by the jug) and settle in for a rooftop Mexican feast. Hot tip – the Casamigos Blanco tequila shot served with a verdita chaser is a great digestive.
La Diosa, Surfers Paradise
For salty margaritas and Mexico City-style tacos, La Diosa Mexicana is where it’s at. Located in the Circle on Cavill precinct, the restaurant and bar specialises in ‘al pastor’ tacos – using a traditional style of spit-grilled meat that was introduced to Mexico City by Lebanese immigrants back in the early 1900s. Chow down on street-style corn with coriander crema, albondigas (meatballs) and the signature tacos filled with the likes of al pastor-style chicken or pork, fried cauliflower with eggplant jam, and Corona-battered salmon.
Caracara Cantina, Tugun
While relatively new to the scene, Caracara Cantina has quickly proven itself as a go-to for tasty tacos, quality margaritas and top-notch tequila and mezcal. Once you’ve finish chomping through tacos, grilled Padron peppers and spiced bean dip, stroll down the back into Caracara’s moody tequila den to taste your way through the sizeable collection.
Bonita Bonita, Mermaid Beach
As one of the coast’s first modern-Mexican eateries, Bonita Bonita has earned a hefty following of locals. It’s taco Thursdays are always a hit, as are its empanadas, taquitos, chimichangas, burrito bowls and moreish nachos. We’d highly recommend starting or finishing your feast at the tequila bar next door.
Frida Sol, Palm Beach
This is the younger, sassy sibling of Bonita Bonita. Enjoying an elevated position along the Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach (straight above The Scottish Prince), you can soak up Friday Sol’s Tulum-inspired digs while basking in the sunshine with a taco in one hand, and a margarita or beer (why not both?) in the other.
Hail Mary, Burleigh Heads
Tucked in about half way down James Street, Hail Mary dishes up some seriously mouthwatering Mexican including tasty tacos, crispy quesadillas, nachos, salads, tortas and miscellaneous morsels like jalapeno poppers and chilli-lime squid. If a cheeky tipple is on the agenda, share a jug of sangria (or keep it all to yourself) or sip on one of the venue’s classic margaritas.
Margarita Cartel, Burleigh Heads
Love margaritas? Love tacos? Then get yourself acquainted with Margarita Cartel. You’ll find crowd-pleasing, street-style Mexican fare ranging from pequenos (small bites) through to burritos (jammed with chilli frijoles) and spice-rubbed half chicken prepared on a traditional South American grill. Margaritas are the specialty behind the bar with an extensive series of variations on offer – and they start at just $12.
El Camino Cantina, Robina
El Camino delights diners with a never-ending fiesta of comforting Tex-Mex eats. Start with complimentary bottomless baskets of tortilla chips and salsa, then tackle the giant nachos smothered in melted cheese, black beans, chilli con carne, pico de gallo and lashing of sour cream and guacamole. There’s also a tasty taco spread and fiery chargrilled fajitas to fill up on. A visit to El Camino won’t be complete without one (or two) of its signature giant margaritas, served shaken or frozen.
California Tacos, Burleigh Heads
As its name suggests, tacos are the hero at this beachside Burleigh gem. Crafted with handmade tortillas and fresh ingredients, the tacos here are well worth going out of your way for. Lash out with other Cali-style Mexican eats like big-as-your-head nachos, burritos, quesadillas, loaded fries and more.
Tacos and tiki vibes collide in spectacular fashion at this popular seaside eatery and bar. Described as ‘when Hawaii meets Mexico and has a holiday in Kirra’, Tupe-Aloha dishes up tacos, burritos, chicken wings and plenty of regular specials – all best washed down with a cocktail (or three) or an ice-cold beer. If you like your tacos with a side of live music, this is where you’ll want to park yourself.
Montezumas, Burleigh Heads
Serving hungry locals since 1978 from within the Burleigh Theatre Arcade, Montey’s is known for its massive menu of comforting Mexican eats. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, tostadas, taquitos, hot tamale pies and more are dished up on the daily alongside ice-cold beers and colourful cocktails.
Goodness Gracias, Palm Beach
If you love tacos and burritos but are a little short on time, this grab-and-go eatery will curb your cravings for street-style eats like tacos, burritos, tostadas and vibrant salads. The best part? Goodness Gracias is entirely plant based!
The Jungle, Coolangatta
This longstanding Mexican eatery, nestled along the northern end of The Esplanade at Coolangatta, is a favourite among southern locals. You’ll get a fix of burritos, enchiladas, tacos and more – all dished up in very generous sizes.
Beach Burrito Co, Coolangatta
Burritos, beers and jugs of margarita are served up just metres from the beach at this bright and breezy, Californian-style Mexican eatery. If you’re after casual bite in the sunshine or under the stars, Beach Burrito will curb your cravings with its menu of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, chimichangas and salads.
Honourable mentions: Don’t forget our roving food trucks and market stalls – you’ll find tasty street eats by Double T (tacos and tortas) at Miami Marketta, as well as authentic woodfired Mexican from Zicatela food truck.