Mexican Food in Taipei

I really like Macho Tacos, mostly for the price point. I haven’t been in a while, though.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, you may need to consider buying your own ingredients and making it at home…

I really like Juanita, as mentioned in the OP. It’s just a little confusing how to order, but the staff will see you right.

The problem for ‘foreign’ restaurants to survive is that it’s impossible to just do with foreigner clientele. Taiwanese go with the foreign flavors for a while but then decide that it’s enough and they need some ‘Taiwanese’ in it. Other problems to survive have to do with staff, labor skills (food quality), landlords, high rent and unrealistic licensing etc. To top it off you have reviews now including ‘bad’ food pics … plus lack of PR skills of many restaurant owners or no PR at all.
Having been in the ‘media’ is a plus but it can go down really fast. My experience and observation is that the popularity of restaurants, the ‘shelve life’ is really limited for most, unless you’re prepared to work hard, put money in and don’t want to get rich in a fortnight, luck is needed too as is location … but the last is a catch 22, good location, high rent, staff needed, hard work … and the circle continues … a few mistakes in managing and you’re toast or a taco, depending on whatever part of the world you come from.

You mean red bean tamales aren’t authentic Mexican food? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think restaurants of any variety are really hard to run in Taiwan. It’s a supremely saturated market and people aren’t always willing to pay the premium price for premium food.

:laughing: Funny you should mention that, as I have seen a Costa Rican recipe for tamales using red beans (of course it’s a savory bean mash with authentic flavors, chiles, cilantro, celery etc., and not the Chinese sweet paste). Sb from Central America might be able to tell you whether that’s an oddity; I’ve not seen this style in Mexico.

What happened to macho taco? I liked their fish burritos and pulled pork tacos on corn tortillas. I actually thought they had the best quesedilla of the lot.

I did notice their condiment selection to be suffering but what else was the problem?

Eddie’s Cantina is the best, IMO. Haven’t been to Mayan though. Is Dos Chinos really closed down? I haven’t been but do/did want to check it out. If Eddie’s wasn’t all the way up in Tianmu, I’d go way more often. He’s a really nice guy too. I live very close to Macho Tacos, it gets the job done for a burrito and I like the jalapeno poppers. Juanita Burrito is also really good too, should probably go there a little more often.

I think I should mention another good thing about King Burrito is that they also give you a side order of roasted hot peppers. I’m not big on spicy food or chomping on spicy hot peppers, but these were actually REALLY good. Give them a try when you get a chance. Sorry, no picture.

They’re tacos are decent. Kind of like Taco Bell or Del Taco, especially at the low 33NT Taco Tuesday prices (Unless thats changed). I would not pay more than 33 NT for those tacos though. I can’t say I’ve ever tried the fish but the burrito and quesadilla were decent. The only thing I don’t like was that the quality of service was much MUCH better before they changed management. As I mentioned earlier, one of the worst things they could have done was change their salsa selection. Originally, they had 3 solid choices. I believe one was a chunky, mild tomato salsa. The 2nd was a more finer and spicier tomato salsa and then the 3rd was a corn tomato salsa. All three of them were really good and complemented the food very well. After management, the salsas were replaced with Pao-Cai and something else, I forget, but it definitely was not salsa.

These were the 3 salsas they had before.

I used to love Macho Taco even though the food has changed and doesn’t do it for me anymore. Early on I was going at least once a week and bringing over people from my office.

I once posted here about the quality of the food going down and the staff smoking in my face on the deck, and they sent me a rude private PM. Won’t be hanging around there ever again.

Where do you get your Mexican food fix in Taipei?

At home. Fortunately things like canned chipotles in adobo and tomatillos have been spotted here and there, as has masa harina. Dried chiles (ancho, pasilla, etc.) store well for years in the fridge or freezer, so you can bring some in when visiting home, or have some put in a care package. Corn tortillas are easy to make (the purchased ones suck), and there are flour ones available here.

Really enjoyed Macho Tacos’ fish tacos last year, but went to their Guting location last Friday and I’m not sure if it is the same as what the OP mentioned with “pao cai” but they are using some awful lettuce. I guess they are using cabbage now which is almost pure white, very hard texture with absolutely no moisture in them and really brings the whole taste down. They are using that cabbage in both the burritos and tacos. Definitely not worth the NT 180 now. I’m guessing that if it was a new management decision they are trying to bring their costs down.

I prefer Juanitas as they seem to use better ingredients for my taste (guacamole price is crazy but I still shell out the extra NT40).

But I’m missing that Mission District San Francisco Mexican spots. Makes it hard to spend NT 180 on stuff that is just not up to snuff.

It’s not likely to make you forget about the Mission District, but King Burrito in Shilin (on Wenlin Road, just up from Jiantan MRT Station) delivers really good food. The pork burrito I had tonight shows off the strengths of some Taiwan products (tender pork that flakes apart, and the superbly prepared rice)–and adds a nice jolt to it with their house made salsas. Recommended!

Enjoy the wonderful high wooden ceiling upstairs at the Shilin location while you can–I heard from the owners that they might be moving shortly.


I should add here that King Burrito’s price point is higher than NT$180–but you get what you pay for, especially if you stop thinking about it as bargain priced burritos in the Bay Area and instead as good food in Taipei. At least that’s what I tell myself as I hand over my cash!


Yea King Burrito does the job. But NT$300 is significantly higher than NT$180…
Especially since the size diff is so minimal.

King burritos looks like the real deal, but sticker shock put me off going in.
macho tacos has awful awful service, with staff barely coherent in explaining the food choices and regularly all disappearing into the kitchen etc, everything that is wrong about service mentality in Taiwan was right there.

I think Juanitas is great. Cheap and delicious!

Agreed. As far as quick, fast-food Mexican joints, Juanitas is probably the best in town.

There have been quite a few Mexican places in town over the past 10 odd years. They tend to open and close quite regularly. The flavor is just not what Taiwanese go for. So, if you find a place you like, I recommend supporting it regularly and become an evangelist for it. Macho Taco is (was?) owned by some high profile ABCs, they did a bang up job at first, had the cache to keep it popular and the vision to make it appealing. Seems like they flipped it to local management. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.

There is always Danbing + Bulk Beans + Costco Cheese + Costco Salsa + Costco Mexican Seasoning to fall back on.

Tried Juanita’s and I wasn’t impressed enough to return. Not much true flavor. The other guy I met trying it the first time thought the same.