Mexican Food in Bangkok

My research into this subject consists only of an hour-long web search. That is all I needed to determine that the first person to establish a Mexican restaurant in Bangkok with excellent food will probably become rich. I hope somebody steps up to this role soon, so I don’t have to do it myself (in general, I hate living in big cities).
There are a few reviews of Mexican food in Bangkok, to be sure, but I really don’t trust the reviewers. Why? Well, for instance, anybody who even sets foot into a Mexican restaurant named “Charley Brown’s” is not qualified to judge, in my book. Similarly, a “fairly decent Mexican buffet on Tuesday nights” does not a Mexican restaurant make. But the clincher was the following quote from an older review:
“…helpful and attentive staff, an outstanding stock of fine liquor (when did you last see quality tequila like Jose Cuervo in Thailand?), and really great food…”
Um. With Cuervo as a baseline for quality tequila, I don’t think we can trust this guy’s judgment of the finer points of carne asada either.
So. The general consensus of people who seemed to know good Mexican food is that Senor Pico is the best Thailand has to offer. It didn’t get really stellar review from anybody not from Wisconsin or Boston, though, if you know what I mean.
I have thus placed myself in the ironic situation of having to try a Mexican restaurant in a SE Asian country, where a single margarita is sure to cost more than twenty bowls of delicious noodles being sold from a food cart right outside the front door. But I feel it’s worth it – if it’s as bad as I fear, I know what to do for work when I move later this year.
I’ll import a fully-stocked taco truck from east LA and bless Thailand with the best damn carnitas they’ve (n)ever seen.
Ole, bitches!

23 Replies to “Mexican Food in Bangkok”

  1. Funny thing is, once when Michiko and I went to Korea, I wanted to have Mexican. It was like making tacos here in Japan with canned refried beans, shredded cheese from Mandai, something like a ketchup tasting salsa, and that good ole Korean favorite – hordes of fucking garlic. Now I like garlic. Don’t get me wrong. But I now know that I DON’T like it in my Mexican. Tom Yan Khun flavored tacos, anyone?!?!

  2. Dudes, it’s okay. I’ll bring some authentic seasonings to make some killer mexican food and since y’all have the veggies (cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, avocadoes, etc.) I know we can feast. That being said, the boy from Bakersfield who only worships at the altar of Taco Bell might be in for a nice surprise…we’ll see! Bean and cheese burrito, anyone??

  3. Put it in Phuket – Phucketaco and Phucketurrito. Have your ma send the tomatillos. There is parity in the arroz y verduras department – is there a Thai version of the mighty frijole? Despite CA’s proximity to Mexico, the best tasting stuff still comes from trucks and markets. Even here, most folks wouldn’t know good Mexican peasant food if it hit them in the face. Ask your pop. The best one used to be a truck on the corner of Western and Rosecrans.

  4. True about Korea, but in Seoul a few places have opened up in the last 2 years. 2 small taco stands near Itaewon and a full-sized Mexican restaurant on Yeouido Island. The restaurant is farkin’expensive and average at best. The small taco places have been getting good reviews by the expat community – I seem to remember one of the places is run by a middle-aged Korean man who actually spent a few years in Mexico. How’s Tokyo or Kyoto for Mexican food?

  5. I am a regular at Charley Brown’s
    Why does a name of a restaurant mean that you shouldn’t set foot in it? Guess you should spend another hour surfing the net for the number one chain of mexican restaurants in Wichita is…. a clue it’s got an Irish name.
    If you can’t afford a good margarita then drop me a line and i’ll shout you one!

  6. Well, all you Mexican officionados,
    I am one dude that likes to set foot into a small Mexican joint with tiled floors, dusty sombreros hanging from the ceiling and those stupid Corona Beer banners hanging like gas station penants from the rafters barely missing the whirling ceiling fans.
    Oh…and if the meat is being carved from a slab of beef on a vertical skewer, then that’s a plus.
    I live in Bangkok and would love to open a Mexican joint here. But my biggest fear is not whether I can cook it or not (I’m an expert on the cuisine…ask my Mexican sister-in-law from Durango) but whether I can find decent refried beans, tortillas, celantro, tomatillos, avocados and a heavily sequined black sombrero. If I can get those at a modest price, then I think I can get the oil heated.
    Any investors?? 😛
    Juan (not to be confused with Obie Juan Kanobie)

  7. Hey Juan
    You should go down to Tia Maria as they need some real help!
    Best places so far i’ve found are Charley browns on suk 11 and Senor Picos in the rembrandt hotel(bit pricey though)

  8. Hola cabrones!!! anybody interested making lots of cash?? lets open a mex rest in your city ,actually i run a mex mex grill in united states ,but need to make a change for good!!!i can bring some money up front, need partners no more than 2,so we can create $ for each one!!do you have any good idea? i would like to hear it. mexican food is growing fast every day,lets have a piece of the action!!!!
    answer soon. thx friends. Alberto.
    remember andale andale arriba arriba!!

  9. Another venue for Mexican food in Bangkok is Larry’s Dive Bar & Grill on Sukhumvit Soi 22. Although they serve a partial Mexican menu the recipes are authentic, the portions are generous and the service is decent. Tortillas and chips are made here in Bangkok by the way, Jalapenos are grown in Chang Rai but, certain Mexican recipe key ingredients are not native to Thailand.

  10. I’ve been here 2 1/2 years, and the lack of decent Mexican food here is killer. But then I remind myself that I am from NYC and even there they only got good Mexican food a few years before I left; before that, it was either pseudo hippy “Cal-Mex” places or jack cheese and ketchup. It was only when actual Mexicans started arriving in the place and opening places for one another that the quality of Mexican food spiked.
    Given this model, I am unfortunately not hopeful for New York.
    P.S. Coyote, on Soi Convent, is very overrated in my opinion.

  11. Just ordered from Tia Maria, it was gross, and is sitting on the side uneaten. Yesterday ordered similar dishes from Charlie Browns and t’was much better. Still not great. But Tia Maria is terrible!

  12. I went to Sunrise Tacos several days ago( Between Suk Soi 12 and Soi 14) in the Price Leader mall by Time Square.
    I ordered an extra large burrito with Carne Asada, sour cream and John’s Hot sauce. It was excellent. Everything tasted fresh, wholesome and healthy. It was very, very good. Two Thumbs up as I can honestly say that it is the most authentic tasting Mex I’ve had in Thailand, not to mention the cheapest.
    They make their own corn and flour tortilla. Had three soft corn tacos yesterday with barbacoa. It was pure heaven! Could live there for the smell of the freshly cook tortillas!
    Open 24 hours so was back there at 3 a.m. this morning eating another giant burrito filled with carnitas, mango saunce and sour cream.
    This place really rocks! Listen to the little noises people make when eating there. Its cool!

  13. Sunrise Taco!
    Yep, better have it at sunrise on a belly food of drink… anything tastes good! (or so i thught)
    Went there a couple of times after a BIG night out, to be honest even then was VERY average
    Anonymous…. must be the owner

  14. Keep the reviews coming in, guys! Most of the reviews for Mexican food in Thailand are useless but I like the difference in opinions in this thread, as well as the honest critiques… I’m going to check out this Sunrise place sometime and report about it – if Anonymous isn’t on the level, I’ll edit his comment to reflect this. I secretly hope he knows what he’s talking about though.

  15. I ordered a burrito at Sunrise and I was surprised by the way they make them!
    I spent a few years in California and I used to make burritos (after seeing Mexican friends do it) with tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers and chicken by example. Sunrise should try that! It’s fast and easy to cook in a pan. I also remember the filling for tamales so I didn’t expect to eat some burritos with rice or beans!
    Maybe I didn’t enjoy it completely because I was expecting something different but I’ll go back there.

  16. I’m from California and most burritos are made with rice and beans. I’ve been to Sunrise Tacos as well and have been asked how I wanted it? It was my choice to have whatever I want on my grilled chicken burrito….sour cream, onions,japapenos, beans or grilled veggies, rice, etc. They have some other things you can put on but forget what it is–. they have guacamole as well.
    Was in Bangkok and went to Sunrise Tacos three weeks ago after reading a review in the newspaper gave them 4 stars and said it was the best Mexican food in Thailand. I agree the grilled chicken meat was tender and had good flavor .
    The place is small was the only negative I had. Saw Sunrise Tacos had open a new branch in the Food Hall of the Emporium. Went there the next day and ate a carnitas burrito. That was very good . The only negative was the service was a little slow as they lots of orders they were doing but it was well worth the wait. Lots of seating was a big positive.
    Just saw this blog while working in Taiwan and searching on Google. I wanted to see if Sunrise Tacos is open anywhere else in Asia as I have cravings for good Mexican food big time. If they open a place here in Soul Korea, would eat there twice a day. In Soul, I have not found one Mexican restaurant! 🙁
    I’m going back to Bangkok Sept 15th and know where I’m heading when the plane lands. Before hitting the Hotel, I will be getting a burrito at Sunrise Taco Shop. Mexican food is an addiction and boy do I miss it..

  17. OK, here’s my take:
    I finally found the time to visit Sunrise tacos. It looks they are in the middle of moving to a bigger location just across the parking lot from their original location, or maybe they will keep both spots open, I didn’t ask. They were making the food at (what seemed to be) the original location and bringing it over to the new one to be served.
    My quick verdict is that it wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but it WAS the best I’ve had in Thailand so far. Mind you, it wasn’t up against very stiff competition.
    If I sound a bit disappointed, it’s because I firmly believe I did not order the right things – I went overboard in my typical before-gorging fashion and ordered the works for everything, including a huge burrito “fajita-style,” which substituted grilled onions and bell peppers for beans. Oops… That broke my golden burrito rule: A burrito is not a fajita. So that was my bad.
    Sunrise seems to have just introduced enchiladas, and I tried a plate of beef ones. I must explain here that I’m a firm believer in corn tortillas for enchiladas – it’s a texture thing, baby. The ones at Sunrise were made with flour tortillas, and the sauce needs a bit of work.
    Surprisingly, the best thing I ordered at Sunrise were the tacos, even though I don’t like taco shells that much. The tacos came closest to tasting genuin-ish. The ingredients were fresh. The choice of salsa and hot sauces was an added bonus.
    I will end here by stating my intentions to go back and try it again, hopefully soon.
    PS – I met the owner, Greg, and he seemed nice. His staff was friendly, too. They all seemed to speak English. Most of the customers at the time were non-Thais.

  18. Sunrise Taco (Sukhumvit Soi 12-14),
    Everything is great, I especially love the taco and the salsa….BUT theres one thing! and it bothers me so much. For the fourth or fifth time they make mistakes. I asked for ground beef but I got veggies, I had for beans but no beans, I asked for chicken but I got the beef. Its driving me crazy cause everything tastes amazing but the employers there are doing a horrible job. This also happend to my friends as well. I am just asking for a delicious Mex, but its not perfect cause of their mistakes. What a bummer. No offence.

  19. Hey everyone, and the dude that posted about having money and needing to go elsewhere to open a mexican food restaurant. I am one of the original people that grew up with the 24hr, drive-thru mexican food concept in southern california. I have been working for these restaurant all of my life and am in the process of opening my own restaurant in the states. I am a college graduate and have done extensive research in the mexican food industry and want to expand this concept worldwide. I am just looking for local people from different countries that know the food industry and that are interested in partnering up with me to open them in different countries. Please let me know if you or anyone else is interested in expanding mexican food worldwide. Thanks!!

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