Mexican taco wave

Cartel, a new taqueria and late-night tequila bar in Battersea, is the latest in the new wave of Mexican taco joints that is sweeping across London.

Named in what seems a clear reference to the Mexican narco wars involving drug cartels that have cost 100,000 lives in the past 10 years, the venue must also be an early front-runner in the “poor taste restaurant name” awards – challenged by the Bunga Bunga pizzerias nearby in Battersea and in Covent Garden, inspired by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s sex parties.

Next month, Cartel will also be opening a mezcal-tasting room away from its main bar, with more than 100 varieties of the smoky Mexican spirit available for sampling.

Taco-mania is spreading fast through London following the success of pacesetter taquerias Breddos in Clerkenwell and El Pastor in Borough Market, the latter from the Hart brothers of Barrafina fame. They have been joined by Del 74 in Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, founded by Jorge Felizardo, formerly of Nuno Mendes’s Taberna do Mercado.



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