Nestled down the Federick Street end of Thistle Street is El Cartel, a fantastic little Mexican restaurant serving delicious fresh Mexican food, alongside amazing tequilas, frozen margaritas and mezcals.

Photo: mrbuckley.co.uk

Its a small place with maybe about 8 tables, so it fills up fast. They don’t take bookings but its so worth trying to get in, and waiting if they think they may have a table free sometime soon. El Cartel is run by Bon Vivant, a wine bar situated right across the road, so you can popin there while you wait.

Its cosy inside, dark, yet colourful. To see more of the interior of El Cartel, have a look at Mr Buckley interiors, who were responsible for the design.

Photo: El Cartel Facebook

The menu is short and sweet, with an exciting selection of authentic Mexican street food. Those dishes may be small, but my goodness they pack a punch. You’re mouth is hit with such intense flavours you end up ordering way more than you intended. The super friendly staff are happy to guide you through your options while the music and an impressive selection of tequilas, mezcals and frozen cocktails guarantee a party vibe.

Photo: El Cartel

Clockwise from top left: Sweet potato tacos with sheep’s milk cheese and chipotle crema | Pork ribs | Chorizo & sweet potato quesadillas | Corn on the cob with spiced cream cheese.

Don’t visit Edinburgh without checking out this little place. It is so worth waiting for a table and it’s flavours keep you coming back again and again.

El Cartel, 64 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1EN
Twitter: @elcartelmexican
Instagram: @elcartelmexicana
Sun – Thurs: 12pm-10pm | Fri & Sat: 12pm-12am

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