Moving to China requires a huge leap of faith, for many reasons. You’ll be far away from home, there’s a significant language barrier, and you may lack initial social support. Everyone has questions about life in China, but if you’re anything like me, there was one esspecially important question: where am I supposed to get Mexican food?!
As an American, I’m used to almost always having Mexican food in close proximity. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited at the possibility of eating Chinese food every day, but I also knew that I would inevitably crave my fix of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and the like. Thankfully, a large city like Beijing is chock-full of wonderful Mexican restaurants, you just need to know where to go.
Arguably, the favorite Beijing Mexican restaurant amongst the Aihua team is Q Mex. You can find it in the Sanlitun area by the Bookworm and the Local. It’s a prime location for a good meal before a night out. Head in there for some delicious nachos, burritos, and mixed drinks. Just make sure to get there early and reserve your seat, as it gets very busy.
Just around the corner from Q Mex you can also find the Taco Bar. You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see the waitstaff with taco dog shirts and a poop emoji above the restrooms. The Taco Bar is much smaller than Q Mex but has some delicious guacamole and fish tacos.
Other great restaurants in Sanlitun include El Barrio and the new Moji location at Topwin Center. However, if you’re looking to get out of the (very far) Sanlitun area, head towards the Lama Temple and you’ll find Pebbles Courtyard in a hutong. The Pebbles menu has been praised as authentic, and the owner as very dedicated to his craft. If the bustle of Q Mex and the Taco Bar is too much, Pebbles is a delicious alternative.
Finally, if you’re craving Mexican food and don’t want to go so far out of the way, the Wudaokou area offers some options as well. The Steps Bar has classic Western bar food, including some Mexican eats and next to that is Mojar, a small Mexican restaurant with sombreros on the wall and a pool table. While in a lot of ways China is a completely different world from the ones we’re used to, the scale and diversity of the city allows everyone to find small pockets of home. Whenever I’m feeling homesick, a well-made burrito is enough to give me comfort.