Mexican Cafe

2_half star rating 70 reviews

Telephone 09-373 2311

1/67 Victoria St West
Auckland Central
Auckland City

Mexican, A La Carte
Mon - Sun
12 Noon - 4pm, 5pm - Late
Provided by business


The Mexican Cafe was established in 1983 and has since become an institution in Auckland and beyond. The restaurant offers food, drinks, entertainment and atmosphere – something for everybody to enjoy and a place where people can just be themselves. It is a unique ambience that stimulates all the senses and transports you to another world. Of course our customers also contribute to the atmosphere at the Mex and no two nights are ever the same. Upbeat or laid back, it’s what you make of it. While the atmosphere may change one thing that always stays the same is the consistency & quality of our food. We offer more than 40 dishes seasoned with the taste of Mexico and Southern California. Most of the spicy dishes can be adjusted to suit the individual. Our outside deck often provides a more restful atmosphere where you can enjoy dinner in the balmy night air of summer or the warmth from the heaters in winter, as well as an amazing view of the magnificent Sky Tower across the road, weather permitting. Our traditional cantina style bar is just the place to meet friends for a snack and a Margarita, or a place to chill out should you need to wait for a table. We offer over 80 different Tequilas, 18 beers (including Mexican beers), 35 wines, an exciting house cocktail list and, of course, the expertise and ingredients to create almost any cocktail you wish.


Photo of Mexican Cafe
Sunny deck

More Information

Pay, Pay & Display
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Good For Groups:
Good For Children:
Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
Takes Reservations:
Dietary Restrictions:
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meals Served:
Dessert, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
Seating For:
Outdoor Seating:

Reviews for Mexican Cafe

3 star rating
by Monica C.
22nd July 2014

Not bad, but not the best Mexican. Pretty average all round.

4 star rating
by Zac R.
2nd July 2014

One of my favourite restaurants, food is great, service is always good. The lunch menu is particularly good value.

2 star rating
by Emma
29th June 2014

After my most recent service at the Mexican Cafe, I left certain that I would not return. The table staff were very kind and friendly and the food was alright. However, we were given attitude my the hostess who essentially told the group of us off when we had to pay between cash and credit. We were aware that for large bookings they would only take one payment. However, when it came to payment we thought we had enough on one credit, but had to use some cash as well. The hostess treated us like children as she told us off- we are not a group of children. We were out celebrating our graduation over dinner.

3 star rating
by RandP
20th June 2014

We used to go here quite a bit but lately the food and the service seems to have gone a it downhill.

Used to love the $10 lunch deals but they seem to not be of the same quality anymore.

Staff also starting to let the place down a bit.

Honestly disappointed to lose our favorite lunch place. Time to find another one!

Comment from Jeff L. of Mexican Cafe 20/06/2014   
Hi RandP, I am Jeff Langford, General Manager of the Mexican…    More »
4 star rating
by Dan
17th June 2014

Great food, absolutely amazing service and drinks that packed a punch while still tasting amazing. Good on ya :)

4 star rating
by Neila
20th May 2014

Only been here once. It was very good the service was very good. But I think other people might not think the service is adequate because it’s so popular and busy all the time. The ten dollar lunch is great.

5 star rating
by Tyler R.
17th February 2014

WOW this place was YUM YUM YUMMY! Thank god we found you little beauty. Fresh, tasty, authentic. Great start to a huge drive home. Would give 5 star, food, service was really good, coffee was possibly the worst I’ve had in my life…but i didn’t care because the place was amazing! :D screw it i give you 5 star. Thanks. Go there!

4 star rating
by Angela
7th January 2014

Because some of the reviews not sounding very good about this place we nearly did not go .. . We saw someone had mentioned a Happy Hour 5-7pm and thought we would wander over.
Thank goodness we did !!!

GREAT atmosphere – GREAT food – GREAT service!!!
We have eaten at a vast amount of food places ( including eating in Mexico! ) and this place is worth going to.

Thanks for a delightful eating experience :-)

1 star rating
by Keith N.
15th December 2013

Sorry Mexican Cafe but we wont be back. The service was great but the food was terrible. Soggy, utterly bland, smothered in cheese and/or cream cheese and overpriced. Have to agree with so many other reviewers as my partners meal tasted the same as my order – where’s the diversity? Nothing excited our taste buds even though the words spicy, jalapeno and peppers were liberally sprinkled through the menu. When I asked why it was all so bland the waiting staff told me they had to “appeal to the Kiwi palate”. Why try call your menu mexican then!?! Not worth the effort of a trip into town.

1 star rating
by Julia
6th December 2013

Mexican Cafe has always been a favourite of mine, not particularly for the food or drinks but the atmosphere. Until tonight, my margarita jug had lots of little shards for glass! I still really can’t believe that this could happen. After sending my drink back my boyfriend and I no longer wanted to eat god knows what.
The manager didn’t change us for the drinks which we didn’t drink (with the broken glass in) still changed us for our meals, which were left hardly eaten. On top of this they acted really relaxed about the whole thing. Horrible service, health and safety hazard will never go back.

Comment from Jeff L. of Mexican Cafe 13/12/2013   
The Mexican Cafe has responded to the complainant as follows Hi…    More »
3 star rating
by Cruz
15th September 2013

I always like going to this place for its very festive ambience. Good food, good service, and excellent mojitos! I wish the frozen margarita jugs were bigger though… A tad bit overpriced for something so small…

4 star rating
by Maria D.
10th May 2013

I always have a good night at Mexican cafe, I think the food is delicious! A lot of reviewers saying it is overpriced but I feel the portions are quite generous. I’m quite predictable I always get the chilli con carne which is yum and the happy hour drinks are a great option after work. The ‘jug’ of frozen margharita is, however, just a normal sized glass shaped like a jug…bit disappointing. I can forgive that for the happy hour wines though…

5 star rating
by Mara V.
30th April 2013

Lovely Service

Lovely Food ~ tabasco sauce.. T.D.FoR!

Lovely Lunch Specials Daily at $10 p/p

Great Seafood Chowder very creamy and rich.

The Burrito could have done a bit more work for the mince, like roasted garlic infused or something, hehe coming from a pasta queen here, it tasted pretty bland ay,

Kids aren’t complaining though :-X

Will go back..
~Not for the Burrito mince plainly,


^_^ high five Mex Café ஜ۩۞۩ஜ.

1 star rating
by Adam
6th January 2013

Not happy after my visit to Mexican Cafe, annoyed within the first 5 minutes of being there. Took my team for an early xmas dinner 5pm to 7pm. I noticed happy hour drinks went down from around $13 to $7 for things like a Caipirinha ( between 5pm and 7pm ). Went to the bar ordered a Cairirinha and was charged full price, the manager pointed to the clock which said 2 minutes to 5pm. Said she couldn’t make any exceptions, the boss was hot on it. During the meal also various members of the party who approached the bar to buy drinks were charged full price, this came to my attention the next day. So what gives Mexican Cafe? The food was average, not really Mexican. Shame I have been going to this cafe since 1989 on and off and it seems there is a bit of system with the drinks. Make sure you get the right price if you go – good luck.

3 star rating
by Barbara S.
25th October 2012

The food is average, but there aren’t many choices for Mexican food in Auckland so I can see why they still do a good business, especially at lunch in the CBD. I’d go back if I was in the area and looking for something different, but if I was specifically going there to find a good Mexican restaurant, I’d only give it 3 stars.

3 star rating
by Regan D.
1st October 2012

Went there for staff drinks and chimichangas. It was happy hour and we tore through a few beers on the cheap. The tequila jugs were smaller than expected but something fun to drink between us. I thought the food was pretty decent. The service was ok and on the whole for a cheap eatery, it did a decent job. Not bad.

3 star rating
by Katie47 M.
30th September 2012

Sorry Mexican Cafe only 3 stars. But its such a shame because I always have a great time here!

I got the chimachanga, which is always good, which it was. I asked for spicy, so there were some Jalapenos put on top, however it was no where near spicy. My boyfriend got the quesadillas, which were a bit small. The plates came hot and the food was hot. Unfortunately the food is very boring, it is always the same menu, and nothing over ally exciting.

The service was fantastic, they were obviously trying to put the effort it, which was nice. The atmosphere was fab.

The drinks are amazing, I always get one of the great jugs, plus there not too bad for price, I’ve had worst.

Overall everything is great, except for the food, it just needs a bit more excitement/change/flavour, and it would be the great place it used to be.

1 star rating
by Kay F.
27th September 2012

Wow so boring, plain, tasteless and OMG so overpriced, probably costs about 5.00 to make a plate of rice, refried beans, a tortilla wrap with small amount of veggy, meat or cheese! Not even worth rating, such a ripoff! For 25.00 a plate you could have a gourmet meal at a 5 star restaurant to include prime rib, steak or seafood. Sorry but I am surprised that people actually would pay and enjoy this place. Nicely decorated though.

Comment from Jeff L. of Mexican Cafe 27/09/2012   
Thank you for your review. We value feedback from our customers…    More »
3 star rating
by Alfie B.
20th August 2012

I don’t usually write reviews, but after creating an account this weekend thought I’d give my two cents about the Mex.

My girlfriend and I love this place. Happy hour is definitely the time to go. A free bowl of corn chips and salsa while we wait for our Margaritas get things warmed up, then the spicy devils nachos to share over a few shaken margaritas each. There really isn’t much to say about the rest of the food, it’s healthy looking and filling, most dishes come with rice and beans, although the nachos and garlic bread are where it’s at.

Come for an hour or two, sit in the sun outside and enjoy the food and the drinks. The only reasons I gave this a three star and not a four is due to a) corn chips being charged for after the first small bowl, b) having guacamole be so expensive, and c) unfortunately having to walk down the steep stairs to have a cigarette (we are both smokers). These are small things, but if I didn’t have to complain about these, it would get 4 stars every time.

Definitely worth the visit.

3 star rating
by Rachel
20th August 2012

The decor and the margaritas are the only thing that reminds you of a Mexican atmosphere, apart from that, I would just say average for everything else. The Quesadilas weren’t nothing special, the taste was like it had been re-heated and we had to wait a while for the food.
Not sure if I would go back, maybe for some Margaritas in the deck….

3 star rating
by Vikz
24th July 2012

Went last week with a big group. Service was fast. Atmosphere was great (apart from the strange drunk guy at the bar still being served) the decor in there is defo worth a look….its so pretty I took a picture! :)
I agree with previous reviewer. When the food came out, we all said how every dish was the same, despite all ordering different meals! There was far too much sour cream in everything, and it certainly wasnt worth the $25 (ish) bucks per main. Im a huge quesadilla fan and Im telling ya that what they serve aint no quesadilla!!
My advice would be to cut the prices a little (so expectations werent so high), google some recipes, cut back on the sour cream and keep the cool decor and lovely friendly staff.
Altogether a nice evening out, I would consider going back. Average, average.

3 star rating
by Srikaran
23rd July 2012

Been there with my colleagues for lunch two weeks back.
Complementary chips was a surprise and it was good.

I ordered QUESADILLA CALIFORNIA and the order took a while to come.

The food was cold but the plate was extremely hot!! (result of microwave) also the taste was very average (more cheese).

Can go once.

4 star rating
by Jemimah K.
20th June 2012

Went there on Fri 1st of June for dinner with 7 others. Ordered drinks which were very good and with complementary baskets on the table to help absorb some of the liquor. Our orders took a while to arrive but understandable with a full house. The wait was well worth it with everyone enjoying their meals *Special pork was amazing*.
Ambiance was wonderful, staff werent too bad compared to other reviews.

Hopefully visiting again real soon!

4 star rating
by Jessica
19th June 2012

Some of the poor reviews here surprised me, we eat here regularly at lunch. Staff are friendly and know our orders off by heart, amazing margaritas (try the original or paradiso), can’t go wrong with their cheese chip and taco salad. The lunch menu is priced very well.

I think some people here need to realise this is not a 5 star restaurant, if you’re after fast tasty and cheap Mexican food Mexican Cafe is a great option

2 star rating
by Lena
1st June 2012

I’ve come to Mexican Cafe several times and each time, it has completely underwhelmed me. I invited my friends here for a birthday dinner and while the margaritas are absolutely fantastic, our nachoes were soggy, they weren’t even worth their discounted Happy Hour price. I’ve come again on different occasions to have dinner with friends… I’ve ordered a chicken something and it was borderline awful. I wouldn’t even pay $10 for what I got, let alone the $20+ that I actually paid. They charge four star prices for barely edible food.

Everything looked like it had come out of a can or an Ol Del Paso taco kit, most of my meal was lukewarm when it arrived and most of it was flavourless anyway. The only redeeming factors of Mexican Cafe are its drinks and atmosphere… maybe the owners should consider turning the place into a bar instead? If you’re looking for great food, you’d be better off at the fantastic Midnight Express Cafe right next door.

2 star rating
by Mel R.
16th May 2012

I’ll have to agree with a lot of people here, I went to mexican cafe for dinner with a few of my friends, the atmosphere and cocktails were good, but the service wasnt good- meals took too long and waitresses seemed very impatient and unfriendly. The food was terrible, definately not worth the $23 dollars I spent! There is a lot of potential for this place though

1 star rating
by Marilyn B.
15th March 2012

This is not Mexican food! The people of Mexico would be appalled!! Everything lathered with cheese and sour cream. All our meals looked the same even though they were completely different dishes. Cannot say enough how bad this food was. The atmosphere of the restaurant is nice it could have such potential…advice to the owners…..go to the Mexican Ellerslie store and taste what real Mexican food is like + get rid of the grated cheese on everything and make some real queso!

2 star rating
by Lauren J.
23rd February 2012

I don’t usually write reviews but I felt the service at the Mexican Cafe was really bad and I won’t be going back there in a hurry.

Our group booking was for a work leaving function and the bad service started when I made the booking over the phone. The staff was not polite and when asked to have a table outside I was told that wasn’t possible in a rude tone. Before hanging up the phone I was told we are not BYO anymore, it is one bill per table and let us know if your numbers changed. This all would have been fine if the girl was a little nicer and friendly on the phone.

On arrival we were told that it is one bill per table, and then throughout the evening I was told by another member of staff that it is one bill per table and even when I went to settle the bill I was told once again! Do I really need to be told four times. Once on the phone (in a friendly tone) and once on arrival would have been enough.

It also felt that we were being rushed out with the waitress quick to clear our plates even when we were still eating and giving us glaring looks.

I do have to say the Margaritas and cocktails were really good. The girl bartender was also really friendly and made us feel welcome.

This place has the potential to be really good I just think the waitresses need a lesson in customer service!

Not a place I will be running back to.

3 star rating
by Vicki D.
19th January 2012

A group of colleagues and myself had a Xmas lunch at the Mex. We were on a tight schedule time wise,and when I phoned this through with our orders,was assured that we would be eating within 10mins of been seated. This wasnt the case and we had to ask several times when our food would arrive. Our main waitress was bubbly with a great personality ,however the other girls were without a doubt grumpy and rude (even passing snide remarks) and could take some lessons from her in customer service as it was surely lacking. The food was good and tasty,not presented that great but lets not forget this isnt a 5star. Great atmosphere,and great company made for a great lunch.

4 star rating
by Adeline
22nd October 2011

Great atmosphere, attentive staff, reasonably priced and yummy food. Need I say more?

2 star rating
by Roz
13th September 2011

I visited this restaurant last night and didn’t like it much. The atmosphere was nice and the waitress that served us was polite and friendly, although the other staff members were rude and glarred at us. The food was disappointing, presentation and taste wise. I expected something much better. It just looked like a sloppy job by an unenthusiastic chef! I would not pay even 5 dollars for that meal and the prices are way too high for what you end up getting. I wanted to have lunch at the this restaurant on my birthday (a few months before) but was rudely told by a tall male staff member that lunch was not available till later. He did not even look at our faces when he told us that. He seemed to want to get rid of us. Overall I dont like this restaurant and will not visit again. Neither will I recommend it to anyone else. It is a great shame though, as this place has the potential to be so much more. Seriously…. get a better chef, who knows to prepare proper Mexican food and polite waiters, and this place should be booming!

3 star rating
by Jessica M.
2nd August 2011

The Service was great and the atmosphere fun , but the food was just average and was over priced

4 star rating
by Rinka L.
15th July 2011

I read a good review for this place in my university’s student magazine (Craccum of UoA), and I was looking for a cosy restaurant with a good atmosphere to have my birthday dinner. Admittedly after reading some of the reviews on here and other websites, I was a little apprehensive about going to the Mexican Cafe but my curiosity got the better of me and we all gathered there on a blustery Monday night. Our chicken Devil’s Nachoes were good as were the beef nachoes a friend ordered, though one of the guys in our group wasn’t able to find any of the promised meat in his happy hour taco meal. The fruit margaritas were awesome (we preferred ours blended). Service-wise our waitress was very upbeat and pleasant, and remained very patient with us even though a few of us started messing up our orders after a few tequila shots lol. Even though it was a Monday night, it was completely full by six o’clock and it was a really fun experience. We’re already making plans to come back soon.

1 star rating
by Madeline S.
29th June 2011

I have to share my experience so everyone will avoid this place. Mexican Cafe is as bad as it could be. I just came back from this place. Food was god awful. Worst Mexican food I’ve ever had! I’ve lived in California, so I’m used to having great Mexican Food.
The rice is… is it really rice? Was it synthetic? I don’t know!, but it tastes like nothing and it is like crispy as if it was old and warmed in the microwave.

Food is crap and overpriced. You could get better tacos and burritos from the supermarket. I was really expecting the food was going to justify the price (given the fact that it is Mexican food), and it didn’t. It was disgusting.

To top up my experience, the service was as bad as the food. The waitress was not friendly at all and felt like she wanted to get rid of us, she didn’t even smiled.

Do you want Mexican food? Go somewhere else, because this place is not worth it.

Comment from Jeff L. of Mexican Cafe 4/07/2011   
Regarding this review, the Mexican Cafe sent the following…    More »
2 star rating
by David B.
30th May 2011

A great atmosphere and our waiter was very friendly. The food is OK and relativity cheap.

When visiting you need to remember that it is the Mexican Cafe not the French Cafe.

1 star rating
by Jade C.
16th May 2011

I don’t know what all the fuss is about with this restaurant… I was expecting great things and was thoroughly disappointed! Although the atmosphere was good, the food quality was very poor – my “crispy” nachoes were soggy, cold and flavourless. I absolutely love Mexican and couldn’t believe how much I disliked this place… Best part was the margheritas.

3 star rating
by M H.
27th April 2011

Pleasant food, reasonable cost. Cheap and cheerful.

2 star rating
by Roz8
1st April 2011

I went here for lunch and the food was good but easily something you could make at home. Prices were reasonable but this is the type of place you go once to-nothing special.

2 star rating
by David V.
26th February 2011

With a little group we tried to get a table here and they said it would be 10 minutes. After 25 minutes we got to our table and finally managed to get a drink as it was very busy. Margaritas were fantastic! This was definitely the best part… The fajitas were okay but no better as when I make them at home for 1/6 of the price (and that what I love about going out, have something better then home cooked). When it says beef they mean mince, don’t get that confused! The worst part was the rice that was literally crispy, it must have been sitting in a saving dish for at least a few hours. Food so-so and not cheap, margaritas great! We’ll be back for a drink but not a feed…

1 star rating
by Jessica
1st February 2011

The Mexican Cafe is one of the worst cafe / restaraunts I have ever eaten at!! Firstly the food is rubbish, it just looks as though it has been thrown in the microwave. Secondly, the service is terrible!! My partner and myself were with another friend, when it came time to pay the bill we were going to pay for it, but then decided we would split the bill. The waitress rolled her eyes at us and made some noises as though ‘it was such hard work’.

This was not acceptable! We paid good money and expected a good meal and good service. We got neither. I would not go back to the Mexican Cafe if you paid me!

3 star rating
by M
5th January 2011

Busy atmosphere, food was pleasant.

1 star rating
by Andrew L.
23rd December 2010

Good atmosphere and great margaritas.
However the good news stops there. One member of our group found a “curly” hair in the dip that came with the nachos. Staff apologised and offered replacement dip (no thanks?!) but no compensation was offered. A couple of free margaritas may have helped us forget the situation but obviously they were too tight for that – not good enough guys!

4 star rating
by rosie
10th November 2010

A great atmosphere, friendly staff and good food. Would be back again especially for the mojitos and flauta yummy!!!

1 star rating
by Ash
27th September 2010

We used to love this place until last Friday when the service was appalling and we found a fat cockroach crawling on the wall right next to our table and that is when we got up and left..
Without any apology the staff squashed it in front of us using a serviette.. ewww…

Thanks Mexican cafe we sure won’t be coming back again.

1 star rating
by Patrick
26th August 2010

Organised a gathering of workmates at Mexican Cafe, based on people saying it was a good place. A very bad decision.

The service is APPALLING!!! Staff were VERY rude – one of our group ordered chicken enchiladas, and was given a vegetarian one. When she pointed this out to the waiter, she said ‘you ordered vegetarian! and was not very enthusiastic about sorting the problem. Wrong drinks were delivered, jugs of water banged on the table, no please, thank, kiss my ass, nothing.

No effort is put into the presentation of food. It is just slopped on the plate. And the food is very bland, Old El Pasco from the supermarket is more exciting!

On the positive side, when I discovered a shard of glass in my drink, it was replaced in less than 30 seconds, with no apology however.

This place could be much better, all it needs is some effort putting into customer service and presentation, and it could be a very nice place. However, in their current state, I would NOT recommend anyone dine at the Mexican Cafe. No one from our group of 10 will be dining here ever again.

4 star rating
by April
16th August 2010

Regular place we love to dine – great food, great prices, great cocktails, great music!

2 star rating
by bonsai
16th August 2010

Very overpriced, and the food is of average home-made quality. It is a rowdy place with plenty of people simply there to drink, and if you are not keen on that kind of atmosphere, it is a fairly pointless destination. Don’t bother with this place.

1 star rating
by Lucy
14th August 2010

I certainly hope the Manager of the Mexican Cafe is reading these reviews as this could be a fantastic restaurant/cafe/bar.

Every single time myself and my friends eat here it’s the same thing – the rice is DRY, the beans are cracked and dry, and the main is always average.

The worst part about Mexican Cafe is the service. The service is beyond appalling. I have nearly gotten into a yelling argument with staff here a few times now. They treat their customers like absolute crap – I wish I knew why they think they can get away with treating customers like this. Staff are rude, unhelpful, unfriendly. I went to pay my bill last week and the girl behind the bar said “where were you sitting” I told her, she printed out the receipt and put it on the counter. I looked at it and explained it was the wrong receipt as we had burritos and two margaritas – she rolled her eyes, heaved a huge sigh and screwed up the receipt, printed another reciept (the right one this time) and completely ignored us. Didn’t say “cash or eftpos” didn’t say “hope you enjoyed your meal, thanks for coming” – NOTHING. Totally silent. We said thanks and walked out, nothing.

That was the last straw. Myself and my friends and partner will not be going to the Mexican Cafe any more. I will personally recommend Mexicali Fresh in Newmarket – the food is great, servings are huge, much more affordable, and the staff actually like their job! And the customers! Get it together Mexican Cafe you are losing customers by the day. Something needs to be done as this could be a great place (and it probably once was).

1 star rating
by Coqui
22nd June 2010

My husband and I love Mexican food and make an effort to try every Mexican restaurant we come across. If the Mexican Cafe staff in Auckland were competing for the Worst Service Award in the country they would surely win. I’ve been a few times since 1997, sometimes against my will (hen’s party, company lunches, etc), and service has been consistently bad every time. At times staff go out of their way just to be rude. It is a great shame because the location is good, great music and the menu has a lot of potential. However at present the food is just average, not bad, just average. And the Margarita “jug” is a rip off worth investigating by the Commerce Commission. It is not a jug just a slightly bigger cup in the shape of a jug.

My husband and I were recently in Christchurch and he recommended us going to the Mexican Cafe there. After I finished rolling my eyes I asked him if he wanted to be treated like rubbish but in a different city. He convinced me to try it and we were impressed to say the least. Staff at the Mexican Cafe in Christchurch should train the staff in Auckland. It was a very busy night but Christchurch staff were very nice and told us ahead of possible delays, kept coming back to check on us and it made all the difference. Great atmosphere, same menu as in Auckland but with staff who do not hate their jobs or the people they serve. In short, if you want to go to Mexican Cafe make sure you go to the one in Christchurch.

2 star rating
by Tai
20th May 2010

Average price, average service, average food.

2 star rating
by Jay J.
10th March 2010

We went to the Meican Cafe today after a movie for an early dinner, after realising Mai Thai a few doors down was closed. It had been my first time dining there, and I didn’t know what to expect. We were greeted by a cheerful lady who immediately showed us to a table and gave us a complimentary bowl of corn chips to start. Good start.

The great first impression soon went away as the waitress we had seemed to push us too order really quickly. She seemed quite adamant that we hurry and we we’re hungry so we didn’t think much of it.Service here is slightly slow and very casual. We felt that the staff as they were all dressed to casually, and didnt behave very professionally. It really decreased the value of the average $20 main. We also found that everything on the menu seemed to be almost the same as everything else on the menu.

We settled on the steak and chicken enchiladas. My steak which was supposed to be medium rare came more rare than medium but i was too hungry to bother. There was also a lot of fat on it and a bit too much salsa on top. The enchiladas were quite nice, but still not amazing.

Sarah had the chocolate cake for dessert, and I just had a beer as the dessert menu didn’t really appeal to me. Once again the waitress screwed up with my enquiry about the lagers they had, and gave me an answer i completely couldn’t make sense of. The beer was good though, and the cake was very rich and chocolatey.

Back came the waitress, to hurry us away even before i had finished my beer. We got the message and asked for the bill. The price was expected for any restaurant in town, but I didnt think it was reasonable for what it was. Its a good casual place for a few drinks and a quick munch, but it doesnt suit if you want a place to relax and chat, and take your time to enjoy your meal.

Not sure if i will be heading back, not for dinner anyway.

2 star rating
by han
9th March 2010

been numerous times here for lunches and always come away happy. Ive been a couple of times at night but it was far too crowded and noisy so never been back at night.

2 star rating
by Terry L.
22nd February 2010

Went Saturday evening with a group of friends (six of us). Atmosphere relaxed, with usual bustle. Service was good and food okay. For your $24 odd, you get a filling burrito, beans etc. Nothing spectacular, but I think most people usually go to the Mexican cafe for the mix of a relaxed night out with very simple food and a few drinks. Sadly,some of the drinks pricing ran pretty much contrary to the whole cheap, cheerful night out that the decor, service and menu should dictate for this resturant. Sol in a bucket, limited time special- $25 for four is not at all special. Jug of margarita, $20 and more like a coffee mug with a handle. True, it did say 490ml in small print on the menu, but how much of the 490 was ice slurry,I’m not prepared to say. I guess we could have had the local tap beer, but that kind of goes against the whole ‘mex experience’ in my book.
So, go for the okay food and the vibe, but drink your Sol at home.

2 star rating
by jude
15th February 2010

The Mexican Cafe has a nice relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere about it but the quality of the food and drink lets it down.

There is a nice balcony section but all the tables there were full when we arrived. The staff asked if we wanted to be moved outside when a table became available and I was impressed when they followed up this later on.

My friend’s taco salad was nicely presented and she was pleased with it. I thought my vegetarian enchilada looked a bit limp and unexciting but it tasted ok, though nothing special. It did however seem like the salsa dip was watered down and the guacamole was so bland!

To go with our meal, we ordered a jug of pineapple margherita as it was happy hour and cost only $15. Alas we couldn’t taste the pineapple or the tequila – this too seemed to have been watered down. Most disappointing.

The food quality really didn’t meet my expectations and I’m not sure I would eat there again. It wasn’t awful but it really wasn’t good value for money either. A few more smiles from the bored looking staff might have helped too.

5 star rating
by Fiona B.
23rd October 2009

I went in for lunch today and ummmmmmmmm yum yum yum. An absolute experience to remember. Whats more the staff were friendly, polite, very funny and made me feel like coming back soon. Would highly recommend this restaurant. What a great way to waste a friday afternoon…. Thanks Trish…..

1 star rating
by Tash
18th October 2009

Terrible,absolutely terrible customer service skills… nearly every staff member was rude and looked like they just didnt want to be there at all…
A bunch of 12 or so of us friends went there for a birthday dinner tonight(so obviously spent a lot of money) and and we were all literally shocked at how rudely we were spoken to and not one of them had a smile on there face… we all left feeling really disappointed(including the birthday girl!) I notice from previous reviews most of the bad ones are about the customer service, so maybe its time they looked at this issue seriously!!!

Comment from Jeff L. of Mexican Cafe 19/10/2009   
Could the writer of this review please contact me on 373 2311 or…    More »
1 star rating
by Vyrne
25th August 2009

the worst food i have ever paid money for.. dont even consider dining here. the food is dry, tasteless, and the worst part is I kept burping up the fowl taste for hours after.

1 star rating
by Christian
31st July 2009

This must be surely the worst place for mexican food anywhere. I really like this place for all other things i.e. drinks are good, atmosphere is mostly nice and pleasant and staff is generally friendly and helpful but the food is near inedible. I have good taste buds but 4 different mains all tasted the same; like lumpy, hot, tasteless brown sauce. And how can someone mess up rice that much. Maybe a one off experience but I couldn’t go there again until they have sorted out the kitchen.

5 star rating
by Melissa C.
20th July 2009

Went to this cute little place this arvo and loved it!! the guy who took our order was very polite and relaxed.

i will be going back and will take my american friend with me as she dragged us there in the first place!

1 star rating
by Nathan
22nd April 2009

Probably the worst ‘Mexican’ food I’ve ever been served – anywhere. It was all very bland. The chicken tasted as if it had been boiled with no seasoning at all. The ‘enchilada’ was leathery. The cheese was cheddar. Chips came out of a bag. Lettuce was limp. Tomatoes were hard and pink. All in our table of four felt poorly the rest of the evening after attempting to eat here.

The service was definitely substandard for Auckland. It appeared that customers are a nuisance to be endured. It was not busy, but it was difficult to get refills.

The only way this place could be the best Mexican restaurant in the southern hemisphere is if there were no others. Fortunately, there are others and a few of them are pretty good.


5 star rating
by evelyn butler
28th January 2009

Great food, fantastic margaritas, friendly, happy service and awesome ambiance – really could you ask for more?
ooh and happy hour every day!

5 star rating
by Anthony Eyles
20th January 2009

We had a meal here and thought it was awesome! A great atmosphere, seemed very authentic. We ordered drinks and had a complimentary snack. Meals came at a good time and were great. Can’t wait to go back when up north again.

1 star rating
by unhappy customer
20th December 2008

I have been to the Mexican cafe a couple of times, and same as others that have commented on the restaurant the service has gotten worse.
The last time i went there with my bf i was very excited about going since I’m Hispanic myself and was looking forward to a nice Mexican meal. Once we got there we waited for few minutes to be seated which was alright. We ordered, i asked if i could change something from my plate and she responded no, they couldn’t since it was premade, which i found upsetting since you would expect to have a fresh meal when you are paying $20+ for a meal. My bf had to get up from the table to ask if we could get a refill on our drink since our waitress hardly ever came around to made sure if everything was OK. Both of our meals were warm to cold instead of hot. We even found it hard to find our waitress since none of them wore a standard uniform.

Once i got home i emailed the Manager to complain about the poor service that we received. i used to work at a Mexican Restaurant that holds more than 150 and may i add every meal that they did was made to order. When i finally heard back from the Manager, sadly i must say he was nice enough to call me back but he was a little bit rude. He even told me that since they do get busy they do have to make all their meals beforehand, so thats why most of the food you will receive will be cold instead of hot.

I personally will recommend a fantastic little Mexican restaurant in Parnell called Hola!! The waitresses are very friendly and all refills are free! so next time you want to try a good Mexican meal with great service i would say go there and check it our for yourself.


firstly, i want to point out that i did make one small mistake on what i wrote

“that since they do get busy they do have to make all their meals beforehand, so thats why most of the food you will receive will be cold instead of hot.”

Where i made the mistake in that sentence was “so thats why most of the food you will receive will be cold instead of hot.”

The manager did not say that and i can at least be honest enough to admit that. as to the rest about making meals before hand he did say that.

Now my question to the manager is… You can come one here and correct me from my small mistake in that sentence, but what about the other stuff that i wrote. about service you didnt bother much to clear that up on here. Im not trying to trash your restaurant. Its just my point of view as we do have freedom of speech in this country.

Comment from J Langford of Mexican Cafe 21/01/2009   
I am the manager this person refers in their review. I strongly…    More »
4 star rating
by kgx
17th July 2008

Great food. Long waiting times.

1 star rating
by Lizzy A
1st July 2008

I found this restaurant quite disturbing after i noticed a cockroach on my arm. the service was really bad and i ended up leaving the restaurant in frustration and the fact that a cockroach had been on me.

Reccomendation : Dont go to this resturant unless u like cockroaches

2 star rating
by Rebecca
29th June 2008

I’ve been here a couple of times. The first time was for dinner and I received terrible service. I phoned to make a reservation for 6 people. they don’t take reservations but they told us to arrive and we’d be seated. I thought that this was fair enough. My dinner group were coming from different areas of akl and I was one of the first to arrive. I asked for a table for 6 but the waitress told me and my friend that they couldn’t do this until other people started arriving. I was seated at a table for 2 and when the rest of the group arrived we changed tables about 3 times. This would’ve been sorted if they just gave me the table I asked for in the beginning. I went their for lunch recently, it was much better… the food was pretty average but at least they sat me where I wanted to be seated. You’d be much better going to the midnight express, which has better service and much better food.

4 star rating
by Leane
7th April 2008

Just as a response to the previous reviews about service:

The Mexican Cafe is a busy restaurant and on most nights has a waitlist – often up to 45mins/1hr for patrons waiting for a table. The reason behind the tables for diners only is that the bar is cantina stlye and easily accomodates those wanting to have a drink and share snacks.
With a waitlist so long, policies such as these are in place so that everyone can have a place to eat and enjoy the experience.

None of the food is “pre made and popped in the microwave” – yes some of the dishes are prepared at lunch time so some ingredients can not be taken out, but any dish can be altered to suit the spicyness the customer wants.

Although the Mex gets very busy, the wait staff are very friendly and enjoy looking after the customers.

For those that were unhappy I would definately suggest giving it another try :)

3 star rating
by Bijal
22nd December 2007

Great food but will agree to all the comments below regarding service. They need to look after customers more.

3 star rating
by Beth G.
9th June 2007

Good food, nice drinks but patchy service. Very hard to catch a waitperson to get refills.

3 star rating
by Andy G.
17th May 2007

Great food and really fantastic ambience.

but a little over-priced if you’re feeling hungry!

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