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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Where to Eat Latin American Food in London - My Top Recommendations

Earlier in the year, I was asked to recommend my top South American restaurants in London for Vamos Guide, an offshoot of the Brazilian website Jungle Drums for which I occasionally write for.

While Latin America is celebrated for its hedonistic music & dance scenes, more recently its cuisines have been in the spotlight on the London restaurant scene. Over the 20 years I have lived in the capital, as The London Foodie, I have witnessed the emergence of a number of excellent Latin American eateries, some of which I share with you here. Londoners have acquired a seemingly insatiable appetite for Angentinian steak houses, Mexican burritos & Brazilian rodízios, & with the imminent launch of the much anticipated Ceviche, the future looks bright for Latin American gastronomy in the capital.


Favourite, stylish restaurant dishing up Latin American cuisine in Islington. Classic dishes with a modern take include deliciously authentic Peruvian Ceviche, Moqueca de Peixe (Brazilian fish stew) & Conejo en Salsa de Chocolate (Slow Cooked Rabbit in Chocolate Sauce). Very reasonably priced cocktail and wine lists, and great service.

Sabor on Urbanspoon

Buen Ayre

Authentic & very popular Argentinian restaurant on Broadway Market serving the best Parrillada in town - choose from four different selections of meats, provolone cheese and mushroom served at your table on a smoldering hot grill. Great Papas Fritas (chips), and respectable Argentinian wine list at wallet-friendly prices.

Buen Ayre on Urbanspoon

El Rincon Latino

Spanish-Colombian Tapas in Clapham, tiny space but big on service! Good range of Spanish dishes with some unusual Colombian choices like fried cassava served with Ají (chillies) and guacamole, and veal Empanadas (patties). Spanish brunch also served at weekends. Buzzing atmosphere attracting a vibrant local crowd.

El Rincon Latino on Urbanspoon

Empório São Paulo

Upmarket Brazilian Empório (delicatessen) & café in Parsons Green with an impressive range of top quality produce from Brazil & other countries - Brazilian Guaraná, Pão de Queijo (small, light cheese breads served hot from the oven), artisan Cachaças, & Feijoada, all served with a warm smile by owner Carminha.

Empório São Paulo on Urbanspoon


Mexican restaurant chain started by Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers. Colourful, casually fashionable décor. Pork Pibil tacos (slow cooked pork in special Yucatecan marinade) followed by Churros y Chococate were sensational on my last visit and warrant a return visit. Good selection of Mexican beers and tequilas.

Wahaca on Urbanspoon

Moo Grill

The home of the Lomito, Moo Grill is one of the City's most coveted lunch spots. The signature dish (Lomito) is their delicious Argentinian sandwich of beef, chicken or aubergine served with ham and cheese, salad and fried egg. The best beef Empanadas I have ever tried were cooked by Adri, the owner's mum.

Moo! Grill on Urbanspoon


Top notch beef from rib-eye to fillet or sirloin and now picanha are cooked to perfection at this upmarket Argentinian steak house. The Morcilla (Argentinian black pudding) is excellent too as is the Dulce de Leche cheesecake. Great cheese platters well matched with a chilled glass of Torrontes licoroso (sweet).

Gaucho Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. Have you tried the Columbian restaurants in Brixton Village? The one next to Kao Sarn (name escapes me) serves absolutely delicious classics. Santafereno, the other Columbian in the market, is still on my to do list.

  2. I prefer Mestizo to Wahaca for a more authentically Mexican restaurant.

    1. Oh yeah I prefer mestizo as well. Wahaca has now turned into a chain since you wrote this comment... :-(

  3. Santafreno in Brixton market does very good Colombian food. Large portions and quite cheep, that pretty much sums up Colombian food.

    There's also a new Peruvian restaurant opened up on Essex Road in Islington, just further down from Sabor. Not looked at the menu, so no idea really, but it's called Tierra Peru.

    1. The new restaurant that has opened in essex road it's called Tierra Peru, i ave been there last weekend with friends celebrating a birthday party, the food is amazing, a real treat!!...great service and athmosphere too, a real value for money..

    2. I went to Tierra Peru recently and my experience was very different, the food was decent, what there was of it - the portions were small and we all left still hungry and this was a £30+ a head restaurant, without any wine.

    3. I just love "Tierra Peru"..i go there every week since they have opened, the food is amazing!! 10 out of 10!..just like in Peru, i'have fallen in love with this restaurant, mind you, book a table because it is always packed!

  4. Wahaca is my default lunch venue of late. You can never go wrong with its two person platter (I think they have a fancier name for that). Hmm, have yet to check out Sabor even though it's literally round the corner. Buen Ayre does look tempting. Will check it out next week. Thanks for the intro!

  5. I have not yet had convincing South American food in London, so I shall visit these places suggested by you and hope I will have an amazing experience! Thanks for the list Luiz and hope to see you soon.

  6. I've tried Tierra Peru on Essex Road in Islington and I can definitely recommend it. Their Pisco Sour is to die for

  7. Tx for the Tip on Moo Grill - have been living round the corner from Aldgate East for several years but have never thought to give it a try! Completely agree w you on Sabor's Moqueca! (find Essex Rd a bit far to get to though so haven't been back since a couple of years ago...

  8. Tierra Peru in essex road is amazing!!! you should really try, food, drinks , service...i love it!

  9. This restaurant is lovely, delicious pisco sours, the food is amazing, i loved the lamb cooked in coriander and stout, they have Peruvian beers, wines, spirits, cocktails..even Peruvian coffee!! this place is just delightful, highly recommended!


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