Lauren visited ‘Los Cardos’ in September 2011, below she gives us her thoughts on this little Mexican takeaway located on Leith Walk…
Los Cardos (‘The Thistles’ in Spanish)…where to start? First, I’ll mention that because this restaurant is located on Leith Walk (a REALLY busy/crowded street, 20 minute walk from the Old Town) that it may occasionally get overlooked. I myself spent the past two weeks walking by it on my way to ‘Hairy Coo HQ’, giving it little notice and thinking it was just like any average, cheap, fast food restaurant. Today though, that all changed.
Walking through the door I realized that this was in fact not your typical Mexican takeaway (not that there are many of those in Scotland! – ed). The walls were painted a deep red, with a only a few small and modernly styled tables, chairs, and benches. A number of tin stars hanging from the ceiling gave the small place a very cool, somewhat eclectic vibe.
The menu sign was a tad bit confusing at first glance, but take one or two minutes and it gradually starts to make sense. You start off with picking between five main dishes (burrito, fajita, quesadilla, etc.) and from there add fillings (steak, chicken, pork, vegetarian, and yes, even haggis!) toppings (various salsas from mild to hot), and sides (tortilla chips, guacamole, etc.). I decided to go with a fajita, along with vegetarian filling and little bit of moderately spicy salsa on top, to give the dish a slight kick. The man behind the counter was incredibly friendly and patient as he helped me make sense of salsas and seasonings, all while chatting on about a time he’d spent in Philadelphia. I asked him if it was usually as quiet (at the moment, I was the only person there), but he assured me it wasn’t-especially late at night and on weekends, when people stop by on their way to/from parties or the local pubs.
Now I’m not usually much of a Mexican food fan, since a lot of times I feel like it can be very filling or usually too heavy on the cheese and beans, but I just LOVED this! It was a decent size, tasted very fresh, not too spicy or greasy, wasn’t overdone with cheese or sour cream, and yet still incredibly satisfying. Despite telling myself that I couldn’t possibly finish it all – I did.
Los Cardos is one of my favourite places that I’ve eaten whilst in Edinburgh, and if you’re in the mood for quality, budget-friendly Mexican food, then you should certainly visit here!
You’ll find Los Cardos near the bottom of Leith Walk, a twenty minute walk from the Old Town.
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