by Katrina Whitehead in Cool Travel on Friday 26 October 2012

There’s nothing like a delicious taco or two to make you feel like you’re holidaying on a gorgeous Mexican playa and wistfully contemplating your next cocktail. And while Foveaux Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills is a far cry from Mexico, it’s here that you can find some truly authentic, and downright tasty, Mexican street food.

At first glance, El Loco could be a bundle of contradictions. Despite being owned by the slick hotel chain, Merivale, El Loco has a really rustic, humble and authentic fit-out – with grungy looking couches, colourful metal seats and tables, a cute tin bar, and a menu that’s written directly onto the wall, by hand. Plus, despite the tacos being just AU$5 a pop (not bad by Sydney-standards) and the food having all the taste and haste of street food, the kitchen is headed by the celebrated and well-known Aussie chef, Dan Hong. In any case, this apparent paradox doesn’t really matter. In fact, it really works. The menu is beautifully simple – divided into two sections: ‘Tacos’ and ‘The Rest’. The tacos include lemongrass beef, chicken and sweet corn, chilli tofu, or even prawns and salsa verde. There are also hot dogs, an ‘El loco salad’, ‘Torta’ sandwich with grilled fish and cabbage, or grilled fish and steak. But the taco Queso Al Pastor – with spit roasted pork and pineapple – is what’ll take your taste-buds all the way to Mexico. While you may have to resist gorging on the entire menu, El Loco is fun, fresh and really tasty. And the best bit? There’s not a tub of sour cream in sight. Ole!