The Wahaca founders created DF Mexico after feeling inspired on a US and Mexican road trip. I’m a big Wahaca fan and love Mexican food so I was very excited to try DF Mexico. The name comes from Mexico City (Distrito Federal) and the diner style restaurant combines influences from Mexico and America creating a Mexican version of a Nandos style (pick a main and side combo) menu. The quirky restaurant fits right in to cool Shoreditch and is located just a short walk away from Spitalfields at The Old Truman Brewery. The Old Truman Brewery is home to some of the hippest galleries, markets and restaurants in London.
I have dined at DF Mexico twice now (the second time was to try dishes on the menu I didn’t try the first time due to restricted stomach space!). We arrived around 6/7pm both times and there was no wait for a table. We were sat promptly in a cosy booth and the waitress attached a metal key with a table number on to the table edge.
Self-service ordering: The first time I visited (a few months ago) our order was taken by someone at the till but now there are self-service screens by the till area next to some tempting desserts on display. The self-service machines were fairly easy and fun to use.
There are a few large drinks containers containing fresh fruity drinks, such as hibiscus and lime & chia. These are bottomless.
Guacamole and Chips:
We nibbled on guacamole and tortilla chips which arrived at the speed of light. Tasty and fresh. I also liked the different styles of blue and white corn chips.
On my first visit I was disappointed that they didn’t have most of the vegetarian menu available that day so the ONLY main meal option was the ‘Torta’.
This was yummy. The Torta was like a Mexican burger and contained roasted mushrooms, delicious sauces and coleslaw. The flavours reminded me of the Patty & Bun veggie burger-I think this was due to the slaw used. I’d recommend this.
On my second visit I was set on trying the tacos that I’d remembered seeing on other diner’s plates. They looked great!
These were served in a taco rack on a rustic grey dining tray and the presentation worked very well with the casual road trip American/Mexican diner feel.
The tacos were average. I’m glad I tried them but I preferred the torta. The corn wraps used for the tacos were quite thin and broke easily due to the sauce and slippery vegetables. I didn’t love the sauces used on the tacos and I felt the tacos were generally lacking in flavour. They came with a tasty chipotle mayo dip which I really enjoyed with the chips.
I had a side of crinkled chips which were as good as crinkly chips can be and they were extra crispy. Always the crispier the better with chips!
Service: Excellent service and helpful friendly staff. The food arrives VERY quickly. As soon as I sat down after ordering the guacamole and chips, they were on the table. There is clearly an efficient and speedy order processing system here!
Summary: A quirky place to try with a fun road trip stop concept and great service, however I don’t think the food at DF Mexico is anything special compared to other vegetarian Mexican food I’ve experienced in London. The food generally has a takeaway/fast food vibe. I know Wahaca and DF Mexico are based on very different concepts, but I prefer Wahaca due to the greater vegetarian options and flavours.
Reservations: Like most of the trendy new restaurants in London, there is no booking system. Both times I’ve been on a weekday after work around 6/7pm and had no problems getting a table.
Perfect for: A casual lunch or dinner with friends.
Locations: Shoreditch and Soho.