FoodLovers Restaurant Guide

Viva Mexico

4_half star rating 59 reviews

Telephone 04 382 9913

210C Left Bank
Shop 210, Left Bank Arcade
Wellington Central
Wellington City

Tues - Sun
11am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 11pm
Provided by business


Viva Mexico is the place to eat authentic Mexican food. They have a range of Huevos eggs, tacos and enchiladas dishes – all of which can be made for vegetarians or vegans and are at affordable prices. Viva Mexico brings the real tastes of Mexican food to the heart of Wellington. This establishment has a laidback vibe and the vibrant red and yellow colour scheme, cool artworks that adorn the walls and rich scents wafting through the air further enhance the dining experience, creating a buzz that would not feel out of place in downtown Tijuana


Photo of Viva Mexico
Stuffed Jalapeños (Entree)
Tortilla soup (Entree)
Azteca eggs
Divorciados eggs
Rancheros eggs

More Information

Price Range:
Cheap, Under $15
Wheelchair Accessible:
Dietary Restrictions:
Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free
Meals Served:
Lunch, Dinner
Payment Types:
Outdoor Seating:

Reviews for Viva Mexico

4 star rating
by Josh
30th May 2014

Go here often and always find the place to be great. Food is always nice and the guys who work there are always friendly.

The place is low-key but has some character and interesting decor.

Have taken a number of other people along and no one has had a bad thing to say about the place.

4 star rating
by Jade M.
27th May 2014

Over the last year, the cooking has been up and down. But the last few times, we’ve noticed a marked and consistent improvement of food and presentation. Today, I had something simple, two tacos: chorizo and chicken. The sauce was on the side, so the tortilla was not drowning and falling apart. The meat was nicely seasoned, and the black beans were delicious. The tortillas have changed a little, too. Now they are lightly fried so it holds shape better, but is still flexible and does not shatter. sooo good.

5 star rating
by Jenny B.
26th May 2014

I really love this place! I taught English in Mexico years ago and this is the closest I’ve found to authentic Mexican food so far in New Zealand. It’s simple, honest and jam packed full of flavour.

4 star rating
by Craigy L.
4th May 2014

The food here is good, however, the prices have been slowly rising and what used to be great value for money is not so much any more.

Good Mexican beers, my wife asked for a margarita and was scorned at, they said “that’s not a Mexican drink, only tourists drink that in Mexico” very arrogant. It’s off the beaten track in a grimey part of the city, it’s a tiny place, yes the food is good but come on guys? You had everything perfect before why do you put the prices up so much??

good me

3 star rating
by Kyle P.
13th March 2014

Not overly impressed with this one I must say. Really felt like something fresh & spicy but it was quite the opposite in fact. I don’t think that there was much importance with my visit as service was not flash. It may have been because I dined here by myself witch sometime happens when you travel a lot.

4 star rating
by Eunice
7th March 2014

Oh yummy! The best Mexican food I have experienced in all my travels. Plus they cater for my gluten free needs which is a massive bonus!

5 star rating
by Mark P.
27th February 2014

I was never much of a “foodie” in the past, and previously would never have even Tried Mexican food – but I absolutely LOVE and Adore Viva Mexico! The Food is heavenly, the Coffee is a experience in its own, and their desserts (Especially now their doing Churros – which are mouthwateringly good).

I would recommend Viva Mexico to anyone and Everyone who wants to try something new or want a nice change from their “usual”.

The pricing is reasonable, services are a great size, and the general feel of the place is just fantastic!

5 star rating
by Akiko K.
8th November 2013

A great place to experience authentic Mexican food! All the food is delicious but totally recommend La sopa de tortilla, the tortilla soup! It’s quite addictive! So yummy! I took my Spanish students with me and they were able to practice some Spanish there since they are Mexicans! Good fun!

4 star rating
by Courtney
30th August 2013

Very tasty! Definitely recommend eating in rather than taking away though. Take aways tends to be a real mess which is always disappointing when you get home and have had the wrong orders before and not realized until I was home. Over all the food is really good, the staff are friendly and the restaurant is small but cute.

5 star rating
by Louise F.
3rd August 2013

I love viva Mexico, so nice to have cheapish, fast, tasty food that’s different from the usual Indian, Asian etc. I have enjoyed everything so far except found the enchiladas with the black sauce (chocolate) a bit too rich. My favourite is pork exoticas taco, the corn chip soup and churros for desert. I have taken a few friends here over the past month and they have all loved it. If I wasn’t living on student wages I would be here every night!

4 star rating
by Elicia M.
31st July 2013

My husband and I had mexican food for the first time. Loved it!
I tried one of the Enchiladas i think the Queso? Yum!

Very good service too. We were seated within 10 minutes.

3 star rating
by Noelene
25th July 2013

I took a freind and had their pork quesadillas.
Cheesy and so tasty!
The pork tasted like processed meat out of a can, but it was still delish!
Super freindly staff.
inexpensive and chilled atmosphere.
I definately will be going back :)

5 star rating
by John
10th June 2013

It’s hard to find an authentic Mexican meal in New Zealand – but Viva Mexico gets very close. It’s definitely not gourmet, but Mexican is supposed to be cheap and cheerful.

The meals are tasty, that atmosphere is perfect, and the staff are super friendly.

I will be going back.

5 star rating
by Yum O.
19th May 2013

Went last night for the first time. There was a wait for about 5 minutes for a table, and we were initially seated outside. A hot water bottle was brought out for the child in our group. We ordered, then were offered a table inside when one came up.
We had the Jalapeño Rollenios, which were so excellent we ordered another 2 rounds. I had the tortilla soup, which was incredible with a bit of heat, but such a great combination of flavours, and textures. Then I had a chicken taco, which was simple, authentic, and just delicious. My dining companions had enchiladas, and a pulled pork torta (sandwich) all of which the thoroughly enjoyed. The place was humming, and service was friendly and efficient, we were not made to feel hurried, it was just a great experience. Will definitely be back… Still dreaming about those Rollenios…

1 star rating
by Alex K.
30th April 2013

Do not eat here if you want any kind of decent food. I don’t know who is writing all these good reviews but they have obviously never tried real Mexican food.

The service I experienced was shocking, I ordered a mild sauce (yeah right) and was unpleasantly surprised to discover that I couldn’t even eat my meal because it was so spicy. When I said this to our waiter and asked for something else he first argued with me and then said if I wanted something else I would have to pay for both meals. I was hungry so ordered a quesadilla, which was basically a chicken toastie with cheese and sour cream on the side. Very dissatisfied and would not eat here again.

(NB They did not end up charging me for both meals, not sure why possibly because they feared a bad review!)

5 star rating
by Mac
3rd March 2013

Vegetarian quesadillas are so good here, a great addition to Wellington’s diverse and cultured eating places. Will come back to try the other Mexican dishes. Not sure if the hot chocolate stand in the friday markets next door is also a part of this house? both are good nonetheless

5 star rating
by Jay S.
3rd March 2013

The best Mexican food in Wellington! Great food, service and atmosphere. This is authentic mexican food. The staff are awesome, they always ask how your meal is! Soon to open in Newtown too. Highly recommended.

4 star rating
by Siobhan F.
24th February 2013

Yummy little mexican eatery! Great prices and such a cute set up, felt like I was in Mexico! The hand designed menus are a nice touch too

5 star rating
by Trina S.
18th February 2013

Like everyone says it’s great, cheap, tasty and fast. Nothing is a problem for them. I go here all of the time and the food is great. Go to Viva Mexico – you won’t be disappointed.

5 star rating
by Kevin R.
11th February 2013

This is the best Mexican you will find in New Zealand. And I’ve tried most. My only critique is of myself for not finding it sooner. No questions, this is the real deal – all others, while some tasted good – don’t even come *close* to this place. Period. The best.

5 star rating
by Penny
7th February 2013

I was introduced this place by one of my friends who probably eats there once a week.
Can’t fault this place for affordability, freshness and authenticity.

It’s a quick and tasty choice lunch or dinner. I have now eaten most of the menu and it’s all good.

Highly recommend!

4 star rating
by Cedric M.
15th January 2013

Just had lunch here. So good. Awesome, awesome food. Loving the Mexican colas. Nice touch. The fish tacos and enchilada are my favorite.

5 star rating
by Lisa J.
21st November 2012

I personally think this is not only the best Mexican food in Wellington, but also all of New Zealand, and also pretty much the best food of any kind I’ve ever eaten. I would happily eat this food for every meal, every day, for the rest of my life. Nothing disappoints.

However, if you are an Old El Paso Tex Mex fan, you will be disappointed, because this is authentic Mexican food, not filled with sugar and other rubbish. I’ve seen some reviews say it is too “simple” – all the great chefs in the world will agree that simple with high quality ingredients and cooked to perfection is key. This isn’t the kind of food that needs covering in salsa, cheese and sour cream and all that other gunk. It is simply devine. Worth moving to Wellington for!

3 star rating
by Colleen F.
19th November 2012

Viva Mexico is perfect on the Friday night right in the middle of the Cuba Street Night Market. Their food is tasty and well priced. We had 2 sets of vegetarian quesadillas and 2 sets of chicken tacos. The host was charming and inviting. Things to improve on would be to have a better drinks menu, but with the tight space I don’t think they can fit a bigger bar. Make sure to get in early as the tables fill up quick (we made that mistake and we just waited outside, and there were no places to wait except stand by the door)

5 star rating
by Felipe S.
14th November 2012

The best Mexican food ever in this part of the world. I’m from Mexico City and this people are making my life so comfortable. New Zealand is a beautiful country but really difficult to find real Mexican food. Gracias carnales. Viva Mexico el mejor…….ahuevooooo

5 star rating
by Alice K.
9th November 2012

My all-time favourite lunchtime/dinner (quick and easy) stopovers! Easily, one of Wellington’s best hidden cheap-eats. Food is amazing, and delicious, quick and hot!

Antonio is amazing, and the wait-staff are super friendly – always willing to help one practice their espanol (which is always appreciated).

Note: Sometimes you might need to be patient and wait for a table, or settle for outside, but I truly believe their food is well worth it.

highly recommended.

5 star rating
by Agatha F.
26th October 2012

I grew up in California and one thing I miss since living in Wellington, is some good Mexican food. Tried the other places around, Flying Burrito B it’s horrible & not Mexican at all, Boca Loca is expensive and lacks flavor, etc. Finally the treasure was found! My friends recommended Viva Mexico, & voila, I felt almost at home the moment I walked in. All guys working are super nice & the smells coming out the kitchen were so authentic. The food was DELICIOUS!!!!!! The Mole is soooooo good, no other place has a Mole like this little Taqueria. My friend ordered a meat quesadilla, stuffed with tons of meat and cheese, wow! My mother went for the fish tacos & she loved them. Loved the Mexican drinks, Jarrito :-) Thank you guys for making feel at home, I’m so glad to have found a real Mexican place after traveling to Lower Hutt & back looking for the real thing.

5 star rating
by Laura F.
1st October 2012

My favourite restaurant in Wellington by far.
The staff have always been pleasant, even though the restaurant is always full to capacity. The food is amazing, the only REAL Mexican food you’ll get in town. I have always found the portions to be huge, more than fair for what you pay – certainly more than I can eat and that is saying something.
I try not to have the same thing twice coming here, and have never been disappointed, even if I just order the first thing I see, it is always cooked beautifully. I’d recommend trying your meal with one of the Mexican beers available, as they are also wonderful.
One of my favourite things is the dessert – an extremely dense chocolate brownie served with cream, ice cream, apple slices and cinammon. Absolutely divine, the Mexicans discovered chocolate and obviously still know how to make the most of it

5 star rating
by Frances R.
10th September 2012

Best Mexican in Wellington, by far. Everything on the menu is wonderful- try the stuffed jalapenos, they’re my fave. Each main comes with a side salad, spiced rice and a serving of refreid black beans that taste so good I kind of wish I could just order a tub of them and call it a night. I love being able to mix and match sauces and fillings; try the spicy chocolate mole sauce and the chorizo, they go great together.

Not only that, but its ridiculously cheap and the decor is cute and kitchy.

Come on Friday when the night market is on- you can follow up your meal with a spiced mexican hot chocolate and some hXe people watching.

5 star rating
by Aidrian S.
14th August 2012

Love it, come often, always leave happy. Having lived in LA for many years, this is a bit like going back to a cantina without the long flight. Food is amazing, authentic and service is great. Without a doubt the best food for money in Wellington.

4 star rating
by Tracy
16th June 2012

Been three times and had excellent food and wonderful service. I generally prefer “more expensive” places for dinner but this gem is too good to pass up, really cute decor and great range of food :)

5 star rating
by Brian G.
18th May 2012

I am appalled by Arthur’s review it sounds as though he was in a bad mood before he even walked through the door. Viva Mexico is an excellent place to relax and eat some authentic Mexican food. The chefs are obviously native to Mexico which adds to the already fantastic experience. The pulled pork with anchote was to die for and i order on the recommendation of the waiter.
The best cheap eat in town hands down!!!!!!! we have been 5 times and will not hesitate to return! great work guys.

5 star rating
by Rose K.
13th May 2012

Not sure you can go wrong with Viva Mexico awesome people and some of the best food in town, when we go away it’s the first place we want to come back and eat at. Best brownie in town but always hard to fit in…

4 star rating
by SiennaMarcs
7th April 2012

The best Mexican in the capital. It is fresh and authentic. A bright and fantastic casual dining area.

3 star rating
by Alex
3rd April 2012

The food was great, although there did not seem to be any noticeable size difference between the medium and large quesadillas, which with the price difference between the sizes was a bit concerning.
Apart from that the restaurant has a nice atmosphere, good service and reasonably cheap food.

4 star rating
by Peanut
2nd April 2012

Arthur you don’t know what your talking about.

I am in no way affiliated with the owners but this place is one of my favorite places to take friends when they visit from out of town. Feeeking Delicious and the staff are AWESOME!

1 star rating
by Arthur
14th March 2012

Eek! Honestly who ever is writing all these reviews about This Taco Shop or Viva Mexico, are friends of the owners, People please we all have to be honest, the place is Eek, and expensive. The service poor, but worst of all the food was cold, and poorly cooked, too much like amateur cooked food!! The tortillas were too wet! As soon as I arrived home I had a stomach-ache. They have this door opened which keeps the place so cold ! We, our group were so disappointed, it was the second time I gave a chance to this Mexican disgusting place, never again and on top of that the prices are so expensive! Sorry but I am so disappointed by the expensive food, badly made, cold food, cold place and bad service! No stars at all from me. I hope the owners please get your act together and get professional cooks, not amateurs. Eek!

5 star rating
by Woo 1.
19th February 2012

This little restaurant is amazing, delicious and cheap. The staff are awesome and they sell Mexican beer too. I love the way it’s hidden away down strange old leftbank because it makes it feel like you are in a much more exotic locale for a while.

5 star rating
by ReginaGeorge
11th January 2012

This restaurant is amazing. The queso sauce and the green sauce are as good as anything you would get in Texas/Mexico/San Diego. So delicious. Also, so great to be able to get jalapeno poppers in Wellington. It’s wise to call in advance – sometimes they shut on a Saturday night without warning and I’ve been disappointed. I also wish they would get a couple of extra outdoor tables – the wait can be long on a Friday evening. Get the enchiladas with queso sauce and you won’t be disappointed!

5 star rating
by vincent g.
28th December 2011

Excellent place. Cheap food, good atmosphere. Fast service.

The outside looks a bit dated/out of the way. But don’t let that stop you. At first I didn’t even know it was there. But when searching for the Argentinian place near it, this took my fancy.

The food is well priced and the service is fast and efficient

4 star rating
by Louise G.
28th August 2011

The most authentic Mexican in Wellington and since getting back from Mexico we’ve tried a few! The food here is always excellent and the owners are only too happy for you to give your Spanish a whirl. This place is a hidden gem.

5 star rating
by miranda
20th July 2011

We had a voucher for this place so randomly tried it. It was amazing and we will totally be back to pay full price! Excellent food and great service. I wouldn’t recommend a large group but for less than five people, this was the best Mexican I have tasted in Wellington. Highly recommend.

5 star rating
by Clarkie
14th June 2011

Excellent & authentic. Really enjoyed dinner & lunch here last weekend. It’s hard in NZ to find good Mexican food – this is one of the best. The guys who run the place are really friendly & great to practice Spanish with. The service was fast & food really fresh. Decor is just as find it in Mexico.

5 star rating
by Strega
27th May 2011

Best Mexican in Wellington. Been here so many times and it’s always delicious. I loved it since they opened few years ago and the new owners continues to serve authentic, fresh and tasty Mexican food as no other place. It’s not over priced as Las Margaritas, the staff is friendly, the food arrives super fast and the servings are huge. Que viva Viva Mexico!

5 star rating
by Reviewer007
20th January 2011

We went here for lunch and the food is crazy delicious. Great value! Highly recommended!

5 star rating
by Jake W.
12th January 2011

Tried this recently after being it recommended to me by a friend and can say that hands down this is the best Mexican I’ve tried in Wellington. I’d been here when it was under the previous owners and wasn’t that impressed, but that has definitely changed.

Although the menu is small, it is highly customisable. With a range of fillings, salsas, sauces and sizes for their Taco & Enchilada dishes. Then there’s a set of Quesadillas options, as well as Mexican style egg/breakfast dishes and a cake of the day for dessert.

Personally I’ve only tried the Tacos, but can say that they were fresh & tasty, as was the salad, beans and sasla that accompanied them. As I commented that I’d like a hot sauce I was recommended the ‘Mayan’ red salsa, but was also given a small dish of delicious chili sauce to go with it.

Everyone that I was with really enjoyed their meal, as did I and I will definitely be coming back. Highly recommended.

1 star rating
by EdShred
28th November 2010

I’m surprised there are any reviews of this place on here – they don’t ever seem to be open! One weekend example…

Friday: closed for private function. Saturday: closed for off-site catering. Sunday: just closed. No explanation, just locked doors and nobody home.

I had high hopes for Viva Mexico, but I’m thinking I may never get to try the food!

3 star rating
by DeathRiderDoom
12th November 2010

There’s been a LOT of talk of this place lately, and i was weary of the high praise, having visited the premises under its former name/ownership, and while the food was okay, the place formed poor surroundings, and the food felt a little overpriced, considering its simple nature, and the number of closeby competitors. (Satay Kajang/Kingdom are next door & sell massive portions for cheaper).

Anyway, I just got back from my first taste of the new joint. (Actually, we were headed for the excellent Newkor just down the street – but it was packed). The surroundings are slightly improved, but the place is still tiny, and it was busy, so we felt a little like sardines – you can’t really feel comfortable chatting with your dining companion in this environment. The waiter seemed somewhat less-than friendly, perhaps he was in a bad mood, or perhaps he’s always like that, either way, he seemed to have a pretty obvious problem with me, i’m not sure why.

Anyway, between two of us, we ordered 3 dishes: A lamb, cheese taco, an Enchilada, and a Quesadila (interestingly, dishes are available in 2 sizes), while some of the dishes allow you to mix n match toppings – yay! Our food was brought out at lightning pace – surprising given the fact that only two staff were present, and the little place was at capacity. The food was simple, basic, authentic feeling Mexican cuisine; each dish came with a small pile of simple salad, a small dish of delicious salsa, and some with jalapenos, black beans in sauce and lemons.

We woofed down the food so quickly, the entire dinner experience was less than 20minutes. The food was tasty, but in fairly small portions and very simple, cheap ingredients. While it is quite yum, and a welcome change from the usual Indian, Malay, Korean – i can’t help but think the prices are slightly too high for the simple nature and small portion size of the food. Don’t get me wrong – the place is worth checking out, but larger portion sizes for your dollar, and a larger or more comfortable setting would push it over the edge. Worth a try for sure – but i don’t think it deserves all the hype it’s garnered.

5 star rating
by safia
19th October 2010

WOW! Most amazing takeaways I have had in a long time, and glad I got takeaways as shoveling that delicious food in my mouth would have been very unappealing to the other diners. Quick and delicious, seems way healthier than the alternative takeaways also. Great spice and flavoursome. I got two tacos, fish was my fav. So freakin good! Taking my friends there asap.

5 star rating
by Leeroy
1st September 2010

My girlfriend and I decided to go to Viva Mexico after reading all the reviews on this site. We were not disappointed. Without a doubt the best Mexican food we’ve ever had in New Zealand. Owners were really friendly, and everything was great value for money. If you like Mexican food, stop reading this and get down there!

5 star rating
by Misha S.
31st August 2010

I visited Viva Mexico after hearing that they’d had a change of ownership and a sprucing up and was absolutely thrilled with the new place. It’s had a good paint and is now adorned with pictures/paintings of revolutionaries and artists- very “authentic” feeling.Its also open at least 5 days a week now which is great. It doesn’t surprise me that the place is run by two Mexican chefs, the food is absolutely delicious and akin to what you’d find in a little taqueria in Mexico (I spent a month there) with a few added extras, ie. slatherings of scrummy sauce. Service is very friendly and they tell me they are in the process of getting their liquor license, Hurray! I’d definitely recommend to lovers of mexican food, and those wanting yummy comfort food also!

5 star rating
by Emily S.
6th December 2009

Delicious, authentic Mexican hidden away off Cuba Street, extremely affordable ($11 for two tacos, beans and rice which is more than enough), comes with delicious tomato sauce, worth the trouble of looking for it!

5 star rating
by Karen P
16th September 2009

The only authentic mexican food I have found on the north island. The flavors are fresh and delicious. The owner is a lovely person and happy to talk to you. It helps that the cooks are from mexico.

5 star rating
by Christopher Buchanan
12th July 2009

One of the best meals you can have in Wellington. The Golden Tacos are very tasty and the Cheesy Enchiladas are a MUST. Rich flavours and cheap meals make Viva Mexico a great place to dine.

5 star rating
by Audrey Washburn
21st June 2009

The best Mexican food in New Zealand. Actually, perhaps the only REAL Mexican food in New Zealand. And the best tomatillo salsa I have ever had (and I lived in Mexico).

5 star rating
by Annita
17th November 2008

Love it! The flavours are just amazing. Very authentic. Highly recommended.

4 star rating
by Brian H
3rd November 2008

Easily the most authentic Mexican in Wellington, though I think Burrito Brothers is better (it’s double the price though!) Viva Mexico is charming and a great place to eat when it’s open! Check it out.

5 star rating
by jet
3rd October 2008

Yep, by far the best Mexican food in Wellington.

The hours are a bit frustrating – would like to take people there for dinner sometimes – but it’s becoming a regular Saturday lunch spot.

5 star rating
by Mike
16th September 2008

Easily the best Mexican restaurant in the city. It’s a small cosy place without any of the typical Wellington fancy-shmancyness (like really expensive decor and techno music). I got addicted to Mexican food when I was in California, and got even more addicted to it in Mexico. This place does it spot-on.. and for under $10.

My only complaint would be that the hours are sort of sparse, but at least you don’t have to wait for a table.

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