El Cartel

El Cartel
16–16 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2QZ
  • Telephone 01312267171
  • Seasonal times Festival: open until midnight all week
  • Food served Sun–Thu noon–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–midnight.
  • Email
  • Website www.elcartelmexicana.co.uk
Photo of El Cartel
in association with
Birra Moretti

The second branch for the cult taqueria brings more good beats, good food and really good mezcal to Edinburgh's vibrant Mexican scene.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2018 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £7.95 (+p&p).

The Teviot Place version of El Cartel serves up the same Mexican delights as the original Thistle Street restaurant in a slightly bigger space (15 tables to 10). Expect the same funky calaveras (skull art) and Mexican tiles, same hip hop beats. You still have your 80 tequilas, mezcals and agaves, your Mexican beers and your peach or mixed berry margarita slushies turning slowly in the machines, but after a straight-up Margarita or four you won’t need anything else. Or actually you will - the superb, spicy small plates are a crucial accompaniment. If you’ve never had the bombers – cream cheese balls with jalapeño and black onion seed – then get yourself over there immediately. While you’re there, add some chamoy chicken wings (with apricot and tamarind sauce), some guacamole with plantain chips and at least a couple of smokey tacos and settle in for the evening or, heck, go at lunch and spend the day.

The List's rating






Megan Welford visited El Cartel on 15 November 2018
  • High point: The Margaritas or the food? Both
  • Low point: You still can't book
  • Notable dish: Guacamole national with plantain chips
  • Average price: £5 lunch special (set lunch); £14 (dinner)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Hip-hop
  • Capacity: 55
  • Largest group: No reservations
  • Open since: 2018
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 2
  • House wine: £22 per bottle