Viva Mexico

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Restaurants key icon.


Tuesday12:00 – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.

Wednesday12:00 – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.

Thursday12:00 – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.

Friday12:00 – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.

Saturday12:00 – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.


93 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

04 260 1155

For an authentic taste of Mexican in the Hutt, it’s hard to look past Petone’s Viva Mexico.

The brainchild of childhood pals Antonio Gonzalez and David de Orta Jimenez, both chefs hailing from Iztapalapa, Viva Mexico promises to ‘make you feel homesick even if you’ve never been to Mexico’. It’s a lofty goal but one the restaurant has no trouble achieving, beginning with the fitout - wraparound seating against the exposed brick walls brings a real cantina vibe, and the calavera mosaics and black and white snapshots of Mexico are neat nods to the restaurant’s roots. Spanish conversation rings out from all corners, and you’re welcome to practice your español with the waitstaff.

Authenticity is woven into every fibre of Viva Mexico, and this is reflected in the no-nonsense menu - this is not the place to be ordering chili con carne or hard-shell tacos. Rather, the tacos here are of the folded fresh tortilla variety, packing the unmistakable aroma of ground maize. Alongside heavyweight classics such as flautas, ceviche and enchiladas suizas, the tortilla soup is a Viva Mexico signature dish, and the mole is a complex yet flavoursome favourite. Don’t skip the drinks menu either, which abounds with an array of Latin American cocktails to pair with your meal.

Viva Mexico’s recipes are inspired by those of Antonio’s and David’s grandmothers, who devoted more than 50 years to serving up fiestas for their community back home. Petone locals - and those from further afield - are truly lucky to have been invited to be part of this decades-long story.

Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs

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93 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

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