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Chiles Mexican Grill, a hole-in-the-wall eatery hidden behind trendy clothing shops in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, has a menu to make your mouth water. 

Chiles Mexican Grill, a hole-in-the-wall eatery hidden behind trendy clothing shops in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, has a menu to make your mouth water.  (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

I have had trouble finding an authentic Mexican restaurant in Tokyo to satisfy this Texas native. But I made a delicious find strolling through Harajuku on a recent Sunday.

Chiles Mexican Grill, a hole-in-the-wall eatery hidden behind trendy clothing shops, has a menu to make your mouth water. And it comes with an English version.

Beneath the walls hung with Mexican décor, I sized up the selection of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, particularly the many options for vegetarians.

Chiles Mexican Grill, a hole-in-the-wall eatery hidden behind trendy clothing shops in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, has a menu to make your mouth water. 

Chiles Mexican Grill, a hole-in-the-wall eatery hidden behind trendy clothing shops in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, has a menu to make your mouth water.  (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

I started with chips and guacamole for 550 yen, or about $4.45. The chips were crunchy, and the guacamole tasted fresh with a nice lime kick. For my main dish, I opted for the cheese-and-mushroom quesadilla with a side of salsa, guacamole and sour cream for 900 yen.

The chips and guacamole from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo. The chips are crunchy, and the guacamole tastes fresh with a nice lime kick. 

The chips and guacamole from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo. The chips are crunchy, and the guacamole tastes fresh with a nice lime kick.  (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

The cheese-and-mushroom quesadilla from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo, is served with a side of salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

The cheese-and-mushroom quesadilla from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo, is served with a side of salsa, guacamole and sour cream. (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

The Chiles fajita plate, a customer favorite according to the menu, is a combination of shio-koji steak and grilled chicken adobo with fajitas served with a choice of black beans or pinto beans, salsa rice or lime rice, grilled vegetables and lettuce. It’s topped with grated cheese and a choice of salsa, including Pico de Gallo, chipotle, red habanero or chiltomate habanero, the hottest of the sauces. This plate cost 1,850 yen.

I had two drinks during the meal, first a frozen spicy mango margarita for 880 yen. It was bit expensive for the portion size, but I loved the spicy flavor. I also had a horchata, which was the highlight of my meal because I’d missed this Mexican dessert drink. The portion size was huge at 650 yen.

The frozen spicy mango margarita from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo.

The frozen spicy mango margarita from Chiles Mexican Grill in Harajuku, Tokyo. (Kelly Agee/Stars and Stripes)

Chiles also has a huge selection of beverages, including sodas, guava juice, pineapple juice, mango juice, coffee, hot chocolate and more. The beer selection includes Corona, Sol, Tecate, Modelo Especial and Dos Equis.

For dessert, check out the Chiles apple pie, a blend of apples and cinnamon wrapped in a flour tortilla, deep fried, and served with ice cream. Or try the banana bunuelos, a banana and walnut puree wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla and covered with chocolate or caramel sauce and served with ice cream. A Mexican favorite, cheese flan, is made from ‘Mama’s secret recipe.’ All the desserts are 550 yen.

CHILIS MEXICAN GRILL

Location: 1-8-24 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001

Directions: A short walk from Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit

Hours: Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Most dishes cost between 900 yen and 1,300 yen

Information: www.chiles-grill.com/

author picture
Kelly Agee is a reporter and photographer at Yokota Air Base, Japan, who has served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. She is a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program alumna and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Her previous Navy assignments have taken her to Greece, Okinawa, and aboard the USS Nimitz.
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