Oct 27th, 2016, 09:00 PM

Mexican Spots in Paris That Aren't Awful

By Lisha Lopez
Image credit: Flickr/Luiz Eduardo
You wont find any E-coli here.

Since moving to Paris, I’ve been on the hunt for Mexican spots that would stop me from constantly craving dinner at home. I’ve scoured past the Chipotles and picked through a few fraudulent tortillas to narrow the list down to three restaurants, an outdoor market stand, and a bar worthy of visit. Whether you’re craving an authentic taco, mole, or a tex-mex burrito, you’ll be sure to find something at one of the following spots.



Image Credit: Candelaria-projects.com

First opened in 2011, Candelaria prides itself on being Paris’s first authentic Mexican taqueria. Tucked away in the third arrondissement, with an intimate bar and cozy atmosphere, Candelaria has done a good job of replicating the Mexican taqueria in Paris.

I walked in on a Sunday morning, head pounding and stomach going out of control. Sitting down at the bar I quickly examined the menu. I ordered two potato and chorizo tacos and two fish tacos, followed by a series of margaritas, horchata and an order of chips and guacamole. The tacos were pretty good, although I would expect at least an al pastor option from "Paris’s authentic taqueria." The chips and guacamole were also pretty tasty, but the ultimate winner was the salsa. Several different types of salsas, paired with pickled vegetables, were scattered across the bar. They were absolutely delicious; I recommend trying them out, if you can handle the heat. As for the drinks, the horchata was a no-go, but the margaritas made up for the lackluster rice drink. As an added bonus, the restaurant also features a lively bar.

Address: 29, Rue de Saintonge, 75003


Image credit: Zicatela

Zicatela first peaked my interest as it is named after a beach in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. As a Oaxacan who is well-versed in the state’s array of gastronomic wonders, I was immediately excited to see if the restaurant lived up to the name—and it did. Zicatela serves everything from tamales, to mole and arroz con leche. I ended up going with the chicken enchiladas accompanied by a michelada—which I would 100% recommend. Zicatela is also a place of note for the vegetarian—my friend ordered the vegetarian burrito and couldn't stop talking about how delicious it was. If you’re looking for something outside of the regular fish taco, try Zicatela. I recommend being a little bold and ordering something other than a quesadilla.

Address: 8, Rue Geoffroy Marie, 75009 



Image credit: Anahuacalli

Anahuacalli has a slightly more upscale vibe than other spots. Their menu is fairly diverse, so I definitely recommend going with a group of people and sharing a few plates. My friends and I chose to order the ceviche, mole, tamales, and chile rellenos, all of which were absolutely amazing. Start the night off with some tostadas, guacamole, and horchata. Then move your way through the main dishes—and be sure to order a pitcher of margaritas. We finished our night off with some flan, which, for an added twist, was made with peanuts. Anahuacalli is both delicious and authentic. It's a must—visit if you're looking for true, traditional Mexican food. 

Address: 30, rue Bernardins, 75005


Image credit: Chido

I discovered Chido on a class dinner with a professor, who took us to Le Food Market, a bimonthly, open-air cafeteria in Belleville. As we arrived, we were promptly overwhelmed by the amount of options, scents, and people! Finding seating was perhaps the most challenging part of the night, and after about an hour of looking I had worked up an appetite. As I looked around at the various options, I noticed a tex-mex stand, Chido. By this point, my stomach was growling, and I was thinking of the the wine I had waiting at the picnic table. I quickly joined the line and ordered a spicy chicken burrito, complete with chips and guacamole. Perhaps I was hungry, or homesick, or a combination of both, but sitting down at the picnic table, surrounded by the the rustling of people all around me, biting into my burrito truly made me feel at home. I actually felt as if I had been transported to one of Mexico’s many outdoor food markets. The food was great, although I would only recommend getting the salsa in your burrito if you can handle the spice of real salsa. Chido is definitely the place to visit if you’re in the mood for a quick casual meal. If you'd prefer to cast aside authenticity for their brick-and-mortar location, Chido can also be found at 3, rue Mouffetard, 75005.

La Mezcaleria

Image credit: La Mezcaleria

I'm sure you’ve heard of tequila, but what about mezcal? Like tequila, mezcal is made from the agave cactus. However, unlike its more loosely-produced cousin, mezcal is produced in an artisanal fashion that’s been used for hundreds of years. The process cooks the cactus underground, giving mezcal the smoky flavor it’s best known for. Surprisingly, this rare beverage can be found in Paris. La Mezcaleria is a speakeasy-esque bar affiliated with the 1K Paris Hotel. You navigate to the bar through hotel's kitchen’s doors in a way that truly makes you feel as if you’re back in the prohibition-era United States. There’s a dark ambience to the place that further perpetuates the speakeasy vibe. After spending the night introducing my friends to the wonders of mezcal, I was ecstatic to learn that the bar's staff is fond of the Mexican saying, “Para todo mal Mezcal, para todo bien tambien,” meaning, "For everything good, mezcal, for everything bad, mezcal too." After hearing that familiar saying, I immediately declared La Mezcaleria as truly authentic. If you’re up for a few rounds, or a small but well thought out selection of mixed drinks, I would get a group together and head over to La Mezcaleria. 

Address: 13, Boulevard du Temple, 75003