West End's Mama Taco is an homage to authentic Mexican cuisine with contemporary touches—and an Instagrammable pastel pink aesthetic to boot. Featuring several wooden booths and high bar tables, adorned with hand-painted Mexican tiles, the cosy space is overlooked by a dreamy photo of the Baja Desert from above the bar, which may or may not make you even thirstier for the mezcal lining the shelves below.
We’ll get to that mezcal in a minute, but first, let’s talk tacos. Everything here is made from scratch using traditional Mexican preparation and cooking techniques—and we mean everything. Gluten-free corn tortillas in a variety of styles are handmade using nixtamalized organic corn and the mole madre, a rich Mexican sauce, is created on site using somewhere between 40 to 50 ingredients, while chillies are fermented in house to create hot sauces. To cap it all off, the meats are slow-cooked over a wood fire grill. Combine all that dedication to authentic techniques and what do you get? Quite possibly the best tacos in town, with an explosion of flavours you wouldn’t have thought could fit into a single mouthful.
As for what you’ll be pairing it with, the bar here is stocked with plenty of tequila—but don’t go shuddering in horror just yet. Bar wizard Carlos Hurworth is on a mission to teach us that agave spirits deserve just as much attention as gin and whisky, and has crafted a wickedly good cocktail menu to prove it. But as well as ordering up classic sips like palomas, margaritas and micheladas (a lager-filled Mexican style bloody mary), you should definitely also sample a flight of three single origin tequilas or mezcals—it might just change your mind about the spirit for good.
You can read more about Mama Taco here.
Image credit: Larissa Drazic