Candelaria: Taqueria and cocktail bar

It has been long time since I had Mexican food. And I didn’t think I would find any good ones in paris. However, Luis, the chef and owner of Candelaria proved me wrong. He himself was tired of mediocre Mexican fare and decided to open up his own taqueria. The store at 52 rue Saintonge, located between République and Filles du Calvaire metro stops, is decidedly unassuming.  It’s white walls and brightly colored shelves with a pot of fresh flowers here and there liven up the decor but the store still gives a taco-shack-on-the-beach feel.

The menu changes from time to time but the carnitas are the stars of the show and a regular on the chalkboard menu. They also serve tostadas with freshly fried corn tortilla topped with wonderfulness. Everything is freshly made, especially the tacos and the guacamole which you see them make in front of you. One I recommend is the pollo pibil – chicken with black beens and cheese topped with mayonnaise and red cabbage.

You sit either at the bar with a full view of the tiny kitchen or by the window. On all the tables there’s excellent Mexican hot sauce and the communal bowl of house-made peanut with chipotle peppers salsa.

At lunchtime, a bowl of agua fresca sits at the end of the bar.  It was jamaica, aka hibiscus.  There’s also the occasional flourless chocolate cake.

Since we’re in “Mexico”, Candelaria serves a range of Jarritos sodas and Mexican beers like Sol and Dos Equis.

If you’re in the mood to party you can also take a shot of tequila but wait for the real bar which lies behind the semi-hidden white door. When you enter, the scenery completely changes with dark and ‘hipster’ friendly furniture where bartenders mix a selection of intriguing drinks like hisbicus margaritas.

Close up of the bar:

Some of the plush seats around the corner…

Beautiful lighting helping you find your way downstairs

Try the Guêpe Verte (green hornet) – a dangerous tequila concoction infused with cucumber, chili pepper, lavender, and lime.

Normally food isn’t allowed at the bar, but I’m told that will change. And so will the menu during the weekends, which will include brunch. Hopefully with a shot of tequila?

52 rue Saintonge, 75003
Metro: Filles du Calvaire (Ligne 8 )
One Response to “Candelaria: Taqueria and cocktail bar”
  1. Guillermo says:

    I want. NOW!

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