Eating in Paris | Candelaria
August 13, 2013
Candelaria is easily one of 'our' places in Paris. We go, usually multiple times, every visit. Whenever we hear of anyone going to Paris, we always recommend it - especially if they are American, and especially if they are expats. When you grow up on Mexican food, moving so far away from it - not to mention so far away from anyone who even knows what it's really supposed to taste like - is tough.
I first learned about Candelaria via Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland last year while researching places to eat for an upcoming trip and immediately put it our must-go list. We were so smitten with it, that we went three times that weekend. Not only is the food like the best taco truck offerings you've ever tasted and the establishment itself a cozy, no-frills cantina (blink and you'll miss the nondescript exterior and barely legible name scrawled in marker on the front window), but the folks running the place are some of the warmest and friendliest you will meet. The flurry of English, French and Spanish inside only adds to the worldly atmosphere.
The menu is short and sweet, but you are never left wanting something more. There are always a couple of tacos and tostadas, sometimes quesadillas. It's simple food that is easy to fill up on when you can't stop eating it, with options like tinga de pollo, al pastor, beans with queso blanco, and don't forget the chips and guacamole! Add in the house margaritas rimmed with spicy salt or any number of Mexican beers and you have the perfect meal. But if you do find yourself craving more, it's easy to add on to your order with this easy-going kitchen - just be prepared for the exasperated looks from the line of people waiting on the wall for one of the ten or so seats.
After eating, or after some late-night clubbing, the bar in the back is a necessary stop. Going through what looks like a broom closet door next to the kitchen, you are transported to this warm, slightly rustic and much larger space that looks nothing like its eatery counterpart. If the inviting atmosphere doesn't make you want to stay there for the rest of the night, the unique cocktails sure will. The hipster-y bartenders and their arms of steel will shake and muddle and blend your drink with the care and precision of a chemist, making the €10-12 you plunk down for it feel like a bargain.
Until next time, Candelaria...
52 Rue de Saintonge