La Taqueria a ‘true fiesta’ in Barcelona

March 24, 2013

By Anna Todd and Mallie Crumpton

Alpine Living

Alpine Living

Thank goodness for Barcelona locals. After an hour of wandering the side streets of the famous Grand Via, we resorted to using hand gestures and desperately pointing to our tourist maps to guide us to our destination. Then, finally, we found our Mexican restaurant at last!

We saw a stereotypical white sign with red and green lettering – nothing exciting. This is not the vibrant, trendy place we had hoped for. While we waited for the owner to arrive, we explored its side street, Font. There were clothes hanging in window boxes, a festive looking market with peppers, spices and Mexican beer. That’s interesting.

That’s when we knew we made a mistake. Across the street from the market was the true fiesta. The first restaurant we encountered was named La Cantina Mexicano: Restaurant Taqueria. Right next door to its competition was the bold and colorful La Tacqueria. This is what we were expecting.

As we quickly learned when scheduling interviews with our sources, the days start much later in Spain. After all, Barcelona’s bedtime is often 7 a.m. The graffiti-covered, brightly striped garage door was still closed shut. In true European style, Mark, one of the three owners, rode up on his Vespa.

After greeting each other in front of the funky pink sign, Marc opened the restaurant and informed us that Hector, the main owner, was on his way. The décor was so convincing that if it weren’t for the double cheek kisses we received at the door, we would have thought we were actually in Mexico. The abundance of fun colors and quirky, floral tabletops mixed with the traditional Mexican music and piñatas immediately made our stomachs crave guacamole and margaritas.

We interviewed Hector about La Taqueria and his other business ventures. The three young men, two of whom are from Mexico, started a DJ/catering/party planning service to unite the Mexican community in Spain. Through social media, they became a big hit. Now they have the most popular and authentic Mexican restaurant in Barcelona. In addition, they own the Mexican food market directly across the street. They are not only representing Mexican culture in Spain, but also taking Barcelona business by storm.

The men spoiled us with their favorite dishes from the kitchen – guacamole, beef tacos and an array of spicy salsa. The last salsa was made from a hot pepper and we were too American to try it. Hector gave us a generous interview, including several suggestions for young adults visiting the city. To top off a delicious afternoon, the goofy staff of La Taqueria placed silly hats on our heads and took a group picture.

Jealous? You can visit our new friends and take your own photo with them, to be uploaded onto their Facebook page. Just do us a favor – try their famous nachos. Our stomachs were too full.

Check out Taylor Wood’s full review of La Taqueria in Alpine Living V, Spain for more information.