Authentic Mexican cooking in a no-frills setting near Oberkampf.
Scrap all clichés that may come to mind when you think of Mexican culture, because you won’t find any sombreros, cacti or ‘lucha libre’ masks at the no-frills Café Chilango. This Mexican bar doesn’t need any bells and whistles to prove its authenticity, as the food does the job just fine.
It’s a pity you can only order at the bar rather than, say, sit back and relax, but the menu more than makes up for it. There are a number of excellent homemade Mexican specialities, gluten-free and fairly priced (guacamole is €6, tacos €7, a selection of quesadillas €9). It’s all top grub, but we particularly enjoyed the guacamole, which still had great big chunks of avocado in it (a good thing). Spicy but not too spicy, and scattered with fresh coriander, it’s a real delight to tuck away alongside homemade corn crisps.
Drinks wise, we came away a little thirsty. You can only get bottled beer (€3 for 330ml of Pacifico Clara, a Mexican lager), and cocktails are quite expensive (€9, no happy hour) and also come served in small glasses with too much ice. It’s a shame, because they’re pretty tasty and original concoctions, especially the Jamaicón, which combined hibiscus infusion, cointreau, tequila, ginger, lime and agave syrup.
To really make the most of your trip, the best option is either the set lunch (main and drink for €13) or brunch on the weekends. Arrive early at busy times to avoid the tables at the back of the room, which isn't brilliantly ventilated.
|Venue name:||Café Chilango||Contact:|
82 rue de la Folie Méricourt
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat 8.30am-1.30am, Sun 10am-5pm|
|Transport:||Metro: République, Oberkampf or Parmentier|