El Burro Taqueria is a Mexican-themed restaurant in a bustling area in Cape Town and the sibling of El Burro in Green Point. The compact restaurant follows through with compact food.
The small portions encourage diners to order several items. The restaurant’s narrow booths and small tables are quickly laden with several small plates. A sharing portion of chunky guacamole and nacho chips brings the fiesta to the table. The steak quesadilla – laden with free-range ribeye, roast chilli salsa, queso fresco and fresh avocado – packs a lot of punch for its small-plate size.
Equally enjoyable are the tacos. The fish taco is a popular menu item, but it should watch its back because the beef, grilled chicken and pork tacos are equally festive and flavourful.
In line with the Mexican menu, dessert consists of a choice of either churros or paletas (artisanal ice pops).
The compact restaurant has a lengthy drinks list and boasts a wide variety. The El Burro franchise serves several tequilas – from Cabrito Reposado to Centinela Anejo – and has reduced the Margarita to a fine art. But the drinks menu also caters to the Tamboerskloof location with a selection of on-tap beers. Although the wine list is short, they serve good-quality tipple, such as the Doolhof Dark Lady Pinotage from Wellington.
Service is doe-eyed and overwhelmed. It seems that the restaurant is surprised by its own popularity – although the food is served promptly, it takes a while to get an order taken down and almost as long to pay a bill. They don’t take reservations, so a roomy booth is hard-won – but worth it.
The restaurant is festive and is in a buzzing area of town. Located squarely between trendy, residential Tamboerskloof and the commercial heart of Cape Town, the restaurant attracts a well-heeled after-work drinks crowd. It also speaks to a hip set of city-slickers. The décor is bright and colourful – from a bright, Instagram-ready green wall, to tiny white tables, the restaurant’s interior is funky and intimate. Don’t be surprised to find the small space fairly full, even on a Monday.
Parking in the Cape Town CBD is notoriously tricky and El Burro Taqueria is no exception. Be prepared to search as long for a parking space outside as you will for a comfortable seat inside.
The Mexican fare at this sister restaurant to the flagship El Burro branch in Green Point is served in small portions, with the intention of patrons trying a few things. Don’t worry, there’s a selection of El Burro favourites on the menu, too, such as their super smoky chilli rellenos (poppers). Authentic flavours are the name of the game, but there’s something for everyone, from spicy to mild and a few vegetarian choices, too. Nibble on chicharrons (pork scratchings) whilst perusing the menu of tacos, huevos and quesadillas, and keep an eye out for the specials blackboard on the counter. The fish taco is a great choice, as is the free-range rib-eye beef with chimichurri salsa. For dessert, enquire about the Las Paletas ice lolly flavours of the day, or go straight for gold with a portion of churros.
For a refreshing alternative to a margarita (which they do really well here), try a grapefruit Paloma, or go for an agua fresca if you want the taste without the kick. There is a compact but great selection of wines and beers, too.
Friendliness and efficacy varies from underwhelming to fantastic – it's the luck of the draw. But for the most part, service meets expectations and orders are delivered to the table efficiently.
Cheerful and festive is what springs to mind in this vibey little joint, with its colourful, contemporary interior, blonde wood and hanging plants. Located on a popular corner, it’s always abuzz with regulars and students.
They don’t take bookings, so be prepared to wait a few minutes for a table, unless you get there early.
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