El Burro Taqueria is the baby sister of Green Point institution, El Burro. It’s the second (and smallest) of the three El Burro restaurants in Cape Town.
It sits nestled amongst the food hub on lower Kloof Nek, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Power & The Glory, Junior Burger and Publik Wine Bar, to name but a few.
The taqueria has narrowed down what the El Burro group does well, and put it’s own signature spin on the food.
Start with snacks: they’re designed for sharing and set the tone for the meal. The famed chilli rellenos (R18 each) live up to their reputation. They’re smokey, cheesey and (or ‘but’, depending on your side of the fence) hot! The absence of batter is a welcome departure from the usual deep-fried chilli popper. If you’re a jalapeño fan, these are a must try. You can’t go wrong with the chunky guacamole and nacho chips (R50): the ratio of guacamole to chip is spot on. They’re that simple starter that you’ll inhale mindlessly, and, despite the portion being ample for sharing, you’ll find yourself picking the crumbs out of the basket wishing for more. But hold out, as there’s plenty of goodness still to come.
For mains, the concept is simple: you have quesadillas and tacos to choose from. Each plate comes with one quesadilla or taco. The tortillas are small (you can eat them with one hand), soft and all made from corn flour. It wouldn’t be a trip to the Taqueria if you didn’t order a fish taco: baja-style fish (coated in spices), served with pickled pink onions, smoked jalapeño mayo and avo. The chilorio pork taco is twice cooked and served with chilli and garlic. Again, be warned: when they say ‘hot’, they mean it! The crispy duck taco is another great option, where crispy, sweet duck is balanced with a hot chilli salsa.
The taqueria offers vegan options, including wild mushroom quesadillas and cauliflower and chickpea tacos served with a spicy peanut salsa.
For dessert, the options are simple: Las Paletas ice cream lollies (the flavours change depending on availability) or churros: crunchy Mexican doughnuts served with a chocolate dipping sauce. You will be forgiven for using your finger to clean the chocolate pot.
It goes without saying that EBT offers a number of tequila-based cocktails, from your classic margarita (R42) to Mexican mule (tequila, fresh lime juice and ginger ale, R45), batanga (tequila, fresh lime juice and coke, R45) and more. Their wine list is short and concise: just seven wines available, all available by the glass (ave R35) or the bottle (ave R140).
For the teetotallers, there are two to three aguas frescas available (fresh fruit drinks). The ‘limenade’ is well worth a try!
The service is fast, friendly and efficient. Staff are quick to gauge your vibe: if you’re in it for the evening, they’ll settle back and follow your lead.
Don’t feel that you need to order everything at once: the food comes out fast, so the beauty of EBT is that you can order as the evening progresses.
It’s bright, colourful and quirky. The menu is listed in up on a board above the kitchen which (thankfully) has been redesigned and is easier to read. Grab a booth or sit at bar underneath huge windows and sip your margarita under the watchful eye of Lion’s Head. El Burro gets busy in the evening though: get there early if you don’t want to wait for a table.
A fast, furious but delicious meal (you can be in and out in under 30 minutes) or a festive tequila-and-taco fuelled evening with mates. You decide!
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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.