Paris gets muy caliente

In a city that shies away from spice, and reveres a meal that consists of elaborate sauces, meat and potatoes, Mexican cuisine has never been very accessible nor very good in Paris. Yet this unfortunate situation seems to be changing as a handful of new taquerias crop up, adding to the city’s shortlist of not just edible, but inspiring Mexican restaurants.


Candelaria, which opened just a couple of months ago in the Marais, has already secured its place as Paris’ most authentic and delicious Mexican restaurant, with its hand crafted tortillas and fresh fillings tasty enough to elicit an exclamation of sheer surprise and pleasure. Situated on rue Saintonge, Candelaria appears to occupy a tiny storefront, with just enough

space for a communal table and taco bar. But wait, there’s more! The back room is a full-on cocktail lounge, which has garnered just as much attention as the restaurant itself.


El Nopal is another excellent option if one is craving a little dose of Mexican. Less than a year old, owners Alejandro and Claudia Escobar first envisioned opening their taqueria in the States, before settling for a tiny yet festive storefront on rue Eugène Varlin, just a stone’s throw from the Canal Saint-Martin. In addition to hand-made corn tortillas, El Nopal also offers burritos at a reasonable price and refreshing agua fresca for a hot day. Using produce mostly found in Parisian markets, the Escobars have artfully taken ingredients not generally used in Mexican cuisine to try to recreate traditional tastes - although the spicy salsa, which is made from peppers typically found in the Caribbean, has a distinctly West Indies flavour.


Anahuacalli has forever been a reference for the American ex-patriate community, in particular those from the West Coast of the United States, for whom Mexican food acts as a substitute for any real form of traditional regional cuisine. What the crepe is to France, the taco is to many in California. And while Anahuacalli remains a steadfast and reliable option to get a fix of mole or guacamole, it’s ceding ground to new rivals, whose prices aren’t as steep and atmosphere not quite as stiff.

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Actually the title is clever... I've lived in Mexico for almost a decade and have spent all of that time speaking Spanish and I can tell you that it's a play on words - not to be taken literally; it got my attention and has something to do with the subject matter of the piece, and so, as a writing teacher, I would have to say that she did an excellent job! Good work!
Great writing! I'm a Mexican food lover from Austin Texas and I enjoyed reading your article.
The Mexican food I like is both picante AND caliente.
I'm from Mexico and I should say that i've been quiet disappointed with most places that serve mexican food, the concept "Tex-Mex" is probably not the best idea that describes mexican food. We don't only eat burritos & tacos! Those two things are good for a snack but are not the main components of a traditional mexican meal. I'ven't eaten in calendaria but i peeked at their restaurant the other day and seemed to be very similar to "chipotles" in the US. I'd definitely like to check out any of those places. I've also heard that a very good place to go mexican is in the 12eme arro, place is called "cafe Mexico" located at 73 rue Crozatier.
caliente means hot as far as temperature goes. you mean picante, spicy-hot.
One must also be careful of what "type" of Mexican food it is. If is it from California it is probably pretty bland, form Texas it will be very spicy, from the east coast, don't bother. Also different regions of Mexico differ greatly. seafood tends to be over cooked, northern Mexico hot and spicy, central is more Spanish than Mexican. But good luck with it.
this journalist has got style!

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