Sorry to disappoint, but no, you cannot get real tacos in Paris. You can find some pretty successful imitations, but Paris just hasn’t mastered Mexican cuisine yet in the same way it has mastered its own. It makes sense because the two countries are entirely different geographically and product-wise. A country where corn is central, tacos are a 24/7-kind of deal, and the fact that no serious conversation goes without some tequila is practically sacrilegious in comparison to the punctual-eating, strict French diet.
French people often make the mistake of thinking that burritos and fajitas are 100% authentic Mexican too (really it’s Tex-Mex), and the few already available locations do not help with the misconception. Patrón’s managing director once told me, “Ah, we don’t do that well in France. They don’t drink tequila, do they?”
While there is largely an unfamiliarity with Central-American cuisine, there are still a few nooks and crannies for those days when you crave some tacos or dancing.
No matter whether you’re looking for good tacos, well-prepared cocktails, or a fun time, Candelaria is where the cool kids go. It isn’t much of a secret anymore since opening seven years ago, but the venue sports a bodega foreground offering your typical tacos and a speakeasy in the back. In the evening, this dim-lit scene with unique cocktails and real tacos is the place to be. – 52 rue de Saintogne, 75003
Instituto Cultural de México en Francia
Smack in the middle of the Marais, if you’re missing some Latino art, check out the galleries at the institute always showing contemporary South American artists. Just walk in! – 119, rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
Caribbean breakfast is something else and this is the place to get a hearty one. Cuban (or more specifically Miami-Cuban), the place takes name after the famous art district in Miami. Vibes are laid-back, Cuban sandwiches are almost on tap, and a Caribbean moment is promised here. – 61 rue Charlot, 75003
Though not entirely Latino-inspired, this location does offer some mescals and tequila’s as well as other Mexican soft drinks. The food is quite a fusion of everything South American, but there are tacos and they’re quite good for Paris. The best part, however, is that the bar plays South America’s hottest music du jour. – 26 rue Beautreillis, 75004
Quai Saint-Bernard for Dancing
Free, outdoors, and along the Seine, dancing here takes on a salsa spin, or bachata, or whatever is playing that evening. No partner? No worries as you’ll get swung into dancing immediately as you arrive.
The French do not pronounce the last “e” in guac which is already saying something about how well they can make it. Even though not fully Mexican, this location does have burritos and they’re full, fat, and can cure any hangover. – 37, rue Yves Toudic, 75010
French-Mexican cuisine? This is one worthy of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. The French answer to Mexico’s Pujol, OXTE should be saved for special occasions and splurges for a really gourmand feast. – 5 rue Troyon, 75017
Maison de l’Amérique Latine
In Paris, embassies, consulates and houses of other countries are hôtel particulière‘s themselves. Oftentimes they are off-limit to the public, but the Latin American house has a swanky restaurant ($$$), bar, gorgeous garden, and rotating exhibits. – 217, Bouvelard Saint-Germain, 75007