Aztec Cuisine and Killer Margaritas at the Taxco Cantina

Fans of real Mexican food and cocktails will love Plaza Ñuñoa's Taxco Cantina. The cuisine is "Aztec," meaning fans of Tex-Mex may be slightly disorientated, but will still find classic staples like tacos and fajitas; chimichangas (fried corn tortillas will various delicious fillings) and burritos (served enchilada-style covered in adobe sauce with a dollop of good old sour cream).

Santiago Chile Restaurant review: Taxco Cantina
Photo by Jeff Kennel

The locale is also Aztec-themed, with large sun-disk sculptures on the adobe walls, but avoids being at all kitschy. The candle lit, mariachi-free ambience is sophisticated and intimate, despite having a one hundred-person seating capacity and always being full. Adding to the laid-back atmosphere is well-chosen music; think Alejandro Fernandez.

Santiago Chile Restaurant review: Taxco Cantina
Photo by Kyle Weaver

The restaurant says it takes the traditional preparation and ingredients of the dishes very seriously and sticks close to original recipes. The sole concession the chefs have made to the Chilean palate is to tone down the spiciness. The food we had--burrito de carne and chicken quesadilla--was delicious, and the salsas and guacamole were made with fresh, quality ingredients. The menu also bears the nice surprise of being relatively cheap for what it is. You can eat a quality meal you probably won’t be able to finish for between CP$3,000 and $7,000.

The cantina is also a bar, and while it carries big-name wines ($6,000 to $9,000 a bottle) and Mexican beers Corona and Negra Modelo, the true superstars are the cocktails ($3,000 and up). Margaritas and daiquiris are the house specialties, and they are served in flavors ranging from chirimoya to raspberry. However, after being disappointed by the mango pisco, I definitely recommend sticking to the classic cocktails, which are delicious and, like the food, served in large quantities. When at the Taxco Cantina, do as they do and stick to the traditional.

Taxco Cantina
Sector: Plaza Ñuñoa
Address: 19 de Abril 3540, Ñuñoa
Phone: 761 7582
Monday to Wednesday 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Thursday 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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