Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Candelaria claims to be Paris’ first authentic taqueria. And you know what? They are absolutely right. This might be even the one and only taqueria in the world with doorman. Kidding? Not at all. The towel sized taqueria in the upper Marais, opened last March, is “ze” place to be in Paris.
At night, a young crowd besieges the door trying to surge into the tiny spot. But how the hell can you explain this success? Is it because of the delicious tacos and crusty tostadas? Partly, yes. They arehomemade, so to say, by a fancy chef named Luis Rendon and cute girls who just arrived from Mexico speaking French with such a charming accent that you want to adopt them immediately. The food is what it is: Mexican. But at Candelaria they prove that this can be thousand times better than the Subway sandwich from around the corner. And who wants to eat Coq au Vin every day?
At Candelaria you get tacos with spicy pork (longaniza) or stewed chicken (pollo pibil), they serve a guacamole to die for, spicy salsas you won’t forget so easily. All this for very Unparisian prices: tacos costs 3 €, 5,5 € for two, tostadas are at 3,50 €. What are you waiting for?
And to make the match perfect, you wash all this down with cold Mexican beer, cerveza, what else! Because you know what? They don’t serve wine at Candelaria. This place is definitely not Frenchified at all. And that makes its success.
Now does the lovely food explain it all? Not entirely. This place is a statement. It says: we have improvised. There is a tiny counter, only one communal table, not a lot of space. But you know what? We don’t care because we are young, hip, cosmopolitain. So why wait to join the happy crowd?
I’m sure that despite all this, they have a business plan as hard as concrete. But who cares? Behind the concept are four young guys, Carina Soto Velasquez from Columbia, Adam Tsou and Joshua Fontaine from New York and, last but not least, one Mexican girl bringing in the know-how and the recipes. They somehow created the buzz by joining a hidden bar to their taqueria.
So, if you are in the mood, open the unmarked door at the end of the galley-size kitchen and enter the empire of vintage cocktails. Who said that booze-ups couldn’t be stylish?Candelaria 52, rue Saintonge