Tacos to Go in Paris: Cantine California and Chipotle
Wed 25 Jul 2012
A trio of carnitas tacos from Cantine California.
The location for this food truck varies.
Please see the Cantine California link
below for specific places and times.
18–20, blvd Montmartre, in the 9th Arrondissement.
01 45 23 12 54. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily.
Not long ago, it was next to impossible to find decent Mexican food in Paris, but now there’s a handful of Paris restaurants serving authentic Mexican meals and margaritas. Now locals and visitors can also enjoy several options for tacos to go in Paris.
Tacos at Chipotle.
The US-born franchise Chipotle has expanded its footprint with the opening of its first store in Paris this year. While chains don’t usually excite me, Chipotle does offer some organic ingredients and uses only naturally raised chicken and pork. Their good ingredients, combined with a lack of decent on-the-go Mexican options, made their arrival quite newsworthy in the City of Light.
My first visit proved that I wasn’t the only one excited about the opening: a line of people snaked in, around and out of the store. The usual setup and suspects were in place. You choose taco or burrito, along with your meat, fillings, guacamole and drink. The drink menu offered a wider variety than in the US, with margaritas, wine and Mexican beer all available. It was a nearly authentic experience with very familiar flavors and spices, and only a slightly higher price tag. I shall return.
The Cantine California truck.
Cantine California is the latest food truck to roll into Paris since the arrival of Camion Qui Fume, the extremely popular burger truck. Cantine California does offer the requisite burgers, but they also serve up carnitas and chicken tacos, which are made with organic meat from France. I found the truck at the Marché St.-Honoré one Wednesday and ordered my carnitas with great anticipation. They have a covered area with a few high tables so you can enjoy the food hot off the grill. My plate had a large mound of black beans—a rare sight in Paris—along with three grilled tacos. Each tortilla had nice slash marks on it and a crisp edge to cradle the shredded carnitas, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and the French touch of sliced radish. The meat was slightly dry but had a good flavor that got even better with a drizzle of spicy salsa.
It’s good to know that there are now multiple options in Paris when you’re in need of a good taco on the run.
In a nutshell: If you’re craving American-style Mexican to go, check out Chipotle for solid tacos and burritos, or visit the roving food truck Cantine California to get your carnitas fix.
Price check: Chipotle: three tacos for 9 euros. Cantine California: three tacos with a side of black beans for 10 euros.
If you like the sound of Cantine California and Chipotle but prefer your tacos a little slower and sitting down, try Anahuacalli.
30, rue des Bernardins, in the 5th.
01 43 26 10 20.
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