30.7.14

Al Mercato Taco Bar, Milan

When I read on one of my favorite websites about the opening of this new Taco Bar, I had to be there!


Al Mercato is owned by chefs Beniamino Nespor and Eugenio Roncoroni. There are now 4 Al Mercato restaurants in Milan: Al Mercato Restaurant, Al Mercato Noodle Bar, Al Mercato Burger Bar and this newest creation Al Mercato Taco Bar. Before the Taco Bar, I had only been to the Burger Bar and loved it. Their burgers are delicious, huge and with quality ingredients, prices are average for the gourmet-burger-craze that's been hitting Milan in these couple of years (between 10 and 17 euros per burger depending on the ingredients you pick). The only problem of the Burger Bar is that it's so tiny you can't book a table (since they only have 3 or 4 tables) so you'll have to wait outside for an hour - if you're lucky... and patient.
So when I called the Taco Bar and found out you could book a table there, I immediately did it! The Taco Bar is located in Via Casale, in the heart of Navigli area (near the Porta Genova metro station), an excellent location for a place like this. They have plenty of seating space in 2 levels - also for larger parties, and I appeciated the fact that they skipped the stereotypical poncho and sombreros in the decoration and actually went for nice murales and the cool 'lucha libre' masks as lamps.
The food: after living in Mexico City for so long, you could say I know what I'm talking about when it comes to tacos, so to be honest, these tacos are very good, not Mexico-City-good but among-the-best-in-Europe-good. You have to pick the filling of your tacos among the 4/5 types they make everyday, on the day we were there it was: red sauce chicken, green sauce chicken, carnitas (shredded pork), chorizo and lamb. I had both chorizo and carnitas and they were good, they came with slices of radish, lime, sour cream and non-spicy sauce. Unfortunately, at 4 euros each taco the prices are too high in my opinion, especially since in the article I mentioned above they wrote tacos were 3 euros each, so in less than a week from the opening they have already raised the prices, not fair! Also because these tacos are really tiny, 2 bites and you're done, and comparing prices, Tacos El Gordo in Las Vegas charges $2 for the best tacos I've ever eaten outside Mexico, taco shops in Barcelona and Madrid don't go over 3 euros for tacos like these ones, so I don't get why they have to be so expensive here - Milanese Mystery #44 :)
 
However, the cocktails were also very good, and at 8 euros, they were the same as other new cocktail bars in the area. I had the Bloody Santana and it was a nice twist of the bloody mary, with tequila and beer.

Staff is young and nice, atmsphere is relaxed (a bit hipster), orders are fast and the big oven at the entrance where they make the tacos are nice touches that might make me overlook the high prices once in a while to come back for a taco and a drink - but then go to dinner elsewhere cheaper!

Al Mercato Taco Bar
Via Casale 5
20144 Milano
Tel. +39 0236767328 (bookings accepted)
http://www.al-mercato.it/
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 19.00 to 2.00
Saturday 12.30-15.00 and 19.00-2.00
Sunday 12.30-15.00 and 19.00-00.00.
Al Mercato Taco Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato