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South American

Contrabando

The only thing better than tacos is cheap tacos, and until I can get myself to Mexico where they’re a dollar a pop, Taco Tuesdays is the next best thing. And whilst plenty of places have some semblance of that going on each week, no one does it quite like Contrabando. Instead of offering up subpar tacos at a cheaper rate, the entire taco menu is fair game at $3-4 each, instead of the usual $6-8. Talk about a bargain! Coupled with a discounted drinks list, it’s no wonder that the restaurant was absolutely frantic by 6pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Despite seating close to 100, the only seats available without a booking were in the rather sparse al fresco…

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Baja Cantina

I’m a sucker for a great Mexican meal, and if I were to be entirely honest, I would say that I haven’t had one since coming to Sydney. Despite my almost bottomless optimism when it comes to food, I’m actually finding myself feeling rather flat, after 18 solid months of being told that good Mexican food doesn’t exist in Sydney, and seeing nothing to the contrary. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to having my taco fix confined to the times when I go back to Melbourne. If I were to adjust my expectations a little however, there’s still plenty of Mexican-ish food to be had around Sydney. The most popular one out of the bunch would probably be Baja Cantina…

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El Atino

I’m a big fan of South-American food. I love the fresh, festive flavours, and the communal spirit it evokes. So it came as no surprise that I was super keen to try out El Atino, the new home of Latin American food on the Richmond block. But El Atino is so much more than just a restaurant. The outer half of the space is a dedicated grocer of gourmet Latin goods, and events and classes are frequently run, with the goal of educating the masses on how to cook and enjoy authentic South American food. The space reflects that; furnished sparsely with blonde wood and decorated with food and flowers, El Atino is the quintessential pantry-styled eating house.

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Pablo Honey

It’s the end of a long week, and you know what calls for? Delicious tapas and cocktails at Pablo Honey. If we’re talking location, Pablo Honey has gotten the cream of the crop. Located across the intersection from Luna Park, any meal at this South American-influenced eatery is accompanied by the spectacular sight of The Esplanade lighting up as night falls. But that’s not to say there isn’t much to see in the restaurant; the decor here is one-of-a-kind. Cobbled together by The Cartel – aka what the 4 blokes running this place have dubbed themselves – in just a 4 week period, the restaurant features hypnotic tessellations of glittering skulls and hexagons at every turn. And the best bit?…

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Smith and Daughters

When offered vegan food, 9 times out of 10 my response would be to crinkle my nose and reach for the fried chicken. Although I like my veggies, and occasionally enjoy piling my plate with nothing but salad, I just can’t reconcile myself to the concept of an all-vegan diet. It’s not the lack of meat that bothers me (though that’s definitely part of it); it’s the fact that I feel like by cutting out all animal products, I am automatically shrinking my culinary world down to a bland, unimaginative pinpoint. And whilst I’ve enjoyed many meat-free meals, I’ve yet to find one that challenges my preconceived notions of what it’s like to be vegan.

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Los Latinos

Melbourne is the greatest. Even after all these years, it continues to surprise me with just how unique and eclectic it is. If you ask me, it’s pretty great being able to experience different cultures from all around the world without shelling out for plane tickets and accommodation. In related news, did you know it costs $350 each to fly to Gold Coast and back? And that’s off-peak, on the budget-est airline I could find! One of the slightly more exotic options Melbourne has to offer is South American food. Being a cousin of Mexican food, things like corn tortillas, salsa, and a generous hand with herbs and spices feature prominently. However the overall result is heartier, with a bit…

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