Taqueria Lupita: Authentic Mexican tacos in Cannes!
For those who have been craving some real-deal Mexican food, these fresh, homemade tacos will satisfy!
Perhaps no cuisine has been as badly represented or attempted around the world as Mexican cuisine. Eateries like Chiquitos or Taco Bell create food that can only be described as a parody at best, pseudo-Mexican at worst. Other ‘Mexican’ chain restaurants seem satisfied with throwing as much cheese and guacamole on anything vaguely resembling a tortilla, and pass this off as the real deal. Thankfully in Cannes, on an inconspicuous side street, a ‘Taqueria’ has opened its doors and is putting shame on the Taco Bells of the world. This tiny eatery offers just a few seats but their food is bursting with colour and aromas. Taqueria Lupita is showing us all what real Mexican food should be: fresh, vibrant, packed full of flavoursome meats, beans and spices!
Between feasting upon tacos and drinking fruit-infused agua fresca,’ I spoke with the owner about what Taqueria Lupita and Mexican cuisine was really all about.
After moving to France at the age of 22 for her studies, Maria Guadalupe Vargas Nunez (or Lupita for short) married her husband in Paris in 2010. In 2015 they both moved to the south of France, for she was “missing my sun” as she puts it. Maria explained to me that a Taqueria is typically small and: “not just a place which sells tacos, it is a place of simplicity, conviviality and casual exchanges. It’s different from other restaurants, in the sense that people eat standing up or buy food to take away. It’s also the place where I grew up. Since 1993, my parents have owned a Taqueria (of the same name) in Casimiro Castille [near Puerto Vallarta], on the Pacific coast. I wanted to bring the same concept to Cannes, in a place which offers just a few seated places whilst still keeping the original ideas”.
Maria has also kept the family feel to the place, as her mother works behind the counter with her, making fresh corn flour tacos to order.
While tacos are perhaps the most well-known thing on the menu, Taqueria Lupita also offers pellizcadas, doraditas and quesadillas, each served with a choice of marinated pork, beef or grilled chicken. But what differentiates them?
“The quesadilla is a thin and soft galette, folded in two” Maria explains, “The doradita is, as the name suggests, golden and crunchy. The pellizcada is a lot thicker and softer”. A soft, thick and indulgent galette, enveloping slow-cooked barbacoa style beef (a Mexican speciality), the pellizcada is, as Maria explains, a kind of burger - and she was not wrong.
“Whether in Mexico or here in France, we use our knowledge to make our own marinades and sauces.” The pellizcada is a testament to this with soft and tender beef soaked in flavour.
I’ve eaten at Taqueria Lupita several times, and each visit is a pleasure, a voyage of latin discovery, fiery and exciting flavours waltzing across a taco dancefloor. Or as Maria puts it, “the colours are vibrant, the aromas strong and the flavours distinct. Tradition, sharing and conviviality are extremely important values to us. We find all of this, and much more, in our kitchen.”
So the next time you pass a generic chain restaurant, promising tacos, burritos, nachos, tortillas, enchiladas, or some other attempt at creating something vaguely akin to real Mexican cuisine, resist - and take yourself down to Taqueria Lupita, a hidden gem quietly cooking up a storm.
3 rue Venizelos, 06400 Cannes
12 - 3 pm Mon - Tue & Thur - Sat for takeaway
7 - 10 pm Thur - Sat for delivery (hours may be affected by current curfew restrictions)
Closed Wednesdays and Sundays