Huarachis Taqueria, Bacanora's sister restaurant, now open in Phoenix | Phoenix New Times

Bacanora's sister restaurant Huarachis Taqueria is now open. Here's a look inside

The new restaurant is a more casual counterpart to the Grand Avenue hotspot.
Huarachis Taqueria is now open on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.
Huarachis Taqueria is now open on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Sara Crocker
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There's a new restaurant in town for diners hungry to try the cooking at Bacanora. Rene Andrade, the chef and co-owner of the celebrated Sonoran-style restaurant on Grand Avenue, has launched Huarachis Taqueria. The new concept opened Tuesday night in the former Rodiberto's Mexican Food space near Central Avenue and McKinley Street in downtown Phoenix.

When Andrade fired up the mesquite grill at Bacanora in 2021 and started serving food inspired by his home and the bounty of the Sonoran Desert, it lit a fire in Phoenix’s culinary scene. Reservations at Bacanora continue to sell out in minutes when seats open for the coming month.

Andre received a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2022 and a nod, along with chefs Derek Christensen and Roberto Centeno, for Best Chef, Southwest this year. Phoenix New Times named Bacanora its Best Restaurant for 2023.

We stopped in on opening night to get a taste of the new spot.
click to enlarge A view of the bar at Huarachis Taqueria.
The bar at Huarachis Taqueria features a selection of signature cocktails, classics such as margaritas and whiskey sours, as well as natural and local wines.
Sara Crocker

The vibe

At the Central Avenue taqueria, gone are the royal blue awnings and yellow paint of Rodiberto's. The stucco has been painted bubblegum pink and the tall windows are framed at the top with neon pink lighting. Clusters of plants fill one of the windows. Along one side of the space, shelves are dotted with art and bric-a-brac.

Inside the dining room and bar, pinks, sage greens and white continue throughout the space. Behind the bar, mirrored tile reflects the neon lights, bathing the space in a soft glow as the sun sets. The space is filled with an energetic playlist of pop and hip hop. Unlike Bacanora, where a reservation is critical, Huarachis is walk-in only, and the room grows louder with the chatter of guests as the space fills.
click to enlarge The guacamole appetizer at Huarachis Taqueria.
The aguacate appetizer at Huarachis Taqueria.
Sara Crocker

What's on the menu?

The menu is short, but packed with options for happy hour, a casual dinner or a splurge date night. Offerings are broken down by starters, tacos, platters and sides.

Starters include a quesadilla or aguacate, or avocado, which comes mashed with queso fresco, cilantro, onion chiltepin and olive oil. It arrives in an earthenware bowl with a fan of large, crisp tostadas.

Taco options include carne asada, tripe, tongue, fried mushroom or crispy potato. Sides include Bacanora Beans or Papas al Disco, which are done up with Huarachis "secret seasoning," crema, olive oil, chiltepin and cotija cheese.

Huarachis had two platter options on its opening menu: pork or cabeza. These are intended for groups of two to four people. The al pastor pork is served on skewers and is accompanied by a quesadilla, tortillas, chicharron, pineapple, cabbage, cilantro, escabeche, limes and salsas. The cabeza platter likewise comes with quesadillas and tortillas, along with onions cilantro, escabeche, limes and salsas.

The cocktail menu features six signature drinks along with a selection of classic cocktails, including margaritas and whiskey sours, along with nonalcoholic options like Jarritos sodas. Among the signature cocktails is the Day Dreams made with caramelized pear-infused bacanora, spiced pear liqueur, dry vermouth, pear, lemon and Jarritos Tamarindo soda. The restaurant also offers a selection of natural and local wines.

Huarachis is a more casual version of its big sister, Bacanora, and may be the cheat code diners have been looking for to get a taste of what Andrade and his team are cooking, no reservations required. Here's a peek inside.

click to enlarge The dining room at Huarachis Taqueria.
Diners came out Tuesday to get a first look and taste and Rene Andrade's new restaurant, Huarachis Taqueria.
Sara Crocker
click to enlarge A shelf at Huarachis Taqueria.
Eye-catching shelves dot a wall at Huarachis Taqueria.
Sara Crocker
click to enlarge A cocktail sits on top of menus at Huarachis.
The Day Dreams cocktail at Huarachis includes caramelized pear-infused bacanora, spiced pear liqueur, dry vermouth, pear, lemon and Jarritos Tamarindo soda.
Sara Crocker
click to enlarge A platter of six tacos from Huarachis Taqueria.
The menu at Huarachis is centered on tacos, including carne asada, fried mushroom and crispy potato.
Sara Crocker
click to enlarge A bowl of pickled vegetables and hot sauces at Huarachis.
A selection of hot sauces and lightly pickled vegetables at Huarachis Taqueria.
Sara Crocker
click to enlarge The wallpaper in the bathroom at Huarachis is made from flyers for the restaurant.
The wallpaper inside the bathroom at Haurachis Taqueria reflects the vibe of the colorful restaurant.
Sara Crocker

Huarachis Taqueria

814 N. Central Ave.
Open 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday

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