Bringing tacos and tequila to the people of Canggu since 2014, Lacalita Bar y Cocina is still going strong - stronger than its infused Jalapeño Margaritas
Real talk: Canggu’s food scene is as fickle as the globe-trotting Instagrammers that flock to this boho neighbourhood. Restaurants and cafes open and close faster than the cocktails go down – only a few have stood the test of time, surviving the big boom of Batu Bolong.
One of the survivors is Lacalita Bar y Cocina – the jewel in the crown of the Lacalongtime trifecta, alongside Lacalaca in Seminyak, and Lacasita in Ubud. It’s one of our all time favourite Mexicans in Bali, slinging straight-from-Tijuana tacos, cooler-than-Colonia-Roma vibes and daily happy hours that have us dancing the Jarabe Tapatio after one too many tequilas…
Drawing in Canggu’s most diverse crowds every day of the week for more than four years and counting, Lacalita is clearly ticking all right the boxes. It promises fresh modern Mexican food, famously addictive cocktails (we’re looking at you, Jalapeño Margarita) and all-round good times – every damn time. In fact, we think these Mexican taco lords have cracked the code to surviving the Batu Bolong boom, so here’s our take on what’s kept Lacalita going stronger than its infused Margaritas, and why we’re still loco for this technicolored trailblazer.
A clashing colour palette, bold murals and a fun, outdoor deck to watch Canggu’s finest pass by. Lacalita y Cocina is everything you’d expect from a modern Mexican and more, doubling up as a cosy local hangout that’s got it all: a lively yet laid-back atmosphere, epic food and raucous happy hours every single day of the week. Rumour has it, it’s also an awesome spot for a Tinder date…
Yup, Lacalita has given Canggu’s surfers and local foodies exactly what they’ve always wanted: awesome Mexican bites with a modern twist, wrapped up in an unpretentious atmo – the kind that lets you eat on your own at the bar, and end up having a wild night ‘til closing with strangers around you.
It also feels like home. The incredibly experienced staff always remember your name (and sometimes even your order, when you’re as obsessed with the De Pescado tacos as we are) and you’re guaranteed big smiles with even bigger pours. Maybe it’s the Margaritas and Micheladas that make everyone so happy here, or maybe it’s just flawless hospitality. Whatever it is, it’s as addictive as Laca’s house spicy sauce that we drizzle on EVERYTHING.
So much more than just tacos and tostaditas (though Lacalita’s are right up there with Bali’s absolute best) the food here takes Mexican food to the next level – or rather, to the right level. It’s authentic Mexican with a modern touch, and you won’t find any creamy TexMex here, nor store-bought tortillas. Only the real deal will do.
All of the gluten-free corn tortillas are made in-house, and the menu is always evolving to explore different dishes from across Mexico’s diverse regions, sometimes with a local twist. You’ll always find your old favourites (don’t worry, the pollo quesadillas aren’t going anywhere) and with the rise of plant-based dining, you’ll also find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too, like jackfruit tacos and insanely delicious street food-style esquites.
The standouts? The Red Mole is a Lacalongtime favourite, nailing the authentic Mexican brief with its juicy braised beef cheek in a red mole and black beer sauce, served with a tarragon corn crema, Arroz Oaxaqueño and steaming tortillas. Another must-try is the Torta de Pollo Milanesa, right out of Mexico City with its adobo marinated and crumbed chicken strips, melted mozzarella, guacamole, slaw and Lacalaca sauce. Oh, that Lacalaca sauce…
Ok, we know we’ve waxed lyrical about Laca’s Jalapeño Margarita time and time again, but it’s for good reason. This signature libation had us ‘hola’ back when it was first conceived in early 2012 at Lacalaca in Seminyak. Starting on such a high has meant all of Laca’s drinks since have had big boots to fill – and that they’ve done.
All of Lacalita’s cocktails use only fresh fruits and herbs to keep the quality top-notch – something that has set them apart from the rest – and the alcohol used doesn’t cut corners either. Think premium 100% agave tequila, house-infused and muddled with farm-fresh produce. Try the Nor-Cal Margarita if you’re after a shake up from the Jalapeño – it’s a healthy alternative with zero sugar, using that top-shelf tequila with dry orange and a dash of soda.
Oh, and did we mention there are daily happy hours here?! Monday to Saturday it’s 2 for 1 between 6pm and 7pm, and on Sunday Bloody Sunday, it’s 2 for 1 Bloody Marys all day until 7pm. Cheers to THAT!
Want in? Of course you do! Book your spot over the holiday season HERE – and psst! For the entire month of December, you can live every day like it’s Taco Tuesday with a serve of tacos & a classic margarita for just IDR 150k++ – just use the promo code “Tacos Honey”!
Lacalita Bar y Cocina, Jl Raya Batu Bolong 68, Canggu, Bali, p. +62 822 4731 2217. Open daily 9am – midnight.
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