Cantina Agave – Tai Koo Li, Beijing

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Who would think that I would find a good, veggie friendly, Mexican restaurant in Beijing! Believe it or not, I did! Located in the ‘upscale’ and ‘modern’ part of the city, Cantina Agave is your local neighborhood Taqueria and Tequileria. An outpost of the famed Mexican restaurant in Shanghai, Cantina Agave is taking the youth and expats of Beijing by storm.

Fashioned with brightly painted walls and stenciled graffiti of lizards, dancers and all things ‘Mexican’, the interiors of Cantina Agave are a welcome sight to the weary non-Chinese traveler. The place has a fun and carefree vibe that encapsulates you while you are there. And if that did not dispel your weariness, the extensive wall of Tequila choices definitely will. The eatery bravely displays its 3 lever tequila bar to it’s customers, mixing potent Margaritas and Mojitos amongst other lesser known, but equally toxic cocktails. 

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Another stand out feature of this cantina is its fresh, all-you-can-eat, salsa bar that serves approximately 7-8 different salsa options, all of which are vegetarian! They have mango-pineapple salsa, salsa verde, pico-de-gallo, and more that I can’t remember right now. At Cantina Agave,  we ordered the Macho Nachos (of course!), extra Guacamole, Quesadillas, Mexicali Papas Fritas (french fries) and a side of Spanish Rice. All of the food was fantastic, and even better when eaten with the wide variety of salsas. The re-fried beans were perfectly cooked, the guac was fresh and flavorful, and the Spanish rice brought the whole meal together. We ended the meal with Churros, served with a beautiful chocolate dipping sauce and dusted with cinnamon sugar. While the churros weren’t fantastic, they were a nice end to our Mexican-Chinese escapade.

S4-32, Sanlitun Taikoo Li South, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District

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