El Camino brings tacos, tequila and Tex-Mex vibes to the heart of Byron Bay
Burritos brimming with beef brisket and oozing cheese, giant frozen margaritas, big-as-your-head nachos, and a cart dispensing bottomless tortilla chips and salsa – that’s what our friends in Brisbane have been experiencing since Tex-Mex eatery El Camino Cantina opened in Bowen Hills late last year. Now it’s Byron Bay’s turn, with the owners of the eclectic eatery and bar, Rockpool Dining Group, opening a 250-seat version of the popular cantina right in the heart of The Shire.
El Camino Cantina’s impressive new Byron Bay outpost forms part of the new Mercato on Byron precinct, which recently opened on Jonson Street and is slowly welcoming a raft of new tenants. Much like its Brisbane counterpart, the Byron edition of El Camino is a visual feast of colour-dipped furnishings and artwork, with its hacienda-like fit-out boasting quirky touches like a converted Chevvy trunk, multi-coloured neon lights and bold custom works by artist Ben Brown. After you’ve spent some time soaking up El Camino’s eye-catching aesthetic, order yourself a 24-oz frozen margarita (or a Mexican beer, cocktail or sangria) then direct your eyes to the extensive menu where you’ll find a crowd-pleasing offering that also easily caters for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners.
Start with punchy jalapeno poppers, buffalo wings with blue-cheese mayo and mango-chilli sauce, or share (or don’t share) a plate of nachos, which arrive dripping in cheese sauce and loaded with chilli con carne, black beans and smoked brisket. Taco lovers can have their tortillas stuffed in seven different ways, with fillings like chargrilled steak with habanera salsa to slow-cooked pork shoulder and cilantro prawn with fried leeks. There’s also a range of cheesy quesadillas to fill the gap, while those with an appetite can get around fat burritos that come jammed with dirty rice and your choice of chipotle chicken, brisket with queso, or black bean and vegetables. There’s also a separate weekend-only brunch menu with moreish breakfast burritos and morning-style tacos like fried egg and smoky pozole, and spicy potato with chorizo and green onion. Oh, and don’t forget to help yourself to bottomless tortilla chips and salsa – just leave some room for a basket of churros and a nip of coconut tequila at the end.
El Camino Byron Bay is now open! Head to our Stumble Guide for opening hours, location and contact details.
Images 3–9 courtesy of El Camino Cantina
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