El Paragua Restaurant
El Paragua Restaurant is a history filled restaurant in the heart of Espanola. Here you’ll find great cuisine in a great looking building. The locals love it and people come from throughout the state to try the unique taste of El Paragua. If you’re in Santa Fe it’s worth the 20 to 30 minute trip to Espanola! Click HERE for the entire review!
Value: Most plates start around $12 or so. I had the Chicken Tacos (2 of them with guac and rice) for $12. For two tacos they are a little more expensive than other places but the taste, and the feel/history/location of the restaurant makes it worth it.
Taste: You can definitely tell it’s an El Paragua taco. They have a unique taste and the crispiness of the taco shell is unique too. The taco shell, the chicken and seasoning, the lettuce, just all came together very well.
Presentation: These are crispy tacos…it shouldn’t be a terribly fancy presentation. And yet they found a way to put them on a plate where they appear fancier than they should be. The amount of guacamole that you get is amazing! A lot more than you would need for two tacos.
Vibe: I loved how busy this place was. It was a terribly old building but yet people were having a great time and they were lined up to pick up orders and also waiting to be seated. This place is definitely not a secret.
Accessibility: El Paragua Restaurant is a bit out of the way from bigger cities. You can go to Santa Fe and then take the 30 minute trip to Espanola. Once there you’ll find El Paragua is in the center of town and they have tons of parking.
So I was in Espanola for a new store opening with some co-workers. Unfortunately the contractor wasn’t very cooperative and we couldn’t do much. After a few hours of trying to get the store back on schedule we realized we couldn’t and decided to grab some lunch. I suggested El Paragua since it had been roughly 10 years since I’ve been there. My co-workers were open to the idea since they were new to the area.
We arrived at El Paragua just before 1pm and they were busy! People were waiting to pick up food and waiting to be seated. It took roughly 15 minutes to get us a table but it was worth the wait. There is a small bar as soon as you walk in. Off to the left is a room which has wood stove and a lady was making homemade tortillas!!! How cools is that!?! After we were seated the waiter brought us water and took our orders quickly.
In the pictures you’ll see each of our plates. I had the Chicken Tacos (2 of them with rice and guacamole), my co-workers had the Chimichangas and the Beef Tacos (3 of them with beans). The tacos were amazing! The crispy shell was perfectly crispy. They had the right amount of chicken, great seasoning, and they were garnished with lettuce. Not only that, you had a great serving of guacamole to have with the tacos. In fact, it’s so much that I didn’t finish the guac with my tacos. I had to use the chips to finish it off.
The environment was great too! Everybody was having a great time and enjoying the food. There were several people at the small bar taking shots because, after all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. I do have one small complaint though…the bathroom for the men was a one stall room. A small room, by the wood stove, that had chairs around the room which was used as the waiting room for the bathroom. A little disappointing that a place this historic couldn’t have more bathrooms.
El Paragua Restaurant gets 4.5 Bites!!! The food was amazing, the building was great and history filled, and the service was great too! The only issue was really the bathroom for me. I expected a bit more from such a nice place.