If you’re in Sydney and need a truckload of tacos, burritos and Buffalo wings, all washed down with a giant frozen Margarita, you head to El Camino Cantina. The Rocks favourite heaves on weekends with people topping up on approachable Tex-Mex before they blow the doors off their night in the city.
Now it has crossed the border, El Camino Cantina opening a mammoth 350-seat restaurant on King Street. The space is decorated in a similar vein to El Camino's existing venues, with bright paint, neon lighting and a giant Evel Knievel-inspired mural by Australian artist Ben Brown.
El Camino is the latest Brisbane restaurant from Rockpool Dining Group, which has steadily established a presence in the Queensland capital with venues such as Sake, Burger Project and another King Street offering, Bavarian Beerhaus.
Group CEO Thomas Pash says King Street was a natural location for El Camino Cantina. “We really like the Brisbane market for a lot of reasons,” Pash says. “The demographic is perfect for El Camino … They did an amazing job kind of reworking [King Street] and reinventing it as a dining [and] entertainment precinct.”
Plus, it had the space. “Everything we do we do pretty large, so we wanted a big space with 300 or more seats,” Pash says. “We like it big. We like a lot of people in there, it really adds to the atmosphere.”
The restaurant will be serving everything from Buffalo wings and jalapeño poppers to fajitas, burritos and soft-shell tacos. And yes, the unlimited free tortilla chips and salsa are along for the ride.
Drinks are dominated by El Camino’s over-the-top selection of frozen Margaritas. They come in three flavours – classic, mango and strawberry – and you can opt for a 400-millilitre or 700-millilitre glass. If you’ve got a real thirst there’s a two-litre tower. The selection is backed by Mexican draught and bottled beer and more than 100 tequilas and mezcals.
Also heading north are the weekly specials, with 10-cent wings every Tuesday, $2 tacos every Wednesday, half-price fajitas on Thursdays and a $15 burrito and beer lunch special from Monday to Friday. Happy hour serves up $7.50 Margaritas from 4pm to 6pm.
“[The restaurant is] really bright and fun, the music is great [and] it's indoor-outdoor because it all opens up,” Pash says. “It’s just a really fun place. It makes people smile and it's a great price point.”
El Camino Cantina
Shop 2, 45 King Street, Bowen Hills
(02) 9259 5600
Mon to Sun 11am–late