El Columpio, which translates from Spanish to “the swing”, sits somewhere between a taqueria and a cenaduría (the Mexican word for a neighbourhood restaurant). It embodies owner Ricardo Garcia Flores’s (ex-Paco’s Tacos, Movida Aqui) longstanding dream of introducing what he considers to be “true Mexican food” to Melbourne.

The venue is stripped back and casual, with Latin music playing over the speakers. Flores’s cooking is staunchly traditional; he doesn’t do adaptations or substitutions and isn’t interested in the “evolution” of Mexican cuisine, as he puts it. It isn’t out of dogmatism, but a desire to honour the history behind all the recipes he uses. His signature is pozole, a hearty hominy-based Mexican soup. At Columpio, he makes it the way his mother does (who made it the way her mother did, after being gifted the recipe by a restaurateur friend in Mexico City in 1984).

Flores uses 20 different chillies in his cooking, and sources Maseca-brand corn tortillas and white corn flour from Mexico. His tacos see the tortillas generously filled with slow-cooked suadero beef or pork mixiote (where the meat is marinated and cooked in parchment). Both fillings are made using recipes from a friend who runs taquerias in Mexico City.

Contact Details

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Website: instagram.com

Updated: June 3rd, 2024

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