Fonda, or “La Fonda” refers to a hotel or a small house in Mexico that does food. Fonda serves that Mexican hospitality to droves of Melburnians with four houses to choose from: Richmond, Windsor, Flinders Lane and in Hawthorn.
Owners David Youl and Tim McDonald describe the restaurants as a, “Casual, accessible Mamasita.” It has its own take on good food served quickly. So ditch the idea of greasy minced meat, because at Fonda, you’re more likely to get a braised-pork taco filled with pineapple, coriander and lime, without any hospo pomp.
Each of the four restaurants’ menus were revamped by LA-based chef Gery Lopez when Hawthorn opened in early 2015. Fonda sources tacos from La Tortilleria (the only place to make them from real corn) and look out for the Mexican Meatball burrito. All of its fresh ingredients come from the Queen Vic Market, and rice is substituted with quinoa.
The original in Richmond packs out quickly. Windsor’s a touch bigger, hosting a surprisingly bright subterranean eating area. Flinders Lane sits atop Craft Victoria, a perky venue replete with designer, Luke Henley’s new branding paired with bright yellows and aquas – and a porch to boot. Fonda’s fourth incarnation in Hawthorn completes the set doing a contemporary spin on traditional Mexican architecture where geometric patterns reign supreme.
Fonda’s never claimed to do traditional Mexican street food, but if you’re looking for a relaxed Mexican-inspired local, look no further.