Calaveras

Features

good for groups
licensed
Mexican

Calaveras is the rowdy twin to owner Gerardo Macip’s other venue, Roca. It’s located above Newtown station and lit almost entirely by strings of fairy lights, creating a dim, lively ambience.

The menu is inspired by Macip’s upbringing in Central Mexico and pays homage to the country’s vibrant cantina culture. There’s no Tex-Mex here. Palm-sized tacos arrive flat and topped with chunky ingredients; for fajitas, grilled beef strips are piled high on fragrant rice with “proper guacamole” (no sour cream) on top and corn tortillas by La Tortilleria on the side; and Macip’s enchiladas are baked in spicy salsa, not cheese. Five house salsas – all house made from imported dried chillies – are at the heart of each dish.

The bar takes pride of place and is framed on either side by striking Día de Muertos-themed artworks. Its shelves hold a hefty range of tequilas and mezcals – all of which are 100 per cent agave. These liquors can be enjoyed neat or in one of Calaveras’s many iterations of the Margarita. A few highlights: the El Diablo (habanero-infused tequila, lime and pineapple juice); Death in Tijuana (mezcal, pink grapefruit and pomegranate with a chilli-salt rim); the Lemon Drop (a classic Margarita made with tequila, limoncello and triple sec); and the Bulldog (a Margarita topped with a Corona).