In amongst Hoi An’s international restaurant selection lies Hola Taco, the place to go for all things Mexican. Open since 2012, the restaurant quickly outgrew its early successes and moved to bigger premises on one of the Old Town’s principal streets – today it still thrives with its classically-delicious Mexican food. Read our guide to Hola Taco below.
Hola Taco Overview
It’s hard to imagine any place on Phanh Chau Trinh, bang in the center of town and with a million motorbikes whizzing by a second, being peaceful. That Hoi An restaurant, Hola Taco, situated on a busy corner could be somewhere you’d come to unwind, to shake off the bustle of the streets and to enjoy a relaxing meal is equally perplexing
And yet Hola Taco, perched right in front of all the action, manages to achieve just this. Chaos on the streets, but inside a cool ‘n’ calm refuge from the heat.
Stepping into the impressive, high-ceilinged interior is like stepping into a saloon from the Wild West. Well, a saloon complete with a cartoon bean playing the Spanish guitar, his sombrero tipped at a jaunty angle. A fun touch.
Yellow and turquoise walls and vibrant murals add a splash of colour amidst dark wooden panelling and crisscrossing beams…it’s a laidback setting and a delightful place to swallow a few drinks and dine on some spicy Mexican flavours.
The menu consisted of the usual suspects: quesadillas, tacos, nachos and enchiladas – with a gluten-free option of rice bowls, too. And it incorporated the tastiest vocabulary, too – like pulled pork, braised lamb, chipotle chicken and cajun shrimp. And vegetarians can go for roasted pumpkin.
Whilst it may be nothing out of the ordinary menu-wise, it’s safe to say that Hola Taco’s versions are indeed a cut above the average Mexican food joint. Their homemade nacho chips combined with their chunky guacamole topped with black sesame seeds are positively dreamlike. And price-wise it won’t break the bank either – think around 100,000VND ($4.50) to 150,000VND ($6.50) for a main dish – great for lunch or dinner!
Hola Taco also serves a range of beers, wines, soft drinks and houses a delightful cocktail selection.
Review of Hola Taco in Hoi An
I’ve always considered this kind of food to “fill a gap” and little else, but Hola Taco proved me wrong. Having ordered tacos the lovely waiter let us pick a different flavour for each one. One taco was stuffed with cajun shrimp, avocado, pineapple and cabbage slaw; the other with melt-in-your-mouth lamb, mint and cucumber yoghurt. Needless to say, I was happy with my choice!
And alongside this, our quesadillas were satisfying little parcels of happiness. Half of these tasty triangles were stuffed with the cajun shrimp combo; the other half with chorizo and kimchi. A very fine choice – the moorish combination of spicy chorizo with the crunchy goodness of the pan-fried taco is something I’d advise you don’t miss. Even the combination of shrimp and melted cheese – which I couldn’t imagine would work – somehow did.
The amazing baked chips (which, frankly, Hola Taco should start packaging up and selling in all the supermarkets in town) are also delicious. I’d highly recommend this place. You won’t leave disappointed.