Cactus tacos and skinny margaritas: Wahaca is hot stuff and as tasty for gluten-free, veggies and vegans

Christie Hutchinson | 2nd July 2019

Wahaca is the street smarts Mexican restaurant chain created by Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers which has been pioneering the authentic taste of the sunshine country for over a decade with innovative and frankly wonderful tasting dishes.

Fish Tacos

It’s a riot of colour in the Corn Exchange food empire and has al fresco seating (although the view outside

at the moment is of hoardings as work is taking place) and sprawls over two floors with an inside bit in the atrium if you want to chow down and watch others do likewise from all the other eateries spilling onto the interior court.

It’s perfect for meeting mates, booking a large table and nicking bits off everyone’s dishes and it offers proper gluten-free, vegan and veggie options, that are well-thought out and just as tasty, in fact if not better than carnivorous, flour-fuelled ones. 

This is great because there’s nothing worse than feeling your fellow diners are scraping the bottom of the menu barrel while you’re enjoying a juicy morsel.

Cactus & Courgette Tacos

We ordered a few nibbles whilst we checked out the menu and top tip is get the nachos, the dips are good, but the nachos are wonderful, it’s all about the layers and dipping down to get the good bits. We had the vegan, gluten-free one which could sound like no-fun but was fantastic and we didn’t miss meat, cheese or gluten one bit.

You can go small plate style from their street food section (they recommend two to three per person) or choose these as starters for the more traditional diners. These start from under a fiver and we loved the cactus and courgette taco (no pricks thankfully) and the crab and avocado tostada was also a stand-out.

The bigger plates go down the familiar burritos, enchiladas route and there’s a grill section with mains starting from an epically reasonable £8.25.

Because VIVA is going to Ibiza very, very soon, we opted for the Mexican bowl options, a sort of naked (none carby) burrito with a wonderful mash-up of beans, rice, slaw, salsa, sour cream that you can eat on it’s own or add chicken or pork. Yom yom.

Clearly having been so good and having ordered skinny Margaritas (just ask for fresh limes and no syrups, they’re happy to oblige and these are lip-smackin good) it was onto pudding. You’ve got to do the Churros, it is the law, and these were divine.

But another revelation was the stand-out gorgeous black coconut and vanilla ice cream, as gluten-free VIVA girl said, OMAFG.

To find out more and to book (although walk ins are welcome) visit https://www.wahaca.co.uk/locations/manchester/

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