Mexico City restaurant La Popular is opening its second American location in Austin this month. It is located in the Lantana Place development at 7415 Southwest Parkway, Building Five, Suite 100 in the West Oak Hill neighborhood, opening on Monday, April 24.
The new restaurant focuses on classic taqueria fare. There’s a long list of tacos to choose from including al pastor, carnitas, rib-eye, chicken, creamy prawn, campechano, and vegetables with sauteed rajas poblanos. Other entrees include enchiladas blancas served with al pastor or pulled chicken; rib-eye fajitas with bacon and potatoes topped with melted manchego; chicken mole enchiladas; and habanero barbecue ribs with truffle esquites. Then there are appetizers like ahi tuna tostadas, queso fundido con chorizo made with manchego, and white fish ceviche. Desserts include churros, tres leche cake, and fruit sorbets.
The cocktails focus on agave spirits. There’s the Yucatán Toucan, a clarified mezcal punch; the Count Diablo with mezcal, a ghost pepper tincture, Campari, and sweet vermouth; the Oaxacan Jellyfish with rum, pineapple, lime, blue lemongrass, coconut cream, and a lemongrass smoke bubble. Then there are classic drinks like palomas, margaritas, and carajillos. The bar also carries a wide selection of agave spirits with more than 80 labels of tequila, mezcal, and adjacent plants like sotol. There is also a small selection of beer, wine, and other standard spirits.
Austin-based firm Nolan and Bell Design Studio designed La Popular’s local space. Some features include back-lit smoky mirrors, wood paneling, chevron-patterned wooden floors, a live-fire kitchen, and neon light fixtures.
Behind La Popular are Mexico City-based restaurant group Grupo Carolo and California-based Eureka!. The executive chef is César de la Parra, and Eureka!’s vice president of beverage operations Trevor Tyler developed the cocktail menu.
La Popular opened in 2013 as a coastal restaurant and was purchased by Grupo Carolo in 2020, after which it pivoted to a pan-Mexican approach. The Mexico City locations are in the Lomas de Chapultepec and Bosques de las Lomas neighborhoods. La Popular arrived in the United States in late 2022, in Roseville, a city 20 miles northeast of Sacramento. A third stateside location is coming to Las Vegas soon. Two more restaurants are planned for California, Porter Ranch and Claremont, later this year.
La Popular’s Austin hours are Sunday to Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Happy hour is offered Monday to Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with an extended taco and tequila happy hour from 6:00 p.m. to close on Tuesdays.