February 25, 2022

See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant

The former Cheapside Cafe space downtown is getting new life thanks to local Crown Restaurant Group (Crown Republic Gastropub, Losanti, Rosie’s Cocktails & Pies).

It is now home to La Cantina, a restaurant offering a self-described mix of "contemporary, authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails."

Chef Johnny Curiel, recently the Executive Chef at Nada, is bringing his years of experience and "modern-meets-authentic" Mexican style to the new restaurant.

A description says "what differentiates La Cantina from other south-of-the-border-inspired restaurants in the city is its unique blend of authentic Mexican flavors and ingredients that are bold while being approachable and 100% gluten-free."

La Cantina started as a pop-up at Crown Republic Gastropub in July of last year, with Curiel and CRG's chef/owner Anthony Sitek at the helm. The restaurant menu currently lists dishes including tacos ranging from pastor or lamb barbacoa to smoked prime brisket or sweet potato. Starters run the gamut from mesquite cold-smoked tuna crudo and grilled oysters to queso fundido. Mains include carne asada, chicken mole and enchiladas verdes.

The cocktail program focuses on mezcal and tequila, featuring more than 50 agave-based spirits. La Cantina also carries Mexican coke, Topo Chico and horchata.
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La Cantina is located in the former Cheapside Cafe space downtown
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
La Cantina is located in the former Cheapside Cafe space downtown
(L to R): Crown Republic Group chef/owner Anthony Sitek and La Cantina Chef Johnny Curiel,
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
(L to R): Crown Republic Group chef/owner Anthony Sitek and La Cantina Chef Johnny Curiel,
La Cantina serves a self-described mix of "contemporary, authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails."
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
La Cantina serves a self-described mix of "contemporary, authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails."
Interior of the restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Interior of the restaurant
The cocktail program focuses on mezcal and tequila, featuring more than 50 agave-based spirits. La Cantina also carries Mexican coke, Topo Chico and horchata.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The cocktail program focuses on mezcal and tequila, featuring more than 50 agave-based spirits. La Cantina also carries Mexican coke, Topo Chico and horchata.
See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
See Inside Downtown's Newly Opened La Cantina Mexican Restaurant
Photo: Hailey Bollinger