Bartaco recently opened their 3rd restaurant location in North Carolina, within the popular North Hills shopping area, a unique lifestyle destination in the heart of Raleigh. The newly opened hotspot is inspired by the beach culture of Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern California. Bartaco is an upscale street food concept with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. They are mostly known for their freshly-squeezed juices, specialty cocktails, and impressive taco selections. Bartaco evokes a visit to a stylish beach resort and creates an unforgettable experience.
Focusing on fresh ingredients and bold flavors, bartaco’s menu boasts an array of tacos filled with fish, vegetables, and slow-cooked pork, chicken, and steak in addition to salads, rice bowls and seasonal specials to satisfy cravings. Offerings pair seamlessly with refreshing cocktail selections, made with only artisanal spirits and freshly-squeezed juices, beer, housemade agua frescas, and over 40 tequilas — all 100% agave— including bartaco’s unique blend, libélula tequila.
Bartaco also has two locations in Chapel Hill and Asheville. We asked the company why they decided to go with Raleigh for expansion, and a Bartaco representative tells us ” When scoping out locations for bartaco restaurants, the aim is to find places in which the community embodies the spirit of bartaco. bartaco felt like a natural fit for this diverse community in North Hills — filled with fun-loving families and a lot of people out-and-about enjoying the neighborhood.”
” We’re extremely excited and looking forward to participating in the first ever North Hills Restaurant Week, 8/6 – 8/12. Any local events in the community that we’re participating in or happenings at the restaurant whether it’s celebrating National Taco Day or the release of a new #bartacosecret menu item ––we keep updated on our Facebook page for our fans to follow along and be in on the know so be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to get the inside scoop…
The food here is inspired by cultures from across the globe, featuring a variety of bold flavors on the menu, so each time you visit, you can try something new. The duck taco is a crowd favorite — topped with a tamarind glaze. The tuna tataki is a light option, garnished with an Asian slaw. They even have veggie options, including portobello and cauliflower tacos. A unique aspect of their taco offerings is that any of them can be ordered on Bibb lettuce — for those who just want to add a little extra crunch to brighten up their taco.
Great Food + Atmosphere
I arrived for my first Bartaco visit around 6pm during the Midtown Beach Music series, and it was SLAMMED! The hostess informed me that this wasn’t unusual – the day before, a Wednesday, there was quite a long wait. Fortunately, I quickly found out why everyone loves Bartaco. Good things come to those who wait!
My friend and I were escorted to the patio, which features long tables perfect for crowds. There’s also an outdoor fireplace for when the weather cools down. Our server, Megan, quickly greeted us and explained the order process. Every table has paper menus, pencils, and a little sign with the Bartaco logo. You simply check off what you want and put up the sign when you are ready. A Bartaco server will quickly come by and take your order. The sign also comes in handy when you need to order another drink!
Bartaco’s cocktail menu features unique drinks such as the Reviver, which is made with Citadel gin, cucumber, mint, mango nectar, and lime juice. Very refreshing on a hot summer day! You should definitely give the Margarita a try, as I suspect it is one of the best in Raleigh. All Bartaco cocktails are made with fresh-squeezed juice! In addition to cocktails, there is a small beer list and two tasty sangrias. Something for everyone!
Tasty, Affordable Tacos
Tacos of all kinds grace Bartaco’s menu! The carne asada taco is unique to the North Hills location, and it is quite delicious, so you should definitely try it! Bartaco feels like a beachside restaurant, so it’s no wonder that it also serves a variety of seafood tacos, including Baja fish and crispy rock shrimp. There are also plenty of options for non-meat eaters such as portobello, falafel, and cauliflower tacos.
You could easily make a meal of the tacos, but you won’t want to miss out on the other tasty menu items such as plantains, pork tamale, and tuna poke. You’ll also need to save room for dessert – the churros with French chocolate are a MUST!
There’s a secret you should know!
Don’t tell anyone that I told you, but…..Bartaco has a secret taco menu! Ask your server what the secret taco is so you don’t miss out. On my visit, the secret taco featured lobster. Yum!
This special menu item is one that they switch up every couple of months, revealed on social via #bartacosecret posts. The current special features creamy chilled lobster salad served in a crispy corn taco, packed with guacamole, drizzled with a citrus sherry vinaigrette, and garnished with a cilantro, onion and Fresno chili salad.
Bartaco is an excellent new place to hang out before taking in a free music concert or after a long day of shopping at the many boutiques in the North Hills area. The newest Bartaco in Raleigh is its third North Carolina location, and possibly more locations are in the works as well, which will be revealed soon.
So what are you looking forward to trying out the most at the new bartaco in North Hills? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.