In search of tacos, part 6: Best Coast Taqueria at BarBrå

Please note that since writing this blog post, Best Coast Taqueria has closed down

Tacos. Without question, the most commented-on topic on this blog. Everyone has an opinion about where to get a decent taco in Amsterdam, and in most cases they’re opinions I’m more than happy to listen to. A few people had recommended Best Coast Taqueria to me over the past year or two (check out my reviews of Orale Taqueria,  Salsa Shop, Burrito Maker, Caramba, and the Original California Burrito Company – not only for what I thought of those places, but more importantly for all the other taco spots that people have mentioned in the comments) and you’ll see Best Coast pop up a few times. I’ve even had private Facebook messages telling me I need to get down to BarBrå on a Friday night to check out these legendary wraps. So it was fortunate that one of my Oud-West friends is already a fan, and decided to celebrate her birthday there a couple of Fridays ago. It’s worth pointing out at this stage that Best Coast is still a pop-up, albeit one with quite some longevity. They’ve been appearing at Cafe Bedford Stuyvesant (in Oost) on Thursdays, and at BarBrå (in West) on Fridays and Saturdays for a while now, and I’m hoping that perhaps it’s a precursor to a permanent location?

Tacos - Best Coast Taqueria - Amsterdam
Fish tacos with red cabbage and spicy, creamy sauce

We kicked off the celebrations with some tortilla chips and just about all the toppings it was possible to order: there were black beans, guacamole, cool and crunchy radishes, that crumbly fresh Mexican cheese… you name it. When it came to taco-ordering time, you could mix and match – so obviously we did. I had the carnitas (akin to pulled pork) with raw pineapple and a smoky pineapple salsa, followed up with a deep-fried fish taco with red cabbage and a spicy-but-creamy sauce. Both were fabulous, and Best Coast’s salsas and sauces deserve a mention all of their own.

Quesadillas - Best Coast Taqueria - Amsterdam
Stuffed quesadillas with more excellent salsa

Next, we tried the quesadillas, which were packed full of melting, oozing cheese as well as plenty of slow-cooked meat. They were served with yet more delicious salsa, some sour cream and a coriander-heavy salad to freshen the palate.

Despite the fact that we were rather full by this point (we’d eaten some extra nachos mid-meal as well), the girls were intent on pressing on with dessert: tortilla chips topped with ice cream and chocolate. Well, you’ve had salted caramel before – why not chips and ice cream, eh?!

Dessert - Best Coast Taqueria - Amsterdam
Tortilla chips with ice cream and chocolate (the salted caramel of Mexican cuisine?!)

It wasn’t really my cup of tea (as we say on the island), but that probably has more to do with my general inability to eat a lot of processed sugar – especially at the end of a big, wine-fuelled meal. But the girls loved it, so I’d say give it a try…

My only criticism (and it’s not a deal breaker) would be that the service is a little confusing. It’s not that it’s bad – it’s just that because of the separation between the bar (which serves the drinks) and the pop-up (which serves the food), it’s not possible to order both drinks and food from the same person. If you knew who was who, it might be manageable, but as it was I felt like we spent a fair bit of time flagging down the wrong people.

I don’t know how much dinner cost because the birthday girl paid (if you’re reading this and thinking this is bonkers, I’d agree. But this is also Holland, where people pay on their own birthdays, not just for themselves but for everyone else too – go figure). However, the menu prices looked reasonable, and my friend’s loyalty to her Friday-Night-Taco-Nights makes me think the tab can’t be too bank-breaking.

And as for the search for the perfect taco: could it be that I’ve found two? Both Best Coast Taqueria and Orale Taqueria are serious contenders…

all the info

Best Coast Taqueria (Mexican)


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