I was in Paris for the 4th of July last year, and a friend and I were trying to figure out how we wanted to celebrate our Americaness so far away from home. We decided on tacos, because why not, and headed to Candelaria in the 3ème arrondissement, or “Marais Nord” as Yelp likes to call it.

You enter from the street into a small, welcoming little room. And I do mean little — seating is a bit limited here, so plan accordingly. We didn’t think it was that bad, and were lucky enough to nab two seats a minute or two after we arrived.

After perusing the menu we decided on the guacamole and each got tacos. I also ordered a hibiscus margarita, which was delicious, and the cactus tostada, which was an interesting foray into foodie heaven, but didn’t quite ignite passion quite like the tacos did.

Once we finished dinner we made our way to the bar at the back, which is all stealthy and speakeasy style, lurking in plain sight. It’s lit with candles and is one of the more amazing venues I’ve been to in Paris. Lots of comfortable sofas and a variety of seats are all squeezed into the cave like space, and while it could have been claustrophobic, the effect was more charming and cozy. The drinks menu was a grand adventure to try, as there was something for every palette and each drink arrived delicious upon delivery.

Candelaria is one of my favorite spots because it’s everything I like about Paris smashed into one little boîte. Charm, good food, good drinks, and an atmosphere made for chatting.

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