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Twinkle, twinkle, little tamale lights…

I love Cantina 76. And not just because of the Peruvian Shrimp Tacos. (Have you tried them? They’ll change your life!) But I also love the atmosphere, the fact that they have outdoor seating (at both locations), and the guacamole. So when one of my best friends from high school said she’d be in town, we decided Cantina on Devine was the ideal place for inexpensive tacos, margaritas, and catching up with old friends.

Our annual tradition at Riverbanks Zoo

At my wedding rehearsal dinner

My two best friends from high school and I have kept in touch over the last *cough*12*cough* years since we graduated. We all have our own separate lives now, but the three of us try to get together whenever we can, which is usually only a few times a year.

Recently we sat together on the Cantina patio, enjoying chips, guacamole, cheese dip and margaritas, catching up on each others’ lives. We pretty much shut down the restaurant! When we left there were only two other customers – and to be honest, they may have actually been staff members off-duty, waiting for the three crazy girls to leave…

Peruvian Shrimp Taco

Anytime I visit Cantina, I almost always have to get the Peruvian Shrimp Tacos. You. Guys. Crispy fried shrimp in a soft taco shell with red cabbage slaw and some kind of amazing dressing drizzled across it. It’s the perfect mix of soft and crunch, savory and sweet. This taco is to die for. I’ve had several of their other tacos, which are all fabulous, but nothing compares to the Peruvian Shrimp.

And about those other tacos: They are $2.99 each (the shrimp ones are just .30 more). Gourmet tacos for under $3? Yes, please. The Tres Hombres (guac, queso and salsa) is also fantastic. Their guacamole is the best in town in my opinion – creamy, a little bit chunky, and just the right amount of salt. I highly recommend getting your dinner started with this trio. Let’s be honest, though: I’ve not had anything bad there, really, so you’re going to be good with pretty much whatever you order.

Cantina is also a great happy hour spot. The Devine Street location has 2 for 1 margaritas most days of the week, and you really can’t beat that. They have 10+ types of tequila, as well as several options to spice up (or fruit up) your margarita. Parking is a bit of an issue, though, especially at peak times. Both locations are ideally placed for accessibility, but neither Main Street nor Devine Street boasts ample parking. Ask the staff for places to park where you won’t get towed and they’ll usually help you out.

My girlfriends and I had a great time catching up. Hopefully it won’t be so long next time before I see them both together again, because I miss them like crazy!