Tasty, healthy and pocket-friendly... just as we remember it. Discuss this article

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I magine our excitement when we learned that Barbacoa – our Best Budget restaurant for 2016 – had chosen a downtown location for its second outlet. As much as we love the eco-neighbourhood of Masdar City, making trips there to satisfy our Mexican food craving was proving to be a bit of a task.

Its new home is the well-located and bustling Mushrif Mall. Located on the third floor, its small space only fits three tables. But its menu is exactly the same as the original outlet, where diners can customise their choice of tacos, burritos, quesadillas or bowls, with meat, veggies, black beans and other Mexican condiments. The home-made corn chips, served with salsa and guacamole, come in an old-school brown paper bag. The chips are lightly salted, fresh and crunchy. The serving is a generous bagful that requires more than two people to get through it.

We can’t get enough of the guac, though. The little container isn’t enough for the amount of chips, but it’s so good, with the mashed, seasoned avocado joined by chunks of onions and tomatoes mixed in.

Meanwhile, the bowl comes with choice of rice or greens for the base, topped with whatever you fancy. We opt for the grilled chicken spiced with Mexican flavours. The veggies are crisp and fresh, and our server doesn’t hesitate to pile them on. Barbacoa also has a choice of sauces, ranging from mild to hot. Our heat-loving tastebuds love the spicy chipotle.

Three soft corn tortillas form the base for the tacos. Then the same process of filling and topping is followed. This time we opt for the signature slow-cooked, shredded beef, Barbacoa namesake dish. The meat is deliciously succulent, and its juices run through the packed taco shells.

We’re thrilled that Barbacoa has opened an easy-to-access downtown location. And we’re even happier that it’s maintained its tasty standards.

The bill (fro two)
1x bowl Dhs35
1x tacos Dhs35
1x chips, salsa &guacamole Dhs18
2x 3 leche cake Dhs22
Total Dhs110

The bottom line
Authentic, healthy Mexican at great prices.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Mushrif Mall, Al Aman, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 418 2457
  • Travel: Airport Road
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Times: Open daily 10am-10pm

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