Los Charros Cantina

4.4
48 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Chef Colt Taylor of The Essex Restaurant is excited to bring the shoreline Los Charros Cantina, an homage to authentic Mexican street food. With a simple approachable Kids Menu, and a wide array of spirits, Los Charros serves as the perfect place for a family outing or a girls night out. Bringing his love of the authenticity and spice of traditional regional Mexican Cuisine in the style of a refined taqueria that respects the heritage of all 7 regions of the food centric country. Layering is the cornerstone of flavors from salsas to moles, proper organic heirloom corn from Oaxaca, and a true respect for the peppers and cheeses of the regions. This fun and casual new concept will be served in the open kitchen, bar room, and newly added al fresco dining area of the current space. You’ll find Los Charros through the rear entrance of the building, where the entrance for The Essex is found through the stone front vestibule.
What 48 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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O
New England
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Our server was great but WAY overworked. Drinks took 40+ minutes to arrive, half the table got their dinners and he went back for the rest and 10 minutes passed. The tacos were decent but not good enough to make up for the delays. The maragitas were good but overpriced. I had been really looking forward to this meal, but found it only so-so.

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MP
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Tried here for the first time. Enjoyed it. Food was good, authentic and flavorful, portions were kind of small so order accordingly. Service was a bit slow. I'm a Margarita fan.....I tried the Regular house Margarita and I'd give it a C+. Had better.
Met the owner who was gracious and he explained to his his background (impressive) and how the other half of the restaurant (The Essex) works as a 3 month pop up changing menu's and locations.
As far as the food taste and quality i'd say it was among the better I've experienced in this area. Menu is intentionally limited. Not your smothered in cheese and sauce type of Mexican. Appreciate the attention to non GMO Corn for tortilla's. Still have not had better than Sayulita in Glastonbury though. That is my favorite although I'd gladly return to Los Charros.

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JG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oysters and bubbly! And delicious appetizers and tacos. Everything is of the highest quality and perfectly done. And the best cocktails!
We will come back again and again!

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JP
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Our food was great. We tried everything from apps to dessert. Our server was the worst! Our overall experience would have been terrific if it was not for her.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at this restaurant and it was a great experience. Food and drinks were delicious. The best part was the churro beignets at the end. They’re amazing!

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WB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We had an excellent experience at The Essex, so we were very excited to try Los Charros.

The highlight is the food; there is a great selection of very authentic tacos which were absolutely delicious. The barbacoa in particular was "melt in your mouth" good. The salsa flight was great, as was the freshly made guacamole. Drinks were also on point, my wife had the sangria and I had the house margarita; both were excellent. As others have said, they should consider adding more "large plates" as there are only three to chose from at present.

The restaurant is definitely lively; you are seated close to others, and the music is vibrant. It's not a downside per se, but just something to be aware of. It is a very different atmosphere from The Essex. Service was friendly and helpful, even if it was a bit slow (in fairness, it was a Saturday night).

We'll definitely be back to Los Charros!

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m
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We are searching the area for a favorite Mexican restaurant and los Charros almost fits the bill. The spicy house margarita was very good, no sour mix, pure ingredients made it exceptional at the house drink price. Flight of salsas was fun and the guacamole was very good, although the price seemed high at $10, the portion was large. Our food was outstanding. We ordered large plate meals and skipped the tacos. The only reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is that I wish there were more large plate or dinner options to choose from, however I can say everything we had was delicious. Our server Debbie was cheerful, made great suggestions and is an asset to the business! We will be going back soon!

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Engagement celebration

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SC
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Dinner this past weekend was excellent. The staff were friendly and accommodating to our three children. My feedback would be: add more large plates, and vegetarian options. A few salads or veggie tacos. The 2 tacos are small. 3 would make it a meal. If you are going to be child friendly, some coloring materials and kid friendly cups would go a long way. We would love to return with our family again!

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DE
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Los Charros Cantina is a delightful dining experience. My granddaughter and I enjoyed the Flight of Salsas and nachos recommended by our server and were not disappointed. Our tacos were delicious, fresh, sumptuous and served quickly. I tried the Chicken Tingas and enjoyed the carmelized onions and peppers mixed with tender chicken. My Wheatberry Esquites was a blend of sweet and savory that was delightful. For dessert we shared Churro Beignets which were light and fluffy with a dusting of sugar and cinnamon.
Service was friendly, helpful with explanations of dishes and recommendations.
We have made plans for next week to try more menu selections.

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KP
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly and fun wait staff, authentic Mexican food, welcoming atmosphere, and great value.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The place is great. Awesome food and awesome drinks. Service was great.

The only negative was our seat location. We were sat in the back “market”. Kind of felt out of place and not part of the restaurant.

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MP
New England
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

My husband and I decided to try this place after having many a great meal at the Essex. We've had nothing but good experiences there and as we love Mexican, hell who doesn't, we thought we'd give this a try. The problems here start as soon as you walk through the door. This place is confusing, some weird mish mash of modern decor and bizarre Mexican-esque murals on some walls, but not others. It's so loud that not only could we not hear each other, our poor waitress had so much trouble hearing us it's a miracle we got any service at all. To be honest these are small things most people can get past, after all we're here to eat right? The food however left much to be desired, we had a shrimp ceviche that was a soupy mess, underseasoned, rubbery, and not more than 4 bites. The lobster tacos were so minced and smothered in sauce we had no way of identifying we were eating lobster at all. We had beef and pork tacos that were the better of our options but had mysterious textures throughout which put us off. I'm not afraid to pay good money for good Mexican, but the prices here for the quality of food just weren't matching up.

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PD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere. Music was a bit too loud for conversation.

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B
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent,. Very Tasty. Great tequila,wine, and beer selection. Service was outstanding

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fabulous night! Celebrated a special anniversary. The food, the bar tender, the chef, the cocktails...everything was perfect!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Traveled up to Essex for the polar express. We were not sure if we would fit in a full dinner but the service was wonderful and the food came out super quick! Will definitely be back!!

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best tacos on the east coast

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KF
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and Service was great! I will recommend to my friends and family.

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GJ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Great atmosphere but a little noisy

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

The menu included one page of food and several pages of drinks. Portion sizes of the foods were small. Food options focused on bar food and offered few main courses. Not the “authentic “ cuisine we expected, having recently visited the Oaxaca and Puebla areas of Mexico .

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C
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, delicious food, creative drink menu. Be ready to shell out some shekels, however.

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JF
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Cool vibe. Pretty good tacos. Fun drink menu. But... food came out before our drinks which is very odd AND the AC was blowing straight down on us so it was freezing. We even moved to a second table and it was the same problem. Couple next to us also told waiter it was too cold. Got some stuff to work out but we’ll be back

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OS
New England
55 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The salsa flight is great , the guacamole amazing and the mole was spot on delicious.

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B
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Drinks and food very yummy. Drinks on the $$ side, but well worth for the taste and uniqueness. The different salsas were fun to try.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved it! Food was excellent and different- waitress was wonderful.

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CS
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was great, period, and we look forward to going back and trying many more dishes. My only "whines" didn't merit enough to subtract an overall star. One was that when we were seated, we waited almost 15 minutes before even seeing a waitress. It was busy, for sure, and when we did see her, she was really good, but just would like a little quicker start to the meal. The other was the table height, which seemed a little high. Niggling, I know, but it felt odd. Relatively high noise level was just a part of the scene, so no sweat. Again, these didn't detract from the food, and the service was probably a one-off situation. Can't wait to return, and that's the important thing.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome all around . Creative delicious and fun. Great choice any occasion

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ED
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent and authentic! The chef was very gracious! We inquired about the salads and he sent over two of his best salads! Delicious! Thank you!

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DH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our meal and will continue to explore the menu.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We like the restaurant very much. However, the portions are really small. I ordered the short rib Barbacoa in a rice bowl and felt that I only got four or five bites of Barbacoa. It was mostly just a bowl of rice .

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D
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We had fun! The restaurant is extremely noisy, which was a little tiresome, but the ambiance is great - attractive and welcoming. Our waiter was adorable. Patient, attentive, well-informed and very personable. The food was reasonably good. We started with a shared dish of guacamole and chips. The chips were great - very fresh and crisp. The portion of guacamole was a little meager for two diners, but it was delicious. My Rioja Blanco was superb and not overpriced. We both ordered tacos. I had the choriqueso, one on a corn tortilla, the other on a flour tortilla. They are tiny, not very good value for money, and as they are served open-face, the filling, though tasty, was almost cold by the time it reached our table. We shared a tres leches 'cake' for dessert. This, to our surprise, was served in a tiny glass sundae dish. I spend a lot of time in Miami, so have had this dessert many times. Los Charros's version was okay, but not memorable and, like all the other dishes we ordered, quite a small portion. Overall, I would definitely go back, but the noise level and the too-small portions should be addressed.

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m
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Finally authentic and delicious Mexican comes to the shoreline!

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BK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I give the owners credit for trying to liven up the restaurant scene in sleepy Centerbrook. And while I think the menu had some creative choices, the food was so overpriced and the portions so small it was hard to see any value in returning. I ordered the lobster tortillas, and could not actually identify any real lobster. Two small tortillas was $15! My other beef with the menu is that there was one page of food choices and about 10 pages of alcohol. How about some more menu options? Oh, and their choice of Mexican beer was limited (!) and the margarita was nothing to write home about. If you want to hang out at a bar, this may be the place for you. But if you're looking for a filling Mexican meal I would avoid going to Los Charros. Coyote Blue in Higganum is a much better bet. And THEIR blue margaritas are way way better.

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KC
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

I had to ask three times to have the glaring bar lights turned down, and my husband then had to ask a fourth time. They are stark and actually hurt our eyes. Once they were finally turned down to a decent level, we were able to enjoy our meal.

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K
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 1

It was so loud in there that I’m surprised the staff don’t wear ear-muffs to protect their ears from long-term damage. The only Mexican food on offer was tacos, and they were too mundane to make up for the noise levels. We’ll not be going there again.

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OT
London
53 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our experience at Los Charros! High-energy on a Friday night, excellent cocktails and wine selections with a fresh, inventive take on tacos. The bean and radish salad starter was one of the best salads of that ilk we've ever had. Loved the flight of eight salsas for a terrific range of flavors and heat. Service was friendly and spot-on. We'll definitely back for a new, inventive meal that isn't your usual fare, and we're looking forward to going to Chef Colt's The Essex soon, too.

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SS
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As a local it is nice to have a place to go to that is above par and affordable. Delicious tacos and creative cocktails! The service was excellent as well. I will definitely go back again.

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j
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thi s is our third visit to Los Charos (plus one visit to The Essex) since the new opening and we love love it! The food is fabulous and a the wait staff is very attentive. It is noisy but manageable and the only criticism is that it always takes way too long to get your drinks. This will become our "go to" restaurant...and the more formal The Essex is superb...incredible food and ambiance...and fabulous Peter! Both a long awaited area restaurant.

Jennifer and Chris Caulfield

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i
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Big disappointment for a new place! From the menu, all they serve are tacos and they are small and expensive at two ala carte tacos at $10, $12, and $14 for various choices. Los Charros charges $10 for chips and salsa, items that are free at any reasonable Mexican restaurant. Our waitress was obviously new and not friendly, only did the minimum of service required. Clearly the entire staff is lacking experience at a startup. Food was mediocre, actually we ordered two different tacos however they both tasted nearly the same. Wine servings were less than a normal 6 ounce serving. Noise level was high due to a large crowd, especially in the bar area - Floor is stone and there appear to be some sound deadening pads in the ceiling however it was still difficult to carry on a conversation or even hear our waitress. I suspect that unless this place makes some dramatic changes, people will not return and the crowds will diminish over time !

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