Cantina Los Amigos serves up ‘treasures of world history’


    Photo by Lisa Enos

    A new Mexican restaurant is open in the Uptown neighborhood of Grand Rapids.

    Cantina Los Amigos announced its opening Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 1 Carlton Ave. SE. The new eatery replaced Danzon Cubano.

    The menu features items passed down through the generations of the three owners’ Mexican families, including:

    • Edgar Vazquez from Durango, Mexico
    • Andres Lopez, from Michoacań, Mexico
    • Joel Vargas, from Jalisco, Mexico

    “I’m proud of my Mexican heritage,” Vazquez said. “My family’s resilience and drive for success has empowered me to become an entrepreneur. Cantina Los Amigos reflects our rich, colorful and vibrant heritage, and I’m excited to share that with our Grand Rapids community.”

    Cantina Los Amigos’ menu includes stuffed plantains, chicken flautas, elote, chips and queso fundido, barria stew, alambre, breaded fish and chiles toreados.

    The bar features a large tequila and mezcal collection.

    Specials include $5 margaritas on Mondays, $8 taco pairs on Tuesdays and $2 draft beers on Thursdays.

    Vazquez said while Mexican food is spicy and fun as many believe, it is also a “treasure of world history.”

    In 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) put Mexico on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity for its culinary tradition. UNESCO said the cuisine can “express community identity, reinforce bonds and build stronger local, regional and national identities.”

    Mexican and French cuisine were the first food cultures added to the UNESCO list.

    Grand Rapids expanded its social districts earlier this month to include Fulton Street from Union to Carleton avenues, which is just outside of Cantina Los Amigos. The city now has nine social districts.

    “We continue to rebound from the pandemic in a way that gives residents and visitors the opportunity to revisit their favorite Grand Rapids locales,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “These spaces have added unique vibrancy to many business districts and have helped restaurants and lounges rebound and thrive.”


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