Mazunte brings the tastes of Mexico City alive at its new location, Mazunte Centro, in downtown’s Central Business District. “When they enter, I want them in the streets of Mexico City,” Mazunte Owner Josh Wamsley says. “We wanted to create a transformative experience.”
Fans of Mazunte’s taqueria and catering/mercado locations in Madisonville will recognize the signature themed decor, brightly painted murals, and upcycled furniture. “When you’re traveling in Mexico or Central America, you see this level of creativity,” says Wamsley, which inspired his repurposed crates and wooden fixtures. “This is our opportunity to tell a new story. We’re telling the story of Mexico City and the taquerias in Mexico City.”
The theme is continued throughout the menu, which only shares the salsa verde, guacamole, and margaritas with its other locations. Taqueria favorites like tacos, tortas, and tostadas are offered with flavorful red, yellow, and green salsas, along with soups, alcohol, and tlayudas, a pizza-like favorite in the Mexican city Oaxaca.
“The first Mazunte is really about Oaxaca [a city in central Mexico], and this one is about the taquerias in Mexico City,” Wamsley says. “I was not willing to tell the same story and I don’t believe that’s what the world wants, things that are the same concept.”
The interior design tells a story, too. The rustic entryway is colorfully painted with large murals paying homage to Mexico, like a Tupac artwork crafted from Mexican comic books. Beyond the kitchen, the seating area features modern beams, low lighting, and wooden accents.
“The biggest thing that you feel when you go to Mexico is the energy and vibrancy—it’s a warmth,” says Wamsley, who lived in Mexico and worked as a professor in Oaxaca. “I’ve lived all over the world, and nowhere else has the warmth that Mexico has. That is our culture, [and] we have to have that here. The food and idea of Mexico is comforting, so the Mazunte mission is comfort.”
Mazunte Centro, 611 Main St., downtown, (513) 785-0000, centro.mazuntetacos.com