If you’re looking for Mexican food in Rome, hop on the Metro A and get off at Cornelia for some of the Eternal City’s best at El Jalapeño taqueria!
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EL JALAPEÑO TAQUERIA in Rome
Last Wednesday, the thought of having tacos floated gently into my head like a feather on the wind.
As the work day ticked by, the thought grew stronger, until I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest without spicy, slow-cooked meat and creamy avocado and the crunch of fresh onions and tiny glowing rings of hot peppers.
At quitting time, I turned to Jeremy. “I want tacos,” I said. “Like, I NEED tacos.”
Jeremy is always game for tacos, but he is not always game for taking the metro, especially when we have to change lines at Stazione Termini. I knew that in order to get the tacos I so desperately needed, we had to do just that.
Luckily for me, it did not take much cajoling. Perhaps the next time I want to convince him to journey to lands far and wide on Rome’s metro, I just have to make sure there’s a taco at the other end.
Also luckily for me, the tacos were worth the journey and more.
Getting to El Jalapeño
I had been wanting to go to El Jalapeño after it was recommended to me by a friend who used to live in Mexico. Another friend had also gone recently to stock up on ingredients for a Tex-Mex dinner (yes, they have a shop, too!).
So, the moment the thought of tacos hit my brain, it was immediately followed by: it’s time to go to El Jalapeño.
I mentioned above that El Jalapeño is near the Cornelia metro stop on Rome’s A line. It’s past the Vatican in an area of the city that doesn’t see many tourists, so if you enjoy getting off the beaten path, you’ll love this spot.
We made the 40-minute trip to Cornelia and took the 5-minute walk from the metro to the Mercato Irnerio, which houses El Jalapeño in Box 64.
It was dark and chilly, and we couldn’t make out where El Jalapeño was, exactly, but Google promised us that it was there and that it was open.
If you’re in the same boat (dark, cold night, insatiable need for tacos), once you’ve crossed the street and are facing the market, you’ll see that there’s a path on the right that slopes downward. Follow it to taco heaven.
Like I mentioned above, El Jalapeño consists of a small shop with Mexican products for sale, and the taqueria is next door. Outside, there are tables and chairs set up (with outdoor heaters for cool evenings) and bright papel picado that dances to the Mexican tunes playing.
The food at El Jalapeño
The menu is impressive – 13 different kinds of tacos, along with nachos, quesadillas, gringas, tostadas, sweets and drinks.
I got four tacos: al pastor, pollo, carnitas, and barbacoa.
All were delicious: fresh and flavorful, made tingly on the tongue thanks to the addition of hot sauce that we were given in two small ramekins.
Jeremy was equally as satisfied with his gringa and cochinita tacos, with their pinky-purple onions on top.
I had had A DAY (#iykyk) so I treated myself to a margarita. It was perfect: salty, sweet, and tangy, with enough tequila to make me feel slightly dreamy. I easily could have had a second.
Well, I officially want tacos again now. Looks like I’ll be making the journey out to El Jalapeño again pretty soon. Like, maybe tomorrow?
Via Aurelia, 483 – Mercato Irnerio Box 64 – Metro Cornelia
Contact and menu
+39 0689135970 – Menu
Hours: 11am – 4pm and 6pm-9:30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 11-9:30pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday; closed Mondays
Check out my post on where to go on a dinner date in Rome.
Here’s another post on the best pasta in the Eternal City.
And here’s a list of some of my favorite restaurants in Rome.