Papi’s Tacos

Cocktail bar Employees Only branches out into Mexican fare with a cozy, but vibrant, taco joint. Modelled after a vintage taco truck, Papi’s Tacos sits in the heart of bustling Seah Street, wallpapered with posters and comics of pop culture, to create an unexpected enclave of good ol’ Mexican hospitality.

As you can guess from its namesake, tacos are the signature—Chef Mauricio Espinoza’s Tostadas de Pollo ($12) is made from a nostalgic recipe from his hometown in Central Mexico, and comes with pulled chicken with chipotle sauce, beans, pico de gallo, queso fresco and sour cream atop the taco shell. (Guac is an extra $4.) If you prefer corn tortillas, tacos in sets of two or three come with fillings that range from spit-roasted pork to marinated steak and even grilled white dory. Also available are meaty burritos you can make into a bowl ($15-16), quesadillas ($12-15) and free-flow salsa, all prepared fresh in an open show kitchen.

For sips, there’re fruity tipples and frozen margaritas ($18) in flavors like Shaken Strawberry and Pineapple Margarita, plus a modest selection of wines and chupitos. But you’d be better off drinking Papi’s Lager ($13), the taqueria’s own private label lager brewed by local craft brewery Trouble Brewing.