Babalu Tacos & Tapas Memphis Location is Now Open

Babalu Tacos & Tapas Memphis Location is Now Open

The newest addition to Memphis' newest hot spot is now open to the public. Babalu Tacos & Tapas (which has one other location in Jackson, Mississippi) serves tacos and tapas, of course, along with salads, tortas, sides to share, and specialty cocktails. I went for a soft opening this weekend, and this is what went down.

Babalu has a big open dining room with mostly tables and some booths; there's a kind of open kitchen on one end. The whole west side of the restaurant is a big bar. When I went at night, they had an old movie playing on a screen by the bar.

While I liked the direction the decor was going, I felt like there could have been more lighting and maybe a bit more color on the walls - but I've heard the management is addressing this. This was the very first day of the soft opening, after all.

The bar is open to the patio, which means you can sit at the bar inside or outside. There's patio seating along the Madison-facing sidewalk (people-watching, anyone?) and on the side.

At Babalu, servers make the guacamole tableside. Don't like onions? No problem, they can leave it out. Like your guac smooth rather than chunky? Just tell the server.

The drinks were excellent. My friend had the Praline Olé, a creamy drink topped giant coffee ice cube. It tasted like a super delicious dessert and was almost entirely alcohol and sugar: Mississippi Cathead pecan vodka, Rumchata (creamy rum?!), and pure sugar Coca-Cola.

I ordered the Babarita, their version of a margarita. The splash of pomegranate juice made it pink and yummy. And it was strong. The drinks at Babalu are not playing around. Note: they are still waiting on a beer license as of June 16, 2014.

Also to begin we ordered the queso. "Would you like to add pork belly to your queso?" the server asked us. Silly question. Of course we want pork belly in our queso.

Babalu's crab meat ceviche got an A grade from my friend who enjoys such things.

This is an order-and-share tapas place, though the menu seems amenable to just ordering your own thing as well, and maybe sharing some sides.

I spy a vegetable! They have broccolini.

These potatoes were cheesy and rich and I ate put them in a breakfast burrito the next morning, which was a great idea.

There are all kinds of tacos - lamb, shrimp, chicken, pork belly.

For dessert, there were chocolate truffles with cayenne pepper. I want to eat this again.

Babalu is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. It is ADA accessible. Check out the menu before you go if your kids are super picky eaters, but Babalu Tacos & Tapas is overall a family-friendly place. There are a couple of vegetarian options.

Go there:

Babalu Tacos & Tapas
2115 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennesse, 38104

(901) 274-0100

Babalu Tacos & Tapas on Urbanspoon

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I went on Saturday night and was super impressed. I loved everything about it! Fabulous addition to the square. Got a burger randomly the bababurger. It's so good. The potatoes are delicious. All the drinks we got were good. I will definitely be making the trip from downtown to midtown more often!
June 16, 2014 5:57pm
Went for the soft opening last weekend and went back last night. Everything I have tried is excellent ! Love the roll up garage door that opens up the bar. The "old movie" you mentioned in your blog is actually episodes of I Love Lucy which ties in the Babalu theme. If you have not tried the Mexican Street Corn do your self a favor and get it. It is awesome ! Will definitely be one of our regular spots to dine !
June 21, 2014 8:37am
Screw chiwawa.  There, I said it.  These pictures look incredible.
June 21, 2014 12:31pm
The old movie is I Love Lucy. Hello, don't you get the connection; Babalu by Desi Arnaz was his signature song and one that he sang and beat his famous drum to quite frequently on I Love Lucy!!! The fact that they play I Love Lucy is what makes it so special!!!!
July 4, 2014 12:33pm