One of the latest destinations to hit Tempe’s Mill Avenue with its over-the-top margs and Latin-inspired fare is Anoche Cantina, an Ascend Hospitality Group concept. The new cantina and nightlife venue made its highly anticipated debut in the summer and has since made its mark as a spot to not only party after dark but to savor innovative bites and eccentric sips.
During the day, the cantina offers a laidback atmosphere to catch a game and chat with friends while kicking back some tacos and drinks. The spot boasts a vibrant and modern design with light wood elements, black tones and purple leather accents. A multitude of flat-screen TVs can be found on the walls broadcasting the latest games, while art pieces, murals and chic butterflies fill the rest of the space. An “About Last Night” neon sign can be found at the entrance, perfect for selfies and self-reflection. After the sun sets, the spot transforms into a sexy nightlife venue with high-end bottle service and an energetic, last-day-on-earth-party vibe.
Though its night scene is enough of a reason to visit the venue, the stellar food and drink lineup is what brings back guests again and again. The menu boasts two separate categories: Classico and Loco. Each offers delicious bites, with Classico options including staple Latin eats like the carnitas, with slow-roasted pork, tomatillo salsa, cilantro slaw and pickled onions, and the Pollo Tinga with shredded chicken, sliced jalapeño, cilantro slaw, pico and cotija. For those who are feeling a bit adventurous, the Loco offerings are a modern twist on the inspired fare, featuring the Korean Beef taco with Korean-style beef, mushroom and green onion, or, our personal favorite, the Buffalo Loco Taquitos, with grilled buffalo chicken, mozzarella and a side of house buffalo sauce. Traditional shareables are also available for the table, including the Classic Guacamole with smashed avocado, cotija, pico and a side of chips (tip: order it “dirty” to add some chorizo) or the street corn with roasted hatch peppers, chipotle-lime aioli, cotija cheese and Tajin served-up in an iron skillet.
Drinks are required at Anoche Cantina, with vibrant handcrafted options and a build-your-own margarita bars at your fingertips. The fan-favorite Creamsicle is a must to try—the sweet mixed drink features Blanco tequila, Orange Whipped Pinnacle, triple sec, orange and lime or, for young ones at heart, test the I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, with Sour Patch Kids-infused tequila, lime, triple sec, simple syrup and Pop Rocks. If you are feeling creative, be sure to try building your own margarita with your choice of liquor, mix, rim and toppings.
Although it is compelling to eat every taco on site, be sure to save room to try one (or both) of Anoche Cantina’s two sundae options: the Churro Sundae or the Fresas Con Crema. Each offers a rich and creamy bite, with the Churro Sundae crafted with cinnamon sugar, dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, churro sticks and a chocolate drizzle. The Fresas Con Crema features fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream, shortbread cookies and whipped cream.
Anoche Cantina is open Monday through Saturday,10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
To learn more about Anoche Cantina, visit anochecantina.com.