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coastal mexican taqueria in byron bay

HOLIDAY HOURS
tues - sat : 5pm - 9pm
sun - mon : closed

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chef evan and amelia in chupa cabra

A SHORT STORY

CHUPACABRA offers up the true taste of coastal Mexico through vibrant, light and wholesome dishes. With support of a similar climate to the Yucatan, Chupa harnesses the exceptional produce of the region to unveil this untold side of Mexico to residents of the Northern Rivers.

In July 2018, Chef Evan White and his partner...

In July 2018, Chef Evan White and his partner Amelia Stokes opened authentic coastal Mexican taqueria and named it CHUPACABRA (from Latin American folklore of a vampiric animal known as the “goat-sucker”) in Byron Bay.

Evan has been mastering the art of authentic Mexican food for many years and his focus is on the coastal or Caribbean style which channels the beaches of the Yucatan coast. Evan and Amelia chose Byron Bay to open Chupa with all the similarities connecting the cultures, ocean and land. The east coast current of Australia has the same ecosystems as the Mexican Gulf Stream and they share the same ocean fauna such as tuna, sail fish, prawns, great whites and many more. This means that a lot of the coastal produce, especially from the ocean, is strikingly similar. 

Byron Bay is unique in the Australian market in its accessibility to fresh seafood direct from the source, as you would find in Mexico. In Byron Bay, Evan also has access to locally grown traditional South and Central American produce, including tomatillos, cream guava, nopales cactus, beautiful jewel corn, and many subtropical fruits and herbs so often under-utilised in Australian cooking.

MENU

Our menu changes seasonally but guests can always expect fresh-pressed tortillas made in house daily. Fill them up with a selection of slow-cooked smoky meats, grilled vegetables and salads or fresh-as-can-be seafood offerings. Favourites include sandia asado (grilled watermelon with pepita mole), lechon (crispy pork belly with spicy chile agua sauce) and rich lamb barbacoa fresh out of the smoker. Try our famous street corn or the fish wings - char-grilled fish collars on the bone in agave and jalapeno butter!
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Drinks

The cocktail program includes a signature classic margarita with tropical twists available seasonally, a specialty spin on the classic michelada (salty spicy lime-y beers), and classics with a Mexican flair, like 'Horchata Coladas' and a mezcal and lime-cello Negroni. A curated range of tequila and mezcal is also available, including mezcal from Oaxaca city that has never been seen in Australia before. 

The concise wine list features small production wine-makers both local and international. CHUPACABRA also has its own range of 'refrescos' or home-made sodas.

Interiors

The 60-seat restaurant (including 20-seats outside) has a relaxed, beachy atmosphere with the subtle touches of true Mexico, perhaps noticeable only to those who have been. Customers are transported to a beach front along the coast, edges starting to rust in the sea air. 

Flourishes of primary colours splash the bright white walls and wooden tables, while an abundance of jungly palm foliage are a reminder that the beach is just a minute walk. Open windows let afternoon sunlight in and evening margaritas are enjoyed amongst the warm, low light of antique festoons.

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chef evan on from of chupacabra

About Chef Evan White

Chef Evan White is the kind of guy who wants you to eat with your hands. He prefers live fire to shiny grill tops. He spent his youth in the cultural melting pot of inner-Western Sydney but wanted a deeper knowledge of the variety of foods he was tasting. He used his skills as a chef to travel extensively through Europe, Asia and Latin America learning from masters of their trade - pasta in Sicily, pastry in Greece, tortillas in Mexico

Despite working in some of ...

Despite working in some of London, Florence and Sydney’s best restaurants (including Nobu Park Lane, Harvey’s, White House, Lumiere), Evan considers the time he spent with grassroots cooks and kitchens to be what made him the chef he is today. 

His cuisine is rustic and wholesome, and his passion is for food made slowly, with love and integrity. 
Visiting and living in Mexico truly cemented Evan’s food direction where he took time to learn about the culture and history behind the cuisine. 

The importance of locality and community to Mexican cooks resounded with him at a young age and his ethos reflects this today. 

Through his work in Brisbane in the last 10 years (Mexican taqueria Coyotito formerly Chingon, Red Hook, The Burrow) and especially in this new venture, Evan believes in the importance of working closely with local producers and growers. 

Mexico is the birthplace to some of the oldest forms of agriculture and farming, which has always fascinated Evan. He loves the crossing of cultures and the deep, timeless cooking style of Mexican cuisine. 

ADDRESS

CHUPACABRA
shop 12a/3 Clifford St, 
Suffolk Park NSW 2481
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HOURS

SUN - MON

closed 


TUES - SAT
5pm - 9pm

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