Wahaca, celebrated for its fresh, social, Mexican market food, is confirmed to open in September at The Corn Exchange, Manchester, M4 3TR.
Wahaca was born in 2007, inspired by co-founder Thomasina Miers’ travels to Mexico, time spent running bars there and falling in love with the country and cuisine. After winning Masterchef in 2005 and cooking in a Michelin-starred restaurant, she teamed up with fellow Mexico enthusiast Mark Selby to open a UK restaurant that would reflect the vibrant colours, flavours and buzz of the country’s markets.
The vision was to overturn the prevailing ‘Tex-Mex’ stereotype of tequila girls and greasy tortilla chips, and instead serve freshly prepared seasonal dishes, designed for sharing. The result went down a storm and almost immediately Londoners were queuing up for guacamole with lime juice, coriander and ripe Hass avocadoes; signature pork pibil tacos made with outdoor-reared British pork and corn tortillas; and MSC certified fish tacos – not to mention the range of 100% agave tequila.
For Wahaca, as important as delicious food is a commitment to sustainability, and all ingredients are sourced as locally as possible to home, or transported with care for the environment. Fish is of the highest sustainability accreditation and all meat is British, sourced from producers with high welfare standards. Where specialist ingredients have to be delivered from Mexico, the approach is to buy direct from local co-operatives that support local farming communities.
Wahaca Manchester will seat 165 covers and additionally feature a deli, serving takeaway tacos and burritos to eat at home or ‘al-desko’.
Thomasina comments, “We are thrilled that our next adventure is Manchester. The city has always been creative and a good time place, and right now the scene seems to be all about food. We’ve received a constant stream of tweets asking when Wahaca will be arriving with proper tacos and tequila – and the answer is very soon! It’s a privilege to feel welcomed to the party.”
Since the inaugural Covent Garden site, Wahaca has won numerous awards for quality, sustainability and design; including the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Cheap Eat in the UK, Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year 2012 and 2013, The SRA Innovation award for championing the sustainability of Entomophagy in 2015, Best Pop-up from the Restaurant Bar and Design Awards, and the title of one of the ‘UK’s coolest brands’.