Mexican on a Dime: Family Dining at The Cactus

Beers by the bucket, margaritas by the pitcher and nachos by the truckload

by Parents and Kids | Thu, August 10, 2017

By Connor Bell

Where can you get football, fajitas, sunshine and pitchers of margaritas all under one roof? The Cactus, that’s where. We’ve been visiting The Cactus for a few months now and have thoroughly enjoyed having it as one of the best kept secrets in Shanghai. A secret we are now sharing with you.

The space

Avocado The Cactus Shanghai

Nestled in the side of the conspicuous Jing’an Stadium building, you may not expect this Mexican restaurant to offer anything special, but we were more than pleasantly surprised. The staff are exuberant and friendly, the owner is always around to chat with the patrons and they even have a resident dog who, though a little skittish, is always up for some love and attention.The terrace has seating for up to 40 people and it is located beneath a myriad of tall trees offering shade in the day time. There is a food and/or drink deal every night of the week and they even host a board game night. The restaurant opens out at the back onto the Jing’an Stadium; a perfect setting for watching football, joggers and people walking backwards!

The food

Mexican Taco The Cactus Shanghai

The menu consists of a wide array of Mexican dishes, so many that we are yet to get through them all. The chicken & cheese quesadilla, with a spicy or non-spicy option is a great little starter or lunch item if you’re not too hungry. Though it is filled with just the basics, the dish comes with crispy fresh lettuce, homemade salsa and sour cream and sits at the lowest price point of just ¥38.

We particularly love the Taco Salad packed with fresh veggies and a hefty portion of avocado. Drizzled with their pureed avocado dressing and placed in a crispy taco bowl, this is a dish we’ve ordered a number of times. They also serve up enormous portions of meat and veggie nachos, loaded all the way to the last chip. Another personal favorite is the spinach and mushroom sopes – full of fresh flavor with a lovely crunchy base. Delicious!

Nachos at The Cactus in Shanghai

For all the vegetarians out there, The Cactus also has a number of options for you too. We were surprised to see more than the usual one or two items available for the herbivores. In fact almost all of the dishes have a non-meat alternative!

To top it all off, you can get beers by the bucket, margaritas by the pitcher and fabulously mixed double shot drinks. Their drinks list is short, but they do it well.

So, for those of you who are looking for a place to wile away an afternoon with good food, cold drinks and sun on your face, head on over to The Cactus.

Find it: 888 Changping L, near Jiaozhou Lu 昌平路888号, (近胶州路)