Cactus Cafe Mexican Restaurant Loughborough Review

11 Mar 2020

Loughborough has a fairly diverse variety of cuisines to choose from, whether you're eating in, ordering out or just want something quick to grab and go when out shopping. If there's one thing we have in abundance, it's restaurants and takeaways! One restaurant which has stood the test of time in Loughborough is Cactus Cafe, which is now in its 30th year, opening in 1990.

For years, Cactus Cafe has been on my list of places to try one day, so when recently celebrating a friend's 30th birthday, it seemed like a great option for a meal out and finally, a chance for me to see what all the fuss is about with this well-loved local restaurant. A fusion of classic and modern Mexican cuisine, Cactus Cafe is situated in a busy part of Loughborough town centre and offers starters, mains, desserts and beverages every evening of the week. There's also live music, with Jazz on the first Wednesday of each month.

Whilst the venue itself isn't as swish and modern as some of the newer restaurants to join Loughborough, it has a more homely-cosy feel and is very spacious, despite being able to cater to large numbers. There's a large bar with a nice selection of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and I like the fact that you can see a snippet of the kitchen as the chef creates dishes from the menu. Talking of menus; the menu is small, concise, but features a nice selection of traditional and modern Mexican dishes, as well as set-menu options and a complimentary children's menu. I couldn't wait to tuck in and was actually quite glad to see the menu wasn't too vast, as it made choosing much easier.

We decided to share nachos to start; available for two or three people, a large plate of corn chips topped with melted cheese, jalapenos, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. You can also add toppings to the nachos, from Mexican beans, vegetarian chilli, texas chilli and spicy chicken; we opted for Mexican beans which were super tasty. The portion size was decent for a two-person starter and more than enough to get us started.

For our mains, my friend went with a favourite Cactus Cafe dish of hers, a burrito; a large flour tortilla filled with melted cheese, jalapenos and a choice of filling, served with rice, Mexican beans, salsa and sour cream. It looked scrumptious! I, on the other hand, decided to take a risk, as whilst I love a good chilli, I find flavour lacking in restaurant chillis but the Texas Kick-Ass Chilli sounded too good to pass up.

Cactus Cafe calls it their 'famous homemade beef chilli', serviced with yellow Mexican rice with side orders and toppings available - I opted for a side of guacamole and sour cream. I am so glad I went with the chilli because it was absolutely delicious, full of flavour, the perfect portion size and by far the best chilli I have had at a restaurant.

It was about time I gave Cactus Cafe a try and I'm really impressed with the experience that we had. The food surpassed my expectations, it felt like a really relaxed environment, and I hope to visit again soon with the family and check out their children's menu. If you're in or near Loughborough, I really recommend trying out this popular Loughborough venue, your taste buds will thank you for it!

Are you a fan of Mexican food? Maybe you're local to Loughborough and have a favourite eatery you think I should try? Let me know on Twitter @TattooedTealady, on my Tattooed Tealady Facebook page, or over on Instagram @TattooedTealady