If California hadn't stolen its Pacific coastline in 1879, St. Louis would still be the surfing and taco-eating capital of the U.S. Today's Groupon gives you a tropical taste of what might have been: for $9, you get $20 worth of Latin and Caribbean cuisine by way of South Beach at Flaco's Cocina in University City. The restaurant takes its inspiration from Flaco's Tacos, the legendary Baja-style taco joint that introduced St. Louisans to the fish taco during that one magical summer.
Flaco's Cocina's menu of course includes fish tacos ($3.75 per taco), but it also boasts lobster empanadas ($12.25) and traditional braised carnitas fajitas ($10.95), along with handcrafted cocktails and house-infused sangrias. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recommends the savory-yet-desserty fried plantain split ($6.95) and the ceviche ($9.95), which, unlike the Super Soaker full of limeade you enjoyed in the hammock this morning, isn't too citrusy. The Riverfront Times recommends the tempura tacos ("tender, mild fish in a light, crisp batter") and the enchiladas ("served...in a rich, complex sauce that combines smoky, peppery heat with mild sweetness"). Flaco's complimentary chips and salsa are made fresh daily to prevent them from coming to life and attempting to convince legislators that their deliciousness requires Protected Species status.
Flaco's dining room is cozy (about a dozen tables and an honor system-enforced no-screaming policy) with bright colors and funky retro furniture. Service is skilled and friendly. That nice person waiting your table, serving your drink, and cooking your food might even be the owner, so be friendly back or he'll establish a new restaurant where every item on the menu subtly mocks you.
- Flaco's Cocina has a great vibe, is affordable and has its share of interesting stuff on the menu – Joe Bonwich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Flaco's Cocina is the kind of place where you want to order a Mexican lager or a margarita. It just has that vibe. I hesitate to call it a restaurant, even. It's a joint, mildly ambitious, mostly fun. Would the original Flaco be proud? I have no clue. But he wouldn't leave hungry. – Ian Froeb, Riverfront Times
- Flaco’s Cocina is like no other restaurant in the St. Louis area. This South Beach themed restaurant has all the spunk and spirit of a restaurant found right on the beach in Miami...It serves a great deal of signature dishes and specialty cocktails. You have to put this restaurant on your must try list. – Metromix
- Love this place!! It puts a unique & delicious flair on Mexican and carribean food. They have the freshest guac ive ever had – MO, Urbanspoon
- My boyfriend and I ate dinner here on Saturday and I LOVED it! They have great vegetarian options made with excellent meat textured tofu; almost all their items can be made vegetarian. – ET, Yahoo! Local
- it takes a lot of moxy to stand up to toasted ravioli, marinara sauce, and lettuce filled tacos in STL. Viva Flacos!!! –jeffry rush, Urbanspoon
Though the Midwest isn’t the most obvious locale for modern latin fusion cuisine, Flaco’s Cocina—from patio to downstairs lounge—proves that dishes can still taste authentic in the middle of the country. Everything about the restaurant exudes a latin ambiance, from the giant fish mosaics, painted beach scenes and live music of El Paraiso Lounge to the bright blue walls and red chairs that play calypso music each time a diner stands up. Amid the vibrant dining room, downstairs lounge, and airy patio, guests dig into fajitas, tacos, and quesadillas that teem with seafood, spices, and citrus touches. To complement the spicy eats, margaritas douse tongues with a choice of handpicked tequilas—such as Don Julio Silver, Patron Silver, and Cabo Wabo—which guests can also enjoy at the full bar in the newly opened downstairs El Paraiso Lounge. Sleek hardwood floors run throughout, supporting a stage that plays home to an eclectic lineup of live music. The downstairs area also hosts special events, private parties, holiday celebrations, and salsa lessons on its spacious dance floor. Live music and DJs are an extra fee.
8400 Delmar Blvd
University City, Missouri 63124Get Directions