Best of Carolina » Food & Drink Photo for Best Mexican Food: Cantina 76
Photo by Emily Neglia

Best Mexican Food: Cantina 76

By Emily Neglia

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Hours: Monday - Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. 

Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. 

Sunday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

2.0 miles, 7-minute drive from the Horseshoe 

Between Taco Tuesday and Tequila Thursday, Cantina 76 knows how to satisfy all of your Mexican food cravings. Cantina 76 is a Mexican-inspired taqueria and bar with an upbeat atmosphere.

Cantina is a go-to for college students, families, the business community and tourists visiting Columbia. Their lively yet casual atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to hang out with your crew.

Everyone will find something of their liking on Cantina’s extensive menu: starters, numerous imaginative tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, salads and soups! To me, a perfect dining experience would start out with their trio appetizer, but I have to be careful not to fill up on the salsa, guac, and queso so I can still enjoy my meal. For my meal I would get their chicken teriyaki taco and their BBQ brisket taco. To make this meal complete I would get their strawberry basil margarita, or if I am in the mood to try something new, I would ask my server to bring me their favorite drink.

Cantina is always packed and there may even be a wait, but conveniently, there are two locations right here in Columbia. With one location on Main Street and the other on Devine, I recommend calling ahead and asking about the wait time so you can have a better chance of enjoying your food ASAP!