La Cabra Mexican

Billing itself as a modern Mexican restaurant and bar, La Cabra Mexican does all the things that Melburnians love in a casual eatery. The decor is funky, the mood fun, the drinks large, and the food fresh and zingy.

La Cabra Mexican

Location: 207 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC, 3123 Ph: 1300 522 227 Also at 265 Hampton St, Hampton, VIC 3188 & 68 Acland St, St Kilda, VIC 3182 & 74 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, VIC 3141 & 149 Lygon St, Carlton, VIC 3053 & 111 Main St, Morninginton, VIC 3931

There are few things that the good people of Melbourne – and Australia in general – love more than a taco or 3. So it makes perfect sense that La Cabra: Modern Mexican Restaurant & Bar is slowly spreading is delicious tentacles across Melbourne and beyond.

The Hawthorn branch of the colourful chain has been open for a few years now. Fortunately, it has enough of a following that it managed to weather the Covid storm that saw the end of so many food businesses in recent times.

Admittedly, the location is a great one: immediately opposite the much-loved Rivoli Cinema in thriving Camberwell. In fact, La Cabra is one of a number of eateries and bars that attract movie-goers and more for pre-film meal or a post-blockbuster drink.

For more on the Victorian capitals Enchilada scene, see our review of the Best Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne

La Cabra Mexican Hawthorn - Interior

The Space

A long dining room ends with a view of an open kitchen with the legend ‘Goat Kitchen’ emblazoned boldly over the pass.

La Cabra’s decor is simple, but appealing. Tables and banquettes line one white-brick and wooden-slatted wall, whilst the opposite is has a more distressed look. The lighting is a mix of down and pendant lights and warm, mellowed neon tones. Plants add pops of greenery and there’s an intriguing purple-hued corridor to the right of the brightly illuminated kitchen.

If you follow that mysterious violet tunnel, you come out into a covered courtyard furnished with fake grass, a colourful mural and plenty more seating. On a warm summer’s evening, it’s a pleasant spot to kick back with a cold Mexican Beer and a Burrito.

If you find yourself in this area, check out our Best Cafes in Camberwell (and nearby)

The Food


We dive into the Entrees with the Stuffed Jalapenos ($14) which are loaded with Marinated Cheese & Kewpie Mayo. For me, they are a little rich and lack a bit of bite, but my dining companions are big fans, so what do I know?

In contrast, the Cauliflower Hot Wings ($15) are an undoubted success. Gnarly florets of Cauliflower, coated in a crunchy, spicy batter and bronzed in a fryer. And then doused in a tangy, Chipotle Mayo. Bliss.

La cabra (H) - Cauliflower & Jalapenos

Aside from this, we also devour the ever-pleasing Char-Grilled Corn with Chipotle Mayo, Ricotta Salata & Herbs ($8). The sunshine-yellow kernels burst with sweet juices on every bite. And because I’m a total glutton, we also have a bowl of fabulously seasoned Fries with more Chipotle Mayo ($8). Just in case our Mains aren’t sufficient!

Another bright and funky Mexican chain is Rosa Mexicano – read our review here.


La Cabra Mexican offers a great range of Tacos, including a Chilli Lime Mushroom ($7.5) and a Cactus ($7.5) option for those who prefer to eat plant-based. The latter is particularly interesting, coming as it does with Refried Beans, Pico, Salsa Verde & Feta. However, on this occasion we give those a swerve.

Instead, I decide on the Chilli Grilled Prawn ($8.5) with Lettuce, Mango Salsa, Sour Cream & Pico. When it arrives, I’m rather disappointed as the filling – though tasty – is pretty meagre. Maybe the Cactus Taco would have been a better move after all?

La Cabra Mexican (H) - Prawn Taco

In contrast, my second choice – the Chimichurri Beef – is superb. The vinegary marinade on the Birria Beef melds with the Pickle Cabbage, Cheese & Chimichurri Mayo to dance on the palette. We all vote it our top dish.

Meanwhile, my dining companions wisely avoid the sad-looking Prawn Taco and order the Fried Fried ($8.5) version. This proves to be a smart decision when an ocean-sweet finger of Fish in a golden batter arrives along with Pickle Cabbage, Pico, Jalapeno and the obligatory Chipotle Mayo.

La Cabra also has a venue in Mornington. For more on the where to dine in that part of the world, see here.

La Cabra Mexican 
(H) - Fish & Beef Tacos

Although we only have Starters and Tacos on this visit, on previous trip to La Cabra Mexican Eatability has tucked in both a Quesadilla and a couple of Enchiladas.

For the record, the Chicken Quesadilla was good. Plump with Peri Peri Chook, Pico, Cheese & Smoked Jalapeno Mayo, an additional dollop of Guacamole ($5) the perfect accompaniment.

As for the Enchiladas, that tangy Birria Beef ($26) once again stole the show. This time it came with Rice, Refried Beans, Cheese, Pickled Veg, La Cabra’s Signature Enchilada Sauce and more. Our other choice featured Mushrooms ($25) and also slid down very easily.

For fabulous Spanish tapas and more, see our piece on MoVida Next Door


A quick shout out to the Dessert Menu.

Yes, they have Churros with Dulce De Leche ($12), of course.

But, if you have a sweet-tooth, may we recommend the house-made Biscoff Tres Leches Cake ($14)? Three Milk Cake is a hugely popular Mexican treat for good reason and the ideal sugary hit to finish off a meal.

The Drinks

Beers are well-represented on the Drinks List, including 4 Mexican brands – which we love.

There’s a limited Aussie-dominated Wine List or an array of Tequila Shots – if you fancy the strong stuff.

And there’s Cocktails. On the night that we dine, La Cabra is doing 2-for-1 Pina Coladas, so it seems rude to decline.

Happily, the mix isn’t cloyingly sweet, and both glasses evaporate steadily as Cauliflowers Wings and Taco are consumed.

For a rundown on the Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne, see here.


With perky, cheerful waiters, a fun vibe and their popular-spin on Mexican cuisine, La Cabra in Hawthorn has found the right balance.

Whether you’re looking for a few Drinks and some Nachos on a sunny arvo or a full meal while you debrief from a movie screening over at the Rivoli, this restaurant has you covered.

No wonder their colourful cantinas are popping up across town.


For slick cocktails in a stunning space, try Nick & Nora’s Melbourne

If you find yourself over in NSW, these are our go-to Mexican Restaurants in Sydney

Faye Keenan
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