What is Araña?
Araña translates to "spider" in Spanish, the nickname of the restaurant's Executive Chef, Richard Papier.
Simple food. Complex flavors. Fresh ingredients.
Araña Taqueria y Cantina reflects both authentic and modernized Mexican cuisine using techniques inspired by the culinary traditions of the Yucatan. Intense flavors stem from the traditional Mexican processes of slow-braising meats in banana leaves and incorporating Mexican ingredients and spices, like achiote, into each dish to create a unique flavor profile.
Araña's menu features familiar favorites—a wide variety of tacos, burritos and enchiladas— and also allows guests to explore and discover new gems. These dishes are Mexican staples undiscovered in the U.S., like the Torta Ahogada— Araña's take on a "Mexican Po-Boy" with slow-roasted pork, black bean puree and more, flooded with a spicy chili salsa.
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It starts with tequila.
Araña's extensive tequila menu is showcased in the restaurant's hand-crafted bar and features over 80 selections of tequila and Mezcal used to create distinctive cocktail experiences. Whether selecting one of Araña's many house-made margaritas, a signature tequila flight or specialty cocktail, the restaurant's bar staff offers expertise on spirits and combinations to please the individual palate. Weekly cocktail specials test limits, pairing spirits, spices and flavors that excite ones curiosity and keep you coming back for more.
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Dive further into Araña's tequila menu by joining the Araña Tequila Society: a FREE membership created to educate, entertain and engage tequila and mezcal enthusiasts to discover new tequila brands and meet others who share a love for the spirit.
To become a member of the Araña Tequila Society and learn more, click here.
The Chef: Richard Papier
Executive Chef Richard Papier, a New Orleans-native trained in authentic Mexican cuisine, has been with Araña since its start in August of 2014. He has worked for some of the city's top chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Donald link, Susan Spicer and Nathaniel Zimet, Neal Swidler and gained his Yucatan-style cooking from mentor Guillermo Peters, Mexico City-native who is currently established in New Orleans.
Chef Papier's interest in the culinary field began at an early age, cooking for friends and family. Encouraged by those closest to him, Papier decided to attend culinary school. Once graduated, Papier worked as the Second Executive Chef of the Delachaise until Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, forcing him to move to North Carolina. After living three years in North Carolina working at the Green Valley Grille, he returned to New Orleans and became involved in the catering business for the film and television industry.
During this time, Papier began to develop a love for Mexican cuisine. On Friday's, he would spend time working at Swirl Wine Bar & market, creating unique tapas with Mexican influence. Inspired by this cooking style, he began to develop his menu for a Yucatan-style Mexican restaurant inspired by his mentor Guillermo Peters. It is from here that Araña was born.
There's a spot for everyone at Araña, so come find yours.
'TEQUILA' is the first thing you'll see at Araña; the word is displayed in lights across the restaurant's handmade bar. The relaxed, colorful atmosphere is perfectly suited for enjoying a unique dining experience with friends. Araña's 'spider wall' draws a connection to its overall concept, and each light, fixture and painting help to build the irreplaceable Mexican ambiance that keeps customers coming back for more.