I expect to spend quite a bit of time here. It’s close to my office and serves food I love more than any other, an affection I share with Chef Lake. Authenticity, teamwork and sustainability still rule, but the Cantina’s hallmark is an informal, convivial style of dining Lake believes is absolutely new.
Matt Lake, the award-winning chef behind the successful Mexican restaurant Alamexo in downtown Salt Lake City, has long wanted to open a more casual, family-friendly complement to that fine-dining establishment. He nailed the lively, vibrant vibe, with the space’s Mexican-tiled bar and colorful walls — painted mustard, red and deep purple, with the fourth made up of dozens of nooks filled with lighted candles.
The ambience is great for a drink from an extensive menu of margarita options and accompanied by endless house-made chips and excellent guacamole. The main dishes intrigue with bright and surprising flavors. The Oaxaca cheese and wild mushroom enchiladas, with a base of cremini aside an ever-changing cast of available funghi, served with ranchera salsa, was by far a table favorite. The chicken enchiladas, covered in a green chile and pumpkin seed salsa, also prompted raves.
Known for its contemporary food, Alamexo is serving local, homemade Mexican food...that packs a punch and leaves you craving more. The short rib barbacoa enchilada is a must. It was truly top notch. Service was excellent!
Fox 13-Matt Lake Live
Alamexo Cantina Chef Matt Lake shows us how to make some delicious Mexican Street Corn!
Salt Lake Magazine-Mary Malouf
Chef’s Chops: Lake was named Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef in 1996. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, he trained under Chef Mark Miller at the now-defunct D.C. Red Sage. He created Mexican specialty cuisine at Rosa Mexicano in New York City, one of the city’s best upscale Mexican restaurants.
Now open in the 9th and 9th area and by all counts, doing great business, and for good reason. I’m a long-term fan of Alamexo and Lake’s cooking. I’ve had a few sneak previews of the food and am excited about this spot, I guarantee it will be impossible to get a seat on a sunny Summer afternoon on the patio next year.
City Weekly-Ted Scheffler
Since opening in 2014, Matthew Lake's Alamexo Mexican Kitchen has been a standout Salt Lake City restaurant serving authentic, refined regional Mexican fare. Although it's far from formal, Lake has desired for some time to open a more casual, eatery offering the same top-notch cuisine, but in a cantina-type atmosphere. Whether you pop in for a margarita and botanas (appetizers) or a full meal, you'll really love what Lake and his team have done with the place.
Utah Style & Design - Brad Mee
Alamexo Cantina glows in bright lights above the open patio of the newest addition to Salt Lake’s hip 9th and 9th neighborhood scene. The very cool (and much anticipated) eatery is the latest offering by owner and Executive Chef Matt Lake who is known for his award-winning Alamexo Mexican Kitchen downtown. The Cantina’s easy-going, celebrate-the-moment style of dining translates to its simple, yet festive décor. Not surprisingly, the menu at the Cantina is just as intriguing as the downtown version, but it’s more casual, more come-as-you-are. The space is large, welcoming and relaxed. You have to love Lake’s passion and enthusiasm.
Salt Lake Tribune - Kathy Stephenson
With Alamexo Cantina, Utah chef/owner Matt Lake hopes to replicate the casual dining experience one might find in a market in Mexico. The menu features gourmet enchiladas, tacos and other Mexican specialties.
SLCeats.com - Ryan Kendrick
For those of you who haven't been to Alamexo downtown, or his previous project, ZY, I highly suggest you try Chef Lake's creations out. He is, in my opinion, one of the most talented chefs in the city. His newest project is Alamexo Cantina, which opened this week in the 9th and 9th neighborhood. The cantina cuisine is reminiscent of a street market in Mexico, but in a sit-down situation. There is a gorgeous candle wall that is interesting during the bright daytime hours, but turns into something living, breathing, and very special at night.
If you've been eagerly awaiting the completion of this new restaurant, mark your calendars, because Alamexo Cantina opens in the 9th and 9th neighborhood on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Owner and Executive Chef Matt Lake, the man behind the award-winning Alamexo, has long been planning this more casual, Mexican market-style cantina for some time. He and his staff are excited to introduce a neighborhood gathering place where everything is served in a bright casual setting, much like diners would experience in a Mexican market.
Seven Dishes to Eat 2017 - Heather King
This central Mexican street food (Tlaycoyo con queso) is prepared on a comal—Chef Lake’s favorite cooking instrument—and features green chile and Oaxaca cheese topped with lettuce, radish and cilantro.
Veg Dish 10 Marvels of Meat Free Cooking - Amanda Rock
Zesty and substantial—this snack (Tlaycoyo con queso) is sure to satisfy. Pair it with a margarita and housemade guacamole for the full Alamexo Cantina experience.