Welcome to The Dish, our new weekly column about the one dish you have to try at the one restaurant you have to visit.
Let your eyes wander around the dark geometrically beautiful hallways of the Detroit Institute of Art’s Islamic exhibit. What’s with all of the piñatas at the end of the hall? Congratulations, you have found Azul Cantina, the DIA’s hidden gem of a pop-up that is open now – but will close on July 12.
Azul is the coolest temporary place to get tacos in Detroit because its location is gorgeous and it still feels like it has not been discovered yet, even though it is in the well-known Detroit Institute of Arts. You get to eat yummy tacos around artfully strung fairy lights and piñatas, inside a lively room that is painted bright green.
Decor is great and all, but the best part is, of course, the tacos. They stand out from the norm. Most places decorate their tacos with a few sprigs of cilantro and lettuce, which is a serious letdown if you are a vegetarian. Azul’s vegetarian tacos actually take thought. If you have never had a taco filled with spicy butternut squash, do so now.
All of Azul’s tacos come with a small spoonful of every condiment they have, which is great news if you hate paying extra for guacamole. The sliced radishes make each taco look like edible art. Each taco is $4. It is a tad expensive for a taco, but the amazing atmosphere, its location in the DIA, and the friendly staff make a meal at Azul worth it. Eat there before it leaves.
The Mexican beers, wine, and margaritas are an added bonus. They also sell Jarritos, a Mexican pop brand that is to Mexico what Faygo is to Detroit.
Azul, which means “blue” in Spanish, is named after The Blue House, where artist Frida Kahlo grew up.
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202