Just a short walk from South Station, Papagayo is relatively easy to get to, which makes it more convenient than some of the other restaurants on the waterfront.
Papagayo has a great atmosphere. It is really fun, a great spot to go after work with coworkers or friends, or a girl’s night out. The space is pretty big, with high ceilings, brightly colored walls and Mexican themed décor. The bar is quite large and runs along almost the entire length of the restaurant. There is also an impressive display of their remarkable tequila selection. So, if you like tequila, definitely check out Papagayo; they have over 100 kinds of tequila available.
We went for a drink and ended up staying for two plus hours, and two plus drinks. I had the house margarita, which was delicious (and strong). It was served in a pretty big glass too. Some of the other specialty drinks are good but incredibly strong.
We were given complimentary chips and salsa. I asked him if they were corn or flour and his response to me was, “they are flour, are you gluten free? We can absolutely get you some corn chips.” He said all this before I could even say yes! Three minutes later, a waitress arrived with gluten free corn chips and my own bowl of salsa to avoid cross contamination! The chips were good, but the salsa was better, with a definite kick to it. They both seemed to be endless; when we finished a bowl of chips, it was replaced with a new one. This was great, but not so great [for the waistline].
The tableside guacamole was one of the best guacamoles I’ve. Ever. Had. It is a must! It is made fresh right at your table – or bar stool – and you can have it as hot – or mild – as you’d like it!
We went with medium, Kristen likes it spicy but I don’t think I could have handled that. I was impressed with the amount of avocados they use, the portion was big, not what you usually expect. It was great having it made right in front of us, vastly entertaining and fun to watching. For an extra $1 you can get a side of carrots and celery for dipping, which was great because I was getting sick from too many tortilla chips.
The gluten free menu is small, but hey it’s better than nothing! Although it’s small, there are many options; fajitas, ceviche, tacos, enchiladas and meat.
I wouldn’t say this place is authentic; it’s more of a Tex-Mex/American-Mexican style restaurant. I’ve only tried the guacamole and margaritas, and both were delicious and actually pretty authentic.
I had a great time here, and I will be back again for more guac and margaritas! On my next visit, I also want to try the tableside ceviche, this sounds good too!
Location: 283 Summer Street Boston, MA