Michelin Chef Debuts New Mexican Restaurants at Downtown Disney

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Michelin Chef Debuts New Mexican Restaurants at Downtown Disney

Three new Mexican restaurants are opening at Downtown Disney in the Disneyland Resort! All three are from Michelin Chef Carlos Gaytán and Patina Restaurant Group. Paseo, Céntrico and Tiendita will offer authentic, yet refined Mexican cuisine.

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As the first Mexican-born chef to earn a coveted Michelin star, Gaytán is a widely recognized ambassador of Mexican cuisine and has been prominently featured in numerous food, travel, lifestyle and broadcast outlets worldwide, including BRAVO’s “Top Chef” in 2013. His culinary journey began in Chicago, where he rose through the ranks at the North Shore Hotel, followed by Bistro Margot, working as chef de cuisine underneath the esteemed chef Dominique Tougne.

Eventually, he navigated his own path to owning his own restaurant, Mexique where he seamlessly unified his Mexican heritage with his love of French culinary cuisine. In addition to these new concepts in California, Gaytán’s current concept portfolio includes Ha’ at Hotel Xcaret México in Playa del Carmen and Tzuco in Chicago, where he is chef-owner and was a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category by the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2020.


“My mother instilled in me a passion for cooking, which inspired me to move to America to hone my craft. Throughout my career, I have been merging the traditional French cooking techniques I’ve learned with the traditions and recipes of childhood favorites inspired by my family,” Gaytán said. “Getting the chance to combine my love for my home country, my family, and cooking and display that to the guests of Paseo, Céntrico and Tiendita is truly an honor. I’m extremely proud to debut these restaurants, which were heavily influenced by my heritage and family, and hope those visiting the Downtown Disney District will create their own memories here, anchored by good food and good company.”

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“We are thrilled to share Chef Gaytán’s culinary vision with guests and introduce his world-renowned Mexican cuisine as we continue to grow our presence at Downtown Disney District,” said John Kolaski, President of Patina Restaurant Group during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. “Each of these unique venues – Paseo, Céntrico and Tiendita – offer a bespoke dining experience with their own look and feel, while maintaining their roots in authentic Mexican cuisine and culture.”

At Paseo, guests are welcomed with a contemporary and show-stopping dining room and bar area filled with rich woods, custom leathers, lavish greenery and custom native accents that celebrate Mexico’s culture. Gaytán’s vision and connection to his heritage come to life at Paseo, offering an elevated dining experience that puts a spotlight on lesser-known Mexican delicacies with an elegant presentation.

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The robust menu features reimagined and modern versions of Gaytán’s childhood favorites and includes the vibrant flavors of chiles, aromatic spices and homemade tortillas he grew up enjoying. Standouts include rich and vibrant cochinita pibil – a pork recipe derived directly from his mother’s recipe – and pulpo enamorado, which features roasted octopus and is finished with a creamy tuna aioli. Showcasing Gaytán’s unique culinary training, the mejillones is another key dish on the menu – combining French techniques and infusing Mexican flair into the classic mussels dish with the addition of saffron, chorizo and pickled jalapeños. Paseo transports diners to the heart of Gaytán’s hometown with the intent to create lasting memories through the food he serves.

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Céntrico is a new social hub of the Downtown Disney District. Céntrico’s open, airy spaces – designed with custom wooden elements and lush greenery throughout – capture the spirit of a Mexican hacienda. The energetic and central gathering place offers an exciting menu of Mexican staples like chicken enchiladas and modern twists like a vibrant Caesar salad layered with a hint of Mexican flair.

The expansive bar features a robust cocktail menu full of unique libations including the Ritual Margarita with Espolon tequila, ginger liqueur, guava, and lime juice and the El Mariachi in Manhattan, which is a Mexican twist on the traditional Manhattan cocktail. This outdoor space invites groups to gather around the table and try a range of menu items, encouraging guests to enjoy the present moment with Céntrico as their backdrop.

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Completing the trifecta, Tiendita is a quick-service dining option for those on-the-go, while still maintaining the high-quality Mexican cuisine offered in its sister restaurants. The menu features beloved classics such as esquites, a Mexican street-food staple that transcends borders, and tacos al pastor, which includes marinated pork roasted to perfection. Prepared in a bright, glass space, guests can watch the expert culinary team at work. Guests have the option to order from self-service kiosks or a friendly counter service.

The strong Mexican influence is not only displayed throughout the cuisine, but also through the distinct design elements of Paseo and Céntrico from award-winning Mexican architect Jorge Gracia, founder of Tijuana-based GraciaStudio.

The restaurants’ furnishings hail from La Metropolitana, a Mexico City-based design and carpentry company that produces traditional pieces paired with cutting edge technology and are hand finished by master carpenters. Additionally, Anfora, a celebrated dinnerware company which is deeply embedded in Mexican culture and craftsmanship, has created a bespoke dinnerware collection that truly reflects the unique spirit and dining ethos for Paseo and Céntrico.

Walk-in service is available now for all three restaurants with reservations starting on June 1 for Paseo and Céntrico. Paseo is currently open for dinner, with weekday lunch and weekend brunch service coming soon. Céntrico is currently serving lunch and dinner.

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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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