Taqueria in Tauranga

15 June 2022

Interview with Rodolfo Garcia
Story by Millie Pidwell


When Rodolfo travelled to New Zealand for a holiday from his hometown of Tijuana in Mexico over 6 years ago with his wife, he never expected to stay and settle down here in Tauranga.

This unexpected path in Rodolfo’s life was sparked when he met Warren…one of the owners of Barrio Brothers Tauranga. Warren was looking for a head chef for their popular Mexican restaurant in the Bay of Plenty. This, it seemed, was an opportunity Rodolfo couldn’t turn down. That and the summer vibe that the bay is so well known for! Rodolfo had plenty of experience working in a kitchen back in his home country, and he suddenly found himself as the head chef for the Barrio Brothers, where he would stay for the next 6 years.

So how did he come to own, operate, and chef at our city centre’s newest taqueria? It all kicked off when Rodolfo met another successful restauranteur here in the Bay of Plenty – Joe Thompson from Avenue Pizza. Rodolfo had a dream of opening his own authentic taqueria and Jo suggested a collaboration in the city centre. Cue Tacos Tocayo.

“I wanted to create a relaxed space, selling authentic Maxican tacos, and providing customers with a fast service and food with big flavour”.

“Tacos are a vibe”.

It’s a vibe I love…. It feels authentic, easy going, up-and-coming, and big city. The tacos are delicious…with some great vegan and gf options on the menu too!

Rodolfo tells me, “I wanted to create a menu inspired by home. I combine tradition with ingredients that are fresh and locally sourced here in the bay. I think this makes for a fun cuisine”.

Rodolfo loves being in the city centre and sees the space he’s in on Grey Street as one he can handle for now and grow organically over time. He says it was hard to leave Barrio Brothers, but everything fell into place for Tacos Tocayo at the right time, with the help of some amazing people in the industry.

Head to Rodolfo’s taqueria for lunch during the week….it’s the perfect break from the office and yet another fantastic eatery open in our city centre!

45 Grey Street.