All the Mexican Food You Could Wish for and More at Pistolera

By That's, February 19, 2021

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In 2020, Jing’an lost an iconic spot for Mexican comfort food, Pistolera. However, to everyone’s excitement, the brand made a comeback by taking over Lil’ Laundry’s previous location inside the Shanghai Centre and reopening its doors to the taco and burrito loving masses in July.

Along with enough tortilla chips, refried beans, salsa and cheese to sink a seaworthy vessel, Pistolera is also sporting an expansive array of new and improved Beast of the East beers on tap (check out our interview with Beast of the East Head Brewer, Matt Jimenez, here.)

Image courtesy of Pistolera

Image courtesy of Pistolera

The latest Pistolera is even bigger and better than the last, with a welcoming patio that is just as inviting as the previous, yet more easily accessible. Along with the physical size, the menu has also expanded to include all the previous Mexican dishes but with a whole lot more variety. 

The new menu features the El Gringo Wagyu Beef Burger (RMB98), Caramelized Salmon Steak (RMB148), Rib Eye Steak (RMB238), Sous Vide Lamp Chop (RMB188), Black Truffle Beef Shortrib (RMB188) and Chipotle BBQ Pork Riblet (RMB168), to name but a few. A true meat lovers paradise.

On top of the addition of meats, Pistolera now offers an Asian Lunch Set every weekday from 11am-3pm, where a dish, a drink and a soup go for just RMB78. Choose from Sliced Beef Poached in Spicy Sauce, Honey Roast Pork Neck, Beef Potato Noodle Soup or Osmanthus Soy Chicken

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

Digging into the classics, we satisfied our Mexican food craving just in time to get ready for winter hibernation. The Tortilla Sopa (RMB60) – a hearty stew of shredded chicken, tomato, chipotle, pasilla and ancho chilies, all served with fried tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro and sour cream – is made for keeping those winter chills at bay. Comfort food, no matter where you’re from.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

For something light and fresh, we recommend the palate cleansing Ceviche de Atun (RMB80) – a bowl full of fresh tuna marinated in lime, jalapeno and soy sauce, served with tomatoes, avocados, onions and crispy corn tostadas. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

Moving onto the mains, the Chimichanga Sonorense (RMB98) is specialty burrito filled with refried beans, flavorful pulled chicken and potato cubes all in a tomato and chipotle sauce. Said burrito is then deep fried and smothered with melted Monterrey Jack cheese, salsa roja, lettuce, cream and queso fresco, before being served up on a platter with Spanish rice and refried beans. A feast truly befitting a king. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

If you’re hulking, bulking or just plain sulking, the Pistolera True Legend Burrito (RMB198) is made for you. Coming in at 35 centimeters long, this burrito comes with your choice of filling plus refried beans, Mexican tomato rice and cheddar cheese and is topped with pico de gallo salsa, guacamole and chipotle cream. A behemoth of a burrito for those that can’t turn down an eating challenge. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

The Grilled Beef Carne Asada Nachos (RMB88) are everything you could ever want out of OG nachos... and then some. Fried corn tortilla chips are topped with refried beans, salsa and jalapeno slices, plus a light layer of grated cheese. Served with pico de gallo salsa, sour cream, chipotle cream, avocado cream and pickled onions, this plate is for those who are bringing a serious appetite. If beef isn’t your go-to, choose from vegetarian fajita, chorizo or homemade chili as nacho toppings. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla (RMB58) are always a must, and Pistolera nails this iconic Mexican mainstay. Made with flour tortillas and served with sour cream, jalapeno and pico de gallo, hungry diners can kick it up a notch with an extra serving of guacamole for RMB25. Other quesadilla flavor options range from Double Cheese (RMB55) and Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese (RMB58) for the vegetarians, to Beef Chili and Cheese (RMB68) and Chorizo and Cheese (RMB65) for the meat lovers. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

It wouldn’t be a Mexican restaurant without tacos, and the Shrimp Baja Style Tacos (RMB68) are the perfect mix of Cali-Mex freshness. Featuring fresh whole shrimps dipped in a secret beer batter and fried in the original Baja California style, the two large tacos are covered in chipotle and mustard coleslaw. Other taco options include Carne Asada (RMB78), Ribeye Steak Tacos (RMB78), Grilled Fish Tacos (RMB75) or Taco Combinación (RMB98) where you can pick any three tacos on the menu. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

While your stomach may be saying no, your heart is saying yes when it comes to dessert. The classic deep-fried Churros (RMB48) arrive at your table coated with sugar and cinnamon, accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces – melted chocolate, creamy cajeta caramel sauce and fresh mango coulis. If sugary sticks of fried dough don’t do it for you, there’s also a Chocolate Truffle Cake (RMB48), Basque Style Caramel Cheesecake (RMB48), Churro Ice Cream (RMB58) and a Mixed Fruit Plate (RMB58).

Image courtesy of Pistolera

Aside from food, Pistolera does not skimp on the drinks. Every day from 4-7pm, it’s happy hour. Outside of the classic cocktails, Pistolera offers a range of beer cocktails, Four Pillars gin cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer, smoky cocktails, sangria and much more any hour of the day. For the non-drinkers, special virgin drinks like the Banana Batido (RMB50) or a Mango Licuada (RMB55) are also available. 

Image courtesy of Pistolera

Pistolera also recently launched a series of special deals that would make your Mexican abuela say ‘Olé!’ At Pistolera Shanghai Centre, Pistolera Hengshan Lu and Pistolera Jinqiao, daily happy hour will be expanded to 35% off selected drinks. Pistolera will also kick start some awesome daily deals: 


Monday: 25% off all food from 3pm-close
Tuesday: 20% off any burrito from 3pm-close
Wednesday: 30% off fajitas from 3pm-close 
Thursday: 25% off all steaks from 3pm-close and 25% off all margaritas after 7pm
Sunday: 20% off all nachos all day

If you haven’t been satisfying those Mexican food cravings, the time is now. 

See listings for Pistolera

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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