By 12 o'clock, I was really hungry, and my colleague and I discussed whether to have our lunch at the Indian restaurant up the road, the Italian pasta bar on the next street, or the new Mexican place across from our office.

Does up the road mean to the north of the road?

Could I utter pasta counter and restaurant instead of pasta bar in the above situation?

Last, without context, what will Mexican place conjure up in your mind? Thanks.
Up the road merely means along the road and has no connection to compass direction.

Without knowing what the pasta bar is like, we can't say if the other options are reasonable. It may not have a restaurant, for example. Counter is only really the physical serving surface/table they sell food over, not the whole place. I'd leave it as pasta bar.

Mexican place - without context I'd imagine a restaurant.
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Thanks, Nona, for the clear reply.

For the sake of clarification, are down/up/along the street interchangeable and synonymous?
Usually - the only case where they aren't is if the street is on a hill, then going downhill is 'down the road' and uphill is 'up the road'.
Got it! Thanks, Nona.
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