Whether it be a beer battered fish taco, beef, chicken, vegan-style, seared, or fried, Vancouver’s ever-expanding Mexican food scene has more varieties of this feel-good classic then ever before with a never-ending list of places to visit to solve all your taco hankerings and cravings. With shops ranging from a small establishment to a larger well-known chain, here’s our list as to where you’ll be able to find some of the best taco joints in the city.
Tacomio (which translates to “my taco”) prides itself on being authentic and fresh. With their recipes on the simple side, Tacomio focuses on the quality of their ingredients. Some ingredients included in their tacos are braised pork shoulder, ground beef, a tasty BC Albacore tuna, and a vegetarian mix (consisting of chipotle peppers, pinto beans, onions, fresh crema and cilantro), along with many more options to choose from. A fun little tip about this restaurant is they don’t carry pop but something called “aguas frescas” which are rice drinks – commonly drank in Mexico.
Address | 435 Abbott Street
Website | www.tacomio.com
10 Lucky Taco
Formally known as “Supermarine” in Kitsilano, this cozy new restaurant has decided to re-brand itself yet again. This 36 seater has a ‘simple cantina’ vibe, that is full of colour and exudes a fun time. Only minutes from the beach, make sure you try their fried chicken taco, which consists of ginger ranch sauce, pickled red cabbage, and tajin (which is a common Mexican seasoning). Another great selection on their menu is their Al Pastor taco – which is braised pork, mole verde, topped with grilled pineapple salsa. Be sure to wash these down with some of their great cocktails, like their pink sangria.
Address | 1685 Yew Street
Website | www.luckytaco.ca
9 El Caminos
This lively cantina features unfussy Latin American eats such as arepas and tacos, with some delicious tequila drinks. Many customers are drawn to their patio from prime people watching and the fact two tacos only cost you $6.50. Local favourites include then pescado which is fried baja cod, smoked chili slaw, pickled red onion, and chipotle crema and the traditional pollo which is roasted chicken, tomatillo cream, and green onion.
Address | 3250 Main Street
Website | www.elcaminos.ca
8 La Taqueria
With three different locations in Vancouver, each location is just as colourful and friendly as the next giving you the feel you’re more at a traditional taco stand over a formal sit down dinner. All La Taqueria’s tacos are traditionally homemade from local and organic ingredients, with many different types of fillings to choose from. Serving 12 different options (priced at four for $9.50) such as marinated pork, free-range chicken with a chocolate mole sauce, braised beef cheeks or even beef tongue, there is a flavour choice for everyone.
Address | Multiple locations
Website | www.lataqueria.com
7 Patron Tacos
Patron Tacos & Cantina offers authentic Mexican cuisine that dishes out quality ingredients that serve up some tasty eats. Perfect for dining solo or in a large group, you can sip on an extensive lineup of cocktails and tequilas while munching on complimentary chips and salsa. Their seafood tacos are a classic; with a choice of battered fish or prawns, you are always given a side of rice and beans alongside. Another tasty dish to try is the sopecitos (comes with three) which are thick corn tortillas topped with beans, lettuce, feta, and radish, pico de gallo and barbacoa lamb which was moist, and flavourful.
Address | 265 Robson Street
Website | www.patrontc.com
6 La Casita
This simple eatery is festively decorated with wrestlers masks and velvet paintings and dishing out some great Mexican specialties that pair well with their margaritas. Reasonably priced, their menu consists of an array of traditional toppings and freshly made salsas and a killer guacamole. Be sure to try their Mexican pork sausage soft taco – and if you’re still hungry their nachos are raved about.
Address | 101 W Cordova Street
Website | www.lacasita.ca
Bandidas has been having Vancouverites trek to this location for years now – in search of vegetarian style tacos. Striving to create a healthy new alternative to the meaty classic, the Ronny Russell (3 tacos for $7) is a perfect homage – which includes roasted yams and onions, fresh-made guacamole, black beans, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, topped with a zesty green salsa. Also if you’re looking for a new brunch spot – Bandidas is known for serving up some great veganized “Eggless” Bennies alongside their endless servings of coffee.
Address | 2781 Commercial Drive
Website | www.bandidastaqueria.com
4 Tacofino Taco Bar
Known as some of the best fish tacos in the city, this place is a must-go if you’re craving anything Mexican and anything taco. Upon arriving you have to order the typical fish taco because it’s just so darn good: crispy ling cod, cabbage, chipotle mayo, salsa fresca all on a warm tortilla for a whopping $5. Another taco that is just as popular is the Lamb Birria (herb salad, arbol chili, pickled nopales which are cactus, and lemon zest). Don’t get me wrong, the other menu items are just as great – like the tuna burrito, the white bean taco, and another favourite – the pepper shrimp. If you didn’t already know, Tacofino has a taco truck for those constantly on the go!
Address | Multiple locations
Website | www.tacofino.com
Unlike your other taco locations, Gringo is very different (with its name translating to “white person”). This joint has been known to be unpretentious and one that likes to go with the flow. Bringing in more of a rowdy crowd, the food is simple and straightforward. There are six tacos which you are able to choose from — ground chuck with salsa, a saucy brisket, roast chicken with salsa, Mazatlan pork, shrimp with chimichurri and tomatillo sauce and a chili vegetarian. They’re $2.75 each, three – $8 or six – $15.
Address | 27 Blood Alley Square
Website | www.gringogastown.com
2 Sal y Limon
Pronounced like “Sal E Lemmon” which means “salt and lime”, this hip Mexican restaurant is run by two couples – Carolina and Sebastien as well as Adriana and Pepe who wanted to share their passion with their customers. Beware, this joint can get quite busy and there often are lines to order food. If you’ve never been to Sal Y Limon before it is recommended you browse their menu ahead of time as there is a huge array of food! Their meals are inexpensive, homey, and definitely filling – oh and did I mention messy – but then again, the best things in life tend to be. Their huaraches and tacos are piled high (to the point you can’t even fold them in half) with meats, beans, sour cream, salsa, and anything you can think of.
Address | 701 Kingsway Street #5
Website | www.salylimon.ca
1 The Mexican Antojitos y Cantina
The tacos at The Mexican Antojitos y Cantina taste like they’ve been brought over directly from Mexico. The chorizo tacos with handmade Mexican sausage are stupid delicious. Tacos aside, the caesars also deserve some recognition for their magical ability to cure any ailment (hangover) in seconds.
Address | 1049 Granville Street
Website | www.themexican.ca