So you want to experience authentic Mexican cuisine without having to travel south of the boarder. That makes sense – no taco is worth the cost of a plane ticket, no matter how good that crunchy shell is. Instead of spending the money, we’ve broken down seven Vancouver restaurants that serve up tacos so delectable it’ll have you never booking a trip to Mexico. Unless of course, you’re travelling for the tequila – always travel for the tequila.
What can I possibly say about La Taqueria that hasn’t already been said a million times before? This little hole-in-the-wall restaurant offers authentic Mexican tacos made from tradition recipes that include local, organic and sustainable products. The meat options include free-range chicken with chocolate mole sauce, pork marinated in achiote chili and pineapple, grilled AAA flank beef, braised beef tongue, and so much more. Veggie and vegan options are also available. The cost is barely noticeable – four tacos at $9.50 for meat or $7 for veggie.
If the décor is simple, boring or horrifying then you know you’re in the right place. The best restaurants to eat at are always the worst establishments to sit in. I don’t know how to explain this but that’s just the truth of the matter. So don’t expect to be wowed by Sal y Limon – you are here for authentic tacos not the color scheme. Now lets get down to business. The menu features slow roasted pulled pork, chicken breast, grilled beef, Mexican sausage, pineapple marinate and more. This is a hard sentiment to admit but Sal y Limon easily rivals with La Taqueria.
For my vegetarians here’s a spot that’s perfect for your preferences. To my carnivorous friends – no meat in a taco may sound sacrilegious but how about we try making good life choices today, hmm? Give it a taste before you start flipping tables. Honestly, it’s pretty damn good. Again, there are no animals at Budgies Burritos but that doesn’t mean you need to be a vegetarian or vegan to appreciate the menu. Instead let the pinto beans, cheddar cheese, avocado, garlic roasted potatoes, sour cream, fresh salsa, or avocado speak for itself. It may just change your opinion on what makes a good taco.
Obviously fish tacos all day, everyday. The best place in Vancouver to chow one down is TacoFino Commissary. A little over-priced but the quality of food makes up for it – anyway, 10 tacos for a dollar is just excessive. If fish tacos aren’t your thing (but seriously, give it a try) then there are plenty of other options. Including Pork Jowl (with cabbage, fried shallot, pineapple and sriracha), the Crispy Potato (with queso fresco, cheddar, and salsa fresca), and the Albacore Tuna (with soy, sesame, wakame, ginger and wasabi mayo). If none of these things got your senses tinkling then I give up.
There’s a very simple equation that Bandidas Taqueria follows in order to establish itself as one of the greats – reasonable prices, late hours, large portions, and tasty ingredients. You can never go wrong when all four of those bad boys are working in perfect unison. That’s exactly why this place has staying power. So what do they offer? Well the menu includes a Stella, a Ronny Russell, a Leona Gayle, a Wolf & Goat, a Connie’s, and a Bobcat. Prices start from $5 for two tacos to $12 for four tacos.
It’s time to move away from the greasy spoons and head to the entrance of Granville Island by the docks. This is the best location during summer to eat fish tacos so please keep in mind the lineups can get a little crazy. Go Fish Ocean Emporium is known for its seafood dishes – including grilled salmon tacos with slaw, chipotle crema and cilantro salsa. The flour tortillas are also grilled to add a nice smoky flavor that really brings all ingredients together.
Cinco De Mayo Mexican Grill is a simple operation located in North Vancouver so again, just focus on to the delicious food. You’ll be a much happier person to sink into authentic, cheap tacos. The portions are fairly large so it’s advisable to bring a friend or two along and also, lunch lineups can get hectic (not always the best time to visit). With all that said, this place is still a God amongst other lower Lonsdale Mexican restaurants.
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