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Mexican Restaurant Review


Saturday, September 15th, 2007 — 4:56pm PDT
Comments 20

I really wanted to put together a post about where to get Mexican food in Vancouver since some of my earlier attempts to collect such information were less than successful. I then decided to enlist a fellow blogger who I’ve noticed has made numerous food review posts. The following are Raul’s recommendations for good Mexican eats in Vancouver.

Post Contributed by Raul

It’s a drag to try and find decent Mexican food in Vancouver, despite the increased influx of Mexican immigrants and the growth in number of restaurants that offer this type of food (I wouldn’t include Red Burrito nor Taco Shack nor Taco del Mar in the list of truly Mexican places, but they offer fairly ok grub). Here are my top 5 choices for Mexican food in the city of Vancouver, in order (disclaimer, I am in no way associated to any of the places, and my taste might be different from yours!):

5 – Las Margaritas – Many people may hate it but truth be told, this was the first restaurant that served Mexican food where I didn’t see blatant failures. The chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers) here are fairly decent, as is their brunch. Located on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, the prices may be a bit steeper than other places, but the food is very decent.

4 – El Rinconcito Salvadoreño – And this is perplexing, because the owners of this place are actually Salvadorean. This tiny place is located on Commercial Drive. I think the wife of the owner is actually Mexican and thus that’s how they have managed to offer decent Mexican food. The pozole (a type of broth that has chili, spices and corn) is very good here.

3 – Taco Loco – This is another “hole in the wall” but the food is fairly authentic. It’s not a dine-in experience, to be truthful, but hey if you need some quick grub and don’t mind the decor, this would be a place to grab a quick bite to eat. The food is good, the place leaves much to be desired.

2 – Casa Blanca – This was a total surprise to me, because this place is a “hole in the wall” on Davie Street. The food is actually quite good and the prices aren’t that bad. The only downside that I see to Casa Blanca is that it has sort of a “fast Mexican food” feel to it. But I can’t complain about the food. And you can’t really go wrong with a place that has lots of Mexicans eating there.

1 – Tio Pepe’s – The truth is, once I got in the restaurant and I was able to speak in Spanish with the owner and ask for the food I wanted and how I wanted it, I fell in love with Tio Pepe’s. Located on Commercial Drive. Again, I recommend the Mole con Pollo. This place offers good comfort food. I would recommend that you inform the owner about your heightened expectations ๐Ÿ™‚ just in case! Definitely good.


Photo from Andeles on Davie by: audihertz on Flickr

Other places that people have suggested and I haven’t tried (mostly out of fear of disappointment) are:

  • Doña Cata – on Victoria Drive and I think about 38th Avenue – Some people say it’s really good. This geographical area seems to have a few Mexican places.
  • Casa de Amigos – on Granville and about 71st. – I saw this on the way back from the Airport and boasts itself as having won many awards, but haven’t tried it.
  • Poncho’s – on Denman St near Robson. – Don’t know it, not very excited about it either.
  • Zocalo – on Main St. near Broadway. When I walked by this one I saw the prices and I was like “holy crap, talk about overpriced“).
  • La Casita – on Cordova St. – I have read mixed reviews about it, but it looks quite dark. To be frank, I will probably give this place a try soon.
  • Chilo’s – Initial location near Doña Cata and new location in Yaletown. Beyond Robson reviewed this restaurant but I would have to try it by myself.
  • Sadly, Hola Churro closed down a few months ago. I am not that convinced with Jalapeño and Cilantro (I think that’s the name of the place), particularly since it sells “gourmet Mexican food” (excuse me!?) and I have heard horrible reviews of The Mouse and Bean. But again, I probably need to just shake my fears and start trying out more Mexican restaurants again. I am very tempted to try Lolita’s on Davie Street. Still, Tio Pepe’s tops my list.

    Read more from Raul on the Hummingbird604 blog

    (view all of Miss604.com’s ‘Guest Posts‘)

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    20 comments

    1. Miss604 says:

      We’re actually rather fond of Poncho’s but seeing as how it’s just about the only Mexican place we’ve checked out regularly, that just makes this post that much more useful – thanks a bunch Raul!

    2. Raul says:

      Thanks to you Rebecca for inviting me to be your guest blogger! I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’ll have to check Poncho’s, with my fingers crossed and an open mind ๐Ÿ˜€

    3. Keira-Anne says:

      I would like to add that my kitchen is also a fantastic place to get Mexican food in Vancouver.

    4. Darren says:

      When Ianiv, Aerianna and I went down to Seattle, we stopped at this little whole-in-the-wall Mexican place. Ianiv assured me it was far superior to Vancouver’s shoddy offerings–you should get the name from him.

    5. Raul says:

      Oh, if I had my way, I would fly back to Montreal to Tamales and Los Remedios, two of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in Canada. And I will have to try the place your friend suggests (next time I’m heading south, which may not be until December!) … but in that case, I’m going to Mexico in December anyway, so I really don’t need to eat Mexican food in a different country ๐Ÿ™‚

    6. Nick says:

      A couple places that I go to are in the burbs but I always recommend these to all my friends..

      1.Carlos or Charlie’s Cafe
      2414 St. Johns Street, Port Moody
      Amazing food. Mexican family run.

      2.Ole Ole
      831 12th Street, New Westminster
      This is the true definition of your hole in the wall restaurant but well worth visiting…The food is excellent. Very authentic! tasty and cheap!!

    7. Bradley says:

      And for all the people not in the downtown area, you should check out Pepita’s on fraser highway in langley

      Its really really good food there. Its some of the best ive had here since i got back from my adventures in california

    8. Mitch says:

      Hey, there’s also a great mexican joint on Dunbar, called Mexicali it’s low key, but the food is fantastic.

      Highly recommended!

    9. I’ve always enjoyed Poncho’s too…but I haven’t been there in a few years. I’d recommend a visit though.

    10. Bryan says:

      Topanga on 4th in Kits is a great place. Quality food and a nice and clean place for a casual dinner.

    11. darren says:

      Great idea for a blog post! I am a huge Mexican restaurant fan.

      I was surprised to see that my favourite, Andale’s, hasn’t been mentioned. If you’re interested, I wrote a detailed review about them on my blog:

      http://www.timinganddelivery.com/andales/

      Make sure you try the ceviche!

      darren

    12. Monica says:

      There is a new Mexican/Salvadorean restaurant in Vancouver, La pupusa Loca,
      It is on 826 Renfrew Street.

      The food is great, check it out!!!

    13. […] might recall a guest blog post I wrote for Rebecca summarizing my suggestions for good Mexican food in Vancouver. Tequila Kitchen hadn’t appeared on the food scene yet, so I did not include it there. […]

    14. […] if you’ve been following Karen’s blog (Tiny Bites) and my blog, you’ll know that Buzz Bishop issued a challenge to us last week – “review The Brave Bull, and demonstrate that you’re not just reviewing only the […]

    15. Yo says:

      TOPANGA on 4th is THE BEST MEXICAN in Vancouver!!! I have been going here for over 10 years! But I will deff try some of the others as well!

      ๐Ÿ™‚

    16. […] Last year, Rebecca asked me to write a review post for the best Mexican restaurants in Vancouver. Not surprisingly, given how widely read her blog is, she is the top result for Google.ca’s sea…. Luckily, that is also precisely my guest post, so I’m just going to update it […]

    17. Hey thanks for posting the great overview of Mexican restaurants in Vancouver! I’ve read some mixed reviews about Taco Loco but I plan to try it out next week. I’ve been to some sketchy places and they often have the best food!

    18. silvia says:

      El pulgarcito
      2522 E. Hastings Street
      Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z3
      Tel: (604) 258-7922 .

      Very good pupusas, and the owner is accually from El Salvador! They also offer other great Salvadorean and Mexican dishes.
      I highly recomended!!!! super friendly

    19. This looks delicious. I love Mexican food.

      Nisrine

    20. Ricco says:

      the best place to eat authentic mexican food is not in vancouver but in bellingham.It is called El Gitano on Sunset Drive.Do not waste your time in vancouver cross the border and get the real Enchilada there

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