Mexican Restaurant Review

Comments 20 by Rebecca Bollwitt

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 🙂 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’s ‘Guest Posts‘)

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    20 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. Miss604Saturday, September 15th, 2007 — 4:58pm PDT

      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. RaulSaturday, September 15th, 2007 — 5:03pm PDT

      Thanks to you Rebecca for inviting me to be your guest blogger! I really appreciate it! 😀

      I’ll have to check Poncho’s, with my fingers crossed and an open mind 😀

    3. Keira-AnneSaturday, September 15th, 2007 — 8:58pm PDT

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

    4. DarrenSunday, September 16th, 2007 — 12:42am PDT

      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. RaulSunday, September 16th, 2007 — 1:30am PDT

      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 🙂

    6. NickSunday, September 16th, 2007 — 11:40am PDT

      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. BradleySunday, September 16th, 2007 — 5:32pm PDT

      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. MitchMonday, September 17th, 2007 — 11:46am PDT

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

      Highly recommended!

    9. Jeremy LathamTuesday, September 18th, 2007 — 10:16am PDT

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

    10. BryanWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 11:30pm PDT

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

    11. darrenThursday, September 20th, 2007 — 12:20pm PDT

      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:

      Make sure you try the ceviche!


    12. MonicaSunday, September 30th, 2007 — 5:23pm PDT

      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. Restaurant review – Tequila Kitchen (Yaletown) « Random Thoughts of a Student of the EnvironmentFriday, April 11th, 2008 — 3:06pm PDT

      […] 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. Restaurant review – The Brave Bull (East Hastings & Clark) « Random Thoughts of a Student of the EnvironmentMonday, June 23rd, 2008 — 10:26pm PDT

      […] 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. YoFriday, August 22nd, 2008 — 12:55pm PDT

      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!


    16. Mexican food restaurants in Vancouver: An updated post « Random Thoughts of a Student of the EnvironmentWednesday, August 27th, 2008 — 6:02am PDT

      […] 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’s sea…. Luckily, that is also precisely my guest post, so I’m just going to update it […]

    17. Vancouver restaurantsWednesday, December 3rd, 2008 — 8:21pm PST

      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. silviaTuesday, May 5th, 2009 — 5:15pm PDT

      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. Nisrine MerzoukiThursday, December 10th, 2009 — 6:15pm PST

      This looks delicious. I love Mexican food.


    20. RiccoMonday, December 28th, 2009 — 10:23am PST

      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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