09 Mar 6 Taco Joints to Try in Vancouver
Updated: March 22, 2018 – You can now get delivery of La Taqueria, Tacomio and Tacofino on the ParcelPal app.
For something that began as lowly, cheap Mexican street food, Tacos have certainly done well for themselves. Tacos have moved from the street to the kitchen, and are being gobbled up by the thousands in cities all over the world. Packed full of flavour and fresh ingredients, easy to eat, and not too filling, tacos have evolved into the perfect elevated street food. However, not all tacos are created equal. Not even close. The difference between a good taco and a bad taco is like the difference between a good kiss and a bad kiss. One will leave you wanting more; the other will have you heading for the (bathroom) door.
Luckily, Vancouver has no shortage of good tacos that will leave you wanting more. In fact, the city is becoming a bit of a hotbed for authentic, tasty tacos. Here are 6 Vancouver taco restaurants that do it the right way.
When it comes to taste and authenticity, La Taqueria is the undisputed king of the Vancouver taco scene. Opened in 2009 by a group of Mexican transplants, their take on the taco is as authentic as you will find outside of Mexico. They recognize the humble origins of the taco – as Mexican street food – and elevate it to some next level sh*t.
While La Tacqueria offers a great assortment of meat, veggie and fish tacos, favourites include Carnitas (pork confit with pickled red onions); Pollo Con Mole (free-range chicken with chocolate mole sauce); Rajas Con Creme (roasted poblano peppers with creamed corn, sour cream, and Mexican cheese); and Atun (seared Albacore tuna with wasabi mayo, chili ponzu, cabbage, and pico de gallo). Sublime.
With a lot of hype, and arguably the best fish taco in the city, Tacofino has quickly evolved from a city food truck staple to one of Vancouver’s most popular taco spots. While their eponymous food truck (which started in the parking lot of a Tofino surf shop) can still be found at events across the city, it is their two year old Gastown location that has Vancouverites lining up out the door, with its mix of brick decor, a full bar, and – of course – the food.
Must-trys include the aforementioned Fish Taco (Pacific cod, salsa fresca, chipotle mayo); the Chicken Taco (fried chicken, pickled vegetable, epazote chimichurri, buttermilk chili crema); and the Eggplant Taco (sweet and spicy kale slaw, lime crema, cilantro, peanuts). Believe the hype.
The new kid on the Vancouver taco block, Tacomio (“my taco”) has already made a considerable dent with their original, authentic tacos, made with super fresh ingredients and a lotta love. Tacomio is a cafeteria-style taco joint. You choose your vessel (taco or burrito), then your protein (meat, veggie, ocean) and then your side (too many to mention). Their albacore tuna and braised pork are always on point, and their pico de gallo is one of the best in the city. As an added bonus, try the Strawchata, their house made take on the classic Horchata, made with – you guessed it – fresh strawberries. It’s Mexican Summer in a glass.
Located in the heart of culturally diverse Commercial Street, Bandida’s is a long-standing Vancouver favourite. One thing that separates Bandida’s from their competition is the fact that all their tacos are vegetarian. On top of that, because they use corn-based tacos and tortillas, they are also a favourite of those looking for gluten-free fare. But don’t think for a minute that quality and flavour are sacrificed in any way. Using a combination of fresh ingredients and creativity, Bandida’s tacos pack a serious punch.
Try the Ronny Russell (roasted yams, guacamole, back beans, salsa verde, purple cabbage, and toasted pumpkin seeds) or the Leona Gayle (smoky-sweet chipotle tofu, pinto beans, roasted tomato salsa, romaine lettuce, cheese, and sour cream) to see what we mean.
Any restaurant named after an iconic 70’s automobile gets automatic cool points. Luckily, El Camino’s not only has one of the coolest restaurant names in Vancouver, they also have some pretty fine tacos. Housed in a seriously cool space on Main St., El Camino’s serve South American street food, including – of course – tacos, as well as an impressive selection of South American beers, tequilas, and cocktails.
The tacos at El Camino’s are served on soft corn tortillas, and perfect for sharing or pairing with a cold cerveza. If meat is your thing, we recommend the Carne Asada (grilled flat iron steak, cherry tomato, chimichurri) or the Chorizo (ground chorizo, arugula, smoked monterey, salsa el diablito). If not, try the Vegetariano (caramelized cauliflower, black beans, feta, poblano salsa). Either way, you win.
Located in Gastown’s infamous Blood Alley, Gringo can almost be described as a hole in the wall, but one festooned in vibrant colours, where the drinks are always flowing, the seats are always packed, and the tacos are always on point. There is a playful whimsy to Gringo, and this is reflected in their food (and their amazing Margaritas).
Favourites in include the Austin (sauced brisket, fried onions, slaw) and the Wilbur (Mazatlan braised pork, chilies, vinegar, pickled onions). Do yourself a favour and add some of their house made avocado cream to your taco. It’s highly addictive.
So whether you are taking a lunch break from the office, chillin’ with pals, or heading out on a first date, try one of these tantalizing taco joints. Trust us, you can’t go wrong. If you’re feeling a bit lazy and dont want to move, you can download the ParcelPal iOS app and have it delivered.