While Mexican cuisine has always been popular amongst Vancouverites seeking some semblance of warmth in our rainy climate, the options have been limited in the past.
Luckily, there has been a growth spurt in the number of Mexican-influenced eateries in town, including a flurry of taco places that have been launching such as La Catrina, which opened last year in the West End.
La Mezcaleria, featuring mescal from different regions of Mexico, opened its second location last year at 68 East Cordova.
Although the recently opened Andina Brewing Company (1507 Powell Street) has a South American focus (especially Colombia), they do include some Mexican items, such as Mexican ceviche.
More recently, El Santo (680 Columbia Street) opened in New Westminster, which combines traditional Mexican cuisine with local ingredients.
Meanwhile, the U.S.–based Mexican-inspired chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding into West Vancouver.
Over in East Vancouver, Maizal is gearing up for an opening at 2815 Main Street.
The 1,100 square-foot space will seat up to 30 to 35 people, and will open sometime around the beginning of April.
Owner Rodrigo Vela, who is originally from Mexico and has previously worked in Vancouver at Sciué and Chipotle, said that his new casual spot will focus on inspiration from street food popular in Mexico City.
The menu will include in-house made tortillas, tacos, quesadillas, tamales, and tortas (sandwiches), as well as some of Vela's favourite traditional dishes such as pastor (spit-grilled meat), carnitas (braised pork), carne asada (grilled beef dish), and green mole. There'll also be beer, tequila, and mescal-based cocktails.
Most of the menu will be gluten- and GMO-free, with vegetarian and vegan options available.
Meanwhile, La Churreria is under construction at 1105 Davie Street, next to the health-oriented Fit Camp Foods at the corner of Thurlow Street in the West End. It's being opened by the owners of Los Amigos Taqueria, which is right across the street at 1118 Davie Street. Due to the popularity of churros at their taqueria, they decided to open a place devoted to churros. And why not?
They'll be specializing in ice cream and Mexican churros, or fried-dough pastries, that'll be served filled or plain. There'll also be some Mexican coffee drinks and other offerings as well.
The small spot is 600 square feet and can seat 16 inside plus the patio. The décor will feature an emphasis on wood with a contemporary style.
It'll be one of the only ice cream shops in the Davie Village and a welcome dessert spot to stop by, particularly after dropping by the nearby beach in the summer.
The owners are aiming to open in about two weeks so stay tuned for more details on this one. Sounds delish.