West End's La Churreria opens to treat Vancouver to Mexican churros and coffee

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      While there have been numerous places opening up over the past few years serving tacos, there are relatively few that specialize in Mexican desserts.

      Luckily for Vancouver's West End, the petite La Churreria had its soft opening at 1105 Davie Street (formerly the location of Falafel King) on April 10.

      Nestled within the small plaza at the corner of Davie and Thurlow streets, the cozy spot is only about 500 square feet with an indoor seating capacity of 16 people, but there's a 1,000 square-foot patio that it shares with neighbouring food shops like Transylvanian Traditions Bakery and—in an interesting juxtaposition—the health-oriented Fit Camp Foods.

      The inviting new space features a clean, modern design with blue and white tiles inspired by Mexican décor and minimalist wood tables and stools custom-made by co-owner Mazen Adas.

      Craig Takeuchi

      In a chat at the premises, co-owner Adriana Orta explained that she and her husband started selling churros on Sundays at their three-year-old restaurant across the street, Los Amigos Taqueria (1118 Davie Street).

      Needless to say, it was a hit and when people kept asking for their light and crispy treats, Orta said they decided to open a location specifically devoted to the dessert.

      For those who are unfamiliar with churros, they're fried dough pastries that are like tubular doughnuts.

      Craig Takeuchi

      Orta, who is originally from Mexico City and has lived in Vancouver for 16 years, says she drew upon the recipes of her grandfather, who was a baker. They're deep-fried, not baked like some Americanized versions, and she says they'll be making them approximately every two hours, or in response to demand, so that they're always fresh.

      The original versions are coated in sugar and cinnamon ($2.25) and are also available filled with either chocolate, dulce de leche, Nutella, or jam ($3.25).

      For those who want to snack on churro bites, a pack of 12 come drizzled with either chocolate or dulce de leche ($5.25).

      For the full meal deal, there are churro bowls, which are spiral-shaped churros forming a bowl with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry) and drizzled with chocolate or dulce de leche ($6.50).

      Churro bowl at La Churreria
      La Churreria

      There's also a selection of drinks, including organic tea and organic, free trade Mexican coffee from Oaxaca.

      Their flavourful, spicy Mexicano coffee is inspired by the traditional café de olla, and includes spices, piloncillo (made of cane sugar), and cinnamon for an added kick to your daily dose of joe.

      Adas is particularly pleased with his fresh cold-pressed orange juice Zumex machine.

      "It just presses the orange instead of squeezing it, and it gives you an entirely different taste," Adas said. He explained that it produces a sweeter, less bitter taste, and allows them to make it on the spot when ordered.

      While the shop is still in a soft-opening phase, a grand opening will be held within a few weeks. Orta said they may make more additions or adjustments to the menu in the future but there's already enough sweetness on the menu to say ¡hola! to.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook