Beautiful sandy beaches, more mezcal than you know what to (reasonably) do with and fish tacos that will leave you cursing your stomach for not being a bottomless pit? No, you’re not in Mexico, but rather the great city of Vancouver! More specifically, Tacofino’s new restaurant Taco Bar.
Yes, the beach is a bit of a walk from here, but you get the picture.
Tacofino has been serving up West Coast-fresh, Mexican-inspired cuisine since 2009 from their original cantina in Tofino, British Columbia. Since then, they have continued to grow and operate the original cantina, a fleet of food trucks and a restaurant in East Vancouver and Victoria.
Tacofino Taco Bar's dishes are great for sharing — Photo courtesy of Tacofino
Chef Jason Sussman and Kaeli Robinsong have partnered with Ryan Spong to open their flagship location Taco Bar on Gastown’s Blood Alley. The 3,000-square-foot space has 60 seats in the dining room and lounge, a 20-seat patio set to open this spring and a 20-seat bar with plenty of mezcal and tequila to guzzle.
On the run? Grab food to go from the adjoining Burrito Bar's take-out counter.
Taco Bar's design features many handmade works by local artists that complement each other perfectly. Elements of wood, brick, tile, natural colors and warm lighting make the space casual and inviting; it's an ideal spot to grab a bite and one of their refreshing margaritas with friends.
The interior and kitchen of Tacofino in Gastown — Photo courtesy of Tacofino
On the menu, guests will still be able to enjoy their signature tacos and burritos, but there are also some new items you’ll want to sink your teeth into.
If you want to stick with Tacofino classics, you can’t go wrong with their fish taco made from Pacific cod, salsa fresca and chipotle mayo. The lamb birria taco with herb salad, arbol chili, pickled nopales and preserved lemon zest is another tasty creation from Taco Bar.
Expect to see new dishes like Oaxacan corn fritters (These are a must-order.); a spicy kabocha squash and pickled cauliflower tostada; salmon ceviche; and glazed beef rib with chilaquiles. Suffice to say, you’re probably going to want to order one of everything, and if you're going with friends, you can! They're great for sharing.
Fresh and tasty tacos — Photo courtesy of Tacofino Vancouver
For dessert, who can say no to churros? Then, wash it all down with a refreshing margarita or drink from their cocktail list. Alton Brown even said that their margarita made his top five list on a recent visit to Vancouver.
One other thing that hasn’t changed is the quality of the products they use. They source antibiotic- and hormone-free, local and ethically raised products to use in their dishes. Prices at Taco Bar are affordable, considering the quality of ingredients that go into each dish.
Almost wherever you are in Vancovuer, there's some form of Tacofino within reach. And based on the hoards of hungry bellies flocking to each location, Taco Bar is a very welcome addition to Gastown.