A taco is the best summer snack. It’s a hand-held pocket of bright, tongue-tingling flavours served up with fresh, local ingredients that you can take on the go — as long as you have enough napkins handy to soak up whatever juicy, saucy goodness your taco purveyor has served up.
John and I area always on the lookout for a good taco selection and until recently, the best the folded and lime-drizzled creations have been few and far between. Lucky for us, Vancouver Foodster just released the results of their recent Vancouver Taco Challenge, a judged competition with a people’s choice element.
The Best Tacos in Vancouver
The Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge included restaurants in Vancouver, New Westminster and Richmond. Each restaurant featured their creation on their menu from May 12th to June 5th, 2016 and their customers voted for their favourites daily throughout the challenge.
1st Place: Little Mexico Cantina
Description: Duck Confit (Carnitas) mashed comate, toasted seasoned pecans, on a handmade guajillo chile tortilla “a la Potosina” from the region of San Luis Potosi presented with a Pitaya brunoise dusted with jamaica (Habisus) flower petals, served with a black bean mousse and avocado mousse topped with a piloncillo chipotle sauce and a sprig of organic thyme.
Created by: Chef Roberto Lopez Lara
Offered: Available for Dinner only
Little Mexico Cantina (3131 Chatham St #150, Richmond)
2nd Place: (tie): Las Tortas
The Abu Yosuf Fish Taco
Description: As the Sharwarma: is the Taco al pastor’s culinary ancestor, I decided to make a fusion mix of traditional Lebanese and Mexican flavours. Red Snapper marinated in a mix of zattar, sumac spices & pomegranate molasses, panfried & served on top of fresh spinach, red & green cabbage, chipotle infused tajine, and crowned with fattoush pico de gallo & fresh avocado.
Created by: Chef Moises Toyber
Offered: All the time (11:30am-7:30pm Monday-Saturday)
Las Tortas (3353 Cambie Street, Vancouver)
2nd Place: (tie): Los Cuervos Taqueria
Tamarind Glazed Pork Belly
Description: Tamarind glazed pork belly with lightly pickled cabbage and chicharrón.
Created by: Chef Gilles_L´Heureux
Offered: All the time.
Los Cuervos Taqueria (603 Kingsway, Vancouver)
3rd Place: (tie): Molli Café
Beef Tongue with almond sauce
Price: $3 (for 1 taco)*
Description: It is a simple taco but complex in flavors, since we used traditional Mexican techniques to elaborate the sauce. The tender and lean beef tongue blends really nice with the nutty and lightly spice of the sauce. We found that it was a good way to mix tradition with an odd part ingredient.
Created by: Chefs Berenice Balbuena & Rafael Flores
Offered: Monday to Saturday from noon to 7pm
Molli Café (1225 Burrard Street, Vancouver)
3rd Place: (tie): The Pressure Box
Pacific North West Tacos
Description: aka salmon and bannock tacos with salt curred/cold smoked Ocean wise Keta Salmon, whipped citrus cream cheese, pea shoots, pickled onions.
Created by: Chef Scott Lesko
Offered: Tuesday to Thursday lunch; Friday/Saturday nights.
The Pressure Box Food Truck: Tuesday to Friday lunch at Georgia and Burrard and Saturday nights at 33 acres brewery. 5th and Quebec Wednesday lunch, 33 acres Wednesday lunch.
In the People’s Choice Awards category, the public who tried the Taco dishes were the ones who had the opportunity to cast their vote throughout the challenge.
1st Place People’s Choice:
Taco Canauhtl: Little Mexico Cantina
2nd Place People’s Choice:
The Abu Yosuf Fish Taco: Las Tortas
3rd Place People’s Choice:
Taco de Borrego en Mole Ahumado: El Santo
More Best Tacos in Vancouver
Want more recommendations? BC Living has a list of their top taco picks and that includes: Tacofino Commissary (their food truck is a lunchtime staple in downtown Vancouver), El Camino’s, Bandidas Taqueria, and La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop.
Finally, YELP has their own list of Vancouver’s Best Tacos (as curated by you) and the top 5 places are: Bandidas Taqueria, and La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop, Sal y Limón, Los Cuervos Taqueria Y Cantina, and The Mexican Antojitos Y Cantina.
* Prices are those quoted by Vancouver Foodster at time of publishing. Restaurant prices on location are always to be taken as the real price should they defer from those published here.