La Taqueria

by Ed Lau on December 3, 2009

I first heard of La Taqueria from 604Foodtography and being a frequent Gastown area visitor, I thought it would be easy to get there and sample some of their authentic Mexican fare. However, I either always forgot or, like on Remembrance Day last month, the tiny eatery was jam packed full of hungry customers and if there’s one thing I hate doing…it’s lining up. So when Kevin (of 604Foodtography) asked fellow bloggers Ben (from Chowtimes), Angie (of SeaSaltwithFood) and myself to join him while he finishes his tour of the entire menu at La Taqueria on Thursday, we all made the effort to get downtown for some tacos.

La Taqueria is located at 322 West Hastings, right beside Victory Square in downtown Vancouver. Yes, parking in the area does indeed suck, especially with all sorts of roadwork going on so if you can make it with public transit and such, that might be a good idea.

The inside is quite like what you might expect from a taco stand and seats probably 10-12 people. On busy days during the lunch rush, you’ll probably never get a seat and the line extends out the door. However, it was Thursday at a little past 1pm so we sat right at the counter.

Ordering is simple. There are a variety of different tacos available and they’re $2.50 each or $9.50 for a plate of four. There’s also quesadillas for $4.00 but I’ll probably leave that for another day. It’s important to note that all menu items feature free-range meats, organic produce and wild, sustainable fish which they try to obtain locally. I’m not extremely picky when it comes to these things…I mean, taste is what matters to me the most but it’s nice to know that the food we’re enjoying comes from good sources.

They also have several vegetarian options so folks like Lesley can eat here too. Personally I’m all about the meats but I’ll give the vegetarian tacos a try the next time I’m in the area.

I ordered the Asada (grilled AAA beef flank with cucumbers), De Lengua (braised Pemberton Meadows beef tongue), Al Pastor (Chilliwack pork marinated with chile, achiote and pineapple) and Pescado (grilled seasonal fish…today it was Albacore tuna…with pico de gallo) tacos for my four. The beef flank taco, strangely, is highlighted by the cucumber, which gives it a great crunch. The beef tongue probably freaks a few people out. Think of it as a supremely tender and flavorful cut of beef.

The Albacore tuna in the Pescado was delicious. Well seasoned and cooked, still moist on the inside. However, I have to say my favorite of the four is the Al Pastor. The flavor of the pork is just exploding with every bite with the sweetness of the pineapple and a bit of spiciness.

We augmented all the spiciness with the house hot sauces. Of course, we went for the one that looked spicy. A squirt of lime juice and a couple dashes of hot sauce…amazing.

I also ordered this strange soda from Mexico which I really didn’t like at first. It was sort of a bitter orange taste but once I went through a few of my tacos, it tasted fantastic.

This was Ben’s platter. He had the same four tacos that I ordered.

This was Kevin’s platter with De Cachete (braised Chilliwack pork cheeks), Asada (grilled AAA beef flank with cucumbers), Arrachera (house-marinated AAA Canadian skirt beef), and Frijoles Charros con Queso (refried cowboy beans with Mexican cheese).

Angie wasn’t particularly hungry so she just got a single taco, a Rajas con Crema (roasted poblano peppers with creamed corn, sour cream and Mexican cheese).

I highly recommend La Taqueria if you’re into Mexican cuisine and you’re in the Vancouver area. The tacos aren’t the massive ones you’re probably used to from the chain Mexican places and big eaters might need to go for a few more servings…maybe try more of the menu like I will when I go back another couple times.

La Taqueria Taco Shop on Urbanspoon

in Food and Fine Dining,Photography

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen December 4, 2009 at 2:20 am

Aww… Look at the little mini tacos. So cute! LOL


Kevin December 4, 2009 at 3:10 am

I agree with Stephen’s comments. The tacos look pretty small…were you full after the 4 tacos?


Leo December 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Are you sure that it wasn’t just an appetizer?
The actual taco street stands/markets in Mexico give you giant servings. Vancouver is just too dainty and overpriced to maintain those original proportions.


Angie December 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm

I have to agree with Leo’s comment! Btw, the tacos were really good, I went back and brought some back for my kids :-)


Kevin December 5, 2009 at 3:13 am

Why do you have to beat me to it?
Oh well, I’m way behind in my posts anyways….got a queue of restaurants to post about!
Thanks for coming out, was gooooood to meet ya, even though I feel like I already have.


Çizgi film izle December 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Wow! It’s great foods. I hungary :)


oes tsetnoc December 6, 2009 at 7:21 am

these pictures make me hungry


Meryl Streep Movies December 7, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Amazing Photos and the Food looks delicious :D


Lesley December 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Awww thanks for thinking of me!


george froehlich January 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

One of my favourite places in town and their mexican food is the street variety and obviously so good. Love your review and the photo’s are amazing. I know how tough it is to shoot food and make it look good.


sarah August 4, 2010 at 11:40 am

great Photos and the Food looks really good… :-)


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