For most Vancouver kids growing up, family “taco night” saw hamburger meat seasoned with bright reddish orange seasoning powder and topped with watery salsa and dollops of sour cream. The shells were hard-on-the-tooth halfpipes that shattered at first bite and the cheese was as bright as neon. As good as that sounds, we’re glad things have changed!
In our opinion, Tacofino serves up one of the best fish tacos in the province. The crispiness of the batter stands up to the signature chipotle mayo (its crunch amplified further by fresh cabbage), and the quality is remarkably consistent given the number of locations. In the last couple of years it has only gotten better and more reliably delicious with Chef Stefan Hartmann at the helm.
Can a pulled pork taco be so good as to enter the realm of the sublime? Yup. No question. At Molli’s, they’re amped up by an achiote-spiced braise that is almost electric on impact. Also, the in-house chorizo is ridiculously good.
We dig the unorthodox takes on tacos here, like the vegetarian “coliflor” (toasted petitas caramelized cauliflower, cilantro-pea puree) and the battered avocado “aguacat”. Taco options run deep – almost a dozen by last reckoning.
Yaletown’s elevated, borderline avant garde Fayuca does tacos? Indeed they do, but only (as far as we know) during their excellent Happy Hour service, when one can score the Mazatlan-born (and uncommon in Canada) seafood “Tacos Gobernador”.
Always hard to choose here, but our favourites are the chicken with chocolate mole (rich yet subtle) and the ultimate Tinga de Pollo – a spicy mix of chicken and chorizo in a tomato sauce weighed down with Mexican cheese and sour cream.
It’s hard to choose with nine different tacos on offer here (all of them are awesome), but we always opt for our personal gold standard: the “carnitas” – pork confit with pickled red onions. So bright and flavourful!
The carne asada and al pastor (slow cooked pork brightened with pineapple) tacos are the usual standouts. Traditional, cheap, and reliable. Note: don’t let the nightly line-up scare you. It moves fast.
Chef Stu Irving takes tacos a step further than most without making them too precious. Case in point: the morita chili BBQ pulled pork with refried beans and mango papaya salsa. So delicious! Six tacos to try (each one as fantastic as the last).
We love this late night, good times spot located just a few blocks up from Kits Beach, especially in summer when its patio can be enjoyed to the fullest. Dig the tajin-seasoned fried chicken tacos and “Electric Flamingo” margarita. Solid happy hour deals.
Single purpose eateries are awesome, but this place narrows it down to just carnitas and proper tortillas! Ok, so they also do a daily veggie option, but let’s not kid ourselves about the attraction here. “Campechano” (mix of pork shoulder/leg and belly) is the way to go. We love it so much we even tried to replicate it at home!
A venerable option for veggie-lovers on The Drive with seven different tacos on offer. We’re especially partial to their “Estelle”, which electrifies the palate with pineapple, salsa, black beans, cheese and sour cream.
Classic Mt. Pleasant cheap eats for vegetarians and vegans. Don’t let the name fool you — they do tacos too! Our favourite taco here is the MJB, which sees roasted garlic, lime, potatoes and cheese loaded with spiced sour cream, lettuce and salsa.
There are over a half-dozen tacos at this craft beer-loving hangout on Main Street. The one to look out for is the “Machacha” double-down (two flour tortillas), which comes loaded with super flavourful beef short rib, cotija cheese and avocado anointed with pico de gallo and finished with chipotle crema.
There’s something very special about this few-frills, come-as-you-are with a good attitude spot in Blood Alley. They care more about the maintenance of good times than culinary authenticity here, so when the going gets weird on the menu, just dig in and enjoy. (Oh, and if the taco special is smoked rib meat tossed in chili garlic sauce, introduce it to your face and breathe its awesomeness in.)