Hot, sweet, fresh and spicy, maize-based dishes – Latin American cuisine is loved by many. And while we would love more restaurants with authentic offerings in our Kitsilano neighbourhood (or at least a Tacofino or La Taqueria within walking distance), we do have several that give it a pretty good go, albeit with a Canadian twist.
Chips & Salsa
Tortilla chips are actually an LA invention from the 1940s, but we’ll just forget that part of history and enjoy them regardless. It’s the start of a satisfying meal at Las Margaritas, where the first basket of their house-made chips and salsa is complimentary. You can even purchase the salsa and chips in prepackaged containers (SPUD sells their salsa as well) to take home. Fresh is Best makes some fine chips and salsa as well at their colourful store.
Topped with grilled free-range chicken, large amounts of gooey cheese, and fresh salsa verde, their Nacho Pollo take on nachos at Burgoo Bistro is delicious. It’s perfect for sharing, if you’re into that.
Cacao wins this one, firstly because they are the only ones making these awesome Venezuelan pita-like cornbread sandwiches. Secondly, because they do a damn fine job of it, in their own fancy way. Cacao’s fluffy arepas are stuffed with savoury ingredients like chicken and avocado, cheese, shredded beef, and mushrooms.
Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, and Quesadillas
Classic Tex-Mex and California-style, but still excellent are Topanga Cafe‘s Prawn Burritos and Enchiladas, Lucky Taco‘s tacos, and The Naam‘s vegetarian Quesadillas.
Ceviche is difficult to make and mediocre ceviche just doesn’t cut it in this category. Fortunately for us, Baru Latino makes excellent ceviche in three varieties: the Baru Ceviche with shrimp, the Ecuadorian Red with scallops, grilled squid, and shrimp, and a Seasonal one which is typically made with wild sockeye salmon. Baru’s Patacones (deep fried thick plantain pancakes) are out of this world addictive and they come as an accompaniment to the ceviche, though you can order them on their own.
Last modified: November 12, 2017
Since when is Ceviche difficult to make?
All a person needs is quality white Fish, Lime juice and Salt-what’s tough about that, eh?!