Has any cuisine seen a bigger Vancouver boom than Latin American in the past decade? Sure, all of the city's culinary niches have seen a boost in the past years, but there are now legitimate, authentic and very tasty Latin eats in just about every neighbourhood in town.
Let's dig into the list, put together by our esteemed Restaurant Awards judges.
Chancho may have recently moved to bigger digs in Yaletown, but it hasn't lost a modicum of authenticity. Sure, you don't have a ton of choice at Chancho—three slightly different slow-roasted meat options (or one veggie) served on a tray that’s suitable for a prison riot—but when it tastes like this, you certainly aren't going to complain.
2. La Taqueria
Slowly slipping its casual roots is La Taqueria, where high-end ingredients, a serious Michelin-starred chef and a killer cocktail program have helped it expand. Currently boasting three bricks-and-mortar in the city, a food truck and two additional spots (in North Van and Victoria) all with slightly different menus, the Taqueria empire is well underway. (And we didn't even mention the wonderful Chupito—the new cocktail bar behind Tacqueria's Gastown location.)
Yet another (although non-official) extension of the empire, Mezcaleria was started by the same minds behind Taqueria. Slightly higher-end than its ubiquitous brethren, Mezcaleria boasts two spots (in Gastown and on Commercial Drive) and both offer delicious cocktails, cozy atmosphere and, of course, heaven in a bowl with its queso fundido variations.
Now for something completely different. The rest of the places on this list are well-known powerhouses in the city. The same reputation hasn't exactly been afforded to Rinconcito Salvadoreño, but it really should be. For 23 years, the Commercial Drive haunt has been flipping the city's best handmade pupusas: thick corn tortillas topped with cheese, beans, pork, or all three are served in traditional El Salvadorean style with chimol (cooked salsa) and curtido (pickled cabbage salad).