Burnaby has long been a desert when it comes to finding a great taco.
This is something I’ve complained about before, mainly because it doesn’t make sense that such delicious and amazing food can be so absent in a city as big as Burnaby.
That is now changing with more restaurants either open or getting ready to open soon in North Burnaby – all within five minutes of each other.
I fell in love with tacos when I started travelling to San Diego regularly due to family living there. Between that city and trips over the border to Mexico, I discovered the magic of handmade soft tacos. Many of the restaurants down south actually have people sitting out front making them fresh for everyone to see.
I haven’t seen that here, of course, but there are some fine tacos to be had in North Burnaby.
One great option is Don Oso’s Restaurant on Hastings near Rosser in the Heights. It serves up a variety of Mexican and Latin dishes.
Dishes include chacarero, which is sliced grilled beef, tomato, green beans, mayo and palta (smashed avocado). There’s also quesabirria tacos and empanadas, which is a meat pie, according to the restaurant’s website. But it’s boffo soft tacos are da bomb, with carnitas (pork), carne asada (sirloin), pollo (chicken), chorizo and barbacoa, which is slow-cooked beef topped with cilantro, slaw and onions.
There is also Quesada, which offers a variety of tacos and burritos.
But perhaps my favourite of all the local tacos is actually found at Browns Social House in the Brentwood area. They have a fried fish taco that is incredible. The fish is fried delicately without too much batter. Crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. Then they add slaw, pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle aioli on the top. This one really made my toes curl.
Those are all great options, but I’m also looking to the future with the arrival of La Taqueria, which is set to open a restaurant in the Amazing Brentwood mall redevelopment.
With its humble beginnings as that "pinche" taco shop on Hastings Street on the edge of Gastown several years ago, La Taqueria has grown to include two additional Vancouver outposts, as well as one in North Vancouver and one in Victoria.
La Taqueria says their Burnaby location at the Amazing Brentwood is "coming soon," so hopefully more details about their plans for the space will be revealed in the coming weeks.
La Taqueria serves outstanding food. Suddenly, I will actually have to make up my mind when I’m trying to figure out where to go for Mexican and Latin food.
Life moves pretty fast.
- With files from Lindsay William-Ross, Vancouver is Awesome
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.