Launched in the summer of 2021, Chupito, the cocktail bar you can only get to through the alley behind La Taqueria on Hastings Street, is up and running again with a refreshed menu for the season.
A fresh line-up of cocktails inspired by the sights, sounds, and most importantly the flavours of Mexico are coming out of Chupito's tiny shipping container bar, to be enjoyed under the sky (or umbrellas) for an urban evening escape to the seashore far south of the border.
Look for stellar sippers like the Orinoco, a cocktail that was created to evoke the scent and taste of carnitas tacos. The drink uses smoky Mezcal "washed" with carnitas (a fatty, braised shredded pork) and is even garnished with a cilantro leaf. Of course, not every drink is made to remind you of what you ate after your last spring break bender - and to be clear, these are not at all like the watered-down, sugary drinks you might knock back at an all-inclusive resort. These are thoughtful, creative cocktails that will spark curiosity and conversation.
However, the drinks are also designed to go handily with Chupito's lovely menu of easily-shared small plates. You'll feel whisked to a beach town through bites of ceviche or zingy aguachile. One standout on the updated menu is the Tostada de Pescado en Salsa Macha - a fish tostada enlivened with salsa macha, a sauce from Veracruz, Mexico that is at once tangy, textured and a little smoky.
If you're looking for hand-held comfort eats veer right to the elote (a staple Mexican street food of corn on the cob covered in mayo, crema, queso fresco, lime, and chile) or to the tacos. Crunch into golden-fried tacos dorados including the very popular birria, a slow-cooked shredded meat.
Yes, Chupito is really located off a downtown Vancouver alley
You'll be eating and drinking in one of Vancouver's most creative spaces. Chupito was created as a result of the COVID era prompting a patio explosion in the city. La Taqueria wanted to make the most of their "around the back" space, which happens to be between old walls that still bear the scars of vintage advertising, foliage, and graffiti past. The ground is covered in loose gravel, and a few umbrellas hover above to keep out the sun, or, the inevitable rain. (It's important to note, if it's really coming down, Chupito won't open for the day; you'll want to check in with them on Instagram to ensure they're braving the elements.)
Should you wish to keep the fiesta going, Chupito patrons can also opt to slip into Cantina 189, the new-ish
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Chupito is open - weather permitting - Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. The secret patio is located in the alley behind 322 W Hastings St.