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Tortas, tostadas, tamales: Mexican street food spot La Loteria opening in downtown Vancouver

Named for the beloved and colourful Mexican "bingo" game, La Loteria will serve street food fare from Monterrey.
La Loteria, a forthcoming restaurant in downtown Vancouver, takes its name from the Mexican bingo game. Photo: La Loteria, Mexican Street Food/Facebook

A new restaurant with plans to serve authentic Mexican street food is prepping to launch in downtown Vancouver.

Named after the beloved and colourful Mexican "bingo" game, La Loteria is renovating the space at 1011 Granville Street, in what was previously the poutine shop Frites.

"La Loteria is a dream dreamed more than 10 years ago," explains Ingrid Murillo Ramos, Restaurant Manager, in an email to Vancouver Is Awesome. In 2009, La Loteria owner Yonathan Delgado arrived in Vancouver on a one-year work permit. Delgado realized quickly that Vancouverites really enjoyed Mexican food, and he hoped someday to be able to serve food from his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico here in B.C.

Delgado, who earned a diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, took his expertise and gained further experience working in Vancouver restaurants like Mucho Burrito, Taco del Mar, and Dunn's Famous. After six years as the General Manager at Dunn's, Delgado has opted to strike out on his own and open La Loteria.

With plans for a largely take-out and quick-serve style, Ramos says "La Loteria will serve the typical food we can find in Monterrey city streets: tortas, tostadas and tamales."

While many may already be familiar with tamales, which made of masa, filled, and steamed, a traditional tostada is comprised of a toasted or deep-fried tortilla based loaded with toppings. Tortas are hot or cold sandwiches served on a roll or bun. "Its variations have no limits since you can fill them with any of your favourite ingredients such as pork, chicken, tinga, pork belly, ham, milanesa, even with tamales," explains La Loteria on their social media. "Tortas came to revolutionize not only the way bread was understood in Mexico but also the way it was eaten and incorporated into its culture. The tortas are history, culture and identity." 

Right now Ramos says La Loteria is aiming to open by December. You can follow the restaurant on Instagram or Facebook for more updates.