Tucked in the industrial area of North Vancouver and very close to the Seaspan shipyards is La Taqueria (1305 Welch Street). This restaurant is known for its delicious and authentic tacos ever since it debuted in Vancouver in 2009.
As I entered through the door of the bright, simplistically designed shop, I was greeted with big smiles by co-owner, Alan Romero Cueto. He is super friendly, passionate, and enjoys chatting with his customers.
The commissary kitchen of La Taqueria supplies the main ingredients to the Gastown and Fairview restaurants, respectively. The decision to have a storefront in the North Vancouver location, especially in the industrial area was a risky one. And it has paid off. If you make great food and do it well consistently, people will come for your food, no matter what.
The ingredients for the fillings of the tacos are fresh, as they are made on-site. Horchata, a creamy rice drink, is also made fresh.
Usually when I go to La Taqueria, I always choose my usual favourites. Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to let Alan to choose some of his favourites for me.
On the plate (clockwise, closest to the horchata):
Calabacitas is a hearty vegetable taco made with zucchini, sweet corn, bell peppers and topped with queso fresco. The zucchini was perfectly soft and the flavourful medley was slightly smoky, sweet and savoury.
The next one I tried was De Cachete (braised beef cheeks). It was beefy, juicy, creamy, fatty and quite tender.
Tinga de Pollo is chicken and chorizo in chipotle tomato sauce sprinkled with Mexican cheese and drizzled with sour cream. This taco was smoky, tender, juicy, with a hint of spiciness at the end.
The last on the plate was the Carnitas (pork confit) taco. It is a Mexican style pulled pork that has been cooked in its own juices. The pickled red onions gave it a bit of a fresh zing to the tender and juicy meat.
After finishing the plate of tacos, Alan brought out the new fish taco. As they have been doing the grilled fish taco for years, they have decided to feature a new fish taco.
Atun, is a seared albacore tuna taco with great textures and flavours. This taco has a slight Asian influence, with creamy sweet spiciness from the wasabi mayo and chilli ponzu which melds well with the freshness of the pico de gallo. It’s fragrant from the cilantro and had great crunch from the cabbage and slight crispiness of the taco.
If you’re craving authentic Mexican in North Vancouver, be sure to check out La Taqueria. Your tastebuds will be glad you did!