I’ll let you in on a secret…one of the best sandwiches in all of Vancouver can be found at the intersection of Fraser and Kingsway, inside the hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is Sal y Limon. While everything on the menu is excellent (especially the corn masa huarache flatbreads), the Cubana XL torta is truly on some other level ish. Order it with a side of chipotle aioli, throw in some extra chorizo, and dig in to what may very well become your favourite sandwich of all time.
Tucked away in the Point Grey neighbourhood, Baru is a chic lounge offering a laidback vibe in an upscale setting. There’s no better place to catch up with your crew over a round of amazing mojitos, which are best paired with a double order of their drool-worthy plantain chips. Pop by on a Thursday evening for live music from 8:30 until after midnight…just don’t forget to make a reservation in advance!
A visit to Boteco Brasil is like dropping in on a Brasilian house party. For starters, Boteco is located in an actual house that’s been transformed into a pint-sized restaurant. Once inside, you’ll find a crowd of Brasilians getting their drink on and enjoying what could be the best caipirinha in all of Vancouver. With live music and a packed dance floor on the weekends, there’s no better place to sip and samba the night away.
Looking for a hidden gem that you can impress your foodie friends with? Molli’s is the answer. Located on Burrard near Davie, this Mexican luncheria is helmed by two chefs who worked at the world famous El Bulli and one of Spain’s three-star Michelin restaurants respectively. From the open-face mollete sandwiches to the lamb birria tacos, you can’t go wrong with anything you order. And if you’re in the
mood for something lighter, Molli’s also has the café angle covered with tasty baked conchas (vanilla buns with a sweet glaze) and a superb cup of coffee – organic, no less!
If you’re a meat lover, the West End’s Rio Brasil has your name written all over it. As the only place in Vancouver to offer a true Brazilian steakhouse experience, you can expect rodizio service where servers continuously come by your table and carve rotisserie meats from massive skewers until you say stop. It’s best to go on an empty stomach so you have room for all the beef, pork, lamb and chicken you could possibly want – plus the surprisingly tasty grilled pineapple! With a rooftop patio and live samba dancers on weekends, it’s a fun place to come grub out with your friends.
Lesson learned: never judge a book by its cover. Despite being located right on the Granville Strip, The Mexican is not a trashy tacos-and-tequila bar like you might expect – it’s truly the real deal. Using family recipes, the chef has created a menu of Mexican dishes you’ve likely never tried before, like pozole soup, nopales asados (grilled cactus leaves) and sopes flatbreads. This place is too legit to quit!
This Main Street hotspot owned by the crew behind The Cascade Room/The Union offers a modern take on typical South America fare. Everything on the menu, from the chickpea fritas and shortrib arepas to the buttermilk fried chicken tacos, is beyond delish. With 140 types of tequila behind the bar and a room always buzzing with energy, it’s where you want to come for a round of drinks – especially on Tequila Thursday. ’Nuff said.
If you’re in the mood for a resto you can hit up for good grub without having to change out of your sweatpants/yoga pants, Rinconcito has got you covered. Expect nothing fancy here, just good Salvadoran home cooking that hits the spot. Their specialty is the almighty pupusa, a thick corn tortilla filled with pork, cheese, refried beans and cabbage slaw that’s beyond delicious. A tip: these pupusas are in high demand, so call ahead to make sure they haven’t run out.
Fancy a sammie? With 21 varieties to choose from, Las Tortas is the spot to visit for a hearty Mexican sub-style sandwich. There’s something on the menu for everyone, from the meat-heavy ham/pulled pork/chorizo club to the grilled zucchini with panela cheese. If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest the ahogada stuffed with pulled pork and black beans, then drowned in a delightfully spicy salsa. Mmmmmm…