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5 Mexican Spots in Metro Vancouver You Need to Try By Avneet Takhar When I think of Mexican food, what comes to mind is fiery flavours, homestyle portions and colourful concoctions. Basically everything you could ever want for a pleasing palette and visual  la comida experience. Dive into the culture and fun this Cinco De Mayo with these following foodie spots that’ll leave a tingle on your tongue! Alimentaria Mexicana A restaurant under the umbrella of culinary big shot, Ernesto Gomez (also the founder of Chancho Tortilleria), Alimentaria Mexicana cannot be missed on Granville Island with its vibrant design and straw-covered patio. The menu carefully curated by Martín Vargas is like a la fiesta on a plate. Tinted crispy tortillas, meaty mains; Beef Cheeks In Dried Mexican Chillies and 8-hour braised Lamb Shank Barbacoa and cheerful bebidas (drinks), Niña Piña and Mezcalita amongst the many cocktail options. If you’re wanting…

By Brittany Tiplady Alejandro Diaz’s contemporary Mexican restaurant, El Santo, opened in 2015 and has remained a New Westminster favourite year after year—pandemic and all.  Along with Executive Chef Sam Fabbro, El Santo has garnered rave reviews and critical acclaim since opening. Diaz and his team have been featured in regional and national publications alike, such as the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun. The restaurant has also taken home some impressive hardware — earning gold at the Vancouver Magazine Awards for Best Latin Restaurant (2017). Not to be outdone, though, the El Santo team are also good, honest, and charitable people. Diaz is passionate about giving back to organizations like Canucks Autism Network, and nearby shelters in New West. It’s the kind of place you can feel good about giving your business to, with the bonus of the food and drink being second to none. *All photos care of  Andrea Iñurria I had the…

By Brittany Tiplady If there is one thing I am good at, it is picking the perfect restaurant. Skip the planning anxiety this year and let us plan your Valentine’s Day date night for you. Pro tip: If you plan on dining in, some restaurants are still operating at a reduced capacity, so be sure to book a reservation where possible to guarantee your table. Pepino’s 635 Commercial Dr, Vancouver Transit: Buses R5, 20, 16, 14 Spaghetti and meatballs, mozzarella sticks, lasagna, cheesecake…. oh my. Pepino’s—a Commercial Drive Italian joint that is part of the Osteria Savio Volpe family—pays homage to the legacy of Nick’s Spaghetti House. Here you’ll find a selection of generous plates, lovely wines and classic cocktails. Be warned however, you may leave with your waistband feeling a little…tight. Pro tip: Come to your reservation a little early, and grab a glass of beautiful Italian wine next…

By Catherine Dunwoody El Santo, Spanish for “the saint”, was a masked legend of Mexican sports, a famous luchador (wrestler) and it is the two-year-old restaurant founder Alejandro Diaz’s childhood hero. For Diaz, choosing Vancouver-born Chef Sam Fabbro to helm his New Westminster restaurant’s kitchen made good sense. When it came to creating a menu that focused on the freshest seasonal West Coast ingredients available with a traditional, Mexican slant – Fabbro gets it. While still in high school, Sam hopped on a work experience opportunity at Cobre in Vancouver’s Gastown, then known for its real-deal Latino cuisine. After landing stints at Raincity in English Bay and Cin Cin; El Santo is where you’ll find him now. Always inspired by Mexican cooking, Fabbro spent time in Jalisco, Mexico to immerse myself in the food and culture, and brought some authentic ideas back to El Santo. “My dishes are always changing and that…

By Kristi Alexandra The River Market is thriving with multicultural cuisines, and really is a bon marché of sorts. From Hainanese poultry to European sweet treats, the River Market is a hot bed of gastronomic discovery, so you can live the life of a travelling gourmand without the pricey plane ticket. Bon appetite… or should we say bon voyage? Italian Aa a country built on its reputation for personal pleasure, it’s no secret Italians pride themselves on their indulgences. Those “indulgences” include fine cheeses, cured meats and, of course, gelato. Grab a made-to-order Italian sandwich at the La Grotta Del Formaggio’s deli counter inside Donald’s Market, along with some plum olives, and enjoy it as a picnic at the adjacent Pier Park. A scoop of Tre Galli Gelato’s homemade lemon gelato in a waffle cone will transport your tastebuds to Florence. Thai Fitting that traditional Thai coastal cuisine should be…

By Kristi Alexandra Often hailed by locals as the future “little Brooklyn” to Vancouver’s NYC, Downtown New Westminster has undergone significant revitalization in the past few years. Along with it came a new shopping centre, Shops at New West, located right inside the New Westminster Sky Train Station. The transit hub — populated by shops, restaurants and even a movie theatre — has become its own culinary destination, with a plethora of regional cuisines to choose from. We took a trip to the Shops at New West to bring you five food pairings on offer for under $15. Four Tacos & Café Mexicano at Originals Restaurante Mexicano (Pictured above.) For $11.50, Original’s Restaurante Mexicano offers up four traditional-style tacos. You can mix and match your flavours from nine options, including pastor (pineapple marinated pork), Baja Fish (chipotle-crusted tilapia with cilantro and avocado), barbacoa (lamb) and lengua (beef tongue). We washed…