Las Margaritas Mexican Cantina, located at 1999 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver, B.C., is one of the city’s best Mexican Restaurants. It has received several awards for best restaurant of the year from the Georgia Strait, Vancouver Magazine and Where Vancouver. It also carries the largest selection of tequilas in Canada (over 18 brands ranging in price from 4.95$/ounce-21.95$/ounce).

The menu is influenced by the cuisine of Baja California and owner Dan Rodriguez and general manager Rolando Guardia travel to Mexico several times a year to bring back new recipes and keep up with new trends. Many of the menu items are grilled or baked, but those that are deep fried are done so only with cholesterol-free canola oil. The restaurant makes it delicious salsa fresh daily as well as making their own chips. These have been voted best in Vancouver along with the restaurant’s margaritas, which come in 10 different flavors.

My personal choice from the menu is the grilled salmon burrito which is served with a spicy chipolte sauce. Other popular items include the fajitas, which are almost large enough to be shared and the pollo loco (translated as drunk chicken because it is marinated in tequila). If you are looking for something light, try the margarita salad, with its special, zesty (non-inebriating) dressing. If you are willing to have something fattening, yet sinfully yummy, go for the house nachos, which are loaded down in guacamole and sour cream.

The décor is casual as are the prices. A nice dinner, for two, with drinks, tax and tip, will run you about 60$CAD. The walls are completely covered in old pictures and paintings from Mexico and you can get stuck examining one wall for some time. In the summer, you can sit outside on the patio, which has been rated the best in the city, and is usually packed. If you do visit in the summer, you must drink a margarita. Better yet, order a jug. They are delicious and the mix is specially ordered from Mexico City and not even the bartender knows what’s in it.

Since I no longer live in Vancouver, I haven’t visited the restaurant in over a year, but anytime I do return, it’s one of the first places I go to. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed, and I miss Wednesday nights when the live mariache band plays. Most importantly, nothing on the menu disappoints.

The restaurant maintains a web site with a history of the restaurant and full menu. It is also one of the best sources of information on tequila. A special feature on the site is La Universidad de Tequila, where it is written: the most fun you’ll ever have earning a degree.

Visit the site at:

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