Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge 2019

Tuesdays aren’t the only day we dream about Tacos so Vancouver Foodster’s Best Taco Challenge is helping us find a new favourite taco for every day of the week.

The Best Taco Challenge runs May 16 – June 9, 2019 at restaurants around Metro Vancouver! 

Vancouver Foodster has challenged chefs to create their taco however their imagination can dream of; complicated or simple, traditional or uniquely non-traditional, vegetarian or meat-filled.

The public is invited to try out all of the Taco Challenge dishes then vote for their favourite creation at vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge to determine the People’s Choice Best Taco. 

In addition to the public vote, a panel of media judges, of which I’m proud and excited to be one, will be tasting the Best Taco Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner. Follow me, @jminter on Twitter and Instagram to see the Taco Challenge creations landing on my plate and those of the other Media Judges too, follow them at @lforlife_vancouver and @domoiscraving. See what other diners are talking about too by following #TacoChallengeYVR.

Don’t forget to follow the participating restaurants too, to see what they’re entry in the Best Taco Challenge;

Vancouver 
Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street

North Vancouver
Cinco De Mayo Mexican Grill, 200 Esplanade W.

Richmond
Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150

Surrey
Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen,19151 Fraser Highwayn

Richmond
Hugo’s Tacos & Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Rd

Chilliwack
Hugo’s Mexican Food, 7101 Vedder Rd

Start planning your visits to Van Foodster Best Taco Challenge participants, try them all, and remember to vote for your favourite!

Tasting Plates Downtown Vegetarian Edition – Recap

Last night, a sunny Fall evening brought out a bounty of the season as downtown restaurants participated in Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.

Dozens of hungry tasting platers, explored downtown Vancouver on the plant-based journey.  Participants checked in and collected their menus and map cards then set of to find that the harvest has put on the plate.  Chefs were invited to be creative and present items that best exemplifies their restaurant’s meat-free options. Don’t let it be said that vegetarian food can’t be satisfying and substantial, the tasting platers were rewarded with a global journey of vegetarian menu to fill their bellies.

Tasting Plates included:

Living Produce Aisle: 1168 Hamilton Street

It’s always harvest season at Living Produce Aisle, the check-in and first stop on this Tasting Plates tour. The fresh greens and produce hydroponically grown in store makes for a fitting location to start of the first Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.  A quick shot of wheatgrass was followed by a light salad of fresh picked greens, alongside a creamy PB&J smoothie.

 

Saj & Co: 813 Davie Street

Chef Malik was working the piping hot, domed saj overtime as he cooked a platter of Middle Eastern flavours, a hearty flatbread wrap, beautifully creamy traditional and squash hummus, along with a refreshing chickpea, couscous salad were all packed with taste, textures and colour.

 

 

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria: 808 Davie Street

The choose-it-yourself pizzeria is a dream for any fussy eaters, dozens of selections (veggies and meat) to top your pizza truly customize each crispy crust. Choosing one of the “We Build” vegan selections makes the decisions simple the Salsiccia Vegano consisted of Italian Tomato Sauce, YamChops Vegan Crumbled Italian Sausage, House-Made Vegan Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Davie Dosa Company: 1235 Davie Street

Davie Dosa delivers the flavours, their plant-forward South Asian dishes pair perfectly for a vegetarian menu.  A traditional potato filled dosa, Idly – a rice and lentil steamed cake, Medhu Vada – a savoury lentil donut, vegetable and lentil soup, with tomato and ginger chutney on the side.

 

La Cantina Urban Taco Bar: 722 Nelson Street

Head south of the border in the middle of Downtown Vancouver, La Cantina has almost as many vegetarian options as meat fillings. The Portobello – mushrooms, bell peppers, tamarind sauce topped with coleslaw, and the Mestizo – rice and black beans, avocado sauce and radish, were both substantial, filling and full of flavour.

 

If Tasting Plates tickled your taste buds, get ready for the next edition, Tasting Plates Gastown coming October 24, 2018. Also check out one of the Vancouver Foodster Food Challenges; Best Sangria Challenge, or the Best Sushi Roll Challenge both running until October 7, 2018

Vancouver Foodster 5th Taco Challenge – Recap

The votes are in and the 5th Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge crown has been decided.  Over the past weeks, public and a panel of media judges, including myself, have been tasting and voting for our favourite tacos.

As with other Vancouver Foodster challenges, chefs were invited to be as creative as they like in order to highlight an already existing menu item or they could create a completely unique dish for their Taco Challenge entry.

For the 5th Taco Challenge, six chefs wrapped up their take on tacos, resulting in a great diversity of flavours to sample.  The tacos were served at eight different eateries from all across the region, from Chilliwack to Richmond and downtown Vancouver.  The public was encouraged to try any or all the Taco Challenge entries and then vote on Vancouver Foodster’s website for their favourites to be crowned People’s Choice Taco.  The media judges were also busy trying all the selections to choose the Judges’ Choice Winner.  Maizal Restaurant topped both polls with their Ebi Chamois, a creative combination of Mexican and Japanese flavours.

Maizal : Ebi Chamoi

Maizal: Ebi Chamoi
Japanese Mexican fusion, Tempura prawns with a mango salsa and umeboshi glaze, all on top of a hibiscus tortilla.

 

 

 

 

 

The other entries in the 5th Taco Challenge were (random order):

Las Tortas

Las Tortas: El Campechano 
Grilled Sirloin Beef & Chorizo, mixed with bits of crunchy chicharron & nopalitos (cactus leaves), on a bed of refried black beans in a Chipotle Tortilla, topped with sweet habanero mango crema, queso fresco, & pico de gallo.

 

La Cantina Tacos

La Catina: Gobernador
Shrimp, melted Oaxaca cheese, peppers and onion, topped with a chile de arbol Sinaloa style salsa.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopcott Meats

Hopcott Meat: YeeHaw Taco
Ancho chili marinated, shredded, chicken topped with cowboy caviar, cilantro crema and pickled onions on a whole wheat tortilla.

 

 

 

 

 

Hugos Churros

Hugos Churros: Meatless Taco
Papas con chorizo vegano, serrano cashew crema, avocado, grilled corn, lemon-pickled onions, cilantro.

 

 

 

 

Patron Tacos and Cantina

Patron Tacos & Cantina: Caribbean Vibes
Green plantain tortilla, topped with tilapia chicharrón seasoned with spices, cilantro aioli, topped with mango/habanero/cucumber chutney, garnished with green & red bell peppers.

 

 

 

Visit vancouverfoodster.com to find out the top three winners from each category.

Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge is at hand

Taco Tuesdays take on new meaning this month as the Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge gets under way, today May 3rd until May 27th.

Chefs near and far around the region have been challenged to create a taco that best exemplifies their restaurant. Vancouver Foodster has given the chefs free reign on their creations to make whatever their imagination dreams up; complicated or simple, traditional or uniquely non-traditional, vegetarian or meat-filled.

The public is invited to try out any or all of the Taco Challenge dishes then vote for their favourite creation at vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge

In addition to the public vote, a panel of media judges, of which I’m proud and excited to be one, will be tasting the Best Taco Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner.

Follow me @jminter on Twitter and Instagram to see the Taco Challenge creations landing on my plate and those of the other Media Judges too

James Chung : Founder & Editor of hellovancity.com
Twitter: HelloVancity
Instagram: hellovancity

Teresa Ly :  Foodie
Instagram: teelythefoodie

Get out and get your tacos and be sure to vote for your favourites!
The participating restaurants and dish details on the Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge are;

La Cantina Tacos, 722 Nelson Street, Vancouver

Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Maizal, 2815 Main Street, Vancouver

Patron Tacos & Cantina, 265 Robson Street, Vancouver 

Hugo’s Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Road, Richmond 

Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen, 19151 Fraser Highway, Surrey 

Hopcott Meats, 18385 Old Dewdney Trunk Road, Pitt Meadows

Hugo’s Mexican Food, 7101 Vedder Rd, Chilliwack

Ready, set, Tacos! See you out there

Picks of the Week – July 5, 2017

If you’re not too worn out from your Canada Day long weekend, there’s still plenty to do in the picks of the week to keep you entertained

Kicks: Tonight, watch for fireworks as Whitecaps FC play host to NYC FC and it’s star studded roster at BC Place at 7pm.

Charity: Play some bingo, win some prizes, donate to charity while supporting Friends for Life, sounds simple? It is, all at Jukebox Bingo with Mina Mercury, Misty Meadows and retro tunes from DJ Del Stamp on Wednesday evening at Celebrities.

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach is under the tents at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona in previews on the Howard Family Stage.

Front: Fridays on Front is a new evening market experience on Front Street in New Westminster; food, artisans, entertainment and more

Park: The 2017 edition of FVDED in the Park fills Holland Park in Surrey with great music from The Chainsmokers, Wiz Khalifa, Dillon Francis, Ty Dolla $ign and many more, Friday and Saturday

Victoria: More music can be found across the pond, The Phillips Backyard Weekender kicks into gear with music from headliners Common Kings, Cake, Current Swell, plus many more over three days; July 7-9.

Party: Saturday, the annual Khatsahlano Street Party takes over 4th Avenue in Kits for a day-long party of shopping, Food Trucks, family entertainment and music from The Zolas, The Courtneys, D.O.A and more

Eat: The Third Annual Taco Fest brings food fans out to Swangard Stadium on Saturday to witness The Ring of Fire Eating Competition, musical entertainment, food vendors and merchants

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company stages are loaded with entertainment; Million Dollar Quartet at The Stanley Stage, extended until July 16th, Hand To God at The Goldcorp Stage, until June 25th and Bittergirl The Musical running until July 29th at Granville Island Stage

Vancouver Foodster Taco Crawl – recap

A sunny autumn evening was a perfect occasion for Vancouver Foodster’s first Taco Crawl.  The selected Vancouver restaurants created their take on their best taco bringing a balance of flavours and styles for the Taco Crawl patrons.

TacoCrawl_img_8927Meeting at Kalai’s Dosa Hut on Fraser Street we collected our Taco Crawl cards and menus.  Then we sat down for Dosa Hut’s unique variation on the taco, taking one of their signature dosas, and wrapping it around a nicely spiced tomato chicken (or vegetarian) filling.  Watching some of the other dishes and massive dosas coming from Chef Kalai’s kitchen made us put Dosa Hut on the list for a return visit.

TacoCrawl_img_8949Over in Cambie Village, we had a traditional pair of tacos from the always reliable Los Tortas Gourmet Mexican Sandwiches.  Soft tortillas enveloped rich, barbecued pulled pork or Mexican Zucchini, tomato and cheese.

TacoCrawl_img_8943Across the street, Tmix Tea & Dessert served up another unique ‘taco’. Tmix brought together hot and cold for a sweet taco. Wrapping one of their hot-from-the-griddle bubble waffles around ice cream.  From the list of a dozen plus flavours we settled on frozen brulée banana and red velvet cheesecake. The warmth of the waffle softened the frozen flavours enough to make it a soft ice cream sandwich or more like a burrito.

TacoCrawl_img_8955Downtown La Catrina Tacos, said to be Vancouver’s Best Mexican Tacos, presented another pair of traditional style tacos.  Hot tortillas piled high with filling; Papas Mexicanas – Mexican potatoes drizzled with cream and Res En Cascabel -zesty braised beef cooked in cascabel chili sauce. Add hot sauce, pickled onions, hot peppers to taste and make the tacos your own.

TacoCrawl_img_8963Getting into Patron Tacos & Cantina just before the Canucks and Whitecaps let out, let us wrap up Taco Crawl with another pairing with another unique ingredient.  Cochinita is tender, braised pork butt with achiote paste and onion. On the other side Nopales, the tender new leaves from a prickly pear cactus, were cooked with corn salsa and topped with cheese. Served with refried beans to add to the filling or eat on its own.

While we may think we can never get enough tacos, the Taco Crawl certainly satisfied us with great tastes for the evening.

If you missed out on this great tasting Vancouver Foodster event, get your tickets now for Tasting Plates Yaletown on October 19th.

Vancouver Foodster Taco Crawl – September 28th.

vf_taco_crawl_web-01-1The perfect announcement for Taco Tuesday is the 1st Vancouver Foodster Taco Crawl, coming up September 28th.

Restaurants and taquerias all over downtown Vancouver, East Van and Cambie Village are presenting their favourite and unique Taco dishes for the taco tasters.  Taco Crawl participants will check-in at the soon to be released destination to collect their Taco Crawl passport and first bites then set off on a taco tour around town.

Grab your taco loving friends and join in the tasting extravaganza, meet the chefs, experience the camaraderie of other foodies and explore the neighbourhoods.

Get your Taco Crawl Tickets online now: Early Bird Tickets are $33 until September 18th.

Find all the details online as new restaurants are added to the 1st Vancouver Foodster Taco Crawl.