Popular Mexican Dishes You Didn’t Know About (Yet)

Mexican Food Vancouver

When your friends suggest, “Let’s go for Mexican!” there’s a good chance that they’re referring to the usual suspects – Mexican street food such as tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and so forth. And while those are always solid choices, sticking to that regime can rob you of the chance to try some amazing Mexican dishes and delicacies that are very popular south of the border, but not so much here (yet).

Today, Salsa & Agave is here to wet your appetite while ramping up your knowledge of these Mexican classics and specialties. Not only will it expand your culinary horizons, you’ll be able towrope some knowledge on your pals the next time they suggest going out for Mexican.

5 Mexican Classics and Specialities That Vancouver Foodies Need to Try

1. Birria

Birria is a dish that originates from the state of Jalisco (especially common within Guadalajara), also the home of tequila, mariachi, and many other traditional Mexican mainstays.  The dish is a spicy stew that is typically made from goat meat or mutton, but having found a new home in Canada and the United States now often includes beef or chicken. At Salsa & Agave, high quality lamb is used in the recipe of this delicious slow-cooked soup/stew, where it is served with onion, cilantro, tortillas, and lime on the side. Birria is frequently served on celebratory occasions, including weddings, baptisms, and at Christmas and Easter, but at our Yaletown restaurant, you only have to wait until the weekend to enjoy this “Weekend Special” dish.

2. Menudo

Another Weekend Special at Salsa & Agave is one that bears the same name as the popular latino boy band from the 1980’s. And while their fame may have faded with the years, the traditional Mexican soup has only gained in popularity as it seeps into Vancouver’s diverse culinary culture. This dish-with-a-kick is made with beef tripe in broth with a red chili pepper base, and is served with onions, oregano, lime and soft tortillas.

3. Alambre

Alambre is popular in numerous parts of Mexico, but is most commonly found on the menus of restaurants in Mexico City, Oaxaca, and among Mexican-American and Mexican-Canadian populations across the United States and Canada. But here in 2018, Alambre is picking up steam with the foodie culture in Greater Vancouver, thanks to the word of well-fed mouths coming out of our Yaletown eatery.

The recipe of this hearty dish includes grilled beef (or chicken if you prefer) topped with chopped bacon and ham, minced green and red bell peppers, onions, cheese (optional), salsa and is served with a side of Morita sauce, lime, and fresh corn flour tortillas.

4. Milanesa Con Chilaquiles Verdes

We’re going hybrid on this one, as the dish originates from Italy, but has been adopted by South American culture (in this case, Mexican) to deliver a unique take on what also somewhat resembles the popular Austrian dish known as Wiener Schnitzel. The foundation of this Salsa & Agave Mexican Classic is top quality breaded beef sirloin, served with green tomatillo (Mexican husk tomato) chilaquiles, rice and beans.

5. Pastel de Tres Leches

While there were many other not-so-mainstream dishes on our food menu that we were tempted to include on this list, we felt it remiss to not name one of our desserts to tempt your palate. While not all that uncommon to the now more sophisticated dining scene in downtown Vancouver, there is one dessert that new visitors ask about, which has prompted us to include it on this itinerary. After all, we have to remind ourselves that what’s common to us may certainly not be to others.

Pastel de Tres Leches, also known as Three Milks Cake, is an absolute must try for those with a sweet tooth. The recipe calls for evaporated milk, Nestle La Lechera sweetened condensed milk, and a heavy sweet cream, topped by a house-made frosting. The result is a surprisingly light and bubbly cake, but one that packs a satisfying and unmistakable flavor that cannot be paralleled with any other pastry in the city. We see it everyday and yet tingle with anticipation every time we serve it to an awaiting table. So yummy!


We look forward to helping you expand your culinary horizons on your next visit to Salsa & Agave. Let us know if you have any questions about the above dishes, up and coming specials, and more.