Bandidas Taqueria offers vegetarian and vegan Mexican dishes. Large plates of nachos, handmade soft tacos, fresh ingredients and cheap beer.
A friend and I stopped in for a quick lunch the other day at 1:30 PM on a weekday. The place was crowded, but a couple of tables remained. We were seated quickly and served water in mason jars. "Hipsters," I mused :)
We checked out the menu and I quickly decided on sampling four tacos - the Leana Gayle, Stella, Ronny Russel and Connies. My friend had an enchilada in verde sauce.
The tacos were under ten bucks and they were served on soft taco shells and loaded with wonderful goodness. They were both tasty and filling. They were a little milder than I like - but there was hot sauce on the table to add to taste.
I tried a piece of my friends enchilada and found it very tasty and great texture.
The service was casual and pleasant.
The ambiance was also very casual. I liked the children's artwork on the walls. Families with kids were welcome as there is a children's menu.
I would gladly return for a casual, tasty, inexpensive vegetarian meal.
As a meatitarian, I always make the mistake of not reading Dine Here before I decide to check out restaurants. I've done the same thing with Budgies Burritos, Foundation and other restaurants and up a little disappointed to discover the meatless menu.
The decor inside is a little shabby but it was clean. I ordered the Leona Gail (3 tacos option) which are chipotle tofu tacos. To my surprise, they were very tasty despite the absence of meat. All the ingredients were very fresh and the chipotle gave them a little spiciness. For $7.00 for three tacos, the value was very good as well. I am not sure if I will be back because of the whole vegetarian thing, but I definitely enjoyed the tacos and would recommend this restaurant.
I guess the title pretty much sums it up. I think I had a burrito. I think it was good. Obviously it was not spectacularily awesome or Id remember more. I think the glass of water was ok too. The two friends I were with love this place so, I can't really knock it. The watiress never smiled or even talked.
However, the whole place felt kinda in need of a good scrub down. The bathrooms were sort of rinky dink. The whole thing is one of those early 70s hippie leftover deals like the Naam or Sophie's. It's just on the wrong side of town.
Verdict. I think I'm getting too old to eat at places like this.
There are restaurants for people who don't know how to make scrambled eggs and wouldn't know good food if they were crushed by a giant slab of wagyu. There are restaurants for people who know how to cook and know what a Berkshire is. Bandidas runs dangerously close to the former.
The food is actually quite decent, though not outstanding. We did like their own home-made corn tacos, which was quite tasty. But aside from that, the only people who would give this a big thumbs up are those who can barely turn Kraft dinner into something edible.
Their management skills are also SORELY lacking. The couple ahead of us waited about 5-10min. to have an empty table cleared. And then another 5-10min. for them to be seated and get a menu. And then we had to wait...
Then there was the food. We had the taco's (which as I mentioned, quite decent) and their breakfast. The Breakfast had salsa, roast potatoes , 1 chunk of roast yam (yes, seriously, just 1 tiny cube) and generous tidbits of mystery carbon, (a.k.a. burnt bits), a few shreds of cabbage, beans, scrambled eggs and a piece of cornbread. Hey, that was kind of tasty too! But you'd be less impressed if I told you about an hour had elapsed since we stepped into the restaurant before we got our food. (Oh, we were lucky. The couple ahead of us still didn't get their food by that time).
??? Most dishes on the menu are variations on the taco or breakfast. Nobody in their right mind would make all of the stuff "fresh" for each order except the eggs. So I'm asking, do they know how to cook for a restaurant? A lot of that stuff should've been prepped that morning, so it should take no more than 10-15min. to deliver any table.
On the plus side, the price is decent, the food is decent. On the negative side, it definitely is not worth the wait for such unimpressive food. Except for the corn tacos, I could've whipped up the entire meal (yeah, including roasting the potatoes) and eaten it in less time than it took them to deliver, and it would've been just as tasty.
Unless they shape up, I'm seeing them heading for an epic fail, as there is no way they can achieve enough turn over to pay the bills.
I read the other reviews on the website but neglected to clue in it was an "all vegetarian" taqueria... I begged for some chicken, beef, or even fish... to no avail. The ladies behind the counter could see my visible disappointment, but I stuck it out and had the three "Linda May" tacos washed down with an ale for 10 bucks (lunch special)... I told them I would spread the word to my veggie friends.... The tacos were nice and semi-crunchy and everything the bandidas used for the filling was ultra fresh and visually appealing. However, I do think they should put "vegetarian" in their name to make sure people know it's not your typical taco place.
Hadn't been for a while and wondered how things had changed-things always change but in this case not for the better.
The food now has little to do with Mexico at all-Beans & Tortillas not withstanding.
In keeping with the new locavore operating regime red Cabbage seems to be used in almost everything and as we all know Cabbage + Beans equates major gas issues.
It's not that Mexicans don't eat Cabbage but they do but not to the point of beating you over the head with the stuff like this place.
As per the subject line hippies will love this food all the tofu variations you can shake a stick at-combined with-you guessed it C-A-B-B-A-G-E.
Service was excellent which was a nice change from most east Van places but it'll be a long time before I ever go back or recommend Bandidas to anyone but h*pp**s.
Understated yet funky, enjoyable yet unpretentious chow, and totally appropriate for the area: I'm happy that Bandidas is the new girl on the block.
Last time I was there I had the Camillo tacos. They make their own corn tortillas in-house which are soft and warm. Breaded walnuts were the highlight of this dish while subtle sweets and cheeky chipotle nuzzled through.
I like the casual atmosphere and wooden bar. I like that kids are welcome and the space is open. I like the bikes high-up near the ceiling. I like that it is a women-owned, person-friendly place. It feels good to be there.
I like this place!
We finally managed to grab a quick bite at Bandidas Taqueria last night, after wanting to eat here for quite a while now.
We started with some fresh guacamole and corn chips, the guacamole was very tasty and left us wanting more! Following this, we shared the house salad with yams and the 'Estelle' tacos. The house salad was extremely good, the ingredients were so fresh and healthy tasting, the addition of the yam added almost a caramelized taste to the dish. The tacos tasted wonderful, with just the right combination of toppings - the pineapple being a great addition to the dish!
The staff were very friendly and courteous, and the bill set us back $32 including tip and two non-alcoholic drinks. I would definitely recommend this place for a cheap, healthy meal.
As far as I could tell the whole menu was able to vegan-ised with substitutes such as vegan cheese and vegan mayo. There were even some AMAZING vegan brownies for desert. I will definitely be going back just for the brownies.
The decor was just a step up from a diner but was acceptable. The service was very friendly. The food was decent enough but I think I'll order a different dish next time before I judge the overall food quality. I didn't enjoy what I ordered but that was not due to bad cooking, more my personal taste.
This place is on Commercial and 12th. You won't miss it. There's free and metered parking around the area. This place is absolutely delicious: fresh ingredients, hand-made tortillas, and great mix of flavours. Great for sharing too. My friends and I only had enough stomach room for 3 tacos (Ronny Russell, Wolf and Goat, and Estelle) and the Dave's enchilada. The Estelle and Ronny Russel were the best out of the 3 I ordered. The enchilada was good (melted cheese and savoury spicy tofu), but I probably wouldn't get it again. I'm going to try their nachos next time. I'm more of a taco fan.
Ambiance is pretty good. Small, cozy place that looks like it will get very very busy on the weekend. They use empty jars as cups. It's kind of neat. My friend had the tequila lemonade and she said it was really tasty.
PS. No meat here but the waiter "guaranteed we won't be disappointed" and we weren't.
I'm usually a person who likes a good pile of bacon with my eggs and toast. This little gem on Commercial can change all that me thinks.
We were greeted with a sincere and warm smile. There are many tasty sounding items to chose from on the brunch menu. I had the Hill's Benny and my lady had the huevas rancheros. Both were lovely.
Our coffees were refilled often and our food came promptly.
Good Job Guys!!!
When I think mexican, I usually think of texmex with lots of processed cheese on fried tacoshells and loaded with greasy ground beef. Think again. Bandidas makes their own corn tortilla unlike any tortilla wrap i'd have before (think smaller and thicker, almost polenta-like in texture), topped with fresh ingredients. I enjoyed my "Estelle" tacos, which had roasted pineapple and chopped fresh tomatos, which made it on the wet side, but still delicious. Washed down with a pink lemonade of half order cranberry soda and half order lemonade. My companion appeared to have enjoyed his "Ronny Russell" meal. We went midday, and it was nice and relaxing, with no hub of children. The restaurant does seem to be child friendly, with crayons and paper handy to keep kids busy. Will try to get the window-side table with two rocking chairs next time.
Meh...food is good. In house tortillas are a nice touch. I don't eat cheese or soy cheese, so it all felt a little bland without it. But the tacos I had were actually quite creative for being veggie - not bad.
Service is lackluster and didn't like the attitude of our waitress. Ambiance ? Needs a good dusting. So do most of the patrons. But I'd probably come back if I'm in the neighborhood and feel like some nice corn tortillas, mediocre toppings and hipster bangs.
Two friends and I decided to try out this place on a Thursday night. We were impressed by the menu selection (tons to choose from) and prices (super cheap!). The ambiance is laid back and comfortable. We all ordered different types of burritos - when they came they were HUGE and super tasty! I got the Leona Gayle with a side salad and was stuffed! We were happy that the food was pretty healthy and wasn't overkill on the greasy, melted cheese. One friend doesn't like overly spicy and she found her meal perfect (there is hot sauce avail for those like me who like a little kick!).
Overall the bill for 3 people only came to $28 - very cheap considering it was dinner and we were all full beyond comfort! The place was pretty busy for early on a Thursday and I now can see why. Would recommend this place to anyone who likes healthy food to taste good (and good on the wallet!).
We went to Bandidas Taqueria for breakfast on a Sunday morning... and it was an overall great experience.
It's a very unassuming place, with friendly, fast service and original food. The bennys were tasty and it was a good variation (forget the hollandaise; this place does it with salsa and guacamole). The beans were a little bland, but overall it was good food. It's great that they offer vegan variations as well.
Don't expect too much from the decor, but they do have cute antique tables in the front, one with 2 rocking chairs. It definitively has character, and seems to be very popular with the Commi crowd. I'll definitively be back to try their lunch or dinner options, and I saw some interesting margaritas on their drinks board...
This place is probably vegan heaven. There are lots of cheap and mexican-style places around town but this one is strictly and plainly vegetarian. I wish I had known earlier!
I had the leona gayle burrito this time around (chipotle, cheese, beans, lettuce, tofu, sour cream and God knows what else) which was a good choice. I've never been really inclined towards eating tofu but the way they prepare it here is amazing. Gotta give it to the chefs this time. Perfect spot to eat with your non-meat loving friends.
Nice place, dirt cheap. I’ve been here a couple of times with my friends. The locale is a bit small, but the quality of the food makes up for it. Definitely not a high-end place. If you have vegan or vegetarian friends, this is the place to go. No meat is served here, which is a miss, but the food is still good nonetheless. The ingredients are also fresh. Go for the enchiladas. They are handmade and simply delicious. I’d also recommend you try the stella tacos.
Was here for lunch today, and was impressed with the food. I had the enchiladas with squash and the verde sauce...very good; my companion had the enchiladas with chipotle tofu and mole sauce ( tasting it I thought it was even better than my choice). We arrived a lunch time and were lucky to get a table, but by the time we finished it had cleared out a bit. I will be back again.
I am new to eating a more vegan or plant-based diet, which means that my choices for going out for dinner have changed significantly. Once you cut out things like meat or even cheese for that matter you realize the world of eating out is not at all geared towards you. In fact, you might be lucky if there is even one thing on the menu you can eat. So recently I have been trying out a few local vegetarian restaurants and the main thing that we have noticed is that the service is always not that great. For instance, the foundation makes pretty good food but their idea of service is "here's the table, here's your food (usually on a severely chipped plate)...here's where you pay" - end of story. Same goes for the Naam but that's nothing new.
This leads me to my experience today at Bandidas. Today six of us went for lunch there and not only was the food very good but the service was exceptional. Our waitress "kir" (not sure of spelling) was really nice and friendly. She also made it very clear that they could make anything vegan if needed, she made sure we didn't need anything before and after we got our food, which came super fast btw. I would totally recommend this place to anyone. Thanks Bandidas, I'll be back for sure!
Place was packed with granolas and hipsters and after a 20 minute wait, granted it was lunchtime saturday, I had high expectations for the vegetarian menu. Service is not grand; you don't get so much as a nod from the one gal acting both host and waitress, that she sees a bunch of customers waiting there until she has a table. Though having a nice manner, she comes and goes during the meal without you realizing, which is just fine for the type of joint that it is.
Was recommended The Breakfast of free range eggs, side purple cabbage salad, beans, salsa, cornbread, and roasted yams/potatoes. It was as she said, simple. Simple can be satisfying...but not in this case. The cabbage salad was very simply, sliced cabbage, and the firm cornbread was not hugely inviting. All items on the plate taste better at home. Tofu-filled taco looked, smelled and tasted very healthy, not bad for vegan. Drinks looked great and organic coffee refills are aplenty.
A slightly disappointing rating as food is supposed to taste better when you're famished. But it was not so. I may be back, but probably at the request of friends, to try less generic breakfast items or different sauced enchiladas and other tacos.
Decor makes the food look interesting. Nice to include HST into menu prices. OK value overall.