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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews38

Lolita's South of the Border Cantina

1326 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6E1N6
Tel: (604) 696-9996
Fax: (604) 696-9997
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: International, Mexican, Tapas
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Hours: Mon - Sun: 4PM - 2AM
  • Come down for a little taste of the tropics. A new flair...... the decor is imaginative and dripping with atmosphere.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 38 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Lolilta's kind of a letdown
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 27, 2008 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

After hearing some good reviews from friends, I decided to go try Lolita's on a Thursday night. It was busy and packed but we got a bar seat no problem.
It possesses the same ambiance as Bin 941 - very cramped but with slightly more room than Bin, but I can't say the same for the food.
The service was meh - I think they are nicer to you if you order anything alcoholic! The food was only okay. The Paella nicely presented but didn't taste good. The tacos were interesting but nothing wowed me.
I think this is a nice place for funky drinks and quick bites but not for an authentic Mexican meal. Your better off with places like Pepita's, Andale, Las Margaritas and anything on Commercial Drive!

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Freshly squeezed
By epicurious of Burnaby, BC (507 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 10:54pm [Dine in]

I went to Lolita's last night with some girlfriends for a birthday dinner. I've read reviews about it and drove by a few times hoping to give it a try one day. I'm glad I did. Not saying I didn't like it, but it wasn't as I expected.
I knew the place would be small, but I didn't expect everything to be so squeezed together. The restaurant probably only has a 50 people capacity. There is nothing wrong with a quaint and intimate restaurant, but I didn't like how the tables were too small for the plates they use. Our dinner plates stuck about 2 inches off the table.
I had the Lolita's tacos; one halibut, one chicken. The chicken was excellent but I bit into a large bone that I wasn't expecting. The halibut was a little too dry, but was topped off with a nice pickled cabbage-type veggie. My friend had a very tasty white sangria infused with lychees. It was delicious.
The prices are on the high side, but still affordable. My tacos cost $14, my friend had the fish stew for $16, another friend had an endive salad w/ pears for $8.5.
A good dining experience, but I wouldn't return for dinner. The crowdedness almost drove me nuts. I'd probably try brunch there some day.

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not impressed!
By genki39 of burnaby (82 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 3:09am [Dine in]

I came here the other night with my friend, I've been here once before and didn't like it but my friend wanted to come here so decided to give it another try. The first time I was here I had the tacos, you get a choice of two, I picked the halibut and the chicken. Considering there was only one other table there, the food took a long time, and when it came I can honestly say it was a little better than taco time, microwaved rice and probably canned beans. This time all I ordered was the ceviche which another friend told me was really good. Well it wasn't, when you order something like ceviche the key is freshness and this certainly wasn't, it was probably a few days old and was marinating too long in the lime juice. Anyways when the bill came there was an extra sleemans on the bill which we didn't order, the server fixed it . I won't be coming back here no matter how many of my friends like it.

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Great little place
By pickyjerk of kitsilano vancouver (67 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 1:45am [Dine in]

I really enjoy coming here.

They do really pack you into a small space, but I don't blame them, they need to make money and feed their clients.

so their food is really good. Get the beef salad or the fish and chips. DO NOT get the tuna salad because they over-dress it to the point of criminality and the dressing really overpowers the meagre slices of tuna they give you.

I recommend their guacamole too!

And their cocktails are unique and interesting. great place for an intimate dinner (with the people next to you and with the person you came with)

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Erm, its just...decent?
By sgtoca of Kitsilano, Vancouver (103 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 16, 2007 - 7:07pm [Dine in]

I had such high hopes but it was just an ok night out at Lolita's not awesome, I realized I am not a fan of long narrow restaurants and the close proximity made me feel like sharing tables and it really is a place to go with friends, have fun, not meaning conversations as everyone can eaves drop when they are only 3 inches away from you. The service sufficed, not overly friendly, but not rude, ample I guess. The food was good, authentic Mexican? Nah, I've had better south of the border, but it was nicely presented and the scallop and prawn ceviche appy was good, the tacos nothing to write home about. One saving grace though, the huge red sangria, that I thoroughly enjoyed, this is a fun place but not one that I would return over and over again.

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Good Food, Ok Service, Cramped Room
By UsedCar of Burnaby (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 2:18pm [Dine in]

Well, I dont know if its authentic south of the border cuisine, but it's definitely some great flavours, and not the typical mexican restaurant fare. I appreciated that. Service was ok, but not spectacular.

My big complaint with this place is how they pack the people in. I dont know if it's legal to have that many people in such a small space, I guess they need to pack em in like that to make money? I dont know.

But I really dont like it when I keep getting elbowed by the guy sitting at the next table. This is just too close, way to uncomfortable.

Unless they stop seating so many people, or move to a bigger space, I dont think I will be a regular, maybe go at a quiet time, though I dont know if there is one. Place always looks packed.

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Over-Rated
By RicardoC of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 4:31pm [Dine in]

I love food, I love dining out in the city. And I LOVE Mexican food. Spices,hot sauce, chilli peppers, exotic flavours. love it!

SO i dediced to give Lolita's a try....
My personal opinion: OVER RATED.

Food was mediocre. They use a lot of veggies on top of their plates, which may look very colorful, and pretty.... but the taste: poor

Of course, all my non-latin friends were amazed by the presentation and the taste... hummmm... perhaps you must be latin to identify Lolita's food? I am not sure, but the taste was "too american", too bland, no real flavours, no spice, nothing that makes me crave more.

We order 7 different plates, and 2 appetizers. Tried them all.Each of them lacked in flavour (but were rich in colours).

The Guacamole was the most disgusting piece of "food" we were served. It was mixed with cold beans, with avocado. It had a grey-kinda green color... it tasted worst that my description, too much garlic too.

The quesadillas...big mistake!. THe dish was actually made as fried empanadas with some sort of "wendy's" cheese sauce in the middle. Disturbingly, horrified by the taste, and the amount of oil they use to deep fried them.

No limes? no fresh salsa? are you sure this place is Mexi-Latin -kinda fusion?

The tacos.... eeew, you know what. I give up. Im wasting too much time writing a review on an over-rated "latin" restaurant.

There are not many good mexican/latin places in town, but this.... is just a Taco Bell, with a nicer presentation.

If you TRULY love latin food, avoid this crappy place. If you dont mind the taste, go, they have good music and the bottled beer is good.

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I live next door and would rather starve!
By Cheriene of WestEnd (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - 5:08pm [Dine in]

Very disappointing! I have walked by numerous times and have always wanted to find the time to experience. Finally I convinced 4 friends and my spouse last Sunday evening. First off they don't let you make a reservation! I came 20 minutes before my friends to ensure a table. No greeting. No one seemed to care there were two customers standing in the door way. We sat at the bar and ordered what seemed to be an exciting drink, given the description, but all it turned out to be was a watered coconut rum and fruit juice with a chunk of muddled pineapple. What benefit is there to muddling a pineapple unless you want it to get stuck in your straw? Despite the expensive, frustrating, watered down drink we ordered an appetizer. She forget to ring it in. We reminded her and without apology it came 20 minutes later. It was chips and salsa. Friends came, we got a table, ordered drinks and enjoyed the chips and salsa. The snooty bartender was too lazy to walk around the table to serve drinks. Instead she decided to reach across me for every drink order and then the entrees too! She forgot my order once again and it came when the rest of the tables plates were being cleared. The ceviche was overly sweet and not as fresh as it could be. The staff seemed more interested in each other than actually doing their job! To top it all off they automatically add a 17% gratuity to parties of 6 or more... not 8 or more. I kick my self for not speaking up when I had the chance. No one in my party was overly impressed with the food and I got the old 'I told you so...'. There you have it. You would be better off burning your money than spending it here:(

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Resting on their laurels?
By robbie of Kitsilano, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, September 26, 2008 - 9:59pm [Dine in]

I have been once to Lolitas a year ago and had a positive experience. I found they had some of the most interesting and refined Mexican influenced food I have had. There are a lot of cheap mexican eats out there but not much in the way of higher end establishments. I had not been able to make it back since though as I don't really want to wait in line at a place that won't take reservations. I mean fair play about not taking reservations, they have a small room that is always packed, I am sure that policy works out best for them, but for me personally, I don't want to stand for 20 minutes or more to be packed in with a bunch of sweaty strangers. So recently I found myself walking up Davie with a bit of munchies and saw that Lolitas was not yet busy so I decided to have a sit.
For me it's the little things. I don't mind paying extra for nice food but I was quite turned off by the limp pea shoots served with the salmon quesadilla I started with. Right off the bat it put doubts in my mind. I mean if limp pea shoots is all you got, then don't serve anything. I just wish restaurants would concentrate more on those little things. I washed the fishy tasting salmon down with a decent lime margarita and decided to give them another chance. I really wanted to believe they could do better. I went with the tacos and chose the chicken one and the squash and wild mushroom one. The black beans served alongside were very good. The chicken taco was not bad but I was really disappointed with the "butternut squash and wild mushroom" taco as there was no sign of wild mushrooms anywhere. I felt quite ripped off. The menu also said all tacos are served with a watercress salad. My salad was actually mixed greens with no watercress. Not a big deal but the greens they replaced the cress with were as limp and lifeless as the pea shoots with the quesadilla.
I don't think this is the kind of cooking that has made lolitas so popular. Maybe they are stretched too thin to find decent cooks or maybe they have taken their popularity for granted. I don't know but I will not be back to be fleeced anytime soon.

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Good food, fun atmosphere
By kaykat of vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 6:48pm [Dine in]

I've been to Lolita's twice now and would definitely go again. It's casual and lively and I've been impressed with the food. The first time I went I had the snapper with yam fries, which was super, and my second time I had the tacos, which I also really enjoyed and it's a fair bit of food. My favourite part though is the sangria (red and white are both delicious!).

The guacamole/bean dip is also quite good and they serve it with freshly-made (still warm) chips. [To the guy below who said both he and his wife were grossed out because the guacamole was black underneath...there's a layer of bean dip at the bottom!!]

The downside is that it's extremely busy, especially if you go at a popular time, so it's a bit hot and stuffy inside. Also, they pack people so tightly into a very SMALL room that you're practically sitting on the lap of the person at the table next to you. Not pleasant. I can't think of another place I've eaten at that's as bad in that sense.

Overall, good food and a fun place though - would definitely recommend.

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I need my Lolita fix
By lat49long123 of kits (9 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 3, 2007 - 6:26pm [Dine in]

It's darn good. We go back again and again, rarely straying from the fish taco's. Ceasar salad is also tasty. Friendly staff, chilled place, packed in, a little noisy, but that's all part of the charm. Consistently good, and the place has a great vibe. Only negative is that I found their margarita's are way too sweet, kinda disappointing considering, but that's ok, they have a mighty fine selection of Tequilla.

Lolita, I'll see you soon

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Mexican with a Twist
By KeyWester of West End, Vancouver (31 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 17, 2007 - 11:10am [Dine in]

Yes, it's a tight squeeze but the food makes it worthwhile. A wonderful fusion of tastes unlike any other Mexican. Don't go expecting the same old same old as you'll be disappointed. Only complaint is that it's a bit pricey. As an aside, on two different visits I had the spicy lemonade cocktail and both times I had an allergic reaction. On other visits, no cocktail, no reaction. Curious if anyone else has had this problem.

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Good Food
By jennlynn995 of Chicago, IL (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 30, 2007 - 6:58pm [Dine in]

We received a recomendation to try this place from a local bartender and we're glad we did. We did have a 20 minute wait - it's a small place and the tables are very crammed together. But it was worth the wait.

We started with the guacamole/black bean dip to start. I am not a fan of black bean dip and didn't realize it would be at the bottom of the cup of guacamole. I just thought it would be another dipping sauce. However, what little guacamole there was - was pretty good. I just wish there was more of it!

I ordered the tacos - one was chorizo and the other was shrimp, and they were both good. One the soft shell taco, the meat was mixed with other veggies that complemented the mean really well. The dish also came with rice that was good.

My husband had a steak salad that he said was quite tasty.

Overall - it was a good experience and I would definitely go back.

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Tasty and creative Mexican food
By ChowHoundDave of False Creek Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 10, 2007 - 8:00pm [Dine in]

I love the food in this place, though it is very small, cramped and noisy. Still, if you can put up with this, head on in. Be sure to try the tacos, which are so unlike anything esle I've ever had named a taco I hate to even use the word. You get your choice of a couple different types, and I loved the halibut and chicken versions. I also love the chicken tortilla soup, though it might have a little too much of a bite for some tastes. They also have excellent specials.

A far cry from the "refried beans and vinyl-like cheese glop" that dominates so many other Mexican restaurants!

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good
By HenryBerenstien of vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 19, 2007 - 7:12pm [Dine in]

it is hard to dine here with 4 or more people, it's cramped and gets stuffy. The food is really tasty, but not outstanding. Drinks are strong, big and awesome. service is great. I will recommend this place to everyone, it's really hard to find a decent "mexican" restaurant here in Vancouver.

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A Wonderful Surprise
By jeff_d_mills of West-end, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, March 24, 2006 - 4:20pm [Dine in]

My mom and I were walking down Davie street early in the evening (nearly 6pm) and stumbled upon Lolita's. We were desperate and would have gone for anything that looked hal-decent.

WOW.

This was a real gem of a find. The food was wonderfully fresh, full of interesting flavours and not over-priced. Unlike a lot of mexican restaurants, the food at Lolita's was not full of obvious, bold flavours - but bursting with different, subtle flavours that I never got bored of. The drink selection was also varied and my glass of wine was enormous! To round it off, the atmosphere was brilliant - vibrant and buzzing with good music, perfect lighting and it was totally packed by six-thirty.

The service was also good - our waitress had just started and with that in mind, she was excellent.

My only reservation is that it will be hard for people to get a seat. Be prepared to wait if you go after six, and don't be deterred if there is a queue.

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Mas limon por favor
By AlexandraBishop of Point Grey (24 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 5:52pm [Dine in]

In my opinion, this is the best Mexican food in Vancouver. Everything on the menu is a winner, the salsas are outstanding and despite the crowded conditions, it still manages to provide a charming atmosphere. The only problem I have, is the same problem I have with every Mexican restaurant in Vancouver: crappy unauthentic margaritas. Considering the expense of a margarita - from Las Margaritas right on down the line, is it really to much to ask for freshly squeezed limes? and not the big phony tasteless limes from Safeway - the small key limes that taste amazing and are available at IGA and Choices and a zillion other places. Stop with the pre-made green syrup, the minute maid etc... Bartenders: learn how to make a proper margarita - with Cointreau or Damiana - not Triple Sec. and stop being so chintzy with the tequila! cheers.

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Actually go south for Mexican, not here
By eedee of Main, Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 12:53am [Dine in]

This was the third time that I've eaten here. The first two were quite good, but this time- not so impressed. I think they've changed the menu which I am all for as most restaurants keep the same menu for WAY too long. However, this doesn't seem to have been a positive change. Our appetizer (something con queso) was delicious, but not enough tortillas, but that was easily remedied with more. I had enjoyed the tacos before but the only vegetarian one was - wait for it - butternut squash and wild mushroom. OK I love both of these vegetables, but in a TACO ?? I think that fusion can work, but that is not a combination that should ever be in a Mexican dish. Needless to say I didn't order it and went for the salad instead. Not bad flavours, but all it was was butter lettuce, a quarter of an avocado and four pieces of grapefruit for $13 and some of the lettuce was wilted to the point of being inedible. My husband said his stuffed chicken was good, but didn't seem to have any Mexican influence to me (it came with rapini which is Italian). My other beef about this restaurant is the lack of spice. No options on the menu to make anything spicy and nothing is spicy! As I wrote in another Mexican review, I have never been to Mexico, but I know what it is from plenty of authentic cookbooks and it should be somewhat HOT! At least give customers a choice. My choice is not to go back for more boring psuedo Mexican.

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great place!!!
By dsosa of downtown, vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 19, 2009 - 3:14pm [Dine in]

Small little restaurant on Davie St. Its always busy, great atmosphere, and very good food. Sat at a small table, chatted with out neighbours. The waitress was super friendly. I had the Ensalada de Mexico, my friend had the ceviche. Both were so good, presentation is nice.
Great place for a date or a group of friends.

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Fun with cocktails
By imafoodie2 of Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 19, 2009 - 1:15pm [Dine in]

We came here on a Saturday night with a craving for Mexican food and drinks and were not disappointed! I think we tried every cocktail on the menu plus a shot of tequila, all very good. The pomegranate one in particular stood out.

As for food, we both had the tacos with a mix of the halibut, squash and chicken, and preferred the halibut overall. They could perhaps go a little easier on the pickled cabbage garnish they top the tacos with... it's a bit vinegary and overpowering. Still pretty good though!

Our server was lovely and made sure we were well looked after even though it was crazy busy in there.

Lots of fun and great ambiance too!

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