Salsa & Agave is a small Mexican cafe with a few influences from South America.
I have been hearing about this place for awhile, and decided to have a late lunch. I was greeted by their friendly server, got seated immediately and serves chips & salsa. I ordered the beef burritto, they changed the beans with rice and added sour cream inside my meal. This burritto was hugh, filling inside and had a great taste. I loved my burritto so much, that I ordered another one to go, to eat at work for my dinner. I'm still full from lunch, that my burritto will have to be enjoyed tomorrow.
Impressed with the food, I was quite surprised with how good it was, and the service was excellent. Will be back soon.
My gf was hungry and not wanting to eat at home, we ventured out into the depths of Yaletown. Upon approaching, I noticed a few doors down that S&A opened a 2nd location which was packed and looked much more in tune with the area (bar area, tvs, abnoxiously loud). We stumbled in to the lesser occupied front, confirmed with the waitress there about the other location as she assured us it was the same kitchen and then we made ourselves onto the makeshift patio area. The small restaurant is nothing to look at, with stacks of drinks occupying much of the interior space while being a little dreary.
Menu was varied choices but decisions were fairly easy. My gf's enchilada plate was nicely prepared. Tender pieces of chicken under a sweet and spicy mole sauce. The side rice was not bad while the refried beans was certainly homemade. I ordered the lengua (beef tongue) tacos. It came ungarnished but with chopped onions, cilantro, spicy hot sauce and a lemon for you to garnish. The tongue was not too lean yet not too fat and very tender. It needed more seasoning but the accompanying garnishes sufficed.
Basically one lone waitress tabling the lot, with an extra kitchen staff coming out to serve orders. She was friendly and on her toes and luckily for her, just enough tables around to manage the load.
The flavours of the food seems to cater to the local crowd. It's authentic but the flavours taste a little mulled perhaps as to not offend with brute. A welcoming sign..
Very clean, new looking place (but tiny) right in the middle of Yaletown. Fits right in with the area, but maybe not your average idea of a Mexican place (and I don't mean the Tex-Mex chains). Nothing wrong with the service, not bad at all, but do be expecting a "fast food" type of experience unless maybe the chef comes out to have a chat. She seems like anice lady.
As far as we can tell, really authentic stuff here, so don't be expecting anything from Taco Bell. They have small little (soft) tacos like Dona Cata, but I think the tortilla's they use are better. They're at least as tasty, if not more so. Served with a very intriguing hot salsa which was not only spicy but had a very interesting smoky flavour as well that we've rarely experienced.
The pozole (weekends only) was very tasty. Slightly short on the corn flavour, but otherwise well done and texture wise, it was better than our gold standard (Chavez, 16 hrs away). Torta was delish, slightly spicy but a very good, complicated set of flavours from the chorizo version.
All the food tasted very fresh, and was not greasy at all, nor loaded up with tons of cheese that hides the flavours of the other ingredients.
The eat-in menu is more extensive than the take-out, with some other specialties (Venezuela? Columbia?) that look very tempting. Given the taste of what we had for lunch today, we will want to be coming back to try the others.
Best Mexican place in Yaletown for sure (yes they do have burritos if you must) and so far, maybe even the best in town. We'll see. Maybe you should too.
We went here for lunch with two children (ages 5 and 3).
The service was excellent. The waitress/hostess was very friendly and helpful. She helped us choose a suitable table (we had a stroller with us) and offered tastes of featured beverage and some mole sauce so that we could choose our meals confidently.
The food itself was fresh and well made. I personally prefer a little more kick to my food and I found the salsa a bit bland. The children liked their chicken tacos (I ordered 4 for $9 and the staff kindly served them on two plates - one for each kid - again, the service was great). I found the chicken cooked perfectly, but it just didn't have much taste.
My enchiladas with mole sauce were good - but again - the mole sauce was mostly nice but it just needed something more. The rice was cooked well and the beans were basic re-fried beans.
I rate the value as mediocre as the lunch (three meals, four non-alcoholic beverages) cost $60 with tax and tip. This is a little steep for this type of food .. but then again it IS Yaletown - home of some of the highest rents in the city of high rents overall.
The ambiance in the restaurant itself was adequate. It was clean and nice. I rated a little lower on ambiance because of the washroom situation. When looking for the washroom, the waitress gave me a key and advised that I had to exit the restaurnat, open another door to a hall and then walk down and unlock yet another door, where I would find a door to a washroom. I did as I was asked and found a washroom with painting/construction supplies piled inside it and the upper door hinge was altered so that the door would not close. I was not going to have my very young child use this washroom because of the hazards there. I was not going to use the washroom with the door wide open! This was unacceptable.
I might get some tacos for the kids as take out only. I probably would not return here myself - notwithstanding the excellent service and fresh food.
The food is handsdown one of the best places in the city for Mexican. Not greasy, just flavorful, clean and simple. It is a shame that the place is so small. The ambiance is a bit lacking and is more of a take out place more than anything else. The service is a bit inconsistant but it is afterall a family joint. I suggest take out!
Too small of a restaurant to eat at, but I enjoying coming in to pick up lunch etc., and prices are reasonable. This is not your taco bell type food ... and more authentic, so if you're used to the hard shell tacos or mexi fries, this is NOT the place for you, but if you love fresh guacamole and real salsa, give this a try.
Salsa and Agave is one of our most favorite restaurants in the city. The food is always fresh and delicious. I love the fact that they run out of things, as it shows items are turning over continually. The crowds have gotten bigger here, so you sometimes will have to plan to go at strategic times. :) Have been going for the past year and have no complaints. Love it, love it, love it.
The food was authentic, just like I use to eat in Mexico. I had the Chicken with Mole Poblano platar. Best mole I have had this side of the Rio Grande and as good as the mole I use to eat in Mexico. Some of the Margarita's spilled when I first went to pour it, they topped up the decanter, we never asked for it, they just saw what happened and topped it up on their own. The staff were real, very down to earth and excellent food.
There are now two Salsa & Agaves. One is a take away cafe and the other a sit down restaurant. They are about three doors down from each other, we were at the sit down restaurant. Highly recommended!
Salsa & Agave is always fresh and always delicious. Particularily like the chilaquiles and beef with the yummy tomatillo sauce. The burritos are substantial and the toastados very good. Really enjoy all of the salsas. The tres leches cake reminds me of home. Overall super value and great service. We will continue to go back over and over again - whether it is to dine in or take out.
With the vast number of new Mexican restaurants in the city I was keen to try Salsa & Agave as I had read a number of reviews extolling their authentic Mexican cuisine. I wasn't disappointed! The food was fresh, truly authentic and offered a good change from the typical North Americanized Mexican fare. The menu offers a lot of variety and a great deal of care was taken with our food. This is a great "hole in the wall" type place for down home Mexican food.
The establishment is kinda small and is really more of a Cafe than a restaurant, so you may find there is a wait for a table if it gets busy. While I was there I noticed they seemed to be doing a very brisk take out business.
I know - I rated ambiance rather high. But you get what you pay for and at least it's super clean!
We shared the pork tacos, and the chicken burrito. I also ordered the guacomole (more like a chopped avocado salad and I loved it!), and beans and rice. I also noticed a lot of spanish speaking diners and the food tastes very authentic.
In fact, the food is so tasty it's bordering on narcotic.
Everything we tasted was perfectly seasoned, and super fresh.
I can't wait to go back.
Just like being in Mexico? Have you ever been there? Wow the reviews are WAY WAY better than the food.
A co-worker and I ate there for lunch a while back and she was craving mole type chicken dish me I was leaning toward Enchiladas or maybe a Burrito. She ordered the Pollo Mole and the Waitress warned her she might not like the mole so she would bring a small sample to try. Very nice. Me I decided on chicken Enchiladas. The Waitress dropped the free chips and salsa and disappeared. Upon her return she announced we have no chicken!! Huh? Faulty Towers episode maybe? and no mole sample either. Too bad
That's OK we'll munch on the chips and decide. The chips are room temperature just standard out of the bag type 3 colour SALTED type you and I might buy at the grocery store. The salsa? Looks like tomoto soup to me but maybe it's a wonderful homemade recipe. We both try it..........tastes like Cambell's soup with a sprinkle of taco seasoning maybe...... I look at my co-worker and she guesses Aylmer's or maybe No-Name tomato soup with a few mild spices. I try to kick try up a notch but no hot sauces on the table and none available when I ask. Huh? Just like Mexico?
Anyway I order the Enchilada with pork and Verde sauce and she orders off the "Special Burrito" menu pork also with verde sauce. What a disappointment. Kind of dry and soooooooooooooo bland. Her's is the same.
I got a small side of Habenero sauce (for a small charge) to try and give it some help. The beans and rice are a yawner also. Not coming back here again. After reading all the rave reviews about this place and other Mexican restaurants, I will never trust any of them again. Me, I'll stick to my favorite place in Bellingham for my "just like being in Mexico"
This is a great authentic Mexican restaurant in the heart of Yaletown. The only place I know of to get real chilaquiles. Everything on their menu is delicious and the service is always super friendly. Make sure you try the sopes and have a glass of their horchata ... both are amazing!
This is a rather atypical Yaletown restaurant: cozy and casual, with a reasonably priced menu (most expensive item = $13).
Earlier reviews describe a small place with only eight tables. This must have been their first location, which is still open during the day for lunch and take-out orders. For dinner, walk a few doors down and you'll find yourself at the new Salsa & Agave, which is still small but with a few more tables, beautiful dark-red decor, interesting wall art and lamps dangling down from the high ceiling.
It was our first time to try this place so it took us a while to decide what to order. Fortunately we were served almost at once with a complimentary pottery bowl of tortilla chips and a smaller one of salsa, so we could munch as we perused the menu.
In the end, my friend had a glass of mango nectar and the enchiladas with rice and beans: a generous plateful for $12. I had the lengua (ox tongue) tacos, and the tres leches cake for dessert. For the less adventurous, there are more conventional taco fillings, e.g. chicken, pork, and sausage. I have to say that the tongue is my favourite part of the cow - when it's cooked well, that is, and this dish did not disappoint. The chunks of tongue were tender and tasty, served on soft tacos with minced onion and cilantro, a lime wedge, and a smoky-spicy dipping sauce on the side.
As for the cake...it was gooey, sticky, and so good, I found myself shielding my plate when the waiter made a sudden move towards it, as if to clear it away. Turns out that wasn't his intention, but I wasn't taking any chances.
Good thing we had to walk a few blocks back to the car.
The food was soooo good! I had Chile Releno (their special of the day), and all I can say is that it was finger-licking good! So fresh and tasty! The girls were friendly and the service was great! Looking forward to eating there again and again and again!!!
I enjoyed my dining experience at Salsa and Agave. The service is outstanding, the servers are very polite and attentive. The servers also let us try some samples of their drinks, which was nice. Now we know what drinks we want to order when we go there the next time.
Their food is pretty good. I would go back to try other items on their menu.
My wife, 2 year old daughter and I checked this place out for lunch on a Saturday. It looks like a typical take-out restaurant, and has a standard ambience to it too, but the quality of food and friendly service, as well as fair prices, makes this place a great value!
The three of us ordered a trio of fried Tacos, a Torta with carnitas (pork), and Carne Asada con Chilaquiles. We shared each dish with eachother and it was really hard to determine what was the most delicious.
The Torta was fantastic -- simple yet delicious. The pork was flavourful, cooked slowly and perfectly. The bun was crusty and soft, and the vegetables were fresh.
The three tacos were a decent value for $8.50 --- not very large, but again nice and fresh with good fillings. The potato taco was interesting. I'd compate this value to any other taco joint -- from the Taco Shack to la Taqueria.
The carne asada con chilaquiles was the nicest of the surprises. We liked how it sounded on the menu but didn't know exactly what we were getting, but what it was was a large platter of tenderized steak, smokey spanish rice, refried beans and the DELICIOUS chilaquiles -- slightly crisp tortillas with a wonderful green sauce, onions and cheese. My wife, kid and I all couldn't get enough.
All this plus some nice taco chips and salsa to start, with a warm salsa that had flavour different from anything I've had before. Everything tasted fresh and homemade, and with some spicy heat but nothing overpowering. We were full but not stuffed.
And to the reviewer with many opionions, who called the cheese "feta", perhaps you should try some more traditional restaurants and stores and learn about "queso fresco".
I work just around the corner from Salsa & Agave- t's an absolute jewel for take-out and casual dine-in lunches. I would have to say it's the best burrito in town, and my bill never tops $10. Can't recommend it enough, not only for its great value but also amazing food. Just like Mexico, only perhaps even better.
I pickup food here at least once a week. I always order the tortilla soup with chicken which is a must try if you have not had it. Has a great kick to it.
I also order either carne asada sopes, burrito, or tacos. I love the carne asada here and I have not had sopes anywhere else in vancouver so I stick with those. They are almost as good as I used to have them in LA which is saying a lot for vancouver.
I love the salsa too so I always add some chips on the side. If you can get a table it's a bit fresher to eat there of course, but I'm always on the go so grab for pick up.
I love mexican food (and I'm caucasian)... my biggest "food" compaint in Vancouver has always been the lack of good mexican restaurants. Tio Pepes is a good call on Commercial Drive but other than that I've always found authentic mexican food a stretch - if not impossible to find - here in Vancouver... Until I found Salsa & Agave. So good! On my first visit I ordered the Tortilla Soup... just to see how well they make this oh-so-needed comfort food. To say it exceeded my expectations is an understatement (try ordering it with chicken). The Tostados are amazing as well but I have a hard time not ordering the soup even after pouring over the menu. I don't give 5s to any restaurant so my 4 here is a 5 to most people's ratings. Owner/operator is a super nice guy who really makes it a place worth visiting over and over. Try it.. just try it!