Salsa & Agave is a small Mexican cafe with a few influences from South America.
A friend and I were craving Mexican cuisine, and we happened upon this place while checking out Yaletown. We appreciated the menu on display outside, which was surrounded by a small group of people. Luckily since it was the two of us we got seated right away, even though it was the peak of dinnertime @ 7pm. The restaurant itself isn't very large, with a couple of patio tables, so I think it's reasonable to wait a bit for seating to become available if you're with a larger group.
Admittedly, I've had more the salsa that accompanied the tortilla chips to be a bit on the watery side, but it was still flavourful. We weren't complaining since we were starving; the starters didn't last in their bowls very long!
We both had the carné tampiqueña with horchata, which all came incredibly fast. I wasn't timing it, but it took perhaps all of 10 minutes from order to service. The food was all pretty amazing; I was never a fan of beans in particular, but these ones were seasoned really well, and I found them really tasty. My friend was a huge fan of the chicken enchilada. Our meals also came with 3 warm, soft tortillas each, so I had a good time tasting my food in its individual elements, and combined into a wrap.
The prices are really reasonably considering the amount of food you get, and that it's also prepared well and served expeditiously.
The staff were incredibly friendly and courteous, and had a quick sense of humour that I really enjoyed, livening up our meal a bit. They were attentive without overbearing, asking us how our meal was going, whether we enjoyed the food, etc. They seemed like genuine people, which made them easier to converse and joke with.
All-in-all, I'm really glad I stumbled across this place; I will definitely be recommending it to my friends and anyone else who's looking for solid, authentic Mexican cuisine
This restaurant works on so many levels:
1) Beautiful tacos, flautas, sopas.: The lengua (tongue) tacos here are outstanding - lovely textures that go well with the fresh accompaniments. Also the closest one will get in Vancouver to al Pastor Tacos (someday!).
2) Weekend visits here are a must for the menudo (tripe). A Mexican friend mentioned to me that this is a Mexican hangover cure, and I must admit that it always hits the spot! Unreal!
3) The mole, when available, is rich and hearty. A perfect (if not punishing on this gringo's digestive system) cold day dish that fills you up for hours.
4) Finally, the tortas (think a Mexican sub) are the best deal in Yaletown for a quick and very cheap bite to eat.
Oh for a liquor license!!!
I visited this place with a couple of friends this week for lunch.
The tacos and the salsa that was brought initially were extremely bland and tasteless.
We tried the new burritos they had listed on an auxiliary menu in addition to the regular burritos. The accompanying dips and the burritos were extremely bland. There was absolutely no taste to it. There were also meager slices of meat which was also disappointing. Overall, we were ALL very disappointed with the burritos.
The service was friendly BUT the waitresses were scattered brain and slow which was forgivable because the weather was sunny and we were sitting outside :) The burritos took half an hour to make it to our table.
I will not visit this place again. I will give the other Mexican place down the block a chance next time.
Had read some great reviews about this place and was excited to try some good mexican. We had to wait a surprisingly long time for a table, were seated and then told they weren't supposed to seat us yet so asked us to get up from our table and go wait in line again... who does that?!
Anyway, I can even remember what we ordered now it was so forgettable. I can tell you this, it was BLAND. Not worth it.
I am truly surprised by the number of negative reviews on here about this charming mexican gem-of-a-restaurant! My boyfriend and I have eaten here numerous times since it opened, and each time has been enjoyable. Firstly: the food. If you are expecting Pace Picante, or if your palate is accustomed to fast food Mexican, then you will likely be disappointed. The food here is authentic Mexican, and is always served fresh. I recommend the tortilla soup, the burritos, the rolled tacos (potato!) and the sopes. Secondly: the service. We have always been welcomed with big smiles by the friendly female servers. They are patient when taking orders (I ask a lot of questions) and provide solid recommendations. Overall, this place is wonderful - a must-try for the open-minded looking to add a great new casual dining spot to their restaurant rotation.
My bf and I tried this place out cuz everytime you walk or drive by, its full. We ate in and sat outdoors. Its not fancy but it was clean and friendly. The food was sooo bland and mediocre, nothing special and I was unimpressed. I totally don't understand all the rave reviews for this place unless its friends or family leaving reviews because the portions are small, no seasoning, not even salt, and the guacamole is disappointing if you are looking for something zesty that you can dip a chip in, this is just cubes of avacado and tomato with no other flavour, but I can see it being appealing if you just want something fresh and bland. And tripes on the menu?! not my thing sorry.
After all the hype of Salsa and Agave and seeing the place constantly packed, I read the reviews on Dine Here and decided that my hubby and I would do a takeout order finally! The place is small and cute enough, and the lady who took our order was friendly. Its family run so there was a child sitting on the counter and running around, which I don't mind as I like kids and gives it a family feel. We ordered sausage and chicken sopes, the grilled tacos in beef, chicken and potato, salsa and guacamole and chips. The portion size was tiny compared to every other mexican place I have been to (both commercial and authentic) so i thought it was cheeky to charge so much for tiny portions in a fast food type place. The food was entirely bland and boring. No spice, no seasoning, its more something for a senior's home to not cause digestion upset! I have also never had mexican food with feta cheese on it. As mentioned in other reviews, the guacamole is basically just chunks of avacado and tomato, no seasoning and not smooth enough to dip, I mashed it up myself when we got home and added lime juice and salt to it. The salsa was runny and hot, I have never been served hot (as in the temperature, not the spice level) salsa before, it reminded me more of a pasta tomato sauce not a salsa. The crispy tacos were teeny and bland. The sopes were also teeny, bland and didnt have enough filling in either. I do have high standards but tried to be open minded about this place, but unfortunately all I can really say its it entirely overrated and overpriced. Menu should be spruced up a bit I think as well to include pictures so you get a better idea of what you are ordering. My hubby who is not as fussy as me also thought Salsa and Agave was totally overrated and was disappointed in everything. The absolute best place in Vancouver for mexican food is Andales (on West Broadway, not the Davie st. location). Ive been going there over 10 years now and it is consisently excellent food, large portions, fun servers and good value, with yummy flavourful guacamole and homemade chunky spicy salsa, and you can get the fried stuff covered in sour cream, and also gorgeous lighter versions of things grilled and more diet conscious, lol!
When I first discovered the restaurant about a year ago, the service was friendly, food was fresh and cooked to perfection.
These days, the nice gentleman who usually greeted me when I'd stop by the restaurant is almost never there. The last few times, our server has been a girl who seems to barely smile and is not nearly as attentive with her service. I noticed there is another female who works (or maybe helps out) there..other than the one time I've seen her serving, I noticed her taking up a table, feet up on a chair on her computer while patrons waited to be seated. Kind of unprofessional if you ask me.
It was also unappetizing to see the server wiping tables, cloth dirty, plopping it on top of a trash can then handling food without washing her hands first.
I know the restaurant has a charge on the menu for extra salsa & chips but in the past, we were never charged for an extra bowl. I went yesterday with a friend and even when we asked for just extra chips, there was a charge for chips & salsa on our bill. *sigh*
The food has also taken a dip. The pollo in my tacos has been dry, not moist and flavorful like before. Even the tortillas have tasted stale and dry on some occassions. A true disappointment.
Everything tastes home made, right down to the tortillas and salsa. I've never had such good Mexican food. This place is always hopping, and I would highly recommend it. I intend to try everything on the menu!
This place is becoming a "rendez-vous" spot for the latins who live in the dowtown area. You can see a lot of young spanish speakers packing the place. That speak out by itself! The flavour of the food is the closest to the real mexican dishes. You can try the taco pastor or the chilaquiles those are everyones (I asked) favourites! So if you looking for a place to EATwell this is the place, otherwise if you want sombreros, pinatas or zarapes for decoration go somewhere else.
This place is too small and is not intended for dine-in. We were given chips and salsa which was not inspiring and we did not even try it. Only few teenagers were hanging around different tables and talking loud in Spanish to each others and only waitress that was there.
We ordered tacos; dripping grease all over it, over spiced at the same time did not taste any thing. Torta (Mexican sub) was tasteless as well as their quesadilla. If you want a quick lunch to take out this is probably good alternative to Taco Bell. Quality of food is too low and flavor does not come closes to what real Mexican food is.
My boyfriend and I frequent this place not only because we live close by, but because it is REALLY hard to find authentic Mexican food in Vancouver. This place is as close as it will get. I had the sopes, and he had the tacos and we were both very satisfied.
The place is always full, too bad it is so small. We usually end up getting our food to go because we don't feel like waiting for a table.
I recently visited this little place to have dinner with a few friends, the service was poor, we waited 15 mins for chips and salsa and then we got out food and the plates were cold, certainly microwaved food. The soup was ok, but had better at other mexican restaurants. The decor could use a makeover... kind of bland. Not licensed so was kind of disappointed that we drank pop with Mexican food and not a good cold corona. Waitress was kind of snotty when we asked for more chips and salsa... as if they had a short supply of them.
Over all... disappointed ... expecially reading about it!
This place needs some growing up as it is new and i think the fame went to their heads.
Wont be back
Fantastic, fresh food at this new little Mexican joint. The meat and pork are extremely tender and melt in your mouth, and all of the food has fantastic flavour.
Only real complaint is that the servings were a little small if you're really hungry. For me it was fine for size but for some guys, lunch is a big meal.
Definitely worth going to - much fresher and tastier than most little places in the area.