Bandidas Taqueria
By YP Contributor

A Mexican Alternative

Throughout Vancouver there’s a yearning for more food options: healthier, more innovative, more sustainable. Since 2009, Bandidas Taqueria has been meeting this demand, providing a vegetarian menu with Mexican zest. If you’re looking for gluten-free alternatives, a vegetarian menu or just delicious, spicy fare, this is the place to go. Inclusiveness is part of the restaurant’s mission.

Owner Aiyana Kane hails from California, where there’s a rich tradition of Mexican cuisine; and with Bandidas, she and business partner Jackie Avery are bringing it north to a city not known for its Latin food options. Add a vegetarian focus, with vegan options for every dish, and you’ve got a winning combination. Situated on Commercial Drive at the corner of 12th Avenue, the restaurant has been a quick success, and it gains customers with each passing month.

Aiyana says that her core customer base is vegetarian and vegans, but as time has gone by Bandidas has been embraced by local residents of all stripes. The varied menu and down-home atmosphere are quite welcoming — and having heaping portions of nachos on the menu doesn’t hurt, either.

We want to offer a fun and delicious vegetarian option for people. - Aiyanna Kane, co-owner
Bandidas Taqueria - Beverage Service, Food Service, Vegetarian

Good Value, Great Values

Behind the zesty sauces and fresh-made cornbread lies a strong commitment: to quality ingredients, healthy food and sustainable business practices. “Part of our mission is to do business with a small footprint, and be an example for other businesses,” explains Aiyana. The concern for ethics applies to consumer choice as well as management practices.

Speaking about the low carbon-footprint that comes with a meat-free diet, Aiyana says that at Bandidas, customers are “able to make purchases that are environmentally responsible…We want to offer a fun and delicious vegetarian option for people.”

Bandidas Taqueria - Beverage Service, Food Service, Vegetarian

Personal Touch

Aiyana and Jackie produced the Bandidas menu together, drawing on the traditions and innovations in vegetarian and Mexican cuisine. When asked about favourites, Aiyana mentions the Enchilada entrée, the in-house cornbread and the Eggs Benedict, which is given a distinctive taste with the use of Mexican salsa in place of Hollandaise Sauce.

It’s those inspired touches that mark the dishes on offer — and appearance is very important for the owners. “We like to have our plates looking beautiful, and we like to play a lot with flavour, texture and colour.” Most notable is the use of red cabbage, which builds on a Mexican tradition and adds a splash of colour. You can find it in many items on the menu, and it’s one of many inspired touches in an establishment that offers lots of pleasure with zero guilt.

Bandidas Taqueria - Beverage Service, Food Service, Vegetarian
Close menu