La Mezcaleria
By YP Contributor

Authentic Mexican Taste

Ignacio Arrieta is a man on a mission: to bring a genuine taste of Mexican cuisine to the Commercial Drive neighbourhood.

Since opening La Mezcaleria in April 2013, Ignacio and his team have given Vancouverites a rare chance to sample authentic Mexican flavours. “People get surprised that we really are authentic,” laughs Ignacio, who hails from Chihuahua, in northern Mexico. “It’s hard to find a real Mexican place run by real Mexicans in this city, but we can give people that experience. We source authentic Mexican ingredients and use fresh West Coast produce to create truly delicious food.”

Ignacio’s partners are also Mexican: one from Mexico City and the other Guadalajara, “We cover north, central and southern Mexico.” Ignacio explains. “We’ve been working together for five years, first we opened La Taqueria and then we wanted to offer a little more of Mexico; more main dishes, more appetizers, great cocktails and the chance to experience great mezcal and tequila.”

We want to show off the flavours of the real Mexico. - Ignacio Arrieta, manager and co-owner
Tacos, Mezcal, Tequila, Cocktails, Mexican Food
La Mezcaleria's manager and co-owner Ignacio Arrieta welcomes a visiting Mariachi band.

Your Home Away from Home on The Drive

As a resident of the Drive, Ignacio is a passionate champion of the area, “I live and work here; it’s the best. I’m so happy that we’re here on Commercial Drive because it’s got a great community and we have wonderful customers.”

He smiles, “It’s a really nice vibe on the Drive; down-to-earth people who just want a good place to eat and I think we provide that. We want people to feel at home, but with better food!”

But it’s not just the tacos, the bubbling queso fundido and slow-cooked parrilladas (beef short rib marinated in a chili sauce and served with cactus) cooked by chef Alejandro Cruz that bring the customers crowding to their door.

Tacos, Mezcal, Tequila, Cocktails, Mexican Food

Taste a Tequila or Mezcal Flight

La Mezcaleria also has the reputation of being the best cocktail bar on the Drive. This is thanks to the skills of mixologist Kelly Ann Woods, whose innovative cocktails are made with fresh-squeezed juices and homemade herb and flower infusions.

And what about that mezcal in the restaurant’s name? Well, if your experience of tequilas and mezcals to date has been of the wince-once-you’ve-drunk-it variety, prepare to be amazed.

“We have young mezcal, aged ones, ones from different regions, we go right across the map,” explains Ignacio. “You can have a flight and taste the difference. We take the time to source just the right tequila and mezcal for our customers and we serve it in the traditional style with homemade sangrita (a fruit and tomato juice shot with which you alternate sips to cleanse the palette) like in cantina bars.”

Future plans for the restaurant include a brunch and lunch service, and most excitingly for Ignacio, installing a taco machine so that the restaurant will have fresh-made tortillas every day, “The difference will be amazing!” he beams.

Try a flight of Tequila or Mezcal to find your new favourite.
Close menu