BreakfastBandidas Taqueria


Bandidas Taqueria

Bandidas Tacqueria is a Vegetarian / Vegan restaurant serving Mexican inspired dishes with an eye towards sustainability and local community. Located in a renovated space that was previously occupied by an Indonesian restaurant, Bandidas consistently draws crowds to its Commercial Drive dining room.

Unfortunately, we got off on the wrong foot at Bandidas. It was crowded. Busy. A line was beginning to form out front, but nobody greeted us. In fact, the servers purposely ignored looking towards the direction of the front entrance which I’m sure they could sense was swelling with a crowd. An impatient couple even jumped the queue ahead of us and were seated. Being busy is good. It’s a sign people like your place, and if they like you enough, they’ll even wait. But do not ever make your customers self-organize seating arrangements. Don’t have enough staff to cover the front and the tables? No problem, take a cue from Paul’s Place and Medina’s, and at least put up a sign up sheet.

Bandidas Taqueria
(Clockwise: 1. I’m eating Lenny’s breakfast. 2. Kitschy environmental tableware. 3. Water is served in a cool mason jar.)

With that initial ugliness aside, Case and I decided to try out their brunch anyway, since we were already here. Everything on the menu is Vegetarian (and options for vegan). Case ordered the Mexican breakfast with eggs over easy, soft corn tortilla, pinto beans, purple cabbage salad and guacamole. I ordered Lester’s Benny from their list of breakfasts named after people I don’t know. The benedict came with two poached eggs over mashed, charred yams and a corn bread muffin top. It was served with pinto beans, the signature purple cabbage salad, tomatillo sauce and hand cut hash browns.

Bandidas Taqueria
(Mexican breakfast: eggs, soft corn tortilla, pinto beans, purple cabbage salad and guacamole.)

The plates arrived looking like a mess; like something dished out of a high school cafeteria. But the food, the flavours were incredible. The eggs were perfectly cooked, the soft corn tortilla tasted freshly made and everything was well seasoned and flavourful. Nothing tasted distinctly vegetarian. The purple cabbage, which could have easily been a throwaway garnish was spicy and had a wonderful crunch. My charred yams were beautifully smoky and the corn bread muffin top was a wickedly clever alternative to the traditional english muffin.

Our meal with two coffee, taxes and tips came to about $25, which is pretty reasonable. We were pleasantly surprised by the flavours after the less-than-spectacular introduction. But we’ll hit up Bandidas again and see how the service holds up a second time around.

Perfect for: Really tasty, meatless alternative to traditional brunch for those with the patience of Buddha.

The Details

2781 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Bandidas Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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