Location: 818 Howe St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 2S9 (Right next to Chapters on Robson)
Phone: (604) 683-6394 | Fax: (604) 683-5717
Hours: 11AM – 10PM 7 days a week
- Trendy/sleek design
- Cafeteria style food
- Takes online/fax orders
- First Chipotle in Vancouver
I was very excited to learn that they were opening the only Chipotle in Vancouver. In fact, I saw it coming. It’s one of those healthier fast food lifestyle that Vancouverites like to adopt. I wasn’t invited to the pre-opening but whatever, this way I would get a “normal” experience of what a normal day would be like. But of course it wasn’t normal, cause I came on grand opening day.
There’s one thing you won’t miss about this restaurant, the line. Almost every time I have walked into a Chipotle, there is somehow a lineup. It’s interesting to see that the line almost never shortens and almost out the door. I arrived at Chipotle just before 6pm and surely enough the line. The staff were friendly to take my orders and even made a new order for me when I was almost about to pay (holding up the line), thanks to my pal @anothersamchan wanted something right when I was about to close the deal.
I was only here to grab a quick bite, so I didn’t really take much photos of the place nor did I get to tour the place much, plus it was a a rainy Vancouver day my hands were full with my jacket and umbrella. The service was quick and fast, but I found one thing annoying about the servers. I could not hear what they are saying half the time, even though I know what I want. It’s the piece of glass that’s protecting the food that’s blocking the sound of their quite voices.
For those who have never stepped foot into a Chipotle, they are a chain Mexican semi-fast food restaurant. It’s very much like Subway, instead of subs they serve tacos and burritos. Everything on the main menu is $8.95 and sides/drinks are add-ons.
I chose wisely. I had the taco and was able to get a combo of soft and crispy tacos. The crispy taco was extremely hard to eat because everything just fell apart after I cracked open the first bite. I was also able to get a variety of meat on each taco. The tacos come in 3 shells. On the crispy taco I had the braised carnitas which is a braised shredded pork with salsa, cheese, romaine lettuce and a hint of hot sauce. The crispy taco didn’t really live up to its name, it wasn’t really “crispy”. I think the sauce and salsa might have ruined it.
I had the soft tacos before and they were quite good. On one of them I had the braised barbacoa (shredded beef) along with the same toppings from before. And on the other, I had the grilled chicken which was really grilled flavour. The soft tacos were easier to eat than the crispy taco. However, I still managed to get sauces all over my hand.
The guacamole was $2.10 for a small bowl. The guacamole here are made fresh and I should have gotten chips with it. What was I thinking? So instead, I had guacamole with my tacos which was equally tasty. The ‘guac’ here are made fresh daily.
My overall impression, well food-wise it tasted more or less the same as the US franchise I’ve had in various cities in the US. But it felt special because I don’t have to drive an hour down to Seattle to get this anymore. I was hoping they would serve samples or something along the lines on grand opening day but nope nothing. It actually just seemed like a normal day. I did not visit the pop bar, but according to Diana @ Foodology that there is an non-sweet tea thing next to the pop machine. One more thing, if you expect this to be fast food…well, think again!
So for those who love Mexican food, what is your impression on Chipotle in Vancouver?