A lazy week on the island in Tofino finds us cooking most of our meals indoors but we must make sure we still check out some of the local cuisines!
Tofino is known for being close to the ocean and with that, seafood is always a must! We find ourselves at Tacofino Cantina, a food cart found in the back of a mini mall that’s just outside of town and close to Wickermanish Inn. It was a random Wednesday when we went around 1pm but there was already a line up! Almost everyone who drove into this mall headed straight for the food cart. We actually didn’t know where it was at first but when we asked a local, while walking around town, where one would find the best taco place, he directed us towards Tacofino! So it must be true!
Approaching the food cart, we are immediately greeted by a big menu board. Boasting about using local ingredients, freshly made to serve tacos and environmentally responsible take out containers. It was a two person show, with one by the window taking the orders and the other in the kitchen making your order fresh!
Enticed by the menu and the wide selection, we decided to get one item each. Of course wanting some fish, we decided on the Tuna Ta-Taco and the Baja Fish Tacos, for the third we were torn between the beef or the Kimchi but given we have never tried a “gringa” before, decided to get the Kimchi Pork Gringa for something unique!
Tuna Ta-Taco – 4.5/5
I got the Tuna Ta-taco for myself. Of the three, it was my favourite for sure. The balance between the sweetness of the mango salsa with the crisp tuna taste was very apparent and the balance of the sour/tartness that the wakame seaweed salad provided gives a truly unique and west coast feel! My only disappointment was the moistness of the taco itself. I personally don’t like my tacos too sauce-y and this one definitely was such for me. I had to use almost 2 napkins to wipe up all the juice! It was very well filled as well though, definitely got your money’s worth for ingredients! A good 4.5/5 for me and definite must try again.
Baja Style Fish Tacos – 3/5
Said to be a local favourite with the fish taco. I only had a bite myself but it honestly didn’t blow my mind away. The batter wasn’t super thick and I could taste the fish quite well, but there just wasn’t the creativity of taste that the Tuna ta-taco provided for me. 3/5 from my one bite.
Kimchi Pork Gringa – 4/5
Very different from the first two tacos, this one is served warm and felt more like a quesadilla than a taco to me. The Gringa is a type of tortilla stuffed with meat and grilled with cheese (similar to the definiton of quesadilla to me). It was definitely very interesting and I actually think I would prefer this to the fish taco if I was feeling like something warm. It was sour from the kimchi and warm and gooey from the cheese, not a common combination found in Korean cuisines for sure! I would try this again 4/5.
The eating area to the right of the food cart. It’s just a first come first serve type of idea with the tables and there is a hot sauce bottle placed on each of the tables.
My friends actually went back and each got a second order of the Tuna Ta-Taco, hence the four plates of finished food – Nom nom nom!
As we were walking away though, I couldn’t help but notice this at the end of the menu list..
So I grabbed one to go, to enjoy with my book later that evening..
Chocolate Diablo Cookie – 3.5/5
The sides were crispy and the middle was soft. The chili was very apparent and it was more savoury than sweet for sure. I didn’t taste very much of the ginger though, but it was definitely quite a good end to a great meal! And to enjoy with my book…
Overall:A cute and convenient place to grab a quick bite when in the area. Also one of the few places on the highway to grab a bite if you aren't in town.
Food: 3.5/5 - depending on what you get
Ambiance: 3 - depends on the weather as well because seating is outside
*Our scoring system is out of 5. With 5 being the highest score.