Little Mexico or Little Vietnam?

When exactly did the Fort and Blanchard area become Little Mexico? Or is it Little Vietnam?

 

Everyone knows about Victoria’s historic Chinatown, with its massive Gate of Harmonious Interest to its many, many great spots to grab Chinese. The difference between Chinatown and Fort and Blanchard is that there really isn’t much of a community ethnic community on Fort.

 

Chinatown was founded after an influx of miners in the 1800s when gold was discovered in the Fraser Valley. Today, Fort and Blanchard has become one of the premier spots for a bowl of pho bo or a big old burrito.

 

The Mexican

 

Now that the US election is over, it’s no better time for tacos. Long time food truck Tacofino has decided to put down on a brick and mortar shop on Fort. Tacofino is west coast fusion Mexican, so if you’re looking to sit down, sip some tequila and really dive into a full south of the border experience, this may not be it. But if you’re looking for a quick lunch to go with an authentic soda, this is a great spot with amazing food. Try the fish burrito. You won’t regret it.

 

Right across the street is La Taqueria. They’re a chain, but that doesn’t stop them from making amazing gourmet tacos. The price of entry is high, but the taste is oh so authentic.

 

Staring the two of them down from Blanchard is the OG Fort and Blanchard Mexican joint, La Taquisa. This is the most authentic looking of the three. The bright pastel colours of their walls will make you think you stepped through a magic door to Mexico.

 

The Pho

 

Pho Vy is one of the classic pho gems of downtown. Located on Fort Street across from Tacofino, their broth is to die for. This is a small pho place, so bring cash (they don’t take card) and settle down for some of the most authentic soup in Victoria.

 

Across the street is Pho Boi, who are really more of the fast food type of pho joint. That’s not to knock them, most pho places close at 9pm whereas Pho Boi is often open late on the weekend for all those night owls out there.

 

Over on Blanchard, staring across at La Taquisa is Pho Nay, they new kid on the block. Very similar in authentic quality to Pho Vy, Pho Nay stands out for having that extra bit of TLC when it comes to the staff. Enjoy a great conversation over a cup of co phe sua nong (hot Vietnamese coffee) while you wait for your meal.

 

The Scene

What makes a scene? This part of town is as equal Little Mexico as it is Little Vietnam. It’s more coincidence than anything. The demand for quick quality hot food for working professionals downtown is always increasing. It’s really just a treat for everyone.

 

Tacos and pho aren’t the only tastes on this street corner. Shiki Sushi is there if you’re looking to turn Japanese. Don’t forget about Ali Baba Pizza for a quick slice or Noodle Cart for a taste of Thai. It’s just fun to look at the triple threat offerings from Mexico and Vietnam.

Patricia Jones

Kiss Media Group Ltd., 203-2323 Mamquam Rd., Squamish