El Santo

4.3
217 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Mexican
Welcome to el Santo, a restaurant experience that’s uniquely New West. This is a place for you to unwind. To connect with good friends over cocktails. To experience Chef Sam Fabbro’s sustainable menu. And most importantly, to leave satisfied and happy. Get ready to redefine everything you think you know about Mexican cuisine. Come in to our home, fellow luchadores. We’ve got something special for you.

We are excited to announced that el Santo was recently awarded best latin restaurant in Vancouver by Vancouver Magazine.
What 217 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

El Santo is always great, and one of my favorite local spots.

Only complaint is this time the waitress accidentally spilled sauce all over me while serving. Of course, accidents happen and it was no big deal, but would have been nice if they had at least offered to at least comp a drink or something for the inconvenience.

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s
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

First of all, saying that the noise level the highest bar is energetic. That's awful to say that as it was so noisy I could not hear my friend speaking to me that is ANNOYING!! Not energetic.
The food was mediocre as it did not taste mexican at all. It tasted like someone trying to make mexican food. I have had mexican food and it has zing and it's flavourful. This was not any of them. I would like to however go back and try the chicken dish and give it another chance, but that's just me.
If you want real mexican food, try the Taco Fino on Hastings... ate there yesterday and it's better than this place.

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HG
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

On arrival we were seated promptly and given menus and water. After a few minutes our drink orders were taken and when the drinks arrived we ordered our appetizers and main courses. Service was friendly and efficient. Perhaps too efficient! Our delicious Taco appetizers arrived quickly but then we were still eating the last mouthfuls when our mains arrived - too soon! In fact, the main courses arrived only 22 minutes after we entered the restaurant. Not only was this too soon, it also strongly suggests that none of the food was cooked to order; likely prepared ahead of time and finished to order by reheating and plating. I believe my meat was cooked sous vide then quickly seared on the outside before plating. This may be OK for some cuts of meat but definitely not the way to cook steak. But all the food was very tasty and the presentation and flavour combinations showed imagination. Overall, OK for a casual night out, but not what I would call "fine dining."

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KP
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food here is SO GOOD. Happened to come on a quiet night, so the service was good and it wasn't too loud. If you like Mexican food, you need to try this place! The people in my family have very different taste in foods, but everyone enjoyed the food here. One of my favourite restaurants!

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S
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best places to eat in New West! I have never had a mediocre meal here. They rotate some items on their menu seasonally, so there's always something new and delicious to try! The service is great and the food is authentic, sometimes they have music too!

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Y
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Great staff but small portions and extremely pricey considering amount of food served.

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KE
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food great drinks. Portions could be larger for the money but still worth it because delicious

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OT
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The drawback was the service was a little slow, however, this is a fairly common problem in the city unfortunately. Food was delicious, better than it has been in recent past.

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OA
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Always nice to go there ! Good service. Very tasty!

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F
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 4

Made our reservations 2 weeks prior. Arrived right on time at 7pm. Was told it would be 10 mins for the table to become available but was not seated until 7:19pm. Since we made resos, was hoping for better seating but we ended up getting the worst table in the restaurant. We were sat at the very back right next to the washrooms. General decor and ambiance was nice and comparable to Tacofino. However still wasn't great being seated next to the washrooms. After reading such great reviews for this restaurant we were extremely disappointed. The food was mediocre at best. Not much flavor or seasoning. Very bland for mexican cuisine. Paid $9 for chips and salsa as an appy which is usually just customary at most Mexican restaurants. Our main course was delayed and the server offered more chips while we were waiting. We said sure and also asked if we could get more habanero salsa as we were out and she said sure no problem. When the bill came we saw they had charged us for the extra salsa. Overall, we really regretted making resos here and would have been much more satisfied eating at Taqueria Playa Tropical or Tacofino which both have better food and are reasonably priced.

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CK
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never ordered a menu item that disappoints me! Great service as well.

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F
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a gem of a restaurant with unusual eclectic Mexican dishes and live music. The vibe is hip and friendly.

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r
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another wonderful dinner at El Santo! Great range of flavours and options for all palates!

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JH
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A very nice place to enjoy food and listen to good music! The wait staff are attentive and the owner is present and works hard to ensure that he makes a contact with each of the guests visiting the restaurant. Some really interesting and delicious food on the menu ... ingredients are prepared in unique and creative ways. We had requested a table close to where the band was performing and upon arrival we were seated in a great spot. They do the best job of ensuring that everyone is hydrated as well, with water being poured when you are seated and then constantly refilled throughout the meal, especially good if you are eating any of the spicy dishes. Thanks!!

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JB
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another fantastic dinner at our favourite place. Thanks to Alejandro, Chef Sam, Liz and all the staff for a great night!

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C
Calgary
14 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Service was pretty good; food was mediocre. Lack of seasoning in the dishes.

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CW
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had waited to go to El Santo for a special occasion, and it really exceeded our expectations at every level! The live music was an welcome surprise, and the place was filled with a downtown vibe! The food and service were amazing, especially as we ate vegetarian. There were numerous choices, pointed out by staff, that were astonishing, especially the corn bread and the roasted vegetables...actually let me rethink this, it was all astonishing! We will return to El Santo 100%!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food & great jazz!

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AH
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food never disappoints us. We are always in for a treat from the flavourful guacamole with home made chips to the wagyu beef and farm fresh roasted chicken. The churros with dulce la leche sauce is a must.

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S
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had amazing food and a great time here. Can’t say enough about our server Liz :) She was absolutely fantastic!

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S
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The share plates and creative taco options were better than the main dishes this time. Except for one of the main courses, the other 4 were a bit dry and seemed like they had waited under the warmer too long before being served. Service was excellent.
Usually if asked when making a reservation if it is a special occasion, I would expect some small acknowledgement like one complimentary dessert, at least. For a significant birthday or anniversary it is usually offered.

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NE
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first time at this restaurant and we certainly will be back.
Great food and excellent service. PESCAITO FRITO was absolutely delicious.

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JM
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Heard great things about El Santo, and with good reason! Our server was fantastic, took the time to explain items on the wine list and food menu. The portions were notably small for the mains, but wonderful flavours. Atmosphere was lively, maybe a bit loud if you're hoping to hold a long conversation, this may not be the right place. Overall we enjoyed our experience and we will definitely return.

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E
Vancouver
9 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Live music was great, but it's so loud you can't have a conversation. Food was just OK. I had the sablefish and the portion was very small for the cost and it was the first time I had dry sablefish!

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DR
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and amazingly fast service. Will be back again!

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DM
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing staff, food and the owner is there to personally greet you

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K
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Enjoyed the creative meal with some authentic tastes. Wish the menu had photos or something that described what you were eating other than the ingredient list but the waitress did an amazing job describing the menu. I imagine the peak time we chose to come at and the size of our group had an impact on the time it took to prepare the meals which were longer than normal but I appreciated the waitress's diligence in keeping us informed about the issues.
Over all pretty enjoyable experience.

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J
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and service was a very pleasant surprise. Not once did we have to fill our own wine glass or ask for additional water. Our server was very efficient and always had a smile. Will definitely be back!

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J
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food. Favourite restaurant in New Westminster,BC

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AD
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great experience. Brit and Jess are fantastic hostesses. Will definitely return.

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JN
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Warm and comfy place. The food and service are amazing.

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S
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fabuloso! The best Mexican restaurant in the lower mainland. Not just the regular taco menu but more creative and upscale Mexican dining. The tequila and mezcal lists are better than most restaurants' wine lists. Interesting cocktails.
Service was very efficient, knowledgeable and friendly.
We will be back!
Very easy to get to from downtown Vancouver via Skytrain.

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H
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place! Food was excellent! Very upbeat and 'happening'.

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O
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great! Service was excellent! We all loved it and would highly recommend El Santos!

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t
Vancouver
52 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great meal. Tortilla chips are fried in house. Grilled romaine salad is always a hit. Flank steak entree was inventive and tasty. Fish tacos just okay, too much batter and bland. Highly recommend the zero proof drink with pineapple, lime, orgeat and egg white.

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OD
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good as always. Especially when enjoyed with old friends visiting from out of town.

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s
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

We are in a krto diet, which can be restricting with ordering a meal. Between the waitress and the kitchen they outdid themselves in putting together a great meal. Terrific service lots of help with ordering, food was terrific. Great value

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TK
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time, and loved the food and service. Everything exceeded our expectations and we left very pleased and looking forward to returning soon! Have already recommended to several others.

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LP
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had the pork belly which was absolutely delicious!! The only reason I gave service a 4/5 was because I had to ask three times for lemon to go in my water...other than that it was a great foodie experience!

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OT
Vancouver
22 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambience, food and servers!! A must visit in New Westminster ❤️

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