When it comes to where you dip your tortilla chips, guacamole always hits the spot. With a base of creamy fresh avocado, an accent of salt, spice, and citrus, this cheery Mexican condiment deserves plenty of attention.
Whether you’re a purist and pair it only with chips, or you have it on hand to add extra oomph to breakfast dishes, nachos, tacos, and more, there’s much to love about guacamole.
We connected with six local chefs and guacamole enthusiasts to get their tips, tricks, and hacks for enjoying the best guacamole in Vancouver, from your home kitchen to favourite restaurants. As a delicious bonus, a couple of the pros even shared their own guacamole recipe.
A little bit of apple cider vinegar balances the acidity perfectly.
I don’t go out for guacamole, I make it at home.
With chips and a margarita!
Guacamole is best shared…a few drinks, a few friends and a few laughs always makes it taste even better! [It’s] great for every occasion because avocados are always in season.
Always leave the avocado stone/pit in your guacamole once you have made it. By doing this, the guacamole will remain green and vibrant for longer.
Sal y Limon, located in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. It’s always fresh and has a good amount of lime.
I like my guacamole very simple and usually eat it just with chips. Let’s be honest, chips are just a vessel to shovel the guacamole with.
I always like to add a little toasted cumin seed to my guacamole, it adds a totally different dimension to it and goes very well with lots of lime juice and fresh cilantro. See photo separately attached.
Adding any type of acidulation to the avocados always help keep the colour. Another trick I learned was to keep the pit in the avocado mix. This also helps a bit and make sure you cover the mix to prevent oxidization.
I don’t have a favourite restaurant in particular per se but at the top of my head, Tacofino and La Mezcaleria make a pretty mean guacamole.
Fresh! I can eat it with anything – chips, tacos, salads, seafood…the list goes on.
For the best results, always try to make it as fresh as possible!
Use ripe avocados! I like chunky so I don’t puree or mash my avocados to smooth.
For texture and colour, I like adding in pomegranate seeds. Make it an hour ahead so the flavours will meld well together. I like using both lemon and lime juices, plus an addition of ground cumin and coriander. Also, a hint of chipotle or chili powder brings out some smokiness.
The Mexican [on Granville]…or my kitchen at home
Guacamole is not just a condiment for tortilla chips, so I love adding guacamole on top of scrambled eggs, as a side for a grilled chicken or steak! You can’t go wrong with avocados/guacamole because it’s so versatile.
You can’t really go wrong as long as you follow a couple simple steps. Picking a ripe avocado is the most essential but not so ripe that they are brown inside. I like to pick avocados that have a uniform brownish tinge, with the stem still attached, firm but will give when squeezed slightly. Then I remove the stem and if the flesh is bright green inside then I put that one in my basket.
Sometimes if I have time, I prefer to buy a bag of unripened avocados from Mexico (you can find these in the stores year round) and allow them a day or two to ripen on the window sill. Next, there are a couple of techniques I use.
Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, carefully remove the pit by using the heel of a French knife to impale the centre of the pit and if successful twist the knife clockwise and remove pit. Note: Never try to stab the pit with the point! Most plastic surgeons will tell you that 50 % of their patients have cut themselves trying to remove an avocado pit!
Next, you can slightly mash guacamole with a fork or a whisk, rasp in 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 lime squeezed, salt to taste (I like to add cilantro and finely diced serrano or jalapeño chili and a pinch of cumin to mine)
Bandidas or Sal y limon
With grilled halibut and soft white corn tortillas or as an accompaniment to pasilla or ancho chili rubbed grilled chicken. Another alternative is grilled rib eye steak with chimichurri with garnish for lime. Or on top of chicken posole soup.
If you aren’t going to eat the guacamole right away, you can pour a drizzle of olive oil to keep oxygen from turning the avocado surface brown. You can also add the pit to your guacamole, as it’s supposed to keep the guacamole from browning.
This one is super easy and anyone can make it!
Place avocado in a bowl and lightly break up with a fork, add remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning.
A perfectly ripe avocado! The top should be slightly soft to the touch. Another tip is to use acid (lemons and limes are awesome) to keep it as vibrant green as possible. The last thing I would say is small and perfect knife cuts. There’s nothing worse than eating a big chunk of onion that overpowers all the other flavours in your guacamole.
Lolita’s on Davie Street was a guilty late night pleasure when I worked in the West End. Of all the places I’ve eaten guacamole, my favourite is a traditional Mexican restaurant in Omak, Washington called Rancho Chico. It’s not fine dining, but an amazing guacamole, especially paired with their margaritas.
Most of the time I love it with fresh tortilla chips dusted with lime powder (dried lime zest finely ground) and salt. Every once in a while, I’ll spread it on a nicely toasted ciabatta bun with roasted chicken, jalapeño Havarti and oven dried tomatoes.
Guacamole can be irresistible so be careful of how much you eat! Even though guacamole is made with healthily ingredients you still need to consume in moderation.
This recipe is very simple and a must try for your next fiesta because really, who doesn’t love avocados? They’re fun and versatile!
Combine all ingredients. Stir well.