Monarca Cocina Mexicana to open in Gastown next week

Mar 31 2022, 7:30 pm

Last month we told you about the new dining concept Monarca setting up shop in a notable Vancouver restaurant space. Now, it’s almost ready to open its doors.

Monarca Cocina Mexicana is set to open at 181 Carrall Street in Gastown next week, and we got a sneak peek of it so we can share what to expect.

A sister restaurant to Olympic Village’s Ophelia, Monarca will offer the same lively atmosphere but aims to share a more modern-meets-authentic take on Mexican fare instead of the more traditional grub the former offers.

The expansive bar and dining room — previously occupied by Coquille Seafood Restaurant — features intricate tile, bold wallpaper, vibrant greenery, and plenty of comfy leather booths and chairs.

Hanna McLean/Daily Hive


Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

The menu here offers a selection of “new age” Mexican fare from accomplished Mexican chef and restaurant partner Francisco Higareda.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by the area Chef Higareda’s father lived in, as it was near the famous Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico’s MichoacĆ”n region.

Monarch butterflies play an important role in the culture and history of Mexico and are viewed as the spirits of ancestors returning to visit their families.


Filete En Mole De Frambuesa (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

During our visit, we got to taste a handful of dishes like the Filete En Mole De Frambuesa, a 7 oz AAA beef tenderloin served with truffle corn esquites and raspberry mole.


Los De Rib Eye Tacos (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Another highlight we tried was the Los De Rib Eye tacos, a combo of AAA beef rib eye, milpa tortilla, grilled cheese, avocado, onion cilantro, salsa verde, and salsa roja.

Other tacos up for order include achiote braised pork, grilled prawns, and roasted butternut squash varieties.


Enfrijoladas De Cochinita Pibil (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Something we need to come back and taste? The Hamburguesa A La Mexicana.

It’s made up of a wagyu beef patty, cheddar cheese, caramelized, onion and jalapeƱo, avocado, lettuce, and serrano-garlic aioli on a brioche bun and served with chipotle french fries.

Sounds good, right?

Some other eyecatching items on the menu include the Tostada De AtĆŗn Y Salsa Macha, Queso Con Chorizo, and Enchiladas Gratinadas. There’s a lot to dig into here, clearly.


Monarca Margarita (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Monarca’s bar offers handcrafted cocktails, such as the Monarca Margarita, as well as premium tequilas and mezcals, beer, and wine.


Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

You can find this spot officially open for dinner service on Thursday, April 7. Its operating hours will be Tuesday to Sunday from 4 pm to midnight.

Lunch service will launch later on.

Be sure to check it out!

Monarca Mexican Kitchen

Address:Ā 181 Carrall Street, Vancouver


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