Five & Dime Cantina

Five & Dime is a peculiar little Mexican eatery by Lonsdale Quay. Peculiar in that it’s a pop-up restaurant and only around till Spring 2017


My good friend and former theatre-buddy Magali and I decided to check out Five and Dime based off the stellar, but few reviews we found online. We ordered a ginger kombucha and a cranberry-lime soda to start.

Ginger kombucha and cranberry-lime soda
Ginger kombucha and cranberry-lime soda

Shak: I grabbed the cranberry-lime soda and it was quite refreshing. The flavour was a tad on the mild side, but you get the sense the mix was made in house and that is always a plus.

Magali: It was my first time trying Kombucha, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with a really tasty and refreshing ginger-kombucha concoction.

Shak’s Rating: 3.5/5 — Magali’s Rating: 3/5

We thought we were starting with house made jalapeno poppers, but unfortunately they forgot our order. When they did eventually arrive, we were greeted by slice jalapeno poppers filled with a cheese blend.

Jalapeno poppers served with salsa and chips
Jalapeno poppers served with salsa and chips

Shak: Maybe I’m missing something here, but I much prefer the deep fried version of these little poppers. The cheese filling was quite nice, but the presentation and texture left much to be desired.

Magali: I guess it was a night of firsts, as I had never tried Jalapeno poppers before. I wasn’t a huge fan of them. The filling was tasty, although I did hope there would be a little more to it — a little more flavour.

Shak’s Rating: 2.5/5 — Magali’s Rating: 2.5/5

I’m a big fan of Mexican cuisine and was hoping to find something to compliment my love for La Taqueria. The price point here is excellent, and for five dollars you can order a pair of tacos. In this case pulled pork: served with cabbage, corn, avocado and beans with a chipotle sour cream.

Pulled pork tacos with a side of chips and salsa

Shak: Right off the bat, I have to say I’m disappointed with how I can’t order two different tacos — considering they are all the same price. The pulled pork was pleasant and very filling, but I think my expectations were too high.

Magali: Pulled-pork tacos are a staple in terms of taco recreations. With that in mind, I had high hopes for these tacos and I found them a little bland, in all honesty. I would probably fulfil my pulled-pork cravings elsewhere.

Shak’s Rating: 3/5 — Magali’s Rating: 3/5

We also split the chicken tacos, topped with the same ingredients as the pulled pork variation.

Chicken tacos served with chips and salsa
Chicken tacos served with chips and salsa

Shak: I’ll elaborate on my complaints from the last taco. The flavours don’t really pop. It’s a fine taco, but you can get far better Mexican food elsewhere.  Oh, and the bland chips remind me more of taco time.

Magali: These were fairly unremarkable. Like the pulled pork, the chicken was also a little bland. At least the pulled pork had some redeeming flavour in the sauce.

Shak’s Rating: 3/5 — Magali’s Rating: 3/5

So what about the X-factors? Food may be a restaurants selling point, but when you’re out with friends you’ll want to consider the joint’s atmosphere.

Courtesy of Rasta F/Yelp
Courtesy of Rasta F/Yelp

THE VIBE: (Ambience + Service)

Shak: The place was packed, so we were seated in the corner outside behind the door. Can’t complain, as the restaurant was busy and the interior looked fun. What I will vent about, however, is the service. Our waitress was wonderful, and we even had an inside joke halfway through the night, but the food took ages, they forgot our order and severely overcharged us on the bill.

Magali: Our waitress was an absolute gem, and the restaurant seemed to make a hole-in-the-wall look not too shabby, with a nice hip vibe. It was very busy when we first walked in, which might explain why they forgot our food, multiple times. And got our bill wrong. Regardless, our waitress was great!

Shak’s Rating: 1.5/5 — Magali’s Rating: 2/5

Vancouver’s a pricey city to live in, you won’t always want to break the bank to have a nice meal with your homies. So how affordable is Five & Dime?

David Playford/Free Images
David Playford/Free Images


Shak: The menu is an absolute steal, almost everything in sight is $5. The added costs can be a little misleading, however, and I’m still sour about how much I was overcharged.

Magali: I concur, at first glance the tacos and burritos seem like a great deal at $5, until you realise that’s the “vegetarian” option. Still a great price!

Shak’s Rating: 4/5 — Magali’s Rating: 3.5/5

Five & Dime will only be around till Spring 2017, so if you have a curious appetite you should run over quick. I’d be willing to give the place a second chance, but the food was underwhelming and the service was abysmal. I’d highly recommend La Taqueria on Welch Street instead.

Skip It!



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