Another new hot spot for food on campus: Taco Cantina

SFU Dining Services opens a Mexican eatery

By: Jess Dela Cruz, News Writer

“No! Move it up! Swing! To the left!” 

 “Down, down, down! There! Hit it!” 

 “Oh no! You were so close!” 

 Do you remember these voices when you were five years old? You were blindfolded, holding a long, colourful stick. Someone then spun you around three times and told you, “go!” With three chances, luck, and a little bit of peeking, you flung the stick in the air hoping to hit the piñata and be the one to crack it open with the colourful, sweet, and sugary candy falling down to the floor. 

Students were able to relive this wholesome childhood activity this past week when SFU Dining Services yet again opened a new restaurant in James Douglas, Taco Cantina. Though they started serving their food in August, the new Dining Hall Marketing Manager, Carol, says they did not want to interfere with the opening of celebrity chef Vikram Vij’s new restaurant in Mackenzie Café that opened weeks prior. Taco Cantina wanted their own time to celebrate their opening. Furthermore, Carol also pointed out that there is a substantially number of students on campus in the summer, so fall seemed to be the perfect time to open and celebrate Taco Cantina – which replaced Junction 66, a fast food restaurant which served burgers and poutine.

To celebrate their grand opening, Taco Cantina offered prizes and activities for students in attendance. They decorated the restaurant with hanging piñatas, banners, and balloons. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., they offered chances to win $50 worth of Dining Dollars which can be used at any food spots on campus. Locations where Dining Dollars can be used include Tim Hortons, the Dining Hall, Mackenzie Café, and Taco Cantina itself.  

Taco Cantina also provided three piñata parties throughout the day where students passing by or studying in the cafeteria can participate in taking a chance to break the piñata. And as the piñata received hits, Nerds, Rockets, lollipops, and other candy fell on the floor, where anyone was welcome to grab as much candy as they could. Like Charlie in a taco factory, one lucky kid could find the special piece of candy that tells you how to claim their Dining Dollar prize. 

The sound of the plastic ticker on the prize wheel hitting the pegs rang throughout the day, while students enjoyed free samples of Taco Cantina’s food. One prize winner said they’ll use their dining dollars to buy, “coffee, coffee, and more coffee.” 

With inspiration from Mexican culture, Taco Cantina offers taco salad, crudo nachos, tortilla soup, rice pudding, mini churros, Mexican coffee, and jarritos. From beverage drinks to food items, the price ranges from $1.69 to $9.99. Offering vegetarian and gluten-free options, Taco Cantina made an effort to include dietary options for students on campus. 

Say goodbye to Old el Paso, and say hello to Taco Cantina which is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and closed on the weekends.