Feast. Your. Eyes.

What started as a seasonal food truck tucked in the backend of a Tofino parking lot is now in the midst of a full-blown, multi-city taco takeover, with brick-and-mortar Tacofino locations successfully established in Vancouver (to the power of two) and Victoria. If you’ve sampled their fish tacos, this should come as no surprise. In fact, Tacofino's food truck patrons are always perfectly happy to eat the to-go fare standing up or on a nearby street step, so what surprised me was how much work was put into building their newish Gastown restaurant, Taco Bar, (when a roped off area of lawn chairs would surely do). Bringing a powerful dose of sunshine to the gritty Vancouver heritage district was up to local designer, Shiloh Sukkau, who created a surfer-cool haunt inspired by Tofino, the Baja and SoCal, at 15 W Cordova St. When I paid Taco Bar a visit in December, I couldn't get over the attractive graphic tile work, the army of Bend chairs, and beachy accents next to heritage brick—it's easily one of my new favourite restaurants in terms of design (and food!) so I had to get a better look.

Photo Gallery: Inside the SoCal-Cool Tacofino Taco Bar:

Raising The Bar
Here you can see the imported encaustic cement tiles in light brown and white that go from the floor up to the bar, complemented nicely by white pendants, white walls and white Bend bar stools. (Photo: K K Law.)
Mural, Mural, On The Wall
This space gets a ton of its personality from the graphic spiral mural on the right wall, created by Vancouver artist Gabriel Dubois. The piece features just the right colours and is just the right volume. (Photo: K K Law.)
Writing's On The Wall
The bathrooms and hallway are built out of fabulously basic stained chipboard and here you can see the menu printed on one wall. This is also one of the only photos showing the gorgeous green cement tiles in the hallway that lead to the Burrito Bar section and take-out counter. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Tacofino Sets Up Shop In Gastown
Along with its brick-and-mortar location in Gastown at 15 W Cordova St., Tacofino has another Vancouver restaurant at 2327 E Hastings St. (with light stylings of Omer Arbel), with a Victoria location at 787 Fort St. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Arts And Crafts
Vancouver designer Shiloh Sukkau created this macrame plant mobile herself, while Vancouver's Hinterland made the hand-woven and knotted stools specifically for Taco Bar. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Local Lights
A handcrafted element was a central part of Sukkau's design for Taco Bar, so local Vancouver artist Meghann Hubert was tapped to create both ceramic pendant lights in the dining area. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Sun, Surf And Sand
Sukkau used light woods, white, beige and light brown tile, lanterns and splashes of green to invoke the essence of surf throughout the restaurant. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
A Rich Heritage
Though there were plenty of updates to the origianl Gastown heritage building, Taco Bar kept the original brick wall. I personally love the mid-century, Palm-Springs-like breeze blocks, which are used both on the back wall of the bar, and as a separator between the dining area and kitchen. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Peekaboo
An important part of the operation, the kitchen sits between the main dining areas and the Burrito Bar. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
DIY Design
The designer hand-wove these lantern shades, which capture the Cali surf colour palette perfectly. (Photo: Laura McGuire.)
Picture This
There are three light box features of vintage M. Stelling photographs of Cox Bay and Tofino, which were gifted to Tacofino by West Coast Surf SHAC. (Photo: Laura McGuire).