Latest Project from Team Behind Ophelia, Monarca Serves Up Dinner, Cocktails, Casual Vibes on the Corner of Bute and Davie in the West End

VANCOUVER, BC, July 4, 2024 — Casual, South-of-the-border cuisine, culture and style has a new home in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant West End neighbourhood with the official opening of Mexican-inspired restaurant Barra Gitano at 1202 Davie Street on Thursday, July 4th.
Open daily at 4 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays for dinner and late-night drinks to start with weekend brunch expected to debut soon, Barra Gitano offers seating for 100 in its cozy and inviting dining room and outdoor patio and a unique menu of Mexican and Latin American-inspired small plates, entrées and tacos as well as a full bar showcasing handcrafted cocktails, artisanal spirits, craft beer and wine.
Situated in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant and eclectic Davie Village neighbourhood at the corner of Bute and Davie in the former Mary’s on Davie, Barra Gitano is the latest project for the ownership team of Erik Heck, John Crookand Chef Francisco Higareda, who also operate The Flying Pig and Ophelia Cocina Mexicana in Olympic Village and Gastown’s Monarca.

The full Barra Gitano food menu includes:

PA’ EMPAZAR (appetizers)
  • Guacamole (fresh avocado, cilantro, roasted garlic + jalapeño, white onion, lime juice, cheese, corn tortilla chips), 12.5;
  • Salsa Quemada (roasted tomatoes + chilis, corn tortilla chips), 10.5;
  • Chipotle Fries (French fries, chipotle salt, serrano + garlic aioli), 10;
  • Tiradito de Atun (tempura tuna tataki, shiso, nori, pineapple ponzu jus, avocado, red onion, cucumber, fried leeks), 18;
  • Scallops + Prawn Tostadas (scallops + prawn, mango, avocado, spicy garlic aioli, piquillo salsa), 17.5;
  • Roasted Cauliflower (paprika aioli, serrano lime soy, toasted pumpkin seeds), 17.75;
  • Tomato + Burrata (fresh burrata, pistachio + cilantro pesto, serrano ham, roasted peaches, heirloom tomatoes), 22.5.
LOS FUERTES (entrées)
  • Guajillo Prawns (garlic guajillo prawns, wine chorizo, truffle mashed potatoes), 26;
  • Birria Noodle Soup (Mexican chili braised beef brisket, beef + pork broth, ramen noodles, corn, marinated bean sprouts + onion, cilantro, egg, bamboo shoots), 24;
  • Hamburguesa Gitano (Wagyu beef, cheddar cheese, caramelized onion + jalapeño, avocado, lettuce, serrano + garlic aioli, brioche bun, chipotle fries), 26;
  • Arroz Tumbado (roasted chicken, Spanish chorizo, prawns, peas, spicy tomato rice), 30;
  • Buñuelo de Barbacoa (beef barbacoa, guacamole, black beans, cheddar cheese, pickled red onions, iceberg lettuce, habanero sauce, flour tortilla), 27.5.
TACOS (three per order)
  • Pork Belly (confit pork belly, salsa macha, avocado purée, cured red onion, corn tortilla, spicy aioli), 22;
  • Lengua (parral style beef tongue barbacoa, corn tortilla, cilantro + onion chile arbol, tomatillo sauce), 25;
  • Vegan (tempura broccolini, salsa verde, avocado, pickled onions, cilantro, flour tortilla), 25;
  • Fish (battered ling cod, cheese, pickled habanero cabbage + onions, cucumber, guacamole, manzano chili aioli, flour tortilla, jalapeño salsa), 25.
PA’ ACABAR (dessert)
  • Gansito + Ice Cream (tempura chocolate + strawberry vanilla cake, praline ice cream), 12.5;
  • Churros (cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce), 15.
Barra Gitano also features a full bar with a comprehensive list of handcrafted classic and contemporary cocktails comprising artisanal and premium agave and mezcals, house-made tonics, syrups and tinctures, imported and local craft beers and wines and zero-proof ‘sin alcohol’ mocktails.
The drink menu showcases a focused list of signature cocteles such as Catching Feelings (400 Conejos mezcal, Driftwood Contact gin, passion fruit syrup, lime, soda), Black Forest Sour (Reifel rye whisky, house-made amaretto, lemon, sour cherry syrup, egg white, toasted almond bitters), Something Tiki (spiced rum, licor 43, pineapple juice, pineapple bitters, lime) and Moonlight Drive (licorice-infused Gran Centenario añejo, px sherry, chocolate bitters, smoked maple syrup).
The margarita also takes a bow with signature spins on the south-of-the-border staple such as the Gitano (Cuervo reposado, guava purée, lime, house-made curaçao), Spicy Pineapple Mezcalita (400 conejos mezcal, pineapple syrup, pineapple bitters, habanero tincture, lime), Strawberry (basil-infused Cuervo plata, strawberry syrup, lime) and Coconut Mint (Cuervo plata, coconut mint syrup, house-made curaçao, lime).
“Erik and I both used to live around here and have long wanted to open a little neighbourhood spot in this beautiful little corner of the city, so it’s a bit of a homecoming,” says Crook. “Francisco has put together another amazing menu of bold, vibrant flavours that offers a bit of a departure from Ophelia and Monarca yet still stays true to his culinary roots and the time-honoured recipes that continue to inspire him.”
While distinctly more casual and laidback than Ophelia and Monarca, it’s another homage to Higareda’s homeland. Born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, Higareda began pursuing his culinary career at Ambrosia Centro Culinario in Mexico City and went on to earn a diploma in High Cuisine & Gastronomic Management at Mariano Moreno Institute in Buenos Aires. He honed his craft working alongside Michelin-starred chefs in Spain and France and opened his own restaurant in Chihuahua before moving to Vancouver in 2016 and helming the kitchens at The Flying Pig and the former WildTale before opening Ophelia in 2020 and Monarca in 2022.

About Barra Gitano

Now open in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant Davie Village, Barra Gitano is the latest project for the local team behind The Flying Pig restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria and the acclaimed Ophelia Cocina Mexicana in Olympic Village and Monarca Cocina Mexicana in Gastown. Open Wednesday to Sunday for dinner and late-night drinks, Barra Gitano offers seating for 100 in its cozy and inviting dining room and outdoor patio and a unique menu of Mexican and Latin American-inspired small plates, entrées and tacos as well as a full bar showcasing handcrafted cocktails, artisanal spirits, craft beer and wine.

Barra Gitano is located at 1202 Davie St, Vancouver BC.