Discover locally-authentic Mexican cuisine at this Oakville restaurant

Published October 19, 2022 at 11:31 am

Discover locally-authentic Mexican cuisine at Por Vida in Oakville

Step into Mexican culture immediately upon entering the restaurant doors of Por Vida – serving up locally-authentic Mexican cuisine. Located at 2330 Lakeshore Road. W in Oakville, this delicious and unique spot is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Opened in 2019, Por Vida offers a well-rounded and unique experience for all guests. Por Vida is unique for several reasons… The cuisine and menu items are sustainable, the atmosphere was created to make guests feel like they’re walking the streets of Mexico, and the service at Por Vida has received several top notch reviews.

Chef, and one of the partners for Por Vida, Eduardo Juarez, prides himself on sustainable cuisine, by ensuring that menu items are made with locally-sourced ingredients. With his Mexican sensibilities, by sourcing locally-authentic and seasonal ingredients, Por Vida remains sustainable while still paying homage to the authentic flavours and cuisine of Mexico. By doing this, Chef Eduardo can change Por Vida’s menu frequently based on seasonal availability.

“It’s important to change the menu frequently, because apart from the seasonality of ingredients this is what my staff and I do for a living, and it’s important to exercise our minds, to craft, and to continuously evolve,” says Chef Eduardo. “It also keeps our staff and clients excited, anticipating what’s next.”

Chef Eduardo has been part of the Catch Hospitality Group for the past 10 years, and during his time he has curated several Mexican-influenced dishes for some of the other brands. The overwhelming success of those dishes led Chef Eduardo and the Catch team to open a Mexican-inspired restaurant – Por Vida.

Months before Por Vida’s opening, Chef Eduardo flew to Mexico City to work with restaurateur Juan Cabrera at Fonda Fina. He soaked in all the learning and knowledge he could through working, observing and of course… Eating! From there he traveled to Oaxaca, and learned about Mezcal and its makers, visited markets and street vendors to experience his culture first hand. Research and development were essential to Chef Eduardo, and this played a huge role in the overall creation of Por Vida.

The atmosphere at Por Vida is another piece of the puzzle that makes this restaurant unique. The whole bar and stained glass windows, for instance, are local artifacts reclaimed from a Toronto church. The front of the kitchen is designed to look like food stalls, which is a staple in Mexican culture, given the amount of food and taco vendors people find in Mexico. There are also numerous decor pieces imported from Mexico adorning Por Vida’s interior, such as hand-painted skulls, floor and bar tiles, and colourful blankets. Even the wallpaper was replicated from photos taken in Mexico City! So much thought and care were given while creating the atmosphere of Por Vida… And, it has all tied together beautifully.

At Por Vida, there is no shortage of Mexican classics to choose from. Tacos, ceviche, salsa… You name it! Popular menu items, from different sections of the menu, include:

Small plates

  • Shrimp Ceviche in Spicy Squid Ink: Salsa bruja, habanero, ginger, cucumber, ash, charred avocado.
  • Lobster Tartare Tostada:

Caper, Morita, shallot, lime, peanut salsa macha, avocado

  • Beef and Bone Marrow: Hand-pressed tortilla, beef tongue, bone marrow, habanero salsa, x’ni’pec (spicy sauce), cabbage in escabeche.
  • Mushroom Tostada: Crispy tortilla, sikil pak, wild mushroom, mushroom vinaigrette, onion, cilantro.
  • Roasted Beet Salad: Pink mole, roasted red and yellow beets, candied walnuts, kale, orange, goat cheese, tepache honey
  • Plantain and Corn Masa Tamal: Pork belly, “manchamanteles mole,” crispy plantain, pineapple.

Main Plates

  • Roasted Chicken in Mole Madre: 700+ day old mole, roasted potato, wild mushroom.

Taco Bar

  • Mole and Roasted Cauliflower: Hibiscus pickled cabbage, cilantro, crema, cotija, chile-lime peanuts.
  • Octopus on Flour Tortilla: Jalapeno aioli, pico de gallo, slaw in escabeche, cilantro.
  • Birria Quesadillas: Heirloom corn tortillas, beef birria, Oaxaca cheese, chile and beef broth for dipping.

For the Table

  • Salsa Macha de Chapulin: Traditional salsa base, macha dried chillies, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and toasted crickets (yes – actual crickets!)

Discover locally-authentic Mexican cuisine at Por Vida in Oakville

We can’t forget about the drinks! Popular must-order and must-try drinks include:

  • Margarita: Cazadores blanco, Triple sec, lime juice, agave nectar
  • Devil’s Avocado: Sombra mezcal, liquor 43, pineapple juice, lemon, fresh avocado
  • Oaxaca Sprits: Sombra mezcal, Aperol, grapefruit, sparkling wine

Other than the three most popular cocktails above, Por Vida offers a wide selection of tequila, mezcal (the smokier, hotter cousin of tequila), cerveza (beer), wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

You and your family or besties will not be bored at Por Vida, because on top of the exciting menu items and the restaurant’s incredible atmosphere, the staff at Por Vida do their best to bring even more excitement through events. One popular event that recently made a return since COVID-19, is ‘Gringo Night’ which includes a live mariachi band, a feature menu and a welcome cocktail – all for $20.

If you’re interested in visiting Por Vida, you can book a reservation here. If you’re looking to attend the next ‘Gringo Night’ event, or want to stay in the loop of new menu releases, be sure to subscribe to the restaurant’s e-newsletter, or follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for frequent updates.

For more information about Por Vida and to view their full menu, visit the website here.

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