Authentic Mexican street food and snacks – El Valiente Tacos & Snacks

by Jason

The last time I had Mexican street food was several years ago when I was in Cancun. I ventured out of the resort and followed one of the employee’s suggestion of a taco stand right outside of a flea market. I was enticed by the sights and sizzling sounds of the greasy plancha and plastic plates wrapped in plastic produce bags serving delicious tortilla wrapped goodies. I pounded a couple of platefuls of tacos al pastor and nopales. I got sick, but it was worth it. Ever since then, despite the memories of the raging inferno of my gastrointestinal tract in Cancun, I have yearned for the taste of authentic tacos in Montreal. To be fair, there have been a few like Don Rigo, La Capital, Tacos & Tortas that can transport you. I’m happy to have found another to add to the list. This week I went to check out El Valiente Tacos & Snacks.

Located in the Marché de l’Ouest in DDO, El Valiente is a happening taco stand that you can’t miss. Jovial staff singing along to a playlist of traditional Mexican music mixed with reggaeton liven up the seemingly quiet indoor section of a suburban farmer’s market. The audible clanking of meat being flipped on a metal flattop and thumping of it being chopped. Festive decor and a TV playing what looked like a Mexican telenovela contrast the murmuring hum of muted conversations of passersby’s. This spot was already everything I wanted it to be.


El Valiente’s menu is straight forward, tacos, burritos, tortas and snacks. You have a choice of beef, chicken, pork, chirozo and pastor or lingua for and extra $3. Four to an order, you can pick a choice of two different meats, all topped with the classic cilantro and onions. The pastor tacos were packed full of flavor. They were fatty, salty, smokey and with a touch of heat from their homemade salsa verde – three different salsas to choose from (self serve).

The beef tacos were just as delicious. Although a bit dry (super thin pieces of shaved beef) some of the pieces were studded with little nuggets of fat which lent flavour and moisture to each bite. Each of the proteins were seared on a well seasoned plancha, evident by the smokiness of the meat without tasting burnt.


quesabirria with braised beef and soup

These double-wrapped quesabirria were one of the better ones I’ve had in the city. As per tradition, each taco was served with a small cup of consome (the braising liquid the beef was cooked in).

Each taco was stuffed with a generous portion of under-seasoned beef and cheese. A quick dunk in the soup added the perfect amount of flavourful spices and saltiness to each bite. If you feel compelled to drink it, just know it’s a bit salty (like it’s supposed to be)… but delicious. I drank it. I always do. YOLO.


Esquites is Mexican corn salad. This popular street food consists of warm corn kernels, mixed with mayo, Cotija cheese, chili power, tajin and some lemon. If you’ve ever seen Mexican street corn on the cob, this is basically the same thing without the pageantry. Sweet and salty with the right amount of creaminess and spices. You have to love corn to eat this. Well, even if you mildly enjoy corn, you’ll like it too.


I also tried another popular Mexican street food snack. Dorielotes is basically esquites on Doritos – or what I like to call “stoner nachos” or “Mexican beach poutine”. A 70 gram depanneur single serving bag of Doritos, opened length wise topped with very generous scoops of warm corn, and again, topped with mayo, cheese, chili, Tajin and lime juice. Eat them fast, the chips will get soggy. I ended up mixing the soggy bits all together.

This is really fun to eat, if not a bit messy, but that adds to the experience. Very cheesy and very corny.

Located in the Marché de l’Ouest, El Valiente has been open for almost 5 months and has put another legitimate and authentic taqueria and street food outpost in the West Island. The service is friendly and the staff is eager to explain the menu for those who have yet to have an authentic antojitos experience. They also have a variety of imported candies, chips and sweets for you to discover. I have to mention the homemade agua frescas too. I had the horchata which is the perfect drink to help put our the fire of the habanero hot sauce. They also have jamaica (hibiscus) as well as offter the entire roster of Jaritos.

Also ALL YOU CAN EAT TACO TUESDAYS for only $20! What are you waiting for? Mexican street food without leaving the suburbs!

El Valiente Tacos & Snacks
Marché de l’Ouest
1600 Salaberry Blvd, Dollard-Des Ormeaux

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