Bowen Island, BC – Nancy’s Tacos & (Sara’s) Ice Cream Shop

Restaurant: Nancy’s Tacos & Ice Cream Shop
Cuisine: Tacos/Ice Cream
Last visited: August 3, 2011
Location: Bowen Island, BC
Address: 400 Bowen Island Trunk Rd
Bowen Island, BC
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 2
Service: 4
Ambiance: 2 inside, 6 outside on the patio
Overall: 2
Additional comments:

  • Since 2002
  • Locally owned
  • Home made tacos
  • Simple food
  • Limited menu
  • Vegetarian options
  • Healthy recipes
  • Right by the ferry (walkable)
  • On the dock
  • Very casual/fast food
  • Patio seating only
  • Cheap eats/budget friendly
  • Family friendly
  • Cash only
  • Mon-Sun 11am-6pm
  • Closed Tuesdays

Recommendations: n/a

Before I headed on my chocolate escape at West Coast Chocolatier on Bowen Island I did a little restaurant research. There were only about 10 restaurants on Bowen Island to select from, but when I saw that Nancy’s Tacos & Ice Cream Shop had 100% rating on Urbanspoon, I put it on the list! Sure the ratings were based on only 10 people (at the time), but I was still curious to see for myself.

I had actually tried to visit this random little taco hut for dinner the night before, but realized it closed on a Tuesday. I had asked some locals about it and everyone knew what it was, but nobody really said anything beyond that. Regardless I made my way down here the next day for a quick snack before my departure from the island.

It’s actually more of a take out place and there’s no seats inside, but most people would chose to sit outside anyways. It’s been around for 9 years and it’s the only restaurant located right on the dock. The owner and cook Nancy was actually sitting outside with a few locals and I would consider it a locals hang out, or “quick bite on the dock”, before I would a “foodie” destination.

The menu was incredibly simple which made ordering very easy. Essentially it’s one kind of ground beef, or one kind of beans, and then the size of taco you want. Part of me thought that the limited menu meant a stellar taco with a tried, tested and true recipe, but it was really just a basic taco. The prices looked very affordable, but for the size and what it was, I actually considered it pricey.

The best part was the view from the taco shop, and the owner Nancy was friendly. I’d say it’s a great place to just sit, talk and relax with the locals that have lived on Bowen Island for probably a long time. It’s just more about the ambiance than it is about the food. It is a quick and casual taco joint and good for families if you’re looking for a fast non-greasy bite on the dock before the ferry ride as well. It depends what kind of experience you’re looking for, but personally I found it more of a convenience choice.

On the table:

Beef Taco on Soft Corn Tortilla – 2/6

  • Hard or soft with beef or beans $4
  • This was small. It’s snack size and bigger than the authentic Mexican tacos, but smaller than Taco Bell tacos.
  • It’s a basic taco in terms of ingredients and flavour.
  • It’s not a Mexican style taco, but a very American style taco.
  • There was a good amount of ground beef, home made tomato salsa, lettuce, crumbled marble cheese, and sour cream.
  • It had no spice or any noticeable additional seasonings and it was basically something you might make at home as a quick weekday snack.
  • It was a “healthy” take, so the beef was lean and less oily, yet not dry and still moist which I liked.
  • I actually couldn’t taste the salsa, but it seemed like chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro. I think it was sauteed rather than fresh too.

Nancy's Tacos on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Sara’s Ice Cream
Cuisine: Desserts/Ice Cream
Last visited: August 3, 2011
Location: Delta, BC
Address: 4857 Elliott St.
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: n/a
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Ice cream shop
  • Served at Nancy’s Taco Shop
  • Location in Delta, BC

Recommendations: n/a

The “Ice Cream” portion of Nancy’s Tacos & Ice Cream Shop is actually outsourced from Sara’s Ice Cream. I’m not quite sure if it’s the Sara’s in Delta, Richmond, or White Rock, because they’re all called “Sara’s Ice Cream”. It could be under one brand as well. I’m not going to lie, but a big part of me was hoping it was going to be home made ice cream.

Anyways Nancy used to sell Breyer’s Ice Cream, but now she carries Sara’s, which I respect since it’s local. On the other hand there’s better local ice cream brands than this and from what I tried I didn’t see the hype. I know people really love Sara’s Ice Cream, and this was actually my first time trying it, but I wasn’t that impressed and I didn’t even really have any expectations for it.

The most memorable and cutest part of the whole experience was that one of the locals sitting with Nancy came inside and said he was doing random acts of kindness and treating everyone to ice cream that afternoon. So being at the right place at the right time I was generously treated to an ice cream! Things like that never happen in the city, and just seeing this kind gesture made me get a sense of the people on Bowen Island. However I think it was an experience that might only happen at Nancy’s Taco & Ice Cream Shop.

On the table:

Sara’s Maple Walnut & Vanilla Ice Cream – 2.5/6

  • 1 scoop $3 2 scoops $4 + $.50 for waffle cone
  • Maple Walnut Ice Cream2.5/6
    • The flavour looked rich, but I actually couldn’t taste any maple in this. It was very faint, but I liked that it wasn’t too sweet.
    • There were also hardly any walnuts in it, which for me is the best part of Maple Walnut ice cream.
    • The ice cream was somewhat hard, yet creamy and the texture was good, but I just felt the flavour was lacking as well as the main ingredients – maple and walnuts.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream2.5/6
    • Vanilla is the standard and how I usually “judge” an ice cream because it’s the purest flavour.
    • It really bothers me when vanilla ice cream has no vanilla bean seeds in it, however there are brands without the beans that I still like.
    • This just tasted like plain ice cream and I couldn’t taste any vanilla.
    • Again it was creamy without that greasy texture and the cream was good, but the flavour wasn’t there.
    • I prefer Island Farms vanilla ice cream or Mountain Dairy vanilla ice cream if I’m sticking to a local BC brand.

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Sara's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

7 Comments

  • KimHo says:

    Hmmmmmm…. I will have to say this is a tough call. I mean, it is sort of you being in the middle of nowhere: in that case, if you are hungry, even McD’s will be good! Example of what I went through once: I was stranded for a whole week in the middle the nowhere, staying at a hotel with a casino attached to it. Nearest town was ~100Km. For the whole week, I ate only hotel/casino food (and, will have to tell ya… It wasn’t anywhere near Vegas!). Didn’t necessarily like it but, hey, locals and visitors were enjoying themselves. Whom am I to say anything! 😉

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – lol Kim coming from you that is shocking. It that case why even write a food blog because likely every place has its fans whether or not it’s bad or good. This was a tough call though and that’s why I had to write it the way I did. If someone is going to go to Bowen Island just for the food…. then they might value this post from a “foodie” perspective and that makes it worth it to me. I mean a $40 ride if you take your car… I want to be prepared for what to see and where to go. 🙂

  • KimHo says:

    Oh, believe me, you are making it way too easy: I have an answer for that and, based on previous experiences, believe me, you won’t like to hear/read what I was going to say/write! 😉

    I will put it from this perspective: How many people go to Kelowna exclusively for the food? (Believe me, I am being generous with this example, I could have said Merritt, BC, Golden, BC or Valemount, BC!). Granted, there are some notables in the area (for example, the ones in some wineres). The rest? Most likely people visiting wineries or orchard or some other similar activities. Food, at that point, is a collateral. If there is a good place, fine; but it might not necessarily be the top of the priorities. So, this is a similar case: you were there for the West Coast Chocolatier event. But, otherwise, is Bowen Island a “foodie” destination? Not from my undestanding. As a result, I would scale things accordingly.

  • Linda says:

    i guess for the location alone the price speaks for itself but man is that taco ever small! lol i like that the owner is super friendly and that she chit chats with the locals which is probably why she’s popular there 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    @Linda – I’d say you got it!

  • kmart says:

    Have to say these tacos are great, you can tell the ingredients are fresh and freshly made a good flavour comBo, have with sauce verde and a Jarritos lime pop and you have the perfect lunch after a day of kayaking .

  • Mijune says:

    @kmart – glad to hear you enjoyed them! I did have some hot sauce, but I still found them quite regular… jus lacking flavour for me. But thanks for commenting!

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