La Cantinita Lake Country has opened, offering fresh authentic Mexican cuisine

A taste of Mexico

A little taste of Mexico has come to Lake Country at the newly opened La Cantinita.

La Cantinita is an expansion of Salmon Arm's Cantina Vallarta, opening alongside a third location just opened in Sicamous. While the owners say it is a challenging time for businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they were ready to take on the risk.

Carmen Ruiz has operated the Mex Can distribution service throughout the Okanagan for several years, bringing Mexican ingredients and foods to restaurants and individuals from Westbank to Salmon Arm. When the opportunity to open La Cantina Lake Country came up with now business partner Ivan Gracia, Ruiz was ready.

"I moved to Canada 14 years ago. Eventually when I started my other business importing Mexican food, I started realizing how much I could grow in this country," she says.

La Cantinita Lake Country officially opened on Sept. 3.

"We are inviting everybody to come over and meet us and try our food," says Ruiz. "Burritos are very popular, quesadillas, enchiladas, chimichangas...you can choose the flavour you like - chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian. We have vegan too." 

All dishes are prepared daily and are made from scratch, providing an authentic taste of Mexico. 

And while seating is very limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are welcome to order take out.

"It's been challenging especially because we cannot keep people inside," says Ruiz. "Its a shame because we love the connection with people.

"We have big plans for this place. Hopefully all the pandemic goes away soon and then we can start improving. We are planning to have live music, set up all the tables hopefully soon."

La Cantinita Lake Country is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located off of Highway 97 at 9685 in the Winfield Plaza.

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