Restaurant Reviw – Vida Cantina - NOW CLOSED

One of those gorgeous Saturdays last month (a 70+ degree day), we grabbed lunch on the patio at Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina at the St. Louis Galleria. And it was good.  Before going there, I googled to check if it’s chain restaurant, and from what I could find, the only other Vida Cantina is in Charlotte, so it would be on the non-chain Evans' approved list. 

Its menu is an interesting blend of traditional Mexican and American Mexican fare. Known for its tequilas, with over 100 varieties (!!), its margaritas, while on the small side for the price (too much ice), were pretty tasty thanks to the zip of lots of fresh lime juice. Our server, Kellie, knew the menu inside and out and advised that since the Skinny Margarita (that costs $2 more) is only minutely less in calories, go with the real deal. Appreciated the honesty and advice. Service was extremely attentive in an unobtrusive manner.

We started with chipotle queso, a blend of cheeses with chorizo that was good, not a huge portion for the money, but certainly substantial enough to share. The housemade, nicely salted, warm tortilla chips are addictive, and the salsa is very fresh, chunky, heavy on onions and cilantro, which was fine by us.

We also had the HUGE guacamole trio – traditional guac, a mango-based one, and the third was poblano that was our favorite – which Craig rated as terrific, and this is from a guy who doesn’t like guac (yeah, I know, how can this be?).
We shared two entrees, the first being taco al pastor – roasted pork in manchamantel sauce, with grilled pineapple, a house blend of cheeses, onions, and cilantro. I researched manchamantal (“tablecloth stainer”) and learned this red sauce is a blend of fruit (pineapples, bananas, apples) and chiles from central Mexico, similar to Cantonese sweet-and-sour sauce. The pork was tender but slightly crispy. The corn tortillas were absolutely outstanding, and I’ve since read they are made by a local purveyor on Cherokee Street. Vida prides itself on using local vendors as much as possible, a plus for those of us who like to eat local.
We also had the chicken and spinach enchiladas, which we never would have chosen other than when we asked Kellie what she liked, she highly recommended them. These were good but not something we’d order again, not that exciting when compared to the tacos, pretty ordinary.
Vida is a pricey for Mexican but a nice alternative if you find yourself at the mall around meal time, and you appreciate freshness.


  1. We rarely get to the Galleria even though we live pretty close (too easy to shop online!) but will definitely keep this in mind. Sound pretty good. Do you know the Robust Wine Bar in Webster? We recently aate there, and I thought of you two immediately - you'd like it.

  2. Thanks, John. We rarely get to the Galleria, but it's nice to know of a non-chain place if you're there around lunch time. We love Robust, have been there many times pre- or post Webster events, and they just opened another location downtown.



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