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Taco Pica, Saint John, N.B.

I think I have waited long enough to write up a review about my favorite restaurant in the Saint John area. It is challenging with this one, because I am a "regular" there and I personally like the owners. Are you ready? Taco Pica was founded in 1994 and the menu is flooded with the authentic tastes of Mexican, Guatemalan, and Spanish cuisine. When you walk through the doors, you feel like the snow and -30 C weather does not matter, and that you are now in Central America. I did a little project with myself, where I attempted to try everything on their menu. You can probably guess that while I have tried almost everything on the menu, my go-to is their nachos.

Taco Pica Chicken Nachos with extra cheese (old cheese)
Taco Pica Chicken Nachos with extra cheese (new cheese)

Taco Pica Chorizo Nachos - April 2019 (extra cheese)

Taco Pica Chorizo Nachos - April 2019 (extra cheese)

Taco Pica Chorizo Nachos (what was left over) - April 2019

Distribution of Toppings

Whenever I go, I ask for extra cheese because I feel that the regular nachos without cheese is not enough. I will order the nachos without extra cheese so that I have the picture for this blog and to see if anything has changed. In other words, with the extra cheese, you get plenty of meat, vegetables, and cheese on most of the chips.

I went in April 2019 and ordered the chorizo nachos with extra cheese. Since it was a special occasion, I did not want to risk it by not ordering the extra cheese and being disappointed. My other friends ordered without the extra cheese and got very different plates of nachos. Some got just chips with barely anything on them while others got decent nachos. These chorizo nachos were delicious, but I had a lot of toppings left over as you can see in the picture. In other words, the distribution was not only slightly off on my plate, but on the other plates as well (different distributions).


The chips taste almost exactly like the nacho chips I have had in Mexico. Now, they did change their cheese within the past few years. The picture on top is with the old cheese and the one below it is with the new cheese. The new cheese has a really good taste. When you go to Taco Pica, you have to order the re-fried beans and guacamole on the side to get the full experience. When you order, most likely Santos will ask you if you would like mild, medium or hot salsa. When I was younger, the hot salsa used to have me drinking a bunch of margaritas and beer because of the intense spice haha. Now, the hot salsa is pretty hot but not uncomfortable. The guacamole is the best guacamole in New Brunswick because it is homemade. I have never tried or had someone make guacamole that is the equivalent of what I get at Taco Pica.

Now, if you want veggies added to your nachos, you need to order the chorizo or chicken nachos or maybe even jalapeno beer-cup. They do not add veggies to the black bean nachos. They used to have the guacamole nachos which also did not have veggies.

Regarding the chorizo nachos, I thought they were great if they were just veggie nachos or chicken nachos. I do not know if it is because I like chicken more than sausage but I felt that the sausages on the nachos could have been more cooked or they could have used the spicy Italian sausages instead.


All the nachos (veggie, jalapeno beer-cup, chicken, chorizo, re-fried bean) are $14.99. This is the average price of veggie nachos at most restaurants. It used to be that you paid more for the nachos with meat, but they have changed that. Extra salsa is $1.10, extra sour cream is $1.35, and extra cheese is $3.99. The side dishes are $4.99 and I mentioned guacamole and re-fried beans which would fall into that category. I think it is all worth it because of the quality of the nachos and the choices for side-dishes. Can you order re-fried beans at Jungle Jim's? No.


I frequently had Taco Pica's nachos alone, and if you have them alone, you will be full. If you share them, I would recommend ordering something else like their snake bites.


I have been going to Taco Pica since 2004. Every time the owners see me, they are genuinely happy to see me there. I really think my food bills financed their sons' post-secondary education by going to Taco Pica so much haha. They offer salsa lessons, have bands play there, have salsa nights, and Spanish lessons in addition to serving delicious food with a smile every time.


I think my critiques on the nachos is that you have to order extra cheese for $3.99, the chorizo does not taste too good, and it takes a longer time to get your food on the weekends.  However, their competitive advantage is the quality of the other nachos and options you receive for side dishes. It is really special that we have an authentic Guatemalan, Mexican, and Spanish restaurant in Saint John! However, I think The Gahan House is really giving Taco Pica a run for their money in terms of the overall nacho experience.

Nacho Blog Rating: A

I am so sad that Taco Pica closed because of the pandemic. I visited Santos in the Queen Square market this summer where he was selling his Taco Pica stuff. I bought a couple of paintings from the restaurant and some cd's. I said to Santos in English (because I wanted my friend to understand), "Santos, everyone that I ever knew in Saint John, I brought to Taco Pica." He smiled and said "I know it! Thank you very much for your support." I look at the paintings and listen to the cd's and I cannot help but smile.