At Vida Cantina, the chicken is organically raised and the seafood is wild-caught. The pork is local and pasture-raised but we were unable to determine what it’s fed. The tortillas are made in-house with local and organically grown heritage corn, as are the chips. With the exception of the peppers, most of the produce is organically grown and local when in season. Just about everything served is made in-house, including the salsas and margaritas. Local sourcing is a priority, from which most of the proteins and produce are sourced. All of the tacos are Gluten-Free while many Vegan, Vegetarian, and other Gluten-Free options are offered.
Traditional Mexican fare such as Tacos, Nachos, and Enchiladas, as well as small bites and sides. Small bites include Goat Cheese Fundido, Kale Salad, Guacamole, and Salsa Flights. A kid’s menu is also available offering Tacos, Quesadillas, and Chicken Strips.
What I Ordered
I ordered a Carnitas Taco, which happened to be GF, on a corn tortilla and Chips & Salsa with Salsa Fresca as my choice of salsa. The corn chips were light and crisp while the house-made salsa Fresca was red and vibrant with an ever so slight hint of heat; definitely good enough to drink. Mildly spiced shredded local pork served as a base for the house-made salsa verde and tender pickled cabbage. Topped with crumbled queso fresco and thinly sliced radish, this succulent handheld was gourmet quality for sure.
Located in an assuming area surrounded by a strip mall, Vida Cantina occupies the building of a former Friendly’s Restaurant. You’ll hear Mexican style music playing upon entering where a full-liquor bar takes center stage. The dining area is set to the side with many tables of which some are booths. The dining room and bar are dimly lit with simple no-frills decor and brightly colored walls. When weather permits, there’s a cutesy outdoor seating area complete with umbrella adorned picnic tables along the side of the restaurant.
Farm to Table Mexican is a hard find, however, Vida Cantina in Portsmouth serves some of the best and cleanest Mexican cuisine in New England. Delicious food and drinks are what steal the show at Vida Cantina. Fresh and scratch-made with an array of locally sourced, clean ingredients that are transformed into traditional, yet delectable Mexican fare are what you’ll find. Make it a point to stop by for some amazing Mex bites and drinks when anywhere near Portsmouth, NH.