Vida Cantina is a modern Mexican restaurant using the best local, seasonal and organic ingredients. Vida is a vibrant gathering place where everyone can enjoy life with soulful food and imaginative cocktails in an unpretentious and relaxed environment. We are a fresh take on made to order Mexican inspired cuisine.

At Vida Cantina, making friends with our neighbors is a priority for us. Check back regularly to see our ever-growing list of producers!

A Little About Our Chef...

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Portsmouth, NH….Dave Vargas, Chef/Owner of Vida Cantina, is a native of Southern California and began working at an early age in his family’s restaurant. His culinary education took him to Northern California where he trained at the Michelin starred Applewood Inn Restaurant. Next he learned about island cuisine while in St. Croix, and then traded in the warm climate to head to Maine where he worked in the kitchen of James Beard award-winning chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier at Arrows and MC Perkins Cove. “It was a great experience to be surrounded by all that talent in the kitchen and tremendous product on-site in the gardens” explains Vargas. “My mother had already instilled in me the importance of the freshest ingredients, and here I was, in a James Beard award-winning kitchen, going to the garden every day to see what we could cook that evening.”

Vargas came to Vida Cantina in 2013 as the Executive Chef and truly found his home. His modern Mexican dishes are a showcase for recipes inspired by his heritage and celebrated with local seasonal product. “My mom is from Guadalajara and my father is from Jalisco. My mother sent me to Mexico City when I was 13 as an exchange student, so I could learn the language and the food. Those lessons prepared me well. Everything in my background is influencing what I am cooking now.”

Hot New Restaurant, NH Magazine

Best New Restaurant, Taste Magazine

Best Mexican Brunch, NH Magazine

Best Chef, Seacoast, Nominee, Spotlight Awards



Service Industry Night

Sundays are Service Industry Night at Vida Cantina!


16oz MUGaritas

3$ bottle beers- Sol & XX Lager

appetizer & taco specials

**Please have current proof of employment in the service industry to participate

Locally Grown

At Vida Cantina, we work with local farmers to bring the most seasonal and fresh produce to our tables.

Check out some of the farms we support on a regular basis!

Three River Farmers Alliance:

Includes Heron Pond Farm in S.Hampton, NH;

Stout Oak Farm in Brentwood, NH;

Meadow’s Mirth Farm in Stratham, NH

We source so many of our daily produce items from these wonderful folk. Tuckaway Farm in Lee even grows the corn we use in our house made tortillas!

Frequented Farms:

Riverside Farm Stand N. Berwick, ME

Breezy Hill Farm S. Berwick, ME

White Cedar Farm Kingston, NH

Archer Angus Chesterville, ME