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Eat & Drink

Is it deadpool for Toronto's largest taco restaurant?

Posted by Staff / June 16, 2014

estrella taqueriaEstrella Taqueria, the massive taco joint at Yonge and Sheppard that opened last year during the end of Toronto's taco boom, seems to have shuttered its doors for good. The restaurant, loosely inspired by Chicago's famed Big Star, never really caught on with diners, receiving mostly critical reviews for its shoddy service and uneven offerings from the kitchen.

A notice has been affixed to the front door for weeks announcing the restaurant will be closed June 2nd and 3rd but it's been all tumbleweeds since. The Twitter and Facebook have been silent, Open Table is no longer taking reservations and a call to their still-working phone number just gets you a message that their mailbox is full.

Will you miss Estrella Taqueria? Reminisce in the comments below.

Photo by Jesse Milns



Ling Gu / June 16, 2014 at 02:53 pm
I live literally around the corner from this restaurant. I pass by it every day as I walk to and from work. But I've never eaten there.

The interior is very large for a restaurant - perhaps too much floor space to try and convert to profitability. Perhaps all right for a pub, but too much for a finer restaurant. The patio (at least, under its prior iteration) was satisfactory, although wedged between an apartment 1/2 block north and an office building 1/2 block south.

I haven't seen any life inside since the beginning of the month as I've walked past it. This restaurant does appear to have permanently closed.
Easy / June 16, 2014 at 02:58 pm
Younger and Sheppard.

There's your reason why.
NorthYorkEx-pat / June 16, 2014 at 03:26 pm
When I lived in North York, this was the best bar in in the hood, Smokey Joe's. I was shocked to see it had become a taco restaurant when I was back uptown a few months ago. I suppose the large Jack Astors that opened down the street was to blame for ol' Smokeys closing and probably the reason for for Estrella closing as well. Most people in this neighbourhood are too afraid of the unknown to try non-chain restos and bars.
Jim / June 16, 2014 at 04:23 pm
Thank god. This place was awful - expensive and skimpy portions. The interior was way too big for what it was trying to be, and the food was just no good, especially when you factor in how expensive it was. $9 for a small plate of tortilla chips, guac, and salsa? Nuh uh. I can go around the corner and get a kamjatang for $4.95.
Tamib / June 16, 2014 at 04:42 pm
Loved food, atmosphere, drinks & prices. Great change from Asian resto overload. Hope they reopen soon
Picky Eater / June 16, 2014 at 05:43 pm
Was there twice and it was awful twice! Empty restaurant with more staff than customers yet service was still snotty & miserable. Food was clunky and greasy. Was excited to have some good tacos in North York and this place couldn't do it.
Bonnie / June 16, 2014 at 06:46 pm
Pretty sure I got sick from their food when I went a few months ago, so no.
El Presidente / June 16, 2014 at 07:17 pm
Guacomole tasted like poo.
Natalie / June 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm
I will miss their dirt cheap margaritas (why does every lousy drink in Toronto now cost $12+???). I've been here several times and it was definitely hit or miss. The service is slow, but I would always get served by one waiter who would speed things up for us. Their nachos were large and tasty.. the tacos were small, overpriced and different every time, so I always stuck to sharing a plate of nachos. I liked the decor and the new patio was gorgeous and so much emptier than Jack's up the road which is constantly packed and the J.A. servers and hostesses irritate me to no end.

I will miss this place, only for their $6 margarita, and the fact that it's literally a five minute walk from home. Maybe it will turn back into a pub, bring back the live music and karaoke (like Smokey's was before) and lower prices to bring in that lunch crowd.
Yongensheppardresident / June 17, 2014 at 02:24 am
Place was always empty. Being closed wouldn't make it much of a difference. Perfect location for BB!!
A / June 17, 2014 at 02:49 pm
Did they ever open up the patio? I'm sure that would bring more people, just as Smokey Joe's did back in the day.
Bilz / June 23, 2014 at 02:23 pm
Been here a couple times, the place was junk. They had a terrible selection of beer. It smelled like wet towel everywhere. Service was below par. The only good thing was the ping pong tables.

Im not sure why they got rid of Smokey Joes. The place was jammin in the summer time with the rooftop patio. I get that Jack Astors opened up with a great patio but hey. If you got cheap beer specials people will show up.

Anyways, im betting another pub of some sorts will open up there.
Skye / June 23, 2014 at 04:00 pm
I was surprised to see this place replace Smokey Joe's as well. My only guess is that Smokey's owners saw the writing on the wall after Jack Astor's opened, and decided to close their doors before they were driven to bankruptcy.

La Estrella had the look of a cheap makeover on the outside (pretty much all they changed was the sign) and judging by the comments here, you CAN judge a book by its cover in some cases.
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