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El Trompo

Posted by Melissa Yu / Reviewed on June 29, 2010 / review policy

El Trompo TorontoEl Trompo in Kensington Market, with its west-facing patio, is one of my favourite places to be on a sunny afternoon in Toronto. This spot, serving up delicious and simple Mexican food, is usually always busy, but tables turn quick as service is prompt and food comes out fast and hot.

El Trompo TorontoWe start with the guacamole ($6.75), creamy avocado packed with plenty of diced tomatoes, onions, and coriander. The portion, served in a deep bowl, is plenty for two to share and served with a basket of greasy fresh corn chips. We also order the Pico de Gallo ($3.99), fresh chopped tomato swimming in its juices with coriander, chili, onion and lime juice, also served with corn chips but best reserved to top of the tacos that are on their way.

I order a glass of horchata ($1.50), a delicious, milky drink made from rice water, spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. For my main I go with my favourite plate of tacos, the Al Pastor (the El Trompo specialty) made with pork meat, topped with pineapple, coriander and onions ($9.75). Five small tacos on a plate don't look like they'll go far, but they are flavour-packed. I especially like the saltiness of the meat against the sweet morsels of pineapple accented by the spicy hot sauce found on each table.

El Trompo TorontoThe Spicy Tinga Chicken Tacos ($9.75) are filled with shredded chicken in a tomato-based, smoked-chipotle pepper sauce. Topped with coriander once again, they could use a bit of an extra kick. We pack on the Pico de Gallo and salsa and plenty of extra squeezes of lime.

El Trompo TorontoAnd because we are two hungry hippos feeling like something more, we order the Al Pastor fajitas. At $12.99, this hot plate is served with strips of pork, grilled peppers, onion and bacon, and topped with cheese. A side of warm corn tortillas are served alongside, and the portion is just a bit much for us to finish off after our previous two entrees. The dish is full of delicious grilled peppers, soft caramelized onions and plenty of black pepper.

El Trompo TorontoEach time I head to El Trompo I always seem to stand by my favourites, but they have a pretty extensive menu of classic Mexico City dishes that I still have yet to try including the Quesos Fundidos, Molten Cheese dishes served in clay pots with various toppings like mushrooms or chorizo sausage. While we usually order meat dishes, also notable is that there are plenty of vegetarian options on their menu that are heavy on the mushroom, cheese and grilled vegetables.

El Trompo also has a short brunch menu with various egg dishes served with beans, corn tortillas, pico de gallo and Mexican style cinnamon-scented coffee. Last but not least, you can buy El Trompo's house-made Chorizo sausage at $18.00/kilogram to take home. Oh! Don't forget to check out their churros ($2.00), a delicious traditional Mexican pastry that is deep-fried and dusted with sugar and cinnamon. It's only available on weekends. Get 'em while they're hot.
El Trompo TorontoEl Trompo is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 am - 8 pm, Thursday and Friday from 11 am - 9 pm, Saturday from 11 am - 6 pm, and is closed on Sundays.



Tim / September 14, 2006 at 10:44 am
How's the guacamole? Do they offer soy cheese as an option?
Denise / September 14, 2006 at 05:12 pm
The guac is good and they seem to make it fresh for each order (ie it takes a while) but yeah, I wish they fried fresh chips. I don't think they offer soy cheese...it's pretty basic.
Ian / September 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm
This place is fantastic. Whenever my girlfriend and I don't know where to go to eat, we end up here because its something we can always agree on.
Mike / January 15, 2010 at 07:00 pm
Love this place. The shredded chicken tacos were fantastic with just the right taste of lime.

The bean soup was great as well.
gabriella replying to a comment from Tim / February 18, 2010 at 08:35 pm
lol @ soy cheese.
go to mexico and see if you can find so cheese.
que cono.
Dan Go / June 6, 2010 at 11:30 am
Just had the Al Pastor and it was AMAZING. Gonna be back here for sure next week. It's crazy how one corner in kensington boasts the best pie (wanda's), best salad (urban herbivour) and best Mexican restaurant (El trompo) in Toronto.
abe / July 1, 2010 at 10:00 am
a descent review of such a fine establishment!! if you're looking for a great spot with a chill atmosphere and incredible mexicana, there really is no other spot.
in case you couldn't tell, i love this restaurant and everything about it.
Jenny / July 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Do they offer fish tacos on their menu? Can't find a restaurant in TO which serves fish tacos.
haley / July 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm
there are tons of spots that do fish tacos like mitzi's sister - they do a Blackened Haddock Tacos w/ Haddock, black bean & mango salsa & green & red cabbage served with house greens for $15.95 - also while perhaps not tacos burrito boyz on adelaide have amazing burritos with haddock, halibut or shrimp as selection
Nick / July 1, 2010 at 03:37 pm
Definitely want to check out this place. My good friend's wife is an LA ex-pat (this is her first year living in Toronto) and she sorely misses the Mexican comfort food from back home. I warned her that NOTHING here will be able to hold a candle to LA but this place looks like it could have me eating my words. Or my cochinita.
PRUDE replying to a comment from Jenny / July 2, 2010 at 08:24 am
I'll serve you a fish taco, hurrr
smh / July 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Horchata is made of almonds, not rice.
Maria replying to a comment from smh / July 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm
That would be horchata de almendra. Regular horchata is made of rice, indeed.
jesus / July 4, 2010 at 06:30 am
I live in monterrey, Mexico but probably will migrate to US or Canada because city is unsecure and unfortunetly Hurricane Alex arrive. Here I have a corrugated box conversion plant but will sell it and we are considering to start a traditional mexican cousine restaurant.

for smh horchata is made of rice not almonds.

For burritos and chili beans lovers what I can tell, that is not a mexican dish. probably a Tex-Mex plate.
Mexican cousine has a great variety from fish, beef, chicken even goat. from breakfast to dinner. bakery and deserts.

Better place to live? Toronto, 905 code, Vancouver, Niagara, Montreal? Safe for familly? best University? wheather?
Will apreciate any comments

fiveteamer / July 5, 2010 at 06:21 pm
LOL soy cheese

Pancho Villa / July 6, 2010 at 10:38 am
El Trompo is delicious! But ridiculously overpriced for the type of food you get. One order of tacos will never be enough to properly fill your belly.
Jessie / July 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm
I was just wondering what the price range of this place is? Is it crazy expensive?
Sandman / July 19, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Re: Pancho Villa comments
So, are you saying you need 2 orders or 10 tacos to fill your belly? HOLY MOLY!?!

One order of tacos (5) was more than enough for me.
furcifer replying to a comment from jesus / August 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm
@Jesus Depends what you want. There are a lot of interesting communities downtown. 905 is more cookie cutter suburbia.
Anne replying to a comment from Tim / December 1, 2010 at 12:02 am
Tim, what's with the soy cheese obsession? If you don't do dairy, than just don't order dairy. Many cheese free dishes to choose from!
Aaron Alfred / May 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm
I attended this restaurant with my girlfriend today.

- The waitress seemed very uninterested in us
- The beef tacos were very bland and lacked flavour
- Each table had two bowls of sauces for use, which were left open and exposed

I will not be returning because I felt that this place lacked overall greatness.

Buyer beware.
Sabrinna / June 22, 2011 at 09:36 pm
Their bistec is sooo good.
cess / July 20, 2011 at 03:17 pm
I am Mexican and I tried this once, it really sucks! The "taco" was cold and without favour, nothing Mexican here and really expensive
Maggie replying to a comment from gabriella / August 25, 2011 at 02:40 pm
I agree Gabriella try and find soy cheese in mexico
they'd just laugh
save yourself the embarrassment don't ask
Map replying to a comment from Maggie / March 23, 2012 at 06:00 pm
except oops its toronto!
zktxo / July 18, 2012 at 01:49 pm
Lubin / August 3, 2012 at 09:54 am
I finally had some El Trompo last night and it was very very good. I'm Mexican, and the smell alone of the tacos brought me back home almost immediately. I was treated very well upon arrival, food was ready on time, and can't say it enough; the food was perfect.
I recommend the Guacamole, the Chicken Tinga tacos (most tender tinge I've ever had in my life), and the Queso Fundidos. Definitely coming back to El Trompo.
Emmanuel Maya replying to a comment from Jenny / September 9, 2012 at 12:55 am
"Seven Lives" in Kensigton Market, they have a good fish tacos :3 search them on facebook.
erika / October 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm
I love this place, for me the best mexican food in Toronto.
BTW I´m Mexican.
Dana / November 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm
Friend and I had a bad experience here over the weekend.

There's some uncovered green and red sauces waiting for you on the table, who knows how long they're left sitting there. We ordered 5 tacos that we couldn't eat because of a raw chicken smell. Tried to explain our concerns to the owner, who seemed OK and obliging, but apparently we caused a stir with all the employees as they kept glancing our way and talking sh*t in a language they presumed I wouldn't understand. Didn't eat the second meal, because I was weirded out and uncomfortable by their bitchfest.

The food looks like saturated trash. A better Mexican restaurant is Rancho Relaxo, and Tim...they offer soy options.
luna / June 3, 2013 at 08:31 pm
At first I thought it was expensive because the amount may not be enough to fill someone who eats a lot... but then I thought it actually is like $2 for each taco which seems about right! So not so bad when you think about it that way. Plus for me it's the perfect amount. I tried the tacos al pastor once, had to go back again and order the same thing and still can't stop thinking about them and craving them. Best thing ever!
Mike from Toronto / April 12, 2014 at 02:57 pm
till 9pm?!? WTF is wrong with Toronto...
sean / June 4, 2014 at 09:36 am
recently on Dinesafe list. only time I was there saw a roach under my table.
none of these things would bother me if it wasn't for the fact that the tacos al pastor are dry as a bone. give it a miss.
416'er / June 4, 2014 at 09:33 pm
I love this place, one of my favourite authentic Mexican restaurants. The guacamole is always amazing and El pastor...never been disappointed, been going there for over a decade. I can't believe someone would ask about soy cheese!...really?
hugo replying to a comment from Dana / June 13, 2014 at 07:46 am
lmfao if you have no clue what mexican food tastes like then dont go to an authentic mexican restaurant plain and simple.. soy cheese its not mexican btw
Karen / January 17, 2015 at 03:13 pm
Their turnover of customers is fast as their food is made quickly at the front of the restaurant. We didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes to sit down.

Read the rest of my review at my blog: http://stenoodie.com/2014/11/10/el-trompo/

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