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Refried Beans A Winner at Mexitaco

Posted by Tim / Reviewed on June 13, 2007 / review policy

This is part 1 in a series where I attempt to discover Toronto's best burritos.

Mexitaco occupies an awkward spot in Toronto's burrito landscape. The taqueria, located on a corner lot at Shaw and Bloor, is oozing Mexicana. It's one of the few joints in the city that reminds me of my visits to dusty Mexican towns. There is a TV in one corner playing a Mexican version of the country music channel, basic wooden tables, sombreros on the walls and red, white and green sprinkled throughout. Warm days offer a pleasant patio.

But for all of its authentic, no-frills taqueria vibe, filling your stomach with one of their three varieties of burritos (chicken, beef and veggie) costs upwards of $8.99 plus tax which is definitely at the more expensive end of Toronto's options.

The problem is that Mexitaco only offers a burrito plate (see top photo) which means a small-ish burrito is teamed with a side salad, refried beans and a helping of yellow rice. For a little extra punch, there are a couple of salsa options, some marinated onion and freshly cut lime wedges. The restaurant definitely needs to offer a cheaper version (without the sides) to go.

On my most recent visit I order the veggie burrito. A moist lime-scented flour tortilla is filled with rice, beans, mushrooms, peas, corn and probably a few other vegetables that escaped my attention. Plated, this is definitely a knife and fork situation which works just fine but takes a bit of the romance out of the experience.

Overall, the taste was pretty good with the refried beans definitely among the best I've ever had. The burrito should have come with guacamole. I had to put in a special request to layer some in, and it would be nice if there were soy or dairy-free substitutes for the cheese and sour creme.


Also on the menu are a huge range of other Mexican dishes, all of which have photos plastered on Mexitaco's front window (and on their web site).



jordan / June 13, 2007 at 11:59 pm
"authentic, no-frills taqueria vibe"

"soy or dairy-free substitutes for the cheese and sour creme"

I'm reminded of a bitchy and self-indulgent NOW recap of the absolute horrors of trying to get a vegan meal at La Palette. You're at an authentic Mexican restaurant, not at a restaurant that specializes in its vegan/vegetarian menu.

Don't hold it against a (totally awesome) establishment.
Tim / June 14, 2007 at 02:05 am
Hi Jordan,

The authentic, no-frill taqueria vibe is meant as high praise. That's one of the best things about Mexitaco. I wish there were more places in Toronto like this.

However, I do think that even the most traditional taqueria should be "progressive" and offer soy/dairy-free alternatives. There are certainly other burrito places in the city that do, and if you go to mission-style authentic taqueria joints in San Franciso you'll find some of these options.
MattAlexander / June 14, 2007 at 03:28 pm
Ever since my trip to San Francisco I too have been questing for the best burritos in Toronto. So far, nothing compares to anything I ate in San Francisco.
brokenengine / June 14, 2007 at 05:37 pm
When I lived down the street, we went here all the time. In fact, thats where the wife and I had dinner on the day I proposed! However, the quality of food had been slipping in the past few months before we moved in April. Still great, just not amazing, like it used to be.
Maria / June 14, 2007 at 05:43 pm
Real taquerias do not offer burritos. There you go.
Tim / June 15, 2007 at 01:09 am
I agree that in Mexico you might not find burritos. But instead they offer killer fish tacos. If only taquerias in Toronto did the same. That said, taquerias in the Mission district in San Franciso are definitely the real deal AND they have great burritos.

Ultimately, if you're going to put burritos on the menu, you better be prepared to have them judged.
cdnbe / June 15, 2007 at 05:45 pm
Even if they do offer soy substitutes for dairy products... anybody think to ask if the beans are cooked with lard or the rice with chicken stock?
Tim / June 15, 2007 at 08:06 pm
Good point.
Mike / November 4, 2007 at 01:13 am
They sell burritos, most authentic mexican restaurants don't, but they have many authentic dishes that looked amazing tasty. I think they sell burrito and quesadillas because there are people that don't know much about authentic mexican food is, so they tend to order that, or maybe younger kids might like that too? but u could tell right away this isnt a Tex-mex place, good food though!
wonderwoman / August 9, 2008 at 04:30 pm
I ate here recently and I have to say, it was the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten! My husband and I thought it would be good since they're always so busy...maybe they're meat stuff it good, but if you're looking for veggie food - stay away from Mexi-taco! Everything we ordered tasted and looked like they poured it right out of a can. We both had bad stomach aches shortly after barely eating our meals.
Mike / September 9, 2008 at 04:08 pm
best Mexican in Toronto. Hands down.
Mexican Vegetarian / June 21, 2009 at 01:55 am
I called this restaurant to see if they had vegetarian food and they told me that half the menu was vegetarian. My veggies had a chunk of meat in it, and the waiters didn't really care even though I had told them I was vegetarian ahead of time. Then, I ordered an item with beans and they served me chicken. The owner, nor the servers cared. Don't go there if you're vegetarian, they don't know what that means.
Jacob / July 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm
It certainly wasn't the worst burrito I've eaten, but it was mediocre-to-bad. The veggie component was a joke that had their flavours boiled away. Plus, we also had the experience of meat ending up in a vegetarian option and the servers not caring.
yoquiero / July 29, 2009 at 04:18 pm
I got some soft tacos to go at Mexitaco a year ago. It tasted good, but the portions for my $13 were very small. I haven't been back for this reason.
Mike replying to a comment from yoquiero / July 30, 2009 at 02:19 pm
agreed. Except their burrito was crap, and their plate of nachos was ridiculously expensive.
SH / September 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm
I agree the prices are whack. Go down to El Asador and get happy.
Mer Mer / March 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Three thumbs down. Puny portions, stupidly high prices, and as mentioned above; flavour that taste "right out of the can". This place could be so much better. From what I understand it used to be. I think their game is to use puny portions to baid customers into ordering apps, main, and dessert, to bump up the bill. Tacos El Asador is less than half the price with more than triple the flavour.
Benson / February 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm
I thought it was really good. I went there this weekend with about 3 friends and had a great meal, I think we ordered the Mexitaco Platter? It had a many different tacos on one plate and we also ordered a Botana platter as an appetizer. It had stuffed jalapenos, nachos and quesadillas. Honestly we had a good meal, the margaritas were awesome too.

Overall I think this place was a great Mexican restaurant.
Maria replying to a comment from Mer Mer / October 29, 2011 at 03:26 pm
Wow Mer, I can disagree with you. I havent tried Mexitacos yet but Tacos el Asador is just disgusting, very bad and flavourless and EXPENSIVE "Mexican" food, I had tried everything in their menu and the best thing is their bean soup that tastes straight from a can. Seriously the worst tacos ever.
Aurora / December 8, 2011 at 06:31 pm
My boyfriend and I went there this past summer and it was definitely not worth the price. I can't even remember what I had specifically but was left with an underwhelmed impression. I live in the neighbourhood and have not gone since.
Tony / July 7, 2012 at 07:07 pm
My fiance and I went to this place recently. It offers a crowded patio area with cluttered chairs and limited space and because it's not really the most happening part of Bloor St., it doesn't exactly offer a vibe that you'd appreciate from a patio experience.
The service was friendly, our waitress was polite and smiled frequently but she did forget to bring the appetizer of which we decided to not bother with anyway. We ordered a couple of margaritas. I had Lime and my fiance had mango. The Lime margarita is probably the best I've tasted anywhere and if I wasn't driving that day, I would have surely ordered a couple more.
We both got the Burrito meal and while the Burrito itself was decent, the side portions weren't plentiful or all that impressive. The salad was a tiny portion of shredded lettuce and the rice was basically the same rice found in the burrito.
All in all, the food was decent and the drinks were great but the menu prices are simply too high for what Mexitaco has to offer. If I go back, I will perhaps simply stick to a small appetizer and several Margaritas. Don't make this your first choice for Mexican dinner choice.
Steven Goetz / September 1, 2012 at 07:30 pm
You have to order the Mexitaco platter. Soft shell tacos are what they specialize in here.
Rico / December 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm
Did take-out tonight. Expensive for 2-bite tacos. 4 for $13 (approx). Still hungry.

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