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Best of Toronto

The Best Mexican Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / June 4, 2014

mexican restaurants torontoThe best Mexican restaurants in Toronto are flourishing - many of them are fanning across the city, with satellite locations booming wherever they open. We're not just talking tacos, either, but traditional stews, stuffed poblanos and tortilla soups. Not to mention, there's a whole new school of establishments going past traditional Tex-Mex and so-Cal styles to dish out some cross-cultural ingenuity, including variations laced with foie gras, scrapple and kimchi.

Here are the best Mexican restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Tacos in Toronto
The Best Fish Tacos in Toronto
The Best Huevos Rancheros in Toronto
The Best Margaritas in Toronto
The top 5 tequila bars and restaurants in Toronto

Playa Cabana Cantina

Playa Cabana Cantina

Four locations, done up in a distressed-chic style, each offer individual, neighbourhood-specific takes on Mexican fare and tequila cocktails. Expect to find fun, premium versions of guacamole, fresh seafood and an array of tortilla-topped specialties. More »

Grand Electric

Grand Electric

The Parkdale restaurant deals primarily in tacos and bourbon cocktails. The rotating selections on their chalkboard feature a slew of tacos priced at $3.60. Varieties tend to include Baja fish, scrapple, beef cheek and queso chorizo. More »

La Carnita

La Carnita

Street foods and street art find a common home at this vibrant taqueria on College. Signature menu items include the In Cod We Trust taco ($5), queso and chili-covered corn on the cob ($7/2), and a tequila-heavy drinks list. Look out for an east side location to open soon. More »

Agave y Aguacate

Agave y Aguacate

This two-storey restaurant in Baldwin Village serves authentic Mexican fare without a taco in sight. Dine on chile poblano relleno ($8), peppers stuffed with guac, gooseberries and pineapple, or coctel de camarones ($12), poached prawns with lots of cilantro. More »

El Catrin

El Catrin

This stunning modern Mexican restaurant in the Distillery boasts a bustling fiesta vibe with indoor and outdoor spaces flanked by paper-cut inspired chandeliers and dia de los muertos motifs. The menu is extensive, listing botanas (snacks), ceviches, upmarket tacos and especialidades de la casa. Try the crab fritters ($10) with mole vinaigrette and papaya. More »

Frida

Frida

This fine Mexican dining room on Eglinton West is home to authentic flavours presented in contemporary ways. Order classic dishes like the smoky tortilla soup ($7/cup) or sample from the addictive lineup of mini tacos stuffed with tasty things like duck carnitas ($9/3) and crisp lamb ($3.50). More »

Milagro

Milagro

Three Mexican cantinas citywide serve up brunch, lunch and dinner, offering a range of tacos, tortas, burritos and enchiladas. Ceviches are a strong suit, especially the Atun ($16.50), featuring citrus-marinated tuna with capers, tomatillo, diced red onions and cucumber. More »

Fonda Lola

Fonda Lola

At Queen and Shaw, traditional Mexican dishes are made with a focus on local and ethically grown ingredients. Try ceviches with sustainable seafood or daily specials that make use of Ontario produce. Vegetarian tacos al pastor are noteworthy too. More »

King's Tacos

King's Tacos

Better than any fast food joint, but just as comfortable, this St. Clair spot will fill you up with massive portions of authentic Mexican eats. Tacos ($9.50) are presented in DIY fashion with heaping portions of meat presented alongside salsa, ensalada and steaming tortillas. More »

Xola

Xola

This tiny Beaches taqueria is a popular destination for brunch, lunch and dinner, though snagging a seat can sometimes be a challenge. Take out reigns as locals stream in for soft corn tortillas piled with duck confit ($18) or fried calamari ($16.50). More »

El Trompo

El Trompo

The Kensington Market stalwart offers 10 types of tacos ($7.50-$10.50), 5 different fajitas ($13) and 10 varieties of quesadillas ($5-$7). Best bets include corn quesadillas stuffed with zucchini flowers and cheese, as well as the boldly-flavoured tacos de tinga, packed with shredded chicken and chipotle sauce. More »

Tenoch

Tenoch

Decorated with brightly coloured Luchador masks, this St. Clair spot does tacos in orders of three ($8) and five ($11.50), but is strict about their no mix'n'match policy. Best bet is to bring a big group to taste the most from the line-up, including al pastor, carnitas, tinga, adobata and alambre varieties. Corn-wrapped tamales ($4) are a must, too. More »

Discussion

63 Comments

DL / June 4, 2014 at 09:24 am
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El Catrin is puke-worthy.
Ryan / June 4, 2014 at 09:26 am
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El Catrin is a colossal waste of time and money. The food tastes like shit and the portion sizes are hilariously tiny.

Last year the menu had the chicken (pollo) burrito listed as 1 for $10, and was the size of a goddamn iPhone. It looks like they've updated the menu to say "mini burrito" and describe it as a 2 piece meal. The price is the same.. so I'd suspect that its the same damn burrito cut in half.
Jess / June 4, 2014 at 09:45 am
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Is Grand Electric really considered a full Mexican restaurant?
Or just a taco joint.
Sadie / June 4, 2014 at 09:48 am
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El Trompo has killer huevos rancheros. The prices are decent too (but skip the churros - they were cold and hard when we had them).
Robin / June 4, 2014 at 09:55 am
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Unbelievable. Terrible list. Playa Cabana Cantina does not deserve to be on this list at all. Although tasty, GE is not Mexican. All time favourites such as El Rincon on St Clair W, or La Mexicana Restaurante in Yorkville deserve recognition.
Tim / June 4, 2014 at 10:10 am
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Tenoch should be WAY higher on this list!
hilton / June 4, 2014 at 10:12 am
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insalata is salad in italian
what is wrong with you. this shit isnt complicated
Fuk this / June 4, 2014 at 10:24 am
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What in the hell??

How did no one vote for Coyote Willies?

So damn good.
Uhhh / June 4, 2014 at 10:28 am
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Do your research, BlogTO! La Carnita is *not* moving eastward (check your adversary's more accurate info) - http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish/restaurants-dish/2014/05/29/sorry-beachers-la-carnita-isnt-coming-anymore/
hilton / June 4, 2014 at 10:32 am
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comments about el catrin are accurate. nice decoration but the food sucks.
MrJones / June 4, 2014 at 10:36 am
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Wow, less than a dozen comments so far and already as much vitriol as a YouTube comment thread.

Having been to El Catrin a few times since it opened, I will attest that their quality has improved drastically. Prices are quite high, though. On one hand, the portions are the perfect size for a satisfying meal ... and perfect for trying several items ... on the other, prices are a little over-the-top.

Sadly, Dos Amigos has been left off of this list.
hilton / June 4, 2014 at 10:38 am
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this is one of the better best mexican restaurants in toronto lists on blogto though. places like dos amigos, tierra azteca, el taquito, rebozos, maizal, la revolucion deserve to be on here more than those that got the top 3 spots. the food might be very good but its not actual mexican food.
sean / June 4, 2014 at 11:02 am
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El Trompo 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.
Ali / June 4, 2014 at 11:12 am
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El Catrin is horrible. The food was bad, the drinks were atrocious, and the service sucked.
Uhhh yourself replying to a comment from Uhhh / June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am
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It says he's still close to signing on a Leslieville location. Reading is fun.

That said, I agree that they're wrong in saying an east end location is "opening soon."
Anon / June 4, 2014 at 11:37 am
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I used to like Mexican Salsas Grill quite a bit but the quality of their food has dipped over the last year or so. I still like them better than El Trompo though. I really like Asada Mexican Grill but the prices are higher than the norm. I also agree with other comments that Tenoch should be higher on this list. Nice to see King's Tacos on this list though although I personally think it should be higher as well.
Jane / June 4, 2014 at 11:46 am
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They should consider renaming these lists to "most popular" since that's what they are. Popularity contests rather than votes on quality. Few people have been to enough of these to comment on which is the best. And I'm convinced anyone that voted for Milagro's has some serious taste issues.
sw replying to a comment from Jane / June 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm
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Your comment is so rife with complaints yet you fail to offer a single suggestion of where an unpopular, better quality Mexican restaurant resides.
Phil / June 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm
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El Catrin is the absolute worst. It's shocking that they serve such terrible food in a place like the distillery. Probably the only reason it's still open is because of the location since it's mostly tourists distracted by the look of the place. I was excited to have a mexican restaurant within walking distance but i'll gladly head to el trompo by ttc for the real deal
taco taco / June 4, 2014 at 01:10 pm
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At least you included a few real Mexican restaurants amongst the list of trendoid ones. The list still misses the gems like MexiTaco on Bloor Street, but it is not fancy enough or expensive enough to make a list I think. Hipsters did not bring Mexican food to Toronto, no matter what people may believe.
Senior Gringo / June 4, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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Where the eff is Taco Bell on this list? Outrage.
Ramses SpankBottom replying to a comment from sean / June 4, 2014 at 01:44 pm
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Of course you may see a roach under your table, people usually drop them there after smoking them!
GA / June 4, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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Rebozos is a definite miss on this list. Totally authentic. Awesome family that runs the Rogers Road location and they've now expanded to include a College West option. Go and try it. You will not be dissapointed!
Laura / June 4, 2014 at 01:53 pm
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Yeah, El Catrin blows. Pretty good margaritas, but that's about it. For tiny portions and prices like that, I expect the food to be amazing, not just "sort of okay".
Juan Mendez / June 4, 2014 at 01:53 pm
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King Tacos, Tenoch, El Trompo are top-notch family-owned Mexican restaurants serving large portions, affordable prices, and amazing flavours. Owners and Chefs are also Mexican and go out of their way for patrons. Servers always have a smile on their faces, regardless of how packed they get. They don't treat you different if you don't tip. They're just glad you came to their place to eat.

I've also eaten at these other so-called Mexican restaurants listed. Some of them should be banned from cooking. They cater to people who blindly spend a fortune on mediocre food, small portions and fancy digs. All hype, no action is a better description.
Mike / June 4, 2014 at 01:54 pm
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I used to like El Trompo, but for some reason, their seasoning in their tacos tastes like Maggie soy sauce to me. Tastebuds, you fail me!
Jeremy / June 4, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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Can confirm. El Catrin is terrible.
Bonnie / June 4, 2014 at 02:04 pm
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Tacos El Asador? Best nachos in Toronto.
EC / June 4, 2014 at 02:10 pm
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I don't know why or how, but Playa Cabana turned into the ultimate douche-magnet somewhere around this time last year.
P / June 4, 2014 at 02:17 pm
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RABBLE!!!
hilton replying to a comment from taco taco / June 4, 2014 at 02:19 pm
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taco taco knows what time it is
Pip replying to a comment from Juan Mendez / June 4, 2014 at 02:31 pm
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so agree with you - we are King's Taco and Tenoch regulars.as for grand electric, after reading all the hype we've eaten there once and never again. over-priced and not the quality we were expecting. think just place for people to drink bourbon.
mark replying to a comment from Robin / June 4, 2014 at 02:36 pm
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La Mexicana in Yorkville USED to be good but underwent a management (and menu) change. It's now terrible.
David / June 4, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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Well, I guess I will just keep El Sol (conveniently located at 1448 Danforth Ave.) all to myself then!
E / June 4, 2014 at 04:03 pm
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El Caballito is the best Mexican restaurant in Toronto. Its at 220 King St W and has the best tacos in the city. Did I mention its a tequila bar? Amazing.
Phil Resch / June 4, 2014 at 04:45 pm
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MexiTaco (Bloor/Ossington) is amazing, but I assume it doesn't ever get on these lists because they don't have that fancy "distressed" decor. MexiTaco is a small no frills place (with small patio), good prices, authentic and delicious. Still my fave in the city, despite my visits to many of the above mentioned establishments.
Robert H. replying to a comment from Robin / June 4, 2014 at 05:39 pm
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I agree with Robin, El Rincon Mexicano on St. Clair is by far the most authentic Mexican place in town. This place is run by Mexicans and the food is very tasty and fresh. They have a cool patio and their margaritas are the best. I've been to Catrin and Playa Cabana and there's no way their food can be listed as the best Mexican in Toronto. Those places are just a rip off.
Mary / June 4, 2014 at 06:49 pm
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Tenoch and King's Tacos, are the best Mexican food. I really recommend these places. Prices are flexibles and the food is very tasty.
Chris! / June 4, 2014 at 07:59 pm
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Is this just a list of Mexican restaurants that exist? El Catrin blows and everyone here seems to know it.

Seven Lives in Kensington, OTOH, is amazing.
Joyce Grant / June 4, 2014 at 09:06 pm
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Agreed - El Rincon Mexicano on St. Clair makes great food. And they're really nice people, too.
Sd / June 5, 2014 at 05:29 am
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Agree EL Sole hands down one of the best in the city. I am never disappointed. I do not agree with most of the other places listed
Mia / June 5, 2014 at 07:14 am
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I am not a fan of Tenoch but maybe I had a bad experience. There tacos were great but I ordered their enchiliadas con mole and it was pretty gross. Kind of tasted like nutella with chicken and a corn tortilla. Good mole doesn't taste like chocolate, it's something completely different and delicious. I was disappointed. Also El Rincon Mexicano didn't even make this list? Talk about flawed!
Anon replying to a comment from Joyce Grant / June 5, 2014 at 10:47 am
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I agree that they're very friendly at El Rincon Mexicano and the food is great but I personally found everything pricey and the portions to be very very small. Then again, I haven't been in several years so maybe my view is skewed. I'll have to visit again!
Carlos / June 5, 2014 at 11:15 am
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Yo Amo Tacos !
Zara / June 5, 2014 at 11:51 am
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Tacos are finger and street food... There is nothing fancy about them. They are supposed to be cheap. So I don't get why there are all these fancy places that serves them like if they were gourmet. Come on people! Fancy places that serve tacos are a rip off! They aren't Mexican obviously! Mexican people know their food. Tacos are supposed to be simple but tasty. I like kings Tacos, el trompo, tenoch, la mexicana, mariachis. Simple and tasty.
stevo / June 5, 2014 at 11:55 am
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got a fever for the flavour after reading this list..

so, decided to try La Carnita

never felt so ripped off in all my life.
street food?? street robbery!!

simple review - don't bother with this place; food ain't no good and they charge 12 bucks for a marg made with bar mix!
Ethan / June 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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@uhhh did u even READ the toronto life article? They are still going east. Check yourself before you start calling out others
M / June 5, 2014 at 02:51 pm
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No Seven Lives?
Jude / June 5, 2014 at 04:30 pm
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Agave y Aguacate is no Fat Chipotle's but who wants Tex-mex anyways. Here's real Mexican food and you don't need to be rolled out the door afterwards-filling but not heavy food. The desert cake thingy with lime and black salt makes me want to lick the plate.
Francisco / June 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm
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Sorry but a list that has El Catrin in fifth place is not to be trusted. The list is upside down. "Tenoch es mi gallo". Do you want advise from Mexicans, avoid overrated Catrin, go to true Mexican food in Tenoch. Such a good value for money as well as opposed to pay lots for hardly anything.
Yayo replying to a comment from Ryan / June 5, 2014 at 10:57 pm
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I have to commend El Catrin. There are a few nay sayers out here, but the decor is super cool the food is great. I've eaten at many restaurants in Mexico and the flavours at el catrin are pretty authentic. Sure it's pricier than other mexican places in Toronto, but it's an upscale restaurant at the distillery district.
Marissa / June 7, 2014 at 07:24 pm
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LOS COLIBRIS !
Cal / June 7, 2014 at 08:56 pm
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Kings Tacos all the way. Good portions and down to earth. Too many hipsters in places like Grand Electric.
Chris P / June 9, 2014 at 11:59 am
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I don't know why the hate on El Catrin. Expensive? Yes. But the food was great when I went there recently. Took a group of 8 and everyone loved it there. Would I go often? No, due to the price, but the food was tasty!
Captain Obvious / June 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm
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Mexitaco!!!
Audio Blood / June 10, 2014 at 01:53 pm
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#2 Grand Electric is near and dear in our hearts. A must-try! Be sure to get there early because it's always full!
Beth / June 11, 2014 at 03:06 pm
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I love Como En Casa at Yonge and Wellesley. The prices are great, the food is so delicious and fresh, and the guys that work there are super friendly. I'd love to see a full review on Blog TO!
http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/como-en-casa-toronto
AA / June 14, 2014 at 07:58 am
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Why put El Catrin on this list? Really damages the credibility. Xola is underwhelming, too. I guess it's just a buzz list of new(er) places?

Tenoch is outrageously good, btw
Senor Blanco / June 17, 2014 at 07:13 pm
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I introduced Mexican Food to Canada in 1984. I was the founder of the first Sonora Mexican Foods Ltd with a factory in Stoney Creek, ON. Made a million,selling to the road houses and hotels. Sold out with a Handsome profit.
chris replying to a comment from David / June 24, 2014 at 04:28 pm
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Yes, thank you! Glad someone mentioned these guys. I usually cannot move after a meal there. Nothing but the best.
bitcoin faucet collector / August 15, 2014 at 03:34 am
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JoeyJoeJoeShabadoo / September 24, 2014 at 11:34 am
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Maizal on Jefferson (dufferin and king) is hands down my favourite spot in the city. Tortillas made entirely in house and a fantastic small menu make it a must try.
Raoul / October 10, 2014 at 03:43 pm
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El Sol has excellent food, really good portions, reasonably priced, and an unpretentious but very Mexican decor. You'll see what I mean when you get there.

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