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Best of Toronto

The Best Tacos in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / May 1, 2013

Tacos TorontoThe best tacos in Toronto are easy to take for granted. Tacos are cheap, delicious and seemingly everywhere these days — although many will remember this was not always the case. Once an underrepresented genre, Mexican and So-Cal street food has only recently caught on in Toronto. My own first taco experience was almost certainly out of an Old El Paso box or perhaps at a Chi Chi's. Anyone else remember that abomination?

Fortunately, an influx of new taquerias have bettered Toronto's taco landscape forever, and connoisseurs of mouthwatering carnitas, al pastors and lengua have much to enjoy.

Here is where to find the best tacos in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Fish Tacos in Toronto
The Best Burritos in Toronto
The Best Mexican Restaurants in Toronto

Seven Lives

Seven Lives

Now with a space on Kensington Avenue to call their own, Seven Lives is a true destination restaurant for some of the best tacos this side of San Diego. The blackened mahi mahi and the Gobinator, a smoked marlin and shrimp filled corn tortilla might be their forte, but the pork belly and carne asada are equally good. Single tacos are sold for $3-5 each. More »

Grand Electric

Grand Electric

The chalkboard menu at this Parkdale taco and bourbon bar boasts an assortment of excellent $3 regulars and daily specials like beef cheek and pork belly al pastor served atop soft tortillas. Better still is the Guu Izakaya-inspired spicy squid ($9), piled super high and stained neon orange with hot sauce. Line-ups are a given. More »

La Carnita

La Carnita

Once a pop-up and Toronto Underground Market original, La Carnita in Little Italy serves up Mexican street foods like queso-covered corn on the cob and churros along with outstanding $5 tacos. The fried cod slathered with signature Voltron sauce and lime crema is an easy favourite, but more surprising on the gringo-centric menu is the mouthwatering ancho braised beef cheek plated with avocado and green cabbage. More »

Playa Cabana Cantina

Playa Cabana Cantina

This lively Junction cantina makes tacos and tequila its niche and dishes out eight different varieties atop house-made corn tortillas, three at a time ($13-14) like ancho braised short rib or the Oaxacan wrapped chorizo tacos. Hiding on the separate appetizer menu, the Octo-tacos ($10) dressed up with charred jalapeno salsa are excellent as well and keep an eye out for their lobster taco specials. Need a more central spot? Their original restaurant can be found near Dupont and Davenport and a third location is on its way. More »

Frida

Frida

Named for the Mexican painter, this upscale Eglinton West spot makes tacos their masterpiece. Served three per order ($9-$13), housemade corn tortillas come loaded with supple meats (though pork is atypically absent) like Cabrito (goat) and Texcoco-style braised lamb topped with the requisite chopped onions, coriander and a squirt of lime. If you want high-end Mexican dining (by Toronto standards) at a price point that's still accessible, this is the place. More »

Tacos El Asador

Tacos El Asador

This well worn Koreatown taqueria has been dishing up stellar Central American street foods since 1993, long before Toronto's taco trend peaked. Order soft or crispy tacos ($2.30-$3.30) at the counter then squish in shoulder to shoulder at one of the few picnic tables to tuck into excellent tortillas doubled up and filled with a choice of meat. More »

Tenoch

Tenoch

In addition to the nine varieties of deceptively simple tacos ($8/3 or $11/5) like the sausage and potato filled Chirizo con Papas, the menu at this St. Clair restaurant channels lucha libre (a collection of masks adorn the bar) with killer specialties like a fried chicken taco and pineapple, sausage and queso rendition ($14/5). Casual, fun and decidedly authentic. More »

Asada Mexican Grill

Asada Mexican Grill

This recently opened fast casual restaurant on St. Clair West customizes housemade tortillas to order at the counter full of fresh toppings. Soft or crisp tortillas are filled with a choice of stewed meats and served 3 per order for about $9 (plus $3 for baja style seafood). Top them off yourself at the self serve salsa bar with seven varieties of hot sauce. More »

Discussion

48 Comments

Chris / May 1, 2013 at 02:04 pm
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How is $3-5 for a taco cheap? In the south they are $1 or 2...
Loper replying to a comment from Chris / May 1, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Welcome to Toronto Chris. Been here long?
Andrew / May 1, 2013 at 02:12 pm
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Asada Mexican Grill Should be #1 on this list IMO!!! All fresh home made everything! Good Prices! Best Mexican I've had!
Simon replying to a comment from Chris / May 1, 2013 at 02:13 pm
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100% agreed. I'm a big fan of Grand Electric but words I wouldn't use to describe their prices include "Cheap" or "Affordable". It's a really great meal that should be enjoyed on an appropriate occasion. While there's no sense in trying to compare our available selection that of tacos to the southern states, we really shouldn't be trying to convince ourselves that a $5 taco is normal.
Johnson / May 1, 2013 at 02:16 pm
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El Trompo in Kensington market..

El pastor tacos hands downs the best..
Anna / May 1, 2013 at 02:18 pm
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Salsa's in Kensington market didn't make it on here, but it is THE BOMB. Carnitas, baby yeah.
Richard / May 1, 2013 at 02:19 pm
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What no KSongTaco? http://twitter.com/KSongTaco
Krissy / May 1, 2013 at 02:25 pm
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@Andrew It's not a ranking system, just the overall best, #1 on the list doesn't mean it's better than #2.
Mr.Mexicasa / May 1, 2013 at 02:32 pm
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Taco Bell has multiple locations and is open late.
Mr.Mexicasa replying to a comment from Chris / May 1, 2013 at 02:33 pm
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Taco Bell has multiple locations and is open late.
Wrong replying to a comment from Krissy / May 1, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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Actually, you are wrong. This is a ranking based on votes by the readers. The readers voted for Seven Lives as the best.
Joo / May 1, 2013 at 03:07 pm
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no barton?
johnsonstarfish / May 1, 2013 at 03:34 pm
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Al Pastor is #1 by far. You won't go into any other taco joint in the city and see as many latin americans—that tells you something. It's the most authentic, most affordable and the best.
Lipo / May 1, 2013 at 04:08 pm
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Great list! I really feel like having tacos now
polly / May 1, 2013 at 06:10 pm
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it's GOBERNADOR! good job 7L!
Dacks / May 1, 2013 at 09:27 pm
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KINGS TACOS. St. Clair and Dufferin. Just plain yummy.
Stevie-Taco replying to a comment from johnsonstarfish / May 1, 2013 at 09:43 pm
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Kings Tacos + Tenoch - Yes.

Johnsonstarfish - there is no way they have a higher % of Latinos in Al Pastor than these two...
Kate replying to a comment from Anna / May 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm
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I agree!!! I love Seven Lives, but Mexican Salsas definitely deserved to make the list. Most underrated taco place in Kensington, and they do a great 3 tacos deal. Their al pastor, chorizo, cactus, tinga chicken -- all really good. And I am from Chicago, land of vastly superior tacos.

(No, I don't work for Salsas, but I live down the street and am often confronted with whether I should pay $15 for three Seven Lives tacos or like $7 for the less-fancy but more authentic and still delicious Salsas tacos.) (I usually go for the Salsas tacos.)
sa54 / May 2, 2013 at 12:35 am
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#5 hands down best in the city
sleazy E / May 2, 2013 at 07:52 am
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good to see a legit # 1. I'd say grand electric should be even after carnita and playa.
Old Elpaso replying to a comment from sa54 / May 2, 2013 at 08:54 am
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the Old El Paso Taco Kit. That should put an end to this very important hipster debate! Just be sure to load em up with pulled pork (cause ya just can't be hip without pulled pork)
Rick / May 2, 2013 at 10:09 am
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Ummmmmmmmm ..... What about Mucho Burrito???
Mucho Burrito smokes these shit holes by far.
Krissy / May 2, 2013 at 01:09 pm
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Umm no, mucho burrito is just another chipotles knockoff. These places just stuff rice into everything as a cheap filler so they don't have to give you good quality fillings.
Westside Hipster / May 2, 2013 at 01:36 pm
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Ya, but it's hip to overpay for Mexican food right now. It would be sick if these places had a drive thru so I could swing by on my fixie and let everyone see me eating my 10 dollar taco.
L_Mitch / May 2, 2013 at 01:59 pm
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Anyone ever been to La Mexicanada? It's in Bradford, but its worth the drive! Make a reservations or you wait hours!
Jose replying to a comment from L_Mitch / May 2, 2013 at 02:06 pm
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Stay in Bradford, shit-kicker.
Stanley / May 2, 2013 at 03:03 pm
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Man, what's with all the Hipster hate? So what if they like tacos. I like tacos too....give me Taco Bell, Old El Paso, La Carnita, El Trompo, whatever. Why does everything on here have to turn into such a hate rant all the time?

In an unrelated topic: I freaking hate Grand Electric!
olly / May 2, 2013 at 03:08 pm
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bradford for tacos....now thats some funny shit...
Westside Hipster... replying to a comment from Westside Hipster / May 2, 2013 at 04:38 pm
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...lives in Markham, with his folks. Dad pays for his XBox subscription, never had Mexican other than Taco Bell.

Get back in touch when you move to the city, honey.
Harrison / May 2, 2013 at 07:27 pm
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Surprised that el trompo isnt on the list. But i am very happy that my favorite spot, taquiera, didnt get mentioned because i dont need it getting any busier during lunch time
Andrew replying to a comment from Westside Hipster... / May 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm
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Wow, someone is touchy about their fixie bike...
Late Hipster / May 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm
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did someone say fixie?! I've been busy checking out the new taco spots and tuning up my bike so I've just seen this article now. BLOGTO IS SO RAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
rek / May 3, 2013 at 07:49 am
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"... are easy to take for granted"? What? Then they aren't the best, they're just there. Your SEOification is a hindrance to communication.
queen st west / May 8, 2013 at 04:28 pm
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uh... wheres taco bell?
Alina Z / May 9, 2013 at 10:47 am
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Seven Lives - hands down the best tacos I've ever had!
Wingman replying to a comment from Johnson / May 16, 2013 at 01:49 am
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agreed!
Vanessa / May 22, 2013 at 09:42 pm
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Tacos El Asador. Pick up Mexican feast. Walk to the park next door(Christie Pits). Mexican picnic in the sun. The best!
Yochieee / June 4, 2013 at 09:19 pm
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I can't believe Seven Lives is rated Number 1 over Grand Electric! There taco's are okay, but GE's are amazing.
Luna / June 10, 2013 at 04:32 pm
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EL TROMPO in Kensington should be on the list for the best Tacos al pastor!!! Too addicted to them to even try any of these other places haha!
midi / July 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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to be fair, the seven lives tacos are pretty big so you really only need to eat 1, 2 most. So $3-5 isn't that bad.
Anon / January 6, 2014 at 01:40 am
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Haven't tried Seven Lives yet but I heavily recommend the tacos at Asada Mexican Grill. Everything is made with a lot of care and attention and it shows in their food.
Anon replying to a comment from Kate / January 6, 2014 at 01:42 am
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I also once liked Mexican Salsas Grill but they seem to have gone downhill over the last little while. I don't think they're bad by any means, just not as good as they once had been. I'm not surprised they're not on this list though.
Brian / January 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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Nice list and I agree with a lot of these places but I wonder if you tried Rebozos. They are number one in my books, with Seven Lives a very close second. Rebozos was the winner of the Toronto episode of "Taco Wars" that aired on CMT in 2013. The winning taco featured was the Lengua (beef tongue) and it's AMAZING. Their original location is at Rogers Rd & Dufferin but I always frequent the newer one at Bathurst & College. Seven Lives' tacos are bigger which is why they're most expensive, but Lives doesn't have guacamole and Rebozos does :)

Try it! You won't be disappointed ;)

P.S - I linked to Rebozos' site but I don't work there. I'm just a huge fan!
Paris / February 19, 2014 at 08:09 pm
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How is Hunters Landing not on this list. Their tacos were legendary at South of Temperance and now they are at Hunters. Killer eats!
Choncho / March 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm
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Ps. La Burrita closed down
Emmanuel / March 22, 2014 at 03:31 am
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If there are not Mexicans or latin people in a taqueria (staff and customers) it is because there are not a real tacos. Tenoch is so far the best tacos in town, I like seven lives dough. Tacos el Asador, really? .... tacos with lettuce? WTF is that?.
Janiedear / March 22, 2014 at 09:21 am
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Where is Asada Mexican Grill? Common guys. Let's be real. It's hands down the best taco place in the city.
Zans / April 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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Grand electric beats seven lives for tacos, and pretty much everywhere for overall food, drinks, atmosphere.

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