Azul

Azul

Azul infuses the Food Terrace at First Canadian Place with the vibrant, rich flavours of Mexico.

A newcomer in a sea of recognizable stalls (think Five Guys, Paramount and IQ Food Co.), Azul is worth seeking out for its freshly prepared, street-style offerings, from guac and tacos to tortas and mounded rice bowls.

"We are trying to achieve an authentic Mexican concept," explains manager Estefania Carvajal, of the takeout spot.

An addition to the culinary landscape that, no doubt, sparked excitement in legions of food-court weary office workers, Azul has been open since February, 2024.

"The chef that came up with the menu is from Mexico," she says, adding, "we are all from Mexico, so we're really trying to offer the real thing."

Developed by owner and chef João Medina (who divides his time between Azul and working as executive chef of Toronto's Palais Royale), the restaurant's menu is rich with Mexican staples sure to appeal to Toronto’s Mexican-food-frenzied citizens.

Familiar favourites, they're also made daily, ensuring top quality in each and every dish.

"We cook everything here. We make everything fresh daily," explains Carvajal. The only exception? "The tortillas, we get those from Maizal."  One of the city's best, you'll find no complaint here.

AzulSides that double as starters include well-seasoned Guacamole & Chips ($6) and Spiced Potatoes with salsa macha ($5).

"Whoo! You should see all the avocados," laughs Carvajal, of the profusion of produce required to keep up with everyone’s go-to order.

Seasoned with onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice and salt, ripe avocados are transformed into textbook guacamole that's rich and creamy, with a touch of citrus tang.

AzulDoused in a sauce that hails from Veracruz, and contains an aromatic combo of ancho, arbol and guajillo chiles, alliums and various types of roasted nuts and seeds, the team's potatoes are more savoury than spicy. Though, their gravelly, low whisper of heat is likely (should one eat the whole portion) to grow.

AzulAnother easy choice from an all-around tempting menu, tacos can be mixed and matched or ordered one at a time.

AzulOptions range from the vegetarian Poblano Pepper Taco ($6) to a crisp and saucy Baja Taco ($6), with golden fried fish, slaw and lime mayo.

Made from pork shoulder that's been given 18 hours to soak up its multi-ingredient marinade, each Chilorio Taco ($6) is tangy and bright, tender with an herby punch.

Layered with pickled onions and medium taquera sauce, this is a taco you'll want in multiples.

Azul The team's Quesabirria tacos ($17) are scene-stealers likely to cause a run on the stall in the coming days.

Holding a hearty portion of juicy, marinated beef, blue corn tortillas flaunt an extreme cheese skirt and arrive with a sidecar of intensely beefy broth shot through with unexpected acidity.

As destination-worthy distractions go, these are worth your time, no matter where in the city you may be.

AzulFor days when you need a meal you can hoist to your mouth with two hands, the team's tortas deftly fit the bill. Constructed on telera bread, each is satisfying and loaded with savoury, spicy, delicious things.

Filled with marinated, supremely moist grilled chicken, a layer of refried beans, avocado, onion, tomato and a lick of lime mayonnaise, Torta de Pollo Adobado ($14) is a welcome change to your usual brown-bag lunch.

AzulAlso made in-house, drinks and desserts are well worth sampling. Available in Hibiscus ($4) or Lemon Ginger with Chia ($4), aguas frescas are vitalizing tonics with the ability to calm any post-spice disquiet.

AzulThe perfect mid-afternoon distraction, Tres Leches cake ($6) is the standard made the way any abuelita would demand.

Azul With condensed milk, evaporated milk, half and half and a sporty cap of torched meringue, it's a calcium-rich final course that sounds 10 times richer than every light, fluffy bite feels.

At Azul, lunchtime is lively and fun, peppered with approachable Mexican fare. Will the menu surprise you? Maybe not. But with a host of dishes that are as fresh and zesty as they are satisfying and hard to resist, it's unlikely you'll care.

AzulAzul is located at 100 King Street West, in the upper food court of First Canadian Place.

Photos by

Fareen Karim 


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