Meet the owner

When Mali Fernández opened up her tiny Mexican restaurant Xola, she was blown away by the reception. Salivating passersby would peer in the windows of the still-being-renovated space, some even asking about reservations. “Reservations?” Mali would reply. “We don’t even have a phone!” “Wow,” she said to her husband, “We are going to be packed.” She was right; Xola was, right from the restaurant’s opening in August 2013.

Clearly, Beaches residents were yearning for authentic Mexican food. And as an Upper Beaches resident, Mali had noted the lack of Mexican options along the Queen East strip. When her sisters asked why she chose this area in particular, she told them: “I don’t know. I have a good feeling about that place.” And when she spotted the little vacant storefront way out on the eastern fringes of the Beaches, she pressed her face against the glass and thought, “This place is perfect. Perfect!”

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Editor’s Pick
Toronto’s greatest guacamole

Toronto’s greatest guacamole

Xola’s gorgeous wall mural is a mission statement: there’s no straight path to flavour. With six different kinds of guacamole, including the classic, this spot abounds in variety. Smoked salmon, blue cheese and walnut, goat cheese, and cactus and arbol pepper are the inventive guacamole entradas on offer. Park yourself here for a fun and airy evening of quirky conversation and food in the Beaches.

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