The best Mexican restaurants in downtown Toronto

Forget about burgers and poutine – while there may be no official Canadian cuisine, it’s time to step away from the ordinary and shake things up a bit. These Mexican restaurants will help add some sizzle to your life.

La Carnita

501 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1A5

While they may not be one of the granddaddies of the Toronto Mexican food scene, they’ve made one of the biggest impacts. Their dishes have crazy names like In Cod We Trust, but don’t let that fool you. The food is upscale and artistic and the prices are pretty wallet-friendly. You can stick to the menu and grab some Mexican meatballs, or you can check in with their social media pages to discover the daily specials.

Grand Electric

1330 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L4

Parkdale has developed an eclectic personality and one of the area’s biggest stars is this neighbourhood eatery. It’s a little divey, it has a definite swagger and, because it’s so popular with the locals, you’ll want to arrive at off-peak times to get seated fast. One of your best bets is the Baja fish taco which is seasoned and cooked to a spicy perfection. And, instead of pairing it with a Corona, be different by asking for bourbon instead.

Milagro Cantina on Queen West

783 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

Started by two Mexican brothers, Milagro is on the classier side but also more authentic. You won’t find pub grub like burritos or over-cheesed nachos, but rather classic dishes from all over Mexico. They also specialize in tequila, so ask your server about the many different kinds they offer and what would go best with your meal. If you close your eyes, it’ll be almost impossible not to feel as though you’ve been transported south.

Fonda Lola

942 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G8

Once Fonda Lola arrived, West Queen West suddenly got a whole lot cooler. The restaurant finally gained a permanent home after a successful tour of pop-up restauranting, including one point where they broke a world record for tequila tasting. With star Chef Howard Dubrowsky as part of the ownership team, diners get fantastic dishes like lime ceviche trout, rare-cooked flank steak and candied bacon. The menu is also tapas-styled, so arrive with plenty of friends for the best eating experience.

La Tortilleria

83-2700 Dufferin St, York, ON M6B 4J3

When you’re hungry and your appetite can’t wait, fill up for cheap at this roadside-style taco shop. They make eating super easy for you, with just three steps involved. First, choose the style of Mexican food you want (e.g. burrito, house or crispy taco, taco salad), pick what goes inside and then finish things off with your favourite toppings and sauce. There’s also a fridge in the back where you can choose food to make a Mexican feast at home.

Huevos Gourmet

2888 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8V 1J2

Etobicokians living along Lakeshore Boulevard are experiencing the city’s next Parkdale, that area in Toronto where gritty is slowly becoming gentrified. Straddling the line between past and future is this Mexican restaurant which combines a casual vibe with colourful and authentic Mexican fare. Dine on neighbourhood favourites like breakfast burritos, pico de gallo and its namesake, Huevos rancheros. If your palate can handle it, top things off with a super spicy Caesar – it’ll set your mouth on fire.

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Fresh cilantro, spicy salsa, warm corn tortillas – whether it's tacos to go or a leisurely margarita-fuelled dinner, sometimes you just gotta have Mexican food. The next time you're craving the heat and aromas of Mexico check out one of these tempting taquerias or comforting cafes for an authentic take on the real thing.
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