There's lots to taco 'bout! 🌮
If Mexican food is your all-time favourite and you're looking for a good, authentic place to try out in Toronto, you're in luck. Narcity spoke with two head chefs of well-known Mexican spots for their thoughts on what the best restaurants are in Toronto for Mexican eats.
Narcity asked Steven Molnar, the current chef de cuisine of Quetzal on College Street, and the main chef and co-owner of Gus Tacos, Augustine Skrzypek, for some of their favourite Mexican eateries — and they did not disappoint.
Here are six restaurants in Toronto that you just simply have to try next time you're craving some truly authentic Mexican food.
Comal y Canela
Price: 💸- 💸💸
Address: 1692B Jane St., North York, ON
Why You Need To Go: Molnar told Narcity that owner Yasmen De Leon and chef Yemin Hernandez are completely dedicated to bringing authentic Mexican food to Toronto.
"There is a spirit within the restaurant that immediately transports you to Mexico," Molnar shared, and later mentioned they use lots of traditional cooking utensils and vessels used for Mexican cooking.
From Comal y Canela's menu, Molnar recommends the Beef Birria. "So deeply flavourful, the beef is simmered for a minimum of nine hours with lots of aromatics including chiles, tomatoes and onion," Molnar said. "You can taste the love and appreciation for tradition within the broth."
Price: 💸- 💸💸
Address: 423 College St., Toronto, ON (for take-out and delivery only)
Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for the ultimate "late-night antojito vibes'" Molnar said Abel and Abraham Paez have done that with their pop-up taquerias.
"Throughout the summer Classico Macha was operating a late-night street stall outside of Hush Hush bar a few doors down from Quetzal," Molnar shared. "So the Quetzal team would frequent it often for tacos and other snacks post service."
His personal favourite off the menu? Their "Chori Queso" taco. "[It's] the perfect combination of chorizo, queso Chihuahua and potatoes," Molnar added.
Plus, if you're looking to add some new salsa to your at-home arsenal, they're known for some really good ones.
"They made their name originally through the success of their jarred salsa macha, which is a rich, spicy chile-based salsa originally from Veracruz," Molnar said.
Address: 588 College St., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: According to Molnar, chef Ivan Castro and business partner Pedro Afif are doing "special things" at La Bartola by creating authentic and thoughtful Mexican flavours while only using plant-based ingredients.
"[Castro's] passion and respect for Mexican food really shines through with his interpretations of traditional dishes made completely vegan," Molnar said.
A couple of items that Molnar recommends off the menu are the Pistachio Pipian and the Tetela. According to Molnar, the Pistachio Pipian "has an incredible depth of flavour." It's a dish made with white yam, roasted celeriac and black bean paste and served with handmade tortillas.
The Tetela stands out because it is filled with an almond requeson instead of a ricotta-like cow's-milk cheese.
"I feel strongly that what La Bartola is doing in terms of creating a new vegan Mexican cuisine is very special and incredibly unique to our city," Molnar shared.
Price: 💸- 💸💸
Address: 802 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Augustine Skrzypek, the head chef of Gus Tacos, shared with Narcity that the menu at Fonda Balam is very authentic.
"They sell real Mexican food and the atmosphere of the restaurant is very cool!" Skrzypek added.
He recommends going for their Quesadilla de Chicharrón, which is an extra-large tortilla stuffed with braised chicharrón (a dish usually consisting of fried pork).
For tacos, Skrzypek suggests trying out their Tacos de Lengua, which is a fresh corn tortilla topped with tongue, onion, cilantro, and a salsa verde cruda.
El Rey Mezcal Bar
Price: 💸- 💸💸
Address: 2A Kensington Ave., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: If you're craving burritos, Skryzpek shared that El Ray's Birria Burritos are "the best."
For under $15, you can get two Birria Burritos, which are made with their house flour tortillas and served with tomatillo salsa, and poblano jocoque.
Skryzpek also noted that every weekend they prepare new special dishes. For this weekend only, El Rey is serving up a hearty beef and pork stew with hominy corn and black recado and garnished with radishes and iceberg lettuce.
La Cantina del Pueblo
Address: 671 College St., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant to hit up, Skrzypek suggests giving La Cantina del Pueblo a try. Plus, he says "the place is very comfortable and their drinks are very tasty!" (and who doesn't love tasty drinks?)
Gus Tacos' head chef recommends trying their Tacos de Suadero, which is a flank steak taco topped with cilantro and onions. If you're looking to eat something other than tacos, Skrzypek also recommends going for their Sopes which feature their house-made chorizo.
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