Tacos, tequila, and more tacos! Any excuse for a fiesta is a good excuse, and Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching. Toronto isn’t Mexico, but it’s pretty close. Okay, it’s not close at all, but we do have good Mexican food and there’s no shortage of tequila. So what better place to ring in Cinco de Mayo? Here are some of the best places to celebrate this year.
1. El Catrin
Located in the heart of the Distillery District with one of the best patios you’ll find in the city. El Catrin’s traditional Mexican décor, delicious food, and a tequila menu that is longer than a short novel, this place ranks as one of the best to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You can reserve your spot by registering for their free event that will include a patio fiesta with a live DJ and tequila sampling.
2. El Caballito
Known for one of the best places to drink tequila in the city, with a tequila menu that lists some of the most luxurious (and cheaper) tequila options. You’ll find something that satisfies every tequila drinker here, whether you're a traditional sipper, or just trying to shoot it back as fast as possible. Start your Cinco de Mayo festivities the weekend before and join them for their Cinco de Mayo event featuring day drinking, live music, and lots, and lots of tequila.
3. Playa Cabana
Just one of the four locations this restaurant has. Playa Cabana was featured on Taco Wars Toronto, for their famous ancho braised short-rib taco, and although it didn’t take home the award for the best taco in city, it is still in the top 3, and that alone makes it the perfect place to pig out on Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo this year.
Photo cred - Diana S.
4. Grand Electric
If you’re into small hole in the wall places with hipster décor, and loud music, Grand Electric is calling your name. Their tacos are unreal and cheap (like under $4 a taco cheap), and they’re big on bourbon… we have no idea how bourbon relates to Mexico but we think it may be a hipster thing.
5. La Carnita
After the popular launch of their College Street location a few years back, La Carnita recently opened a second location on Queen Street East. This place is a must-do for Mexican food lovers. Their tacos are out of this world, and their Mexican street corn is a must-try. On top of that, they have daily specials which include daily Mexican popsicle (paletas) flavours. Believe us when we say this; you won’t have a popsicle like this anywhere else (except maybe in Mexico).
The winner of Taco Wars Toronto for its taco de lengua that has put this traditional Mexican restaurant on the map. What the heck is a taco de lengua? It’s beef tongue. Sounds bizarre, but it was on TV, so it's basically famous, so that gives you a pretty good reason to stop by and try it.
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor. Reposado Bar & Lounge holds one of the most extensive tequila collections in the city, and with their Cinco de Mayo party with a live DJ, you may just be hitting the floor after attempting to try all the different tequilas Reposado has to offer.
Another Taco Wars Toronto finalist, Milagro has multiple locations scattered across the city and each serve up delicious and authentic Mexican favourites. The taco zarandeados is what put this place on TV, which is a seafood taco with pineapple salsa (sounds perfect for the summer, right?). On top of the food, they have a lengthy tequila menu, and pitchers of margaritas. All you need to get your tequila fix this Cinco de Mayo.
Photo cred - Karen N.
9. Wilbur Mexicana
One of Toronto's newer additions to the Mexican food family, Wilbur was created for fast service, but the cool, modern vibe and the fact that it sells beer, makes you want to stick around for a little longer than expected. The help-yourself salsa bar alone is a reason to visit this place, and although it may not be the most authentic Mexican food in the city, it's still flippin' delicious and that's all that matters.
10. Fonda Lola
This place holds the World Record for the worlds largest tequila tasting, and although they have of course, Mexican food, their wild drink menu is what draws us in. Featuring some exotic margaritas like the Kombucha Margarita, to a basil mojito. Fonda Lola tops the list for coolest place to drink this Cinco de Mayo for the adventurous drinker.