Craving a taco? Sure, you can head to any number of the awesome tacos-first joints in the city (think: Seven Lies, Rebozos, etc.), or you could go for night-out glory and hit up these full-scale restaurants that just happen to serve some of the best shelled-goodness in town. Here are our fave Toronto restaurants to nosh on tacos while enjoying a killer vibe…
Naturally we have to lead off with the li’l pop-up that could, La Carnita. After launching their bricks-and-mortar space a couple years back, La Carnita cemented itself as the baron of tacoliciousness in Toronto. On any given day and at any given time we know we risk becoming overrun with withdrawal from the In Cod We Trust.
We love the uniqueness of the tacos on offer at Distillery District hotspot El Catrin. Our fave? Likely the Palmito. Why? Citrus-braised hearts of palm dance on our palates alongside creamy avocado, spicy serrano chilies, and cooling crema.
We have a love-hate relationship with Grand Electric. Love the food, hate the wait times (though they’re getting slightly better). Best part about a boisterous night out here? The fact that your wallet will leave only slightly lighter than when it arrived.
A basement bar with a sizeable tequila list and drool-worthy tacos? Sign us up! Oh wait… we’ve already been here like a gajillion times. The Tacos Al Pastor are sweet and savoury bites of bliss, and, when paired with a margarita, remind us of our South of the Border vacays.
It’s hard to pick a favourite taco from any of the Playa Cabana incarnations. That’s like asking a parent to choose a favourite child when both are honours students. (So much easier when one’s a dud!) But if we had to choose only one stuffed shell to sashay down our gullets, it’d have to be the Crispy Chicken Tinga. Those crispy but not crunchy shells make us weak in the knees. (Luckily we eat while sitting.)
In a bid for the best tacos in Toronto, Fishbar certainly holds muster. To start, they use a hard shell which is basically as rare nowadays as common courtesy. Next, they stuff these crunchy vessels with a ceviche mix of mahi mahi and shrimp, then top it all off with their should-be-award-winning house-made guacamole. It’s palatable perfection that’s so underrated it’s actually enigmatic.
Odd to see this one on the list, non? We were skeptical too, until we bit into a panko-crusted haddock taco topped with fresh avocado, house-made pico de gallo, a lemon caper cabbage melange, and crema on soft corn tortillas they source from Torito in Kensington. Then we became converts. And now, when asked where to score a killer taco near the Financial District, we always shout proudly, “Down at the Creek!”
Ain’t nothing chintzy about Combine’s lobster tacos. This hidden gem on the Danforth stuffs their gluten-free shells with tons o’ fresh meat and a vibrant house-made pico de gallo, before drizzling some lime crema over-top to create the ultimate mix of Atlantic Canada and Playa del Carmen.
Duke’s Refresher + Bar
We were with a couple budget-conscious friends a few weeks back, so Duke’s Refresher + Bar seemed like a smart, albeit underwhelming, choice. Then we ordered the seared tuna tacos and had to chastise ourselves for being so, like, totally judgmental.
What restaurants boast your favourite tacos in Toronto? Comment below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe!