Where do Toronto’s best tacos exist?
Great question. But perhaps a hard shell too broad. ‘Cause in Toronto, there’s simply no shortage of stellar spots to choose from, but some taquerias seem to excel at very specific styles.
So what you should be focusing on is the type of taco you’re most interested in.
From slow roasted pork piled on tortillas to crispy fried fish covered in slaw, here’s a breakdown of quintessential taco styles that are each stars on their respective menus.
This popular street food native to Central Mexico adapts the vertical rotisserie most commonly used for shawarma. Threaded with pork and pineapple, the spit-grilled meat is shaved thin and then piled onto tortillas.
Get them at Tacos 101 for $4 each and have them garnished with pineapple, cilantro, onion, and salsa then drizzled with avocado puree.
Another famous pork taco, only this time the slow cooking takes place in some sort of braising liquid. The results are juicy, tender bits of fork-torn meat.
It’s the namesake taco from La Carnita features confit pork doused in jalapeño sauce, mango salsa and queso añejo with creamy guacamole, crunchy chicharrons, and sprigs of fresh cilantro added on top for good measure.
Address: 501 College Street, Toronto
Address: 780 Queen Street East, Toronto
Address: 130 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
Crispy fried fish tacos originating in Cali have become a staple on Toronto menus where they’re typically loaded with avocado, crema and slaw.
No one does them better than Seven Lives in Kensington Market. Here, fish tacos are the specialty and the So-Cal style taco ($5) is no exception.
Address: 69 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
Hearty tacos featuring a medley of meaty delights are what these tacos are all about. This style is to tacos what “meat-lovers” is to pizza.
They’re the eponymous taco ($5) at Campechano where house-made, pressed-to-order tortillas are loaded with a trio of flank steak, chorizo and chicharron.
Simply put, these are steak tacos typically made with skirt or flank cuts of beef that are seared and sliced. Bonus points for medium rare doneness.
Try these tacos ($4.25) at Wilbur Mexicana where they’re built on flour tortillas with pico de gallo, crispy fried onions and gooey queso fundido. Be sure to visit the well-stocked hot sauce bar to spice ’em up as you see fit.
Address: 552 King Street West, Toronto
Originating Puebla, Mexico, these tacos are famous for their slowly stew poultry in a chipotle-laced tomato sauce.
Toronto’s local chain of Mexican restaurants, Playa Cabana is an excellent source for regionally specific taco styles. The chicken tinga ($14) here features slow-braised chipotle chicken topped with crema and guac’.
Address: 111 Dupont Street, Toronto