Toronto's newest Mexican eatery officially opens this weekend

Jul 23 2020, 3:40 pm

In good news for Toronto-based veggie lovers, the city’s newest Mexican eatery is opening up shop this weekend, and the menu is entirely vegan.

Service will launch at the 588 College Street joint on Saturday, July 25, where eats will be available to enjoy on the patio, or for takeout.

The first iteration of La Bartola emerged in Toronto’s food scene last summer as a pop-up taco shop that appeared at several outdoor festivals, including Vegandale Food and Drink Fest.

According to the restaurant’s team, the pop-ups attracted taco enthusiasts across the city, had constant line ups for days, and sold thousands of tacos.


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What goes into a vegan taco to make it delectable, you might ask? At this spot, the answer ranges from braised hibiscus flowers, to smoked banana blossoms, to juicy jackfruit.

All the options are so creative and filled with flavour, you’re bound to forget that meat was even an option, at least for the time you’re enjoying your meal.

Since last year, the goal was to transition from pop-ups to opening a proper eatery in 2020.

Chef Ivan Castro, who is behind the innovative joint, reportedly took “a moment to reflect” when the pandemic hit the city earlier this year and, after some thought, decided to forge ahead.

“It was difficult to navigate launching a new restaurant in these uncertain times, but I knew that I had to stay true to my dreams and make La Bartola a reality,” Castro said in a release.

“So here we are, days away from opening! There is a lot of work to do, but I have never been more excited.”


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Of course, opening amid a pandemic means that operations will look different from how they might during more typical times.

In response to the current circumstances, La Bartola has taken “every measure possible” to ensure a safe, clean environment. Additionally, the restaurant is currently seeking to hire kitchen staff, servers, and bartenders.

As an LGBT-owned business, La Bartola emphasizes that the establishment values diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability, right down to the details. All the spot’s packaging is compostable, for example, and the couch at the eatery is made out of sustainable cactus “leather.”


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Whether you crave traditional mole, fresh salsas, tacos with handmade tortillas, or churro cake, this spot’s got a seat for you — or a takeout bag with your name on it — as of Saturday.

La Bartola

Address: 588 College Street


Kayla GladyszKayla Gladysz

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