Assemble the mariachi bands! Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and though Toronto is two borders away from the big celebrations, you can still get festive with muy delicioso Mexican cuisine at these 5 restaurants.
Agave y Aguacate
You’ll find Mexican-style fast food in this intimate Kensington Market kitchen, where owner and chef Francisco Alejandri offers up unique Mexican favourites. Everything on the menu is made to order, whether you’re craving the pinto-bean soup or the amazingly popular flank steak salad. 214 Augusta Ave., 647-208-3091.
Named for Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, this midtown restaurant offers a more sophisticated than usual menu of Mexican-inspired dishes, from tacos and quesadillas to Veracruz-style halibut and slow-braised lamb barbacoa. A large brunch spread is offered on weekends—complete with huevos rancheros, of course—and chef Jose Hadad’s famous guacamole and salsas are even available to take home. 999 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-787-2221.
This mega-popular Parkdale spot promises a night of fine friends, good music, and, of course, great Mexican food. Only 35 seats and no reservations means it will likely take a bit of time to get a table. But the bold menu of tacos, ceviches and other small plates—plus a serious selection of spirits—are well worth the wait. 1330 Queen St. W., 416-627-3459.
Inspired by the cantinas of Mexico City, Milagro goes south of the border by serving up a huge variety of favourites, including tacos, enchiladas and a popular ceviche, at three Toronto locations. Festive Margarita Tuesdays, Cerveza Wednesdays and Sangria Thursdays promotions offer ample weeknight fun. 5 Mercer St., 416-850-2855; 3187 Yonge St., 416-487-2855; 783 Queen St. W., 416-366-2855.
A sort of tribute to the macho, zoot suit–wearing Mexican mobsters of the 1940s, Pachuco puts a modern twist on traditional Mexican food. Owners and sisters Jais, Mali and Eren focus on the cuisine of central and southern Mexico, which is lighter and fresher, and present a menu that includes gourmet guacamole and taquitos. 99 Danforth Ave., 416-466-8006.