Despite our northern location, Canada has a rep for pumping out some seriously authentic Mexican cuisine—so good you might just think you’ve travelled south of the border. And in the past few years, the number of Mexican restaurants from coast to coast has exploded. Here, some of the best eateries to savour your tacos, tequila and more.
Best Mexican Restaurants in Vancouver
Find It: 1409 Granville St., themexican.ca
The scene: This casual spot proudly offers up traditional tastes that are easy on your budget.
What to order: The meat-filled Barrigon, a combo of pork, beef and chorizo with cheese and a secret green salsa
Find It: 1187 Denman St., tacoscatrina.ca
The scene: The stand-out hot pink sign will grab your attention at first, but the mouth-watering tacos will have you coming back for seconds every time—this low-key spot serves up authentic eats using simple ingredients and traiditonal Mexican recipes.
What to order: With pork marinated in achiote and pineapple, the Al Pastor tacos are a must-try.
Find It: 1622 Commercial Dr., lamezcaleria.ca
The scene: Although the eats are great, Mezcaleria is the place to go for drinks, offering up an unparalleled variety of tequila and mezcals, with a unique cocktail menu inspired by different regions of Mexico.
What to order: Queso Fundido, their signature cheese fondue
Tacofino Taco Bar
Find It: 15 W Cordova, tacofino.com
The scene: What started as a venture out of the back of a Tofino surf shop has sprawled into eight locations across B.C. The Gastown taco bar stands out with its neon taco sign, Latin America-inspired décor, delicious eats—and a Monday deal on margs.
What to order: Squash and Cauliflower Tostada, filled with kabocha squash, pickled cauliflower and queso
Find It: 586 Hornby St., lataqueria.com
The scene: This colourful spot is all about making you feel at home, with its cozy atmosphere, delicious eats and slushy margs.
What to order: The Pollo con Mole burrito, stuffed with chicken in a chocolate sauce, and paired with black beans, plantain chips, pickled onions, cheese and crema
Best Mexican Restaurants in Calgary
Find It: #2, 2116 4th St SW, anjeo.ca
The scene: With colourful décor and a gigantic skylight, this just might be one of the prettiest restaurants in the city. Bevy-wise, they boats more than 200 tequilas and a mean margarita.
What to order: Molcajete de Carne, your choice of beef, chorizo or chicken with grilled cactus, roasted veggies, pasilla tomatillo sauce, cheese and tortillas
Find It: 1-7400 Macleod Trail SE, losmariachis.com
The scene: This family-run resto calls itself a hidden gem in Cowtown, with recipes inspired by the street markets of Mexico and rave-worthy margs—plus they cater to celiacs and vegetarians, too.
What to order: Pollo al Tequila, chicken breasts, mushrooms, onions and peppers cooked in authentic Mexican tequila
Find It: 235 12th Ave. SW, nativetongues.ca
The scene: With its Instagram-worthy murals, tasty menu and unique list of cocktails, it’s the place to be for a true Mexican experience.
What to order: Pulpo, charcoal-grilled tacos with octopus, chorizo rojo, salsa roja, fried potatoes and cilantro
Find It: 1309 17 Ave. SW, loschilitos.ca
The scene: Like a mini Mexican getaway, this laid-back cantina serves up the classics.
What to order: Fish Tacos, with lettuce, jalapeno-mayo, guac and salsa
Find It: 1424 17th Ave. SW, tropicalon17.com
The scene: This Tex-Mex joint has awesome deals, like half price tequila and $2.50 tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
What to order: Al Pastor tacos, filled with marinated pork, pineapple, onion and cilantro
Best Mexican Restaurants in Edmonton
Find It: 8230 Gateway Blvd., elcortezcatina.com
The scene: Offering a modern twist on Latin dishes, this kitchen and tequila bar is one of only nine establishments in the world to be certified by the Tequila Regulatory Council.
What to order: The Creamy Poblano Pollo tacos, with queso, corn and peppers
Find It: 10450 82 Avenue NW., juliosbarrio.com
The scene: This festive spot has a killer patio and tons of weekly drink specials, like margarita Mondays
What to order: The veggie-filled Chimichangas
Find It: 9880 63 Ave. NW, humamexicanrestaurant.ca
The scene: Specializing in Mexican comfort food, this vibrant resto was started by two passionate chefs from Puebla. (co-owner Mariel Montero made an appearance on Chopped Canada!)
What to order: The street food-inspired dish from the owners’ hometown, Cemitas Lucha Libre with spicy pork or beef tongue, caramelized onions, mushrooms, avocado, cheese and tomatoes, stuffed in between a homemade Cemita bun
Tres Carnales Taqueria
Find It: 10119 100A St., trescarnales.com
The scene: Offering a fresh take on traditional Mexican dishes, with delicious daily features
What to order: Pollo Picado tacos, filled with chicken seared with house spices
The Three Amigos
Find It: 4035 106th St. NW, threeamigosedmonton.com
The scene: Known for its modern interpretation of classic Mexican dishes, with $5 margarita Mondays
What to order: Al Pastor tacos, loaded with pork, cilantro and onions
Best Mexican Restaurants in Saskatoon
Find It: 3-1025 Boychuk Dr., labamba.ca
The scene: Named after a style of Spanish dance, this cozy spot was one of the first restaurants in Saskatoon and the Prairies to serve up authentic Mexican eats.
What to order: The eponymous dish, Bamba Sopes, with refried beans, shredded chicken, lettuce, cream and fresco cheese, wrapped in corn tortillas
Find It: 910 Victoria Ave., laspalapas.ca
The scene: With its vibrant décor and laid-back vibe, this grill aims to bring a taste of the tropics to Saskatoon. They also have a grocery store on site packed with Latin American flavours.
What to order: The Barbacoa Enchiladas, with beef, cheese, enchilada sauce and crema fresca
Best Mexican Restaurants in Winnipeg
Burrito Del Rio
Find It: 8-433 River Ave., burritodelrio.com
The scene: Known for its flavourful dishes, this quirky spot is the place to go for loaded burritos.
What to order: The Pollo Achiote burrito, filled with roasted chicken marinated in citrus achiote sauce
Find It: 155 Smith St., laroca.ca
The scene: Authentic Mexican dishes, a double decker patio, and Taco Tuesdays with $10 taco trios all night long—what more could you ask for?
What to order: Their traditional Al Pastor tacos can’t be beat.
Find It: 570-C Sargent Ave., mercaditolatinostore.com
The scene: Stop by this Mexican eatery and market for a quick bite or stock up on ingredients from Latin America and cook up a feast at home.
What to order: For a light meal, try the Ceviche de Camaron with lime-infused shrimp tossed in a Salvadorian ceviche sauce and topped with chopped tomatoes, onions and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Find It: 722 Osborne St., @BMCMarket
The scene: Serving up authentic tacos (three for $5!), this charming spot makes handmade corn tortillas and offers up a rainbow of salsas from mild to red-ants-on-your-tongue hot.
What to order: Any of the tacos are to die for, but the pork, onion and pineapple taco is equal parts salty and sweet.
Best Mexican Restaurants in Toronto
Find It: 111 Dupont St., playacabana.ca
The scene: With its fun atmosphere and expansive menu, Playa Cabana has become a crowd favourite in the city.
What to order: Chicken Tostadas with lettuce, guac and crema
Find It: 504 Adelaide St W., campechano.ca
The scene: Gluten-free taco lovers, take note: this bright, casual dining spot offers up tastes inspired by the flavours of Mexico City and makes their own corn tortillas that are arguably the best (and sturdiest!) in the city.
What to order: The Pescado taco with European seabass and chipotle for just enough heat
Find It: 18 Tank House Ln., elcatrin.ca
The scene: Serving up authentic traditional and modern Mexican cuisine, this Distillery District staple has a year-round sprawling patio and a stocked tequila bar with over 120 labels.
What to order: Pollo Con Mole, aka pulled chicken tacos
Find It: 106 John St., lacarnita.com
The scene: With four locations around the city, this chain celebrates Mexican street eats and art—plus some of the most inventive and delicious paletas you’ll find.
What to order: Mexican Chorizo tacos, with habanero mayo, mango salsa, guac and chicharron
Find It: 1330 Queen St. W, grandelectrictoronto.com
The scene: Marrying Mexican eats with craft beer, this is the spot to enjoy a drink and a bite on the patio—or take your food to-go.
What to order: Beef Cheek tacos topped with avocado salsa
Find It: 2a Kensington Ave., elreybar.com
The scene: Serving up a selection of small plates, the staff grind fresh corn to create the tortillas for tostadas and quesadillas.
What to order: Quesillo and Wild Mushroom Quesadillas
Best Mexican Restaurants in Ottawa
Corazon de Maiz
Find It: 55 Byward Market Square, corazondemaizottawa.com
The scene: Located in the heart of the Byward Market, the cozy space in great for a quick bite—or take full advantage of their take-out and delivery options.
What to order: Their authentic burritos are one of their biggest hits.
Find It: 380 Elgin St., eatelcamino.com
The scene: Visit the lunchtime taco takeout window, or grab a seat in the dining room of this trendy spot, but be sure you arrive early—they don’t take reservations. They’re best known for their unique tacos and their signature drink, the El Fuego—a spicy combo of tequila and grapefruit.
What to order: Japanese Eggplant Taco that will satisfy even the most diehard meat eater
Taqueria La Bonita
Find It: 1128 Cadboro Rd., labonita.ca
The scene: Step into this under-the-radar joint packed with personality where you are immediately greeted with upbeat Spanish music, colourful decor and trinkets from the owner’s hometown.
What to order: Mole con pollo tacos, with a centuries-old Mexican recipe of chilli peppers, bread, nuts, spices and a hint of chocolate drizzled over chicken for a flavour combo unlike any other
Find It: 62 Barrette St., olacocina.ca
The scene: Whether you’re looking for an authentic Mexican breakfast or nighttime nibbles, this spot has everything you could ask for, and all options are gluten-free (save the churros).
What to order: Concinita Pibil tacos, with roasted pork shoulder topped with pico de gallo, crème fraiche, jalapeno crema, pickled onions and cilantro
Find It: 121 Clarence St., acemercado.com
The scene: A unique twist on Mexican dishes, this chic spot serves small plates perfect for sharing, and has an extensive list of tequilas and mezcals—their menu totes 60 different kinds.
What to order: Tamale-Battered Fish and Chips
Find It: 105A Clarence St., burritoborracho.ca
The scene: Enjoy their flavourful dishes in-restaurant, or take-out if you’re in a hurry. They also offer an individual lunch box from Monday to Friday, and a tequila bar with more than 25 brands.
What to order: Baja Fish Burrito, stuffed with beer battered tilapia
Best Mexican Restaurants in Montreal
Find It: 5439 St. Laurent Blvd., restaurantmais.com
The scene: Serving up Mexican and Latin American fare, this spot has one of the best tequila selections in the city.
What to order: The Carnitas tacos, filled with onions, coriander, and green salsa
La Capital Tacos
Find It: 1096 St Laurent Blvd., lacapitaltacos.ca
The scene: This taqueria makes their salsa in-house, has a rotating daily special, and an A+ selection of mezcal and tequila.
What to order: Pirata Quesadillas, stuffed with beef, cheese and coriander with a garlic and jalapeno sauce
Find It: 226 Fairmont St. W, latamaleramontreal.com
The scene: This adorably-decorated, four-year-old space offers authentic small and large share plates that won’t break the bank
What to order: Al Pastor tacos with pork, coriander, onions and pineapple
Find It: 5611 Ave du Parc, @tachidomontreal
The scene: Living up to its name (it translates to “Is cool”), this family-run locale specializes in quesadillas and tacos, and has one of the most adorable patios Montreal has to offer.
What to order: The epic Torta sandwich
Find It: 5269 Casgrain Ave., mariabonitamontreal.com
The scene: Named after chef and owner Maria Chavez, the dimly lit, intimate resto is known for its cazuelitas (small casseroles) and other Mexican fare using recipes from Maria’s mother and grandmother.
What to order: The Chile en Nogada cazuelita for a unique flavour combo, with poblano chiles stuffed with pork picadillo, topped with a walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds
Find It: 1206 Union Ave., escondite.ca
The scene: On the scene for two years, Escondite is known for its authentic Mexican fare and house-crafted tequila cocktails.
What to order: Pollo Hermanos tacos, a delicious combo of deep-fried chicken, chipotle crema, corn bread croutons and iceberg lettuce
Best Mexican Restaurants in Halifax
Find It: 102 Chain Lake Dr., cheachies.ca
The scene: Along with favourites like tacos and enchiladas, they also serve up burgers and salads and a delicious list of cocktails.
What to order: The flavourful Steak Chimichangas
El Chino Snack Bar
Find It: 2398 Robie St., elchinosnackbar.com
The scene: Their menu of small bites is a delicious combo of Chinese and Mexican dishes, with a long list of signature cocktails.
What to order: Fish Tacos, stacked with salsa, Sriracha mayo and red cabbage
Find It: 3635 Dutch Village Rd., mexicolindo.ca
The scene: This mom-and-pop locale boasts a warm, inviting atmosphere and serves up housemade queso fresco, Panella cheese and chorizo.
What to order: Chilaquiles Tapatios, tortilla chips topped with salsa, chicken or beef, cheese, onions and sour cream
Best Mexican Restaurants in St. John’s
Quintanas & Arribas De La Plaza
Find It: Churchill Square, quintanasandarribas.com
The scene: A St. John’s staple since 1980, this family-run spot serves up Tex Mex fare and also has a happy hour menu full of apps perfect for sharing.
What to order: The Mexican Flag, a combo of enchiladas and flauta
Find It: 11 Freshwater Rd., @soulazteka
The scene: This homey spot has tons of specials, like their Friday Family Feasts and Taco Tuesdays, with tacos for $2 each.
What to order: Enchiladas with chicken and cheese
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