Fish tacos have exploded in popularity in Toronto over the past few years, and the city’s busy taquerias, resto-bars, pubs, and takeaway joints are satisfying a new craving for the So-Cal inspired specialty. Here are Toronto’s top spots to grab a tasty fish taco (or two… or seven) with friends right now.
Seven Lives Tacos y Mariscos
Step into this teeny-tiny Kensington Market takeout spot and the aroma of seasoned tacos will have your taste buds on high alert even before you glance at the simple chalkboard menu. Fresh Baja taco offerings include slow-cooked pork and grilled octopus with a pumpkin-seed mole sauce, but the specialty here is fish – and the battered mahi mahi always delivers. The crowds lined up at this tiny place are taco-crazy, and with good reason. Seven Lives has put Toronto’s Mexican cuisine on the map, consistently drawing tourists and locals alike.
Billing itself as “a celebration of street art and street food,” this lively Little Italy restaurant is a stylish go-to spot for girls’ and guys’ nights out. With vibrant mixed-media graffiti adorning the walls, this former pop-up restaurant has settled in at its College Street location for the long haul. Though the chefs keep their Mexican street-food menu updated regularly, the mainstay is the tantalizing “in cod we trust” taco, featuring pickled cabbage, lightly beer-battered cod, and the mysterious Voltron sauce. La Carnita has a bustling party atmosphere, and the hip-hop music is so loud that you might have trouble carrying on a conversation. But who needs to talk when you’re busy devouring delicious tacos? Just eat to the beat.
Mad Mexican Taco House
It’s worth the trek to this casual taco house in Bloor West Village for the incredible Guerrero-style fish taco. Grilled cod is wrapped in corn tortilla then finished with house-made salsa verde, nappa slaw, pico, and house sour cream. Mexican food aficionados say that the tacos here truly taste like home. After dining with friends at a small table in the cozy taco house, buy some fresh, house-made salsa and guacamole to bring home and snack on. Mad Mexican’s food is all natural and has no preservatives, which means it’s guilt-free, right?
This trendy Parkdale joint has been making waves with the hipster crowd since opening a couple years ago, and no reservations means there’re always a few extra people clamoring for a table. The Baja fish taco brings people back again and again, with light pieces of fried tilapia on a tiny tortilla, drizzled with crema and loaded with finely shredded cabbage and julienned radish. Need a warm-up? Grand Electric’s bourbon list is taller than you. Sip some neat, or enjoy it in a cocktail like the GE sour, which features a vanilla bourbon. Between the tasty sips and fabulous fish tacos, you and your friends will be smiling and laughing all night long.