We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Visit if you're in Toronto!”
Review of El Catrin

El Catrin
Ranked #209 of 9,696 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Description: Located in the Distillery District, El Catrin is an authentic Mexican eatery with a lively vibe and fun staff. With a stunning hand painted 20'x60' mural and one of the best patios and cocktails lists in the city, El Catrin is sure to be a hit.
Reviewed September 20, 2017

Great tapas, beautiful restaurant inside and very nice patio outside! Atmosphere was perfect, and it's right in the distillery district, can't ask for more! Check it out if you're in Toronto!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Joti R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,388)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

229 - 233 of 1,389 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2017 via mobile

I won't lie, I was dubious of a Mexican restaurant in Canada. But it was a really great dining experience and a great drink menu. Small plate, shareable style menus are my favorite places to eat so you can try many things and all we are was good. The Love Boat (base of plantains topped with delicious beef) was my favorite. The esquites (shaved street corn) was also quite good. But the real highlight is the patio! Fun for a group.

Thank Angie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 19, 2017

I was a little apprehensive about this place, given there are some negative reviews. But the fact that this place is packed on a Monday night speaks volumes. Aside from the expansive and cosy patio they have here, the interior of the restaurant is simply gorgeous - Giant tequila/liquor wall at the bar area, colorful decor, edgy wall art, rustic wood tables, to the Mexican wrestling mask in black lighting - all give a very fun and energetic vibe. It is very clear you will have a fun time here.

Of course, good decor means little if the food is not up to snuff. Me and my dining companions had a tasting of various dishes. We were started off with some guacamole and chips, with the avocado smashed at table side. It came with a variety of sauces from mild to hot, and also some crickets in a mild chili oil. The guac was very fresh and tasty, and it was neat to try the crickets which are very rich in protein.

The Atun Ahi tuna ceviche - with watermelon, Yucateco mignonette, lime and chives, was light and refreshing. It went well with some chips as well and got the appeitite going.

The Esquites were surprisingly good - made with charred corn off the cob, epazote, chiptole aioli and lime. Even though it's in a shot glass, it is a warm dish, and the flavour of the freshly grilled corn with the aioli was amazing! I would say this is a must-get.

Sopes de Tinga - pulled chicken chipotle with tomato stew, black bean puree, lettuce, crema fresca, queso cotija on corn flour masa. This was delicious as well and well worth trying.

Pescado Nayarit - Grilled beeline snapper that is marinated in chile ancho, served whole and de-boned. Came with corn tortila, avocado and salsa martajada. A great dish if you feel like having some fish tacos.

Pollo Almendrado - Chicken supreme in almond sauce, fried plantains, chayote squash, sauteed zucchini. This was my favorite dish of the night. The chicken was prepared perfectly and was moist and tender. It had a nice crispiy skin, and the almond sauce was really delicious with it. Everybody at the table loved it and I would put this on the must-get list as well.

For dessert, we had some churros - they were pretty large, and yet very light and airy which are perfect. Easily the best churros I have ever had. We also had the Xocolatl (Mexican mousse, candied confir papaya and almond brittle). Surprisingly the Xocolatl was our least favorite item of the evening, as we were expecting something sweet at the end but it was not that sweet at all.

Throughout the night we also had various drinks and they were all quite delicous. We split a pitcher of their margheritas and all drinks were made strong and definitely worth getting.

Even though some reviewers have noted that this place is "pricey", I really don't think it is considering the location and the environment. I thought items such as the tacos and the chicken mole were pretty on par with most restaurants that are not located in touristy areas.

Overall, we enjoyed our night at El Catrin immensely. The food, the welcoming service and the vibe here definitely took my mind off a stressful day, and I would not hesitate to recommend El Catrin to anyone.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Instantonium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 19, 2017 via mobile

We went for lunch today, the service was very friendly, portions are generous, the restaurant is very pretty (has a nice terrace, we sat inside because it was a hot day). I ate the "torta" (sandwich) Pepito, it was very nice (I would've put more salt and pepper in the guacamole but I like it salty) and came with an amazing salad on the side! The four of us were very happy with our orders, three of us had different tortas, and one a fish taco. Nice play to have lunch when in the Distillery District!

Thank GaliaMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 19, 2017 via mobile

Went here for a Monday night dinner.
Tuna tostadas for appetizer were very good. Guacamole was nice but I felt like needed a bit more salt or sauce. Mohitos were very nice, and the dish with sweet plantains and beef was amazing. I loved the music (a lot of salsa and Latin) and the vibe. Good job!

Thank Arielco30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed El Catrin also viewed

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario

Been to El Catrin? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing