When you look at the best Mexican restaurants in Montreal, they’ve got it all, don’t they? They can make the food as spicy as you like, they’re great for both fancy dinners and cheap eats, and practically everything is better when you’re drinking a margarita.
Among all of the city’s options for Mexican food, you can consider the ones below among the best of the best. Not just for tacos (although, of course for tacos), but for every single dish, both traditional and creative that Mexican cuisine has produced: Gorditas, enchiladas, quesadillas, chorizo con queso, flautas — even chipotle-fried grasshoppers and birria ramen — and more.
From all-you-can-eat and quick snacking stops to high-end refinement, these are the best Mexican restaurants in Montreal.
Where: 7221, rue Saint-Hubert
Why You Need To Go: Some will tell you that this spot’s got the best birria around, and others might mention their all-you-can-eat taco nights or specials on margaritas, but the food’s great here no matter which way you slice it. Its Mexico-born chef Rosa Castellanos simply knows how to make some of the most smashable meals around. After all, as the name infers, it’s some of the most ‘dangerous’ food around.
El Rey del Taco
Where: Multiple locations
Why You Need To Go: Whether it’s at their express counter in the Mile End or their main location in the Jean-Talon Market, this Mexican restaurant steals the show for its cheap and filling plates. El Rey serves up a wider menu than most establishments that goes from burritos and taco bowls to quesadillas, camarones, tamales, and enchiladas. Iit’ll generally take only one dish to not only satisfy you, but also bring you back to try something else another time.
Where: Multiple locations
Why You Need To Go: Looking for one of the more nightlife-forward options when it comes to Mexican food in Montreal? Try either of this restaurant’s locations in the Old Port or the Mile End, both focused on tacos traditional and creative alongside some upscaled dishes like whole tomahawk steaks or burrata with gazpacho. They also both offer brunch menus that few others match, blending Mexican ingredients with the mealtime’s standard bearer plates of French toast, eggs Benny and more.
Where: 4350, rue Notre-Dame O.
Why You Need To Go: It’s the little Mexican restaurant that could from Saint-Henri: First starting out from a hole-in-the-wall, their level of cooking brought them to a bigger location a few doors down to flex their muscles with long lists of vegetarian and carnivorous ingredients that feed into menus of tacos, quesadillas, and sizeable dinner plates. Oh, and its menus are cheaper than most.
Where: Multiple locations
Why You Need To Go: Hailing from Tultitlán, a small village near Mexico City, Victor Soto has brought a well-received outside perspective to Montreal’s world of Mexican food, largely in part thanks to his village’s version that tops them with fries. Heavy and delicious, they’ll range from steak and chorizo to beef tongue, chicken, flank steak or mushrooms with corn. Eat in at either location and help yourself to their massive bowls of hot sauce.
Where: 5611, ave. du Parc
Why You Need To Go: If you want good—and we mean really good—tacos, tortas, alambres, piratas, and platters, then you’ll have to try Ta Chido. A recreation of Mexico City’s classic botaneras, old-style restaurants serving traditional dishes, the place still brings a bit of local flair to it with a fun interior and great drinks to knock back the dishes with. If you want recommendations, start with a soup and sandwich (torta), or just dive into the taco menu.
Where: 1678, boul. Saint-Joseph, Lachine
Why You Need To Go: It’s difficult to find a Mexican restaurant that can combine speed, quality, and low price points and nail all of them, but El Meson has refined their formula to make it happen. Downtowners might not be so easily convinced that traveling all the way out to Lachine is worth a bite of their food, but it is: The food can’t beat, and neither can its front and rear terrasses, the former of which has a beauty of a view out onto the canal.
El Sabor de México
Where: 5013, rue Wellington, Verdun
Why You Need To Go: Not only does this Mexican restaurant corner the market in Verdun, it does it with some swagger. Specializing in tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas, it’s got some options to keep things fresh as well, like fried quesadillas and ceviche to start a meal out. Going for a more traditional atmosphere, eating here’s a small escape from the Instagram-walled, neon-lit places you’ll find elsewhere.
Where: 2022, rue Stanley
Why You Need To Go: An upscaled option for Mexican cuisine in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, La Cantina comes from the owners of T&T Tacos and Tortas (another great spot). Here, the restaurant serves up either cheap $20 table d’hôte menus for meals of soup or salad, tacos, and churros, or a more adventurous à la carte with dishes like ceviches, tartares, tostadas, and chapulines (grasshoppers toasted with chipotle).
Where: 5163, boul. Saint-Laurent
Why You Need To Go: This Mexican restaurant in the Plateau packs its dishes with flavour. While you could say that for just about any restaurant, Maria Bonita’s got the dishes to prove it, from the stuffed poblanos of their chiles en nogada, chayote dip, lamb mixiote, pastor con queso fundido, or cazuelitas. They’ve got standards like tacos as well to round out your trip along their off-the-beaten-path menu.
Where: 1096, boul. Saint-Laurent
Why You Need To Go: Chinatown may seem like an unlikely place to grab great Mexican food in Montreal, but La Capital’s been such a stellar spot that it seems only natural by now. Tacos and quesadillas here get a lot of local love, but you should make a dive into their large curated selection of mezcal a priority as well. Don’t forget that if it’s packed, head up the street to their cantine, Bonita’s, in Le Centrale up the street.
Tacos Don Rigo
Where: 4740, boul. Saint-Jean, Pierrefonds
Why You Need To Go: it may be out of the way, but it’s places like this small spot in Pierrefonds that prove that sometimes you have to travel to find some of the best Mexican food in town. Chicken, chorizo, beef, and pork as well as grilled seasonal veggies are all spun into tacos, burrito bowls, tortas and quesadillas, and it’s all kept cheap to make it doubly worth your while.
Where: 4607, rue Saint-Denis
Why You Need To Go: Serving up the right balance of atmosphere and food, this Mexican restaurant in the Plateau makes all manner of tacos, chilaquiles, quesadillas and flautas with a quality that’s captured Montreal’s appetite for years now. Above all, it’s a great place for when you want to load a table up with cheap food, cold beers and good company no matter the time of year.
Where: 2040, rue Beaubien E.
Why You Need To Go: Learning Mexican cuisine from his grandmother before becoming a trained chef in Mexico, Calaveras’ chef Elemy Ascencio has a knack for putting together dishes that are both heartwarming and delicious. The best way to find that out is by digging into their crispy sandwiches, ceviches and aguachiles, the long list of tacos, or any one of the larger plates of enchiladas or fajitas.
Where: 2111 ave. du Mont-Royal E.
Why You Need To Go: Small but mighty, this Mexican spot for tacos in the Plateau is a fresher face in the city that’s turning heads with homemade flour tortillas topped with al pastor, carnitas, or more creative stuff like a poutine taco made with garlic flank steak, guacamole, fries, sauce, and cheese curds. They’ve got great vegetarian options as well , like the quesadillas and elotes.
Tacos Tin Tan
Where: 3828, rue Saint-Denis
Why You Need To Go: Tacos Tin Tan keeps its menu small, simple, and delicious. A selection of tacos here, some enchiladas and nopalitos there, and lots of primo mezcal and cold beer to drink in between makes this place worth a visit thanks to the level of attention they put in. A similar experience can be found at their Outremont restaurant La Gaviota.
Where: 7349, rue Saint-Hubert
Why You Need To Go: This Mexican restaurant from Rosina Martinez and the late Mois Reyes is among the better places in Montreal to try a menu that offers both traditional and inventive alternatives (think birria ramen, because why not?). Gorditas, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and more. The only note is that this place is a bit on the smaller side with 40-ish seats, so there may be a wait, but the kitchen does a great job of flipping tables quickly.
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