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“excellent service, tasty food, great outdoor area!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of El Catrin

El Catrin
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Ranked #61 of 8,439 Restaurants in Toronto
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Central American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Drinks, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
101 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“excellent service, tasty food, great outdoor area!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

We waited for a table but it was a warm Sunday and lots of folks had the same idea. Staff were friendly and efficient and it only took 5 minutes to get seated. The menu is extensive, the specialty drinks are amazing and the spaciousness of their outdoor area puts every other Mexican restaurant in Toronto to shame! But the food certainly adds a solid dimension and as vegetarians we had no trouble stuffing ourselves. Carnivores will also love El Catrin as we saw copious amounts of that stuff too. Its a wonderful way to idle away a few hours in the Distillery. We will definitely go back. If Stephanie is waitressing, ask for her. She is great and very funny.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Steven L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El C, Community Manager at El Catrin, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Hi Steven L! Thank you so much for the wonderful review and we're so glad you enjoyed your time at El Catrin so much! We try to offer a wide variety of menu items for both vegetarians and non so we're always happy to hear that vegetarians are equally as satisfied as our carnivorous guests. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
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973 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
60 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful space.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

I ate dinner at El Catrin with a friend last week. I think the restaurant is very attractive. I love the outside patio with the firepit. They have tons of heaters so I imagine it would be very comfortable even on a chilly night. The inside of the restaurant is very dramatic and quite beautiful. We both had guacamole (made at the table) and fish tacos. The guacamole was very good and the chips were excellent. I did not care for the fish tacos. I'm not sure this is a fair criticism but the coleslaw topping for the fish was way too spicy for my tastes. I love fish tacos and these were not good. The fish was deep fried in a beer batter with almost no taste. This may be because the fish came with the spicy coleslaw layered on top. Our dinner came incredibly fast - I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or bad thing. The coffee was delicious and they included a biscotti which I appreciated.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RooneyToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El C, Community Manager at El Catrin, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Hi RooneyToronto! Thank you so much for the kind words. We've passed your comments about the fish tacos onto our kitchen staff as we're always looking to improve our menu and service. We hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
66 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Our favourite find in Toronto!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

Stumbled upon this place almost by accident when making our way elsewhere but what a great find! The patio really draws you in and we loved the decorations with the huge chandeliers and the open fire pit, everything looks really festive and I'm sure it gets very popular in the summer although they do have heat lamps all over.

We tried many of their drinks from the cocktail menu (fresh mango margaritas, mojito, burnt honey drink, cucumber with pepper infused, watermelon... amongst others) and they were all really good! Sometimes you never know what you're going to get when you venture off of the regular staple drinks but they do a really good job. Didn't get to try too many of the food items, but did have the guac, the meatball and black bean taco and the churros and they were all really really good. I do have a soft spot for churros so was really happy to have them here!

Wish they had a place like this in Vancouver! Definitely will be back next time we visit!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lemonie604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El C, Community Manager at El Catrin, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Hi lemonie604! So glad to hear we were part of your visit to Toronto and that you enjoyed your time, food and drinks at El Catrin! Thanks for the review and we can't wait to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
98 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere - nice stop for lunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

Stopped by on a Monday for lunch about 1 p.m. Very quiet. Sat outdoors on the huge patio next to the firepit which was a nice touch since it was still a bit cool outside, but sunny. No complaints on the service. Ordered sangria ($10) and the Mon-Fri lunch special of appetizer size salad and two tacos for $15. I had the ensalada destileria (grilled shrimp, green papaya, mango, cilantro, toasted pecans, frisee, tajin sour vinaigrette). Didn't see any shrimp but the salad was good and a little different. Ordered the pull pork tacos - tasty. My friend had the ensalada tomatillo and the daily taco (this day was breaded beef) which she enjoyed and said the tacos had some kick. Portions were not huge. For lunch, the chips and house guacamole (mashed tableside) might have made a nice addition. Billed more as tapas - could get pricey. Mexican friend saw this photo on social media and commented that they looked like "real tacos should".

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LakeONsailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El C, Community Manager at El Catrin, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Hi LakeONsailor! So glad you enjoyed your lunch with us and liked our patio! We're looking forward to spending more time out there now that it's a bit warmer. We hope you can join us again soon. Thanks for the review!
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Canada
Level Contributor
515 reviews
321 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
“Mother's Day Dinner!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2014 via mobile

This place is in the wonderful distillery district and has a fabulous patio! Now that the nice weather is here this will be a great spot to hang out for a margarita! Speaking of- I ordered one and it was excellent. I also order the braised beef crispy tacos which were tasty but I think I preferred my moms dish which was just the chicken tacos- they had a lot of flavour to them.

We arrived just before 5pm on Sunday (Mother's Day) and we got a seat right away. Service was alright; a little slow. Atmosphere was very cool and the patio is huge. Prices were very reasonable as well ($11 for a large margarita, $9 for a large sangria and $15 for a meal). Bill came to $55 plus tip. When we left which was around 6pm there was a huge lineup (I would never have waited in it). No clue if it's like that all the time but just an FYI... Distillery has very limited parking- when u can find it, it is very reasonably priced though.

Would I return? Yes! Looks like it will be a lot of fun in the summer!

Helpful?
Thank ilovedgreece
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El C, Community Manager at El Catrin, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Hi ilovedgreece! So glad you and your mom had a great Mother's Day visit to El Catrin! Thank you very much for the great review and we hope to see you again very soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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