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The best Mexican restaurants in Montreal you won’t forget

Mexican restaurants in Montreal are seriously memorable once you get a taste of their menus full of regional classics

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
Colin Rier

If you want to fill your Instagram feed with pictures of tacos and flights of mezcal, look to the delicious Mexican restaurants found everywhere in Montreal. You can sample all of the best tacos—from carnitas to chorizo—at them, but the Mexican cuisine in this city reaches deeper than that. Our recommendations encompass options from across the island, making up some of the best restaurants in Mile End, Chinatown and beyond, and each offers their own specialty ranging from tortas ro guisados and ceviches. Whether you’re in the market for amazing cheap eats or full-on feasts, you’ll find it here.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

Time Out Market Montreal
  • Restaurants

De la création des sushis véganes chez son Sushi Momo jusqu’à la galaxie de saveurs mexicaines et japonaises qu’il propose ici, au Casa Kaizen, il n’y a pas de doute que chef Ventura est le pionnier végétalien le plus innovant de cette ville. Qu'il s'agisse d'une tostada en nori avec le "faux-thon" au konjac d'Alatorre, débordant d'umami, des flautas croustillantes servies avec une alléchante crème d'ail noir, ou des tacos de calamars véganes aux champignons, la cuisine à base de plantes du Casa Kaizen est changeante et inoubliable.

Where to find the best Mexican restaurants in Montreal

La Capital Tacos
Photograph: La Capital Tacos / @montrealtacos

1. La Capital Tacos

Believe or not, one of Montreal's best Mexican restaurants is found in Chinatown. This place has been on the scene for a while now and consistently serves some of the city's best tacos. Expect to find the holy pork trinity of carnitas, pastor & cochinita pibil alongside an extensive list of tequilas & mezcals. Try and go with a group as they only sell their tacos in 3's, and the more people you bring means the more taco trading you can engage in.

Tacos Frida
Photograph: Tacos Frida / @tacosfridamtl

2. Tacos Frida

Having made a fantastic impression on the Saint-Henri since it first opened as a hole in the wall, Tacos Frida is the most traditional taqueria in its area. Its popularity has led to new locations elsewhere in the city, but we prefer the headquarters for small corn tortillas loaded high with freshly sliced and grilled toppings. What really sets Frida apart from the pack is their fresh-made guacamole as well as their offerings of Mexican breakfast. While other Mexican places in the city focus more on dinner and late night, Frida speaks to a beautiful breakfast of huevos rancheros that is part of traditional Mexican cuisine.

Tacos Victor
Photograph: @_martinwagner_ gracias

3. Tacos Victor

Most restaurants have a signature move or garnish; something that when you look at a plate of food you immediately know it's THEIR food. As you’ve likely seen on your Instagram, the signature move at Tacos Victor is a handful of hot and crispy fries atop each taco. Like the chip butty in England, and the ‘overstuffed’ sandwich of Pittsburgh, the fries add a crisp salty element to the tacos to keep you coming back for more.

Sabor Latino
Photograph: Sabor Latino / @1saborlatino

4. Sabor Latino

Sabor Latino just feels right. Both the location on Saint-Laurent and Saint-Hubert feel more like grocery stores than restaurants, but that doesn’t mean the food coming off of their hot bar can’t compete with the best this city has to offer. While they have most of the classic canon of taco fillings here, those in-the-know opt for the steam table guisados (stews) over a corn tortilla.

Photograph: Escondite / @esconditemontreal

5. Escondite

While good tacos are relatively easy to find in this beautiful city, it can be much more difficult to find a nice simple bowl of perfectly prepared ceviche. Hands down, this boisterous restaurant chain with two locations in Montreal and one in Laval makes one of the cities freshest shrimp ceviches while also managing to innovate in other areas. You'll find unique dishes like nacho gyozas, as well as the classic taco varieties which we all know and love.

Photograph: Epicerie et cuisine mexicaine Amaranto

6. Amaranto

This is Mexican food made for the casa. Much of the food being served at Mexican restaurants around the city, specifically tacos, are street foods. At Amaranto, they delve into the rich world of moles and other slow and low stews and braises. This rewards the diner with perfectly spiced & tender chicken swimming in a dark velvety sauce with a layering of flavours that can’t be found in any other cuisine.

El Rey Del Taco
Photograph: El Rey Del Taco / @REYTACOMTL

7. El Rey Del Taco

Not that you needed one, but here’s another reason to go to Jean Talon Market by Little Italy. Located just alongside the core of the market, this little restaurant disguised as a tortilla factory serves tacos on some of the best tortillas money can buy in the city. In addition to the traditional taco fillings, El Rey also offers the underrated but delicious nopales (cactus), a must-eat next time you’re in the area.

Tejano BBQ Burrito
Photograph: Tejano BBQ Burrito / @tejanobbqburrito

8. Tejano BBQ Burrito

Sometimes there's a hole in your stomach so big only a burrito can fill it. When that occasion arises, there is no better place to head to than Tejano. Owned by the same masters of meat who operate the southwest-style restaurant Blackstrap BBQ, this place plays a fun riff on the traditional burrito by smoking the meats which they fill your burrito with ancho, cumin bbq beef, smoked chicken tinga and chorizo pulled pork. If you want to make the most of your order, ask for crushed tortilla chips—fried on-site—inside of your burrito.

La Tamalera
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sahara B.

9. La Tamalera

La Tamalera pulls from the deep roster of Mexican classics that make up some of the best dishes the country has to offer. You should definitely dig into their tacos, but why not start your meal with a refreshing watermelon salad, followed up by a torta (a Mexican sandwich served on a special roll named a bolillo), but no trip here is complete without the namesake tamales. Whatever you order on the menu here, you can’t go wrong.

Ta Chido
Photograph: Ta Chido Snack-bar mexicain / @tachidomontreal

10. Ta Chido

A solid spot if you’re in the mood for a torta, especially when considering how Ta Chido makes their own bread. While the chefs here are committed to their craft, they are by no means tied to the past; they manage to come up with some of the most creative sandwiches in the city including the torta pierna, filled with thinly sliced pork braised in chipotle sauce, or the bacalao (salt cod) torta. Located on the gastronomic heaven that is Fairmount street in Mile End, it makes a nice addition to a self-led food tour of the area.

La Catrina
Photograph: La Catrina / @restaurantlacatrina

11. La Catrina

La Catrina is the product of a French chef falling in love with the cuisine of Mexico. This Old Montreal restaurant's menu features prerequisite tacos but also larger plates that highlight the flavours of Mexico cooked with French technique. You will find whole fish cooked a la plancha zinged up with salsa, or maybe a humble looking appetizer of esquites, grilled corn cut off the cob that’s dressed with cheese and garlic mayonnaise.

El Meson
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Franticfooder R.

12. El Meson

This charming space built into a little house in Lachine is one of the reliable stalwarts of Mexican-American cuisine in Montreal. The place is covered in the three colours of Mexico and frozen margaritas flow freely here. They are most known for their carne asada; thinly sliced and grilled ribeye beef that is just perfect over a tortilla, dappled with salsa.

Maria Bonita
Photograph: MARIA BONITA Cuisine mexicaine / @mariabonitamontreal

13. Maria Bonita

Owned and operated by its namesake Maria Bonita, this restaurant is a true family operation with Bonita's husband and even her young son helping out on the line. What marks Maria Bonita as a special dining experience is the care that goes into preparing their cazuelitas, or stewed foods served in the traditional dish of a terra cotta cazuela.

Photograph: Mezcaleros Tapas & Cocktails / @mezcalerosmtl

14. Mezcaleros

Mezcaleros has a very simple but fun operating principle: Mexican food is great with drinks. The team at the restaurant styles their place as a tapas restaurant and cocktail bar where you can roll through a meal of palomas, micheladas, carnitas and croquetas de papa. Make sure not to miss any of the rotating desserts, especially when the churros are on the menu.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Val L.

15. Mañana

Mañana wholly embraces the cheesy goodness that is Tex-Mex cuisine. Though often sneered at for not being “authentic," Tex-Mex is authentic, just to Texas and not to Mexico (and Texas pulling influence from Mexico). Either way, with all the cheese, meat, beans and tortillas, it is undeniably delicious. To experience peak Tex-Mex opt for the enchiladas, rolled tacos stuffed with filling, then covered with cheese and served with a side of beans.

More great cuisines to discover in the city

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