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  • El Catrin

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El Catrin
El Catrin
  • Address:
    18 Tank House Lane
    Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
    Neighborhood:
    Distillery District/St. Lawrence Market
  • Cuisine:
    Mexican
    Price: CAN$31 to CAN$50

El Catrin Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elcatrin.ca
  • Email: info@thedistillery.ca
  • Phone: (416) 203-2121
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday to Friday 11:30am to 5pm
    Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10:30am to 5pm
    Dinner: 7 days a week 5pm to 11pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Olivier Le Calvez
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact directly.
  • Private Party Contact: Distillery Events (416) 203-2363

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Parliament & Mill Street
  • Public Transit: short walk from King Street streetcar and Parliament bus
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from El Catrin
Just opened July 11th in the Distillery District is El Catrin Destileria. With a stunning hand painted 20'x60' mural and one of the best patios and cocktail lists in the city, this Authentic Mexican eatery with a lively vibe and fun staff is sure to be a hit. Chef Le Calvez who moved here from Mexico City just a month ago is eager to show Torontonians the fresh flavours that represent his homelands famous cooking.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Outside terrasse is wow. Food is great and so is service."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I took my boyfriend here to celebrate a special occasion. El Catrin is tucked away in an incredibly romantic spot. The restaurant is visually SPECTACULAR: it's huge, warm, and beautiful. The service was SUPER fast and the staff was very friendly. The food was presented in a fun, interesting way and the drink selection is vast. My only complaint was that the portions are VERY small (tapa-style) but are PRICED as though they are small meals. Even the "bigger" menu items were small. They are VERY tasty, but after spending $120 (including a tip) we honestly wanted to go to McDonalds afterwards because we were not full. I would recommend this restaurant for special occasions if price is no object, because it truly is a wonderful experience."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Great food great music ...but too loud. Nightclub noise level in a restaurant...if you want to have a conversation while eating then it's not the place to go. Maybe other weeknights or lunch might be better. Went on a Friday night."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "First time here. They really do read your comments on your reservations on open table. I was unable to reach anyone by calling so I requested a larger table via the comment. My reservation was adjusted. The service is impeccable. The food was good, not the best Mexican in town but definitely above par. A little pricey depending on what you order. Pitcher of mojito was yummy =)"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Wonderful ambiance. Excellent Mexican food and decor. HUGE outdoor patio for dining/drinks. Guacamole and fish tacos to die for! Cool eclectic decor. If you want I go on a weekend...book early. Two weeks in advance is necessary."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "This as my second time at El Catrin. I eat out a lot. I had a reservation. They kept us waiting for over 25 minutes for our table. Food was okay, quite greasy. When they finally seated us the sat us in the upstairs in the worst section. It was unbearably loud. About half way into dinner staff started to clean up empty chairs and tables and place large speakers all around us. We had been seated for a half hour. Clearly a sign they wanted us and the other dinners there to leave soon. Service was very mediocre had to wave done waitress to get anything. It was clear we weren't wanted as customers. We left in under an hour. It is a pretty restaurant but looks aren't everything. I made this reservation 3 weeks in advance. I won't be back."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I love to check out new Mexican places around town. Elcatrin certainly didn't disappoint! Loved the atmosphere, great service and excellent food. We'll definitely be checking it out in the summer for patio dinners!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "had a blast. waitress created our own sampling menu that rocked. we'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "You can't go wrong with the food here. It was absolutely fantastic and would recommend to anyone if they love authentic mexican food. The staff knows their stuff and was so friendly and helpful. Definitely need a reservation as they're always busy - we booked 2 weeks in advance and glad we did - they were nice but had to turn people down at the door."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The ambience and decor was amazing, the colourswere bright and beautfiful however, we were seated by the door in table 9 and every time the door opened we had a gust of cold air. We also arrived 5 minutes before our reservation and had to wait 12 minutes to be seated while freezing by the door. The spicy guacamole was for beyond spicy. We barely touched it at our table and for some reason we received two bowls? We also kept receiving dishes throughout the night that were not ours and would turn them away. The music was great, just too loud. We felt like we were yelling all night, and kept having to ask everyone to repeat themselves."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The bar staff was fun and the margaritas were outstanding! The food, after all the hype, I found heavy, greasy and too rich for my liking. After making a reservation weeks in advance, I thought we deserved a an actual table but were seated at one of the bench tables directly in front of the bar. Overall, the the experience I was anticipating although I'll be back for more margartias when the weather gets better and I can sit on the beautiful patio."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Fab ambience, excellent service, a bit pricy but it's in the Distillery District so part of the cost is for the experience. Was too chilly for the patio, but it looks awesome. My husband had the taco of the day and it was delicious. I had the shrimp and lobster taco. I thought it lacked texture, particularly because it was served on a wheat tortilla which was yucky (mushy, much less authentic). It would have been better on the corn tortilla. I would definitely go back."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "First of all, I LOVE the decor at El Catrin. It is gorgeous - the mural and chandeliers are stunning. As for the food, it was mostly delicious. We had the guacamole (spicy), chicken sopes, corn app, ceviche trio and the fish tacos. Guacamole was tasty but I wish the chips were warm (doesn't match the chips at Playa Cabana). The sopes were delicious. Corn was interesting and loved the texture of the fresh, crunchy kernels. Two of the three ceviches (tuna & mixed seafood) were great but the mahi mahi one lacked flavour of any kind. The fish tacos were great. The drinks were also yummy. We had a margarita and the hibiscus rose drink. Best part of the meal for me were the desserts. Churros were excellent but tres leche was outstanding!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The atmosphere was great, although I was a little disappointed with the food. The tacos I got didn't resemble tacos at all and were dripping in grease. Portions were small for the price. It ended up costing $200 for three of us. I would go back for appetizers and drinks but id skip a full meal."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Have lunch at this fun spot! GREAT food and excellent service!! The lunch special of soup and 2 tacos was Delish!! Such a good idea when looking for a restaurant close to downtown with lots of parking and a fun spot in the afternoon! Wander the galleries and shopping and meet up for a wonderful lunch after!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Had a great time at El Catrin our server Agnes did an outstanding job. Would go again"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The food lacked Mexican flare and flavors. Too much tortilla's, danty portions, pre-preprared foods and flat deserts. Great vibe but not Mexican rather a hybrid. Cerviche was not prepared authentically and the mexican sausage although flavorful came luke warm, charred and possibly a little raw in the middle. Pork disk seemed like it was thrown in a microwave. This was a business function a change from the traditional steakhouse - restaurant needs to find it's soul for me to return."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "I've been to El Catrin about 4 times now and I have never been disappointed with the results. It always satisfies my taco and tequila cravings! Love the decor and ambience!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "We had a reservation for 10pm, but people at earlier seatings were not leaving, so we didn't get our table until close to 10.30. The restaurant had a DJ and lots of people. It was very noisy. Not a quiet or romantic place. But vibrant decor and great food."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The first time I went I was impressed with the food but the 2nd time not so much. Vegetarian dish particularly was mediocre. Dessert also uninspiring."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The food is amazing here! Very tasty and authentic. The dishes are tapas (2-3 portions each), so order a few dishes to share. My husband and I ordered the Atun Tostaditas, Atun Ceviches, Pescado en hoja santa, and Barbacoa. We also shared a pitcher of Sangria de la casa. All amazing! Also don't forget to order the Guacamole en la mesa as an appetizer. The regular size is plenty for two people. However, if you don't like cilantro--your loss. But, if you have a gluten intolerance, there are plenty of options for you. As for the service, our server was very slow and she deliberate avoided our eye contact when we wanted the bill, but that is the only complaint. Overall, I will be going back very soon."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Brought a bunch of foodies here who were new to Toronto, and they raved about it all night long. El Catrin had great energy (even in the freezing winter...just wait unti summer). The food was amazing - we just asked them to bring us whatever they recommended and shared as a group. We were not disappointed!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "We arrived late for our reservation with a 6 month old and stroller and the staff was exceptionally accommodating, finding us a great table for room for us all. We were served very well! From a food standpoint, we were impressed with the authenticity and creativity of Mexican cuisine. Being for a partly Mexican family, we felt like home with the flavours and ambience of the décor - mural and floor tiles! Will definitely be come back soon!!!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "El Catrin, located in the distillery district is a trendy restaurant for the after work crowds and Saturday evening jammers. Great atmosphere and the bar selection is not too bad. However, the food was not that great and drinks are overpriced. Great presentation for Mexican style food but lacking in flavour and wasn't as unique as we would have expected."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "El Catrin is a great spot for a girls night! My girlfriends and I shared a few pitchers of Sangria, which was to die for! The food is sharing style, which was great so we got to try a bit of everything! On Friday nights they had a DJ at 10pm, with great music and it wasn't too loud that you couldn't have a good conversation with your friends at the same time. We can't wait to go back in the Summer to hit up their huge patio for more sangria! :)"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Food was very good but overpriced. Service is terrible!!! Drink menu pretty good if you are into tequila or mezcal. Even that food really tastes like traditional Mexican food, it was too expensive. Lack of different salsas and some plates required some sides (like chips)."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Great scene, but food was lacking. Beverages were interesting."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I've had better Mexican food for better value at other restaurants in the city but the decor and atmosphere were so great it's definitely worth a visit. The staff and hostesses were very friendly. It's loud, but not too loud."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Tapas style mexican, delicious tacos.... Relaxed atmosphere, nicely decorated"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The food was fantastic and great for sharing. Food comes out as it is ready so better to have everyone share so no one is waiting to eat. The menu is huge, so pick a few things and share with your friends. I highly recommend the crab cakes, baja tacos and pulled chicken burritos! Sip on a nice tequila and have a beer. Sol, Dos Equis on draft or Modelo are all solid choices. I will be back again soon."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Loved the ambiance and the food taste was authentic Mexico City flavour . The decor was unique and enjoyable. Sitting was comfortable and inviting."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "First time in this restaurant. Impressed with the extraordinary service level. Would definitely recommend to friends."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "- menu was creative yet traditional, food was made fresh - anything with shrimps except the giant shrimp appetizer had tiny underwhelming shrimps, ceviche had cooked shrimp which was weird - tacos run on the small side - churros were too doughy but dipping sauces were delicious"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Good restaurant with beautiful decor. The food was ok. I loved the desserts though. I found it super expensive compared to the other mexican places I have been to. The portions were so small. Good for once . Not going back again."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Three of us went to El Catrin for dinner for a bday ( I love that I was able to set up the bday desserts coming out before even going to the restaurant). The service excellent from start to finish. The food was pretty good, a bit bland (tacos) but I guess there's hot sauce (would be better to incorporate some spice/flavor in the sauce). Desserts were out of this world and like I said service was great right to point of bringing a bill (and having it handed to the two people paying - the third being the bday boy). Great spot - thank you!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Made a 6:45 pm reservation via Open Table that afternoon. Table was ready for us on our arrival. Although the restaurant was very busy (lots of energy), we had two waiters (one was a "shadow"in training) and both were very personable and attentive. They took the time to explain the dishes we were considering ordering, and made some excellent suggestions for us to try. The timing of the various plates arriving was perfect - we never felt rushed or hurried.. We observed the table next to us having what turned out to be Churros for dessert - the "shadow" waiter recommended them highly, and yes, they were fantastic. Overall the experience went beyond what I was expecting. Look forward to going back soon."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The restaurant decor is amazing, loved it. Food was good also. Bartenders were great. Don't listen to hostess if she says it all booked up, check on open table."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I am sitting 2nd floor close to stair table for 2 table. The view is very good, but the table always moving when the server walk beside me."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Loved the ambience and great Mexican design. The fluorescent skulls were amazing. Food was good but not great. Would likely return for drinks rather than a meal. Our server was awesome."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "The food was okay but not worth one of the top 10 new restaurants in Canada. There are better Mexican restaurants than this. We I go back, no. Service was sub par for the distillery district."
    Dined on 3/14/2014