El Catrin
El Catrin

El Catrin

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elcatrin.ca/
  • Phone: 4162032121x
  • 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)203-2363x

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 WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
El Catrin reviews from OpenTable diners
414 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (272)hot spot (221)good for groups (209)fit for foodies (203)vibrant bar scene (136)special occasion (129)neighborhood gem (124)late-night find (77)great for lunch (66)romantic (65)great for brunch (42)scenic view (35)kid-friendly (30)notable wine list (11)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Great service, great staff! Our server was amazing! Thanks to host staff for noticing I mentioned it was my wife's birthday. Loved the experience and the great food!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Great restaurant. Ambiance was pretty impressive. Artwork on wall was hand painted with light effects - very unique for Toronto. Worth checking out. Food was good, but the shared table portions add up! Our waitress was very kind, she did something special for the birthday girl at our table. Would definitely visit again!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasting menu is well worth it!
    crystal84
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Came here with my boyfriend for an anniversary dinner. Knowledgable server recommended the tasting menu. Best idea since this is a tapas style menu. Small portions to share and because everything sounds amazing on the menu the tasting menu allows to try a little bit of everything. Excellent drinks and incredible atmosphere. I would come back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Food, Incredible Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Our experience at El Catrin could not have been better. The food was outstanding. I have traveled extensively through Mexico and this is the first authentic Mexican food i have found north of the Mexican border. The menu offers a great variety of interesting items. The margaritas are my favourite in the city. The service is friendly and professional. The restaurant is spectacular and the patio is the best in Toronto. El Catrin is the one restaurant i recommend to any friends looking for a fun night out, or to visitors who want to experience the best of Toronto.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A place worth going
    T0f00dxpl0rer
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I was super excited to dine at el catrin after walking by the patio one day while I was in the distillery district. Reservations needed to be made at least a week in advance just for my bf and I so we were expecting this place to be spectacular. The atmosphere was awesome however the food didn't live up to our expectations. The portions were small which is okay if the flavours were somewhat unique. Maybe it was our batch but there was nothing "special" about the food for the amount you pay. However, I would still recommend el catrin as a place to go. The place is beautiful and the service is great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I've been to fast food chains with more taste. Sliced up steak was awful. Food was not for sharing portions, it was more for only one person. Waiter was not that friendly, kept forgetting to bring our stuff. I shouldn't have tipped him at all. Decor was nice but I'll never go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service good
    Highhopes
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Had a great waitress, but that didn't make up for the fact that every dish of the tasting menu was under seasoned. The best part was the dessert, taste-wise.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for drinks
    dskyrhfiry
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Very good gaucomole - did not try anything else. Only had margaritas and snacks but enjoyed both very much!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    great food, great service. Recommend the tasting menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect Mediocrity
    MAJORSPLIFF
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Notwithstanding the good location (Distiller district) & the outdoor patio (valid only for dry, warm weather days), this is a resto that's simply not worth the bother given the plethora of other Mexican choices across town. Despite the nice-looking presentation of food, it seems that the chef hasn't tried his own creations --- most of which lack any distinguishing flavors & at times, simply haven't been thought through for the eater (e.g. Why not de-case the chorizo so that it doesn't dangle from your mouth after you've bitten into one bite?!)
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great spot, excellent investment in the area. Only a few canapes ordered this time; very tasty food; portions embarrassingly small for the price.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food | Poor Service
    SerenaS
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The server started out ok... but did a poor job of explaining the tasting menu and how the vegetarian substitutions would work for my friend. The tasting menu doesn't really make sense for a large group financially as each person could choose a course vs. a pre-arranged menu that literally doubles or triples the cost without the food. My g/f didn't get any choice with her selections and said it tasted like "cardboard wrapped in cardboard". She told the server to cancel the tasting menu, which we were told we wouldn't be charged for and ordered a small bowl of corn. We arrived at 7:30 and by 10-ish we ready to go but the server took close to an hour to get us the bill. We didn't leave until 11:30pm. It was beautiful but the service was awful
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • luvgoodfood
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    My first time to El Catrine. Prompt, obliging and better than average service. Waiter was helpful with suggestions. Portions were small, so you need to order 3+/person. My favorite was El Gobernator- The most tasty and the heartiest of the tacos we had. (Found the beef taco on the dry side) The energy- on the trendy side, with mostly 20-30yr+ old diners. Would definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    KitKat
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Server was very knowledgeable on Tequila options and enthusiastic about providing suggestions for both experienced and inexperienced diners. Highly recommend the tasting menu (7 courses was lots!) if you are there for dinner. Also try the Tequila flights to sample a few new brands. The staff bringing out each course lacked the ability to properly explain what we were getting and several times we were given the food belonging to the table next to us. Our server always came by to re-explain our dishes and sort out what food was ours vs. what had to go elsewhere. Due to the mistakes we were given an extra dish but the server handled it without question or issue to us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Baja Tacos my favourite
    tastebuds
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Took business colleagues from out-of-country to El Catrin's. Food was great but atmosphere made the meal an unique experience. We elected to try the 9 course tasting menu because we couldn't decide on what to eat. 7-course tasting meal would have been sufficient. Lots of food and all yummy but some dishes needed more flavor. Baja fish tacos were my favourite. The only uniqueness to this tasting menu is that food comes in one or two plates for the table to divide their own portions, so you need to be open to sharing tastebuds with everyone. I'm more use to each person served their own portions. We had a fabulous time and will recommend as a destination to show off to out-of-towners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambience, average food
    Hkm74
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    The hostess was great and seated us outside even though they don't ordinarily w reservations. Our server/bar tender was good, ambience was amazing for a summer evening but the food fell short. We were disappointed but would go back for drinks due to the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Mexican Food
    foodiejunkie
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food was probably the best Mexican food I've ever had and the service was amazing. The server came over many many times to make sure we were okay with each course (we had the 7 course tasting menu). Every course tasted absolutely delicious! I would definitely be back to El Catrin soon!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just okay
    foodie123VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    If you are around Distillery, it's worth a try. But nothing too special, it is a little pricey, the quality and portion is just okay. For the same price range you have better choices like Grand Electric.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Place!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We were visiting the area from out of town and came across this place. What a find! We happened to go on Mayahuel night, all the staff had their faces painted like Dia De Los Muertos and there was a DJ. It was a lot of fun and had great ambiance. Would definitely go there again!! Make sure to make a reservation early, it books up really fast.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still great at the Distillery
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Amazing Mexican food that delights the tastebuds! Fun and vibrant atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    SB13
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Love this restaurant...the food, the decor, the service and the drinks! The guacomole is delicious...ask for it to be spicy for an added kick. Wouldn't hesitate to go back and recommend to others. Definitely make a reservation...it's packed...and if you want to sit on the patio, be prepared to wait in line.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • And then there was El Catrin...
    SomeGuy
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Many restaurants set the bar too high for themselves only to fall short of expectations whether it be due to food, service, or atmosphere. El Catrin set the bar pretty high and managed (beautifully, I might add) to create a whole other dining experience. Everything was delicious. When faced with a menu with so many options to choose from, you might be inclined to use the time-tested "eeny meeny miny moe" strategy… El Catrin is the only restaurant where every single random selection from the dinner menu became "my new favourite dish". I'm already planning my next visit to this restaurant, so much more to try!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foody
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Excellent service interesting fare Would recommend to friends More fish dishes if possible ? Ie other than shrimp or scallops
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Booking
    petinaVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We made reservation with open table but it did not state anywhere that the booking is for INSIDE only, NOT for PATIO. That was absolutly disappointing for a summer night out and you have to sit inside, and be exposed to the cold AC.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great tacos and tequila flights
    Foodiemon
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    If you want to eat right away, ask to sit inside. The patio can be an hour wait in the summer. While the apps were somewhat bland, the tapas were great as were the tacos. The tequila flights are a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Amazing venue and great food! The wait time is minimal if a reservation is made. Definitely will recommend friends and family to try!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing second showing
    Diner2013VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Had been to the restaurant few months ago, great and new. Seems like the crowds are too much for the staff, staff messed up the food order several times, servcies was overall disappointing. Not sure I will run back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spectacular
    Kess2000VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    El Catrin is a fantastic Mexican find. Located in the Distillery District, the food is as exhilarating as the decor. There is a lot to take in, especially the mural (you will know what I'm talking about when you walk in the door). The wait staff was very helpful and guided our food and drink choices. We started with guacamole and chips, and a pitcher of red sangria. Both very tasty. Dishes are tapas style so we tried a lot of different foods. Tuna, braised beef short ribs, shrimp and lobster...it was all spectacular. We will definitely be back and referring it to our friends and family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • toronto1234
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    I had the best date night here. I was celebrating my 6 month anniversary with my boyfriend. The patio was lovely; such a great atmosphere. Unfortunately reservations can't be made for the patio. We ended up waiting 40 minutes, but it was well worth the wait. I had two delicious margaritas in line. They accommodated my dislike for cilantro. The service was awesome. I would recommend the atun, "vuelve a la vida el catrin" and costilla corta. I can't wait to come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good fun
    Judithanne
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    The place is great the food is okay good enough. Fun drinks. Really great service. And reasonably priced considering you can share.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • gopd ambiance, mediocre food
    foodie
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Ambiance of the restaurant is wonderful and the drinks are great too. The food is mediocre. Regular taco plates have three tacos and they offer to make it 4 tacos if two people want to share. However you can tnix and match tacos, even though they are the same cost.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dissapointing experience
    EatsWell
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    I made a reservation for holiday Monday. The patio was filled to capacity and as I already knew that they don't take reservations for the patio was happy to sit inside. Unfortunately they were very short staffed and we waited 10 minutes to be seated,(it was virtually empty inside) another 15 or so for our order to be taken and 20 minutes for our drinks. Our food arrived first and my fish tacos were cold inside and the batter was soggy. We were not offered an adjustment to our bill. As we paid full price for a disappointing meal I won’t return.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrible service
    happycouple
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Don't come here, ever! Worst service got my order twice and still charged me for it. Never brought out drinks I ordered. Also the waitress serving the table next to us flung the dirty food in my leg , didn't even get me a napkin when I pointed it out. Won't be coming back here or recommending the place definitely not worth the hype
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ok
    tacos
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The place is nice inside. There is a lot to choose from the menu but the portions were super small compared to the other Mexican places in Toronto. The tacos were a good size but would of liked to choose 3 different ones for $15.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Birthday Celebration
    Nicky
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The service and food were amazing. I didn't have a chance to speak to the waiter about bringing a dessert for the birthday celebrant but since I made a note on my reservation, the ladies in the front were able to make the arrangements. So grateful for their help.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date night
    Hjleon
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We try el catrin for our date night, and I would not recommend it as a first date spot since the music is very loud and it might be hard to listen. The music was amazing, the food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service,just o-Kay food.
    Amateurfoodie
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Our waiter and the fabulous ambience made the night. Guac and chips disappointing, tacos fair to good but margaritas fabulous.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome look and feel. Ho Hum Food.
    benny2012
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The service and ambiance are amazing. Fun, up beat and friendly. We had the tasting menu and they had no issue taking the cheese out of things for me but keeping it in for my wife's portions. The patio looks incredible as well. However the food is just blah. Bland and not flavourful like you would expect Mexican food at a place like this to be. The exception is the guacamole which they make fresh at your table. WOW was that good. I wouldn't go back but since the people were so nice and the place looked and felt amazing, we left feeling good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What is the Spanish word for Meh?
    Snidgy
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The restaurant is beautiful, attention to detail abounds in the decor. The murals are spectacular. Why is the food so bland? Our food came so fast it was like being at a fast food chain. We were there for a little over an hour (good for the people waiting in line!). The fish tacos were so bland and the chicken tacos tasted like they came out of a slow cooker - stewed, tasteless and under seasoned. Since there was no salt on the table and our server had disappeared, we used the salt from our margarita to flavour the dishes! The bucket of shrimp was good but by the time it arrived we were full. If you want to enjoy a lovely patio or be surround by striking Mexican icons, it's the place to go. If you want good food, it isn't.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    July29
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    My low rating for the service is due to two factors on our last visit: The first reason was due to poor reservation handling. We had a reservation for a Tuesday evening, and when we showed up on time, we were told there would be a short wait. We were told several times that a table was opening up, but we were not shown to our table until 45 minutes later, and we were not offered anything to help us pass the time, such as a drink or a snack. The other reason for the poor service rating was that the noise level was so loud that we had trouble hearing each other and trouble talking to the waiter. We had looked forward to this meal to talk about an upcoming trip that two of us were taking the next day, and the experience was very disappointing!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic