La Carnita is a hip joint with an eclectic vibe (think street art on the walls, a brightly lit neon sign, and loud music pumping through the speakers). Try one of their reasonably priced margaritas, the perfect blend of sweet and sour, and choose from a top selection of tequila brands. Tequila enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for the barrel-aged variety, which usually sells out quick. There are three La Carnita locations to choose from, in Toronto.
In the middle of the historic Distillery District, you’ll find the colorful El Catrin, with bright decor, a large outdoor patio, and graffiti on the walls. With over 90 tequilas to choose from, it’s no wonder this is a popular spot for a margarita. If you’re into the classics, go for the ‘Reposed,’ made with Milagro Reposado, Grand Marnier, agave, and lime. Alternatively, try the ‘Casa Amigos,’ made with Casamigos Blanco, Cointreau, agave, lime, and orange juice. Feeling fruity? Opt for a ‘Fruta Fresca’ margarita, made with Tromba Blanco, Patron Citronage, agave and your choice of mango, blackberry or watermelon.
The Playa Cabana family has six locations in Toronto, but Hacienda is the go-to spot for a fresh margarita and authentic Mexican cuisine. Located in The Annex, this Mexican joint allows you to make your own margarita — choose from a long list of silver, reposado, and añejo tequilas and add your choice of triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Louis Alexandre, as well as basil, fig or honey. If you feel like mixing it up, opt for one of the specialty cocktails like the ‘Tijuana Mule’ or ‘Paloma de la Casa’ — grapefruit infused Tromba Blanco, fresh squeezed grapefruit, lime juice and soda water. Be sure to order pitcher-sized and pair with chips and guacamole.
Hidden just off Queen St W, Grand Electric is pumping out delicious tacos with handmade tortillas, alongside simple, but perfectly balanced, cocktails to pair with your food. From the baja fish to the crispy cauliflower. Go for the classic margarita and enjoy a seat on the outdoor patio (when the weather permits). Be sure to get there early, as there is almost always a line to get in.
Valdez, a two-story King St. West hot-spot, is the perfect joint if you’re in the mood for Latin street food, margaritas and a bit of salsa dancing. Serving up a short but mighty list of tequila cocktails, Valdez does their margaritas right (think Cazadores Reposado, Cointreau, agave and fresh lime juice).
Milagro, inspired by traditional cuisine from Mexico City, is a rustic spot in Toronto’s Entertainment District that delivers authentic Mexican cuisine alongside solid margaritas. From clásica and fruta to unique combinations like the ‘La Flor’ (Sauza Hornitos, mezcal, elderflower liquer, lime juice and agave), there’s plenty to choose from. If you’re big on tequila, opt for a tequila flight. There’s also sangria, mojitos, micheladas, and a list of other specialty cocktails done right.
A small joint tucked away in Queen West, Fonda Lola serves classic Mexican fare made from local ingredients in a casual atmosphere. All of their cocktails are made with fresh juices. Go for the citrus margarita, made with tequila, fresh lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit juice for a unique take on the classic. Try the ‘CocoLoco’ if you’re feeling fancy. It’s made with tequila, ginger kefir, coconut water, and fresh lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit juice. Best paired with chips, guacamole, and a side of salsa dancing (which happens on Thursdays).