What’s on the menu at Buena Copa, a new Mexican snack bar and cocktail lounge on College

What’s on the menu at Buena Copa, a new Mexican snack bar and cocktail lounge on College

Name: Buena Copa
Contact: 460 College St., (416) 792-9399, buenacopa.ca, @buenacopa_to
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Previously: No One Writes to the Colonel
Owners: Daniel Roe and Raena Fisher (Campechano, Good Hombres)
Chef: Alexandra Rivera (formerly of Quetzal)
Accessibility: Steps at entrance; washroom down a flight of stairs

The food

The newest member of a much-loved family of Mexican restaurants has arrived. Buena Copa is a bit different than its siblings, however, in that it’s not strictly a taco joint. The focus here is on antojitos, masa-based snacks typically found in Mexican markets. These include tlayudas, tortilla shells stuffed with chorizo, beans and salsa; and huaraches, beaver tail–shaped vessels topped with things like potato or pork belly, salsa borracha and a drizzle of crema. Tacos here are DIY affairs and meant to be shared: a large platter of protein (barbacoa, whole branzino, chicken guajillo) or grilled veggies is served with various accompaniments (salsas, black beans, guacamole) and house-made corn tortillas.

The sopa de tortilla is a vegetarian tortilla soup made using a tomato and pasilla chili broth. It’s topped with crispy tortilla strips, avocado chunks and crema. $6.


Their take on traditional Mexican aguachile is prepared with scallops, fresh cucumber, lime juice, red onion and jalapeño. $17.


The huarache de chicharron tops a masa base with pork belly, red and green salsas and crema. $8.


A bean- and chorizo-stuffed tlayuda (a crunchy tortilla-based snack) is finished with habanero salsa and melted cheese. $8.


Taco platters to share include ones with slow cooked short rib ($22), shredded chicken with guajillo chile sauce ($18), whole branzino with red and green adobo sauces ($30) and grilled zucchini, corn and tomato with cheese ($15). Each platter is served with salsas, black beans, guacamole, pickled onions, limes and corn tortillas.


Here’s a closer look at the chicken.


The drinks

All cocktails are tequila- or mescal-based and incorporate Mexican flavours and ingredients, including a syrup made using avocado pits. There’s beer on tap, including a few local options (Blood Brothers, Avling), and in bottles (Modelo, Corona). Wine is of the trendy natural kind, and it’s offered by the glass and bottle.

Clockwise from top right: the tequila-based Rosa Blanco also features white vermouth, grapefruit and soda ($12); the Buena Copa Old Fashioned has a mescal base and is infused with hibiscus and mole bitters ($14); their classic margarita combines Altos tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice ($12); and the Avocado Toast uses an orgeat syrup made from the kitchen’s leftover avocado pits, mixed with mescal, aquavit, sherry and bitters ($14).
Here’s a closer look at the Buena Copa Old Fashioned.


The space

Previously occupied by cocktail lounge No One Writes to the Colonel, the spacious room has been updated with hanging lights, plush pink booths and a decorative bar area at the back.