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El Rey
No phone
2A  Kensington Ave.,
Toronto, Ontario M5T 2J7
43.652895 -79.400142
Mescal is the inspiration behind this new Mexican bar in Kensington—nearly 40 kinds are served in flights and blended into expensive cocktails. Clay copitas of the stuff cover the tables of the lantern-lit patio. The short menu, overseen by co-owner Grant van Gameren, makes an effort to transcend Tex-Mex clichés with traditional ingredients and preparations, yet the food isn’t too serious. The hulking guacamaya torta stuffs a chewy, avocado-slathered bun with luscious grilled pork shoulder, crunchy chicharron and cilantro, while the sope brings an earthy potato-corn shell filled with salty refried beans, spicy minced chorizo and mellow salsa—a sunny-side-up quail’s egg binds the whole mess. There are a few mehs amid the mmms, like a blue corn quesadilla that tastes of little more than bland tortilla and queso fresco. And the staff, though knowledgable, are so aloof they could be mistaken for a comedy troupe parodying attitudinal servers.
El Rey


Neighbourhood: Kensington Market

Wheelchair accessible: No

Vegetarian options: Yes

Licensed: Yes

Bring your own bottle: No

Kitchen open late: Yes

Outdoor dining: Yes

Private/bookable room: No

Delivery: No

Take out: No

Takes reservations: No

Caters: No

Free Wi-Fi: No

Good for: Kids, Groups, Business

Serves: Dinner, Late Night Eats

Payment methods: Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Interac, Cash

Days Closed: none