Just before I left for a business trip in December, Kris (that’s the fiance) and I had a chance to try out the new taco joint in town (well, almost). Estrella Taqueria is located in North York (near the Sheppard Subway Station) and I really, really, really wish it was in Mississauga instead.
We kind of fell in love with the place and we can’t wait to come back for a visit. You’ll see why!
(Photo courtesy of Estrella Taqueira. It was really dark when we came and I couldn’t take a proper photo!)
The vibe: Super laid back, cool and just straight up fun!!
Unlike the taco spots in the city that make you feel like you need to rush after you eat because they’re so crowded, Estrella is spacious as it gets! They have the main floor, a huge wrap-around bar, little nooks on the side for a more intimate seating (pic below) and even a top floor for even more seating. We also heard great things about the gigantic patio they have, but it was too cold to have a look, so we’ll have to come back for that.
Kris and I sat it one of the little nooks – there was a fireplace, comfy couches and a little table for our food and drinks. This place was honestly so relaxing and a spot to look forward to after a long day or week.
There’s even ping pong tables and they have a DJ and a little dance floor on the weekends.
They even got a graffitti artist, ELicseR, come in and do his thing, giving it a super unique and cool vibe. Most of the decor was created specifically for Estrella and it shows! It’s just a really cool spot and the decor really shows it.
We started with fresh guacamole made table-side! The server who brought it over was really cute and super friendly. And umm… yeah, the fresh guac and chips were just as good as I thought they would be. The only change I would make is to make it spicier… I should have told them we weren’t shy on spices.
We ordered a bunch of tacos and we almost started cheering when this plate came out.
In no particular order because I don’t remember which is which and we dove right in to start eating:
TACO DE PANZA (Slow braised pork belly, guajillo sauce, cilantro, queso panella and cabbage) ($4.95) – Loved the guajillo sauce and the pork belly was super moist! Paired with the crunch of the cabbage, it was instantly my favourite.
SHORT RIB TACO (Braised with cola and cinnamon, with chimichuri, caramelized onion, chipotle aioli, with BBQ yukka chips) ($5.50) – I really loved the flavours on this one! Must try.
BAJA FISH TACO (Salsa verde, fried Snapper, chipotle aioli, pickled chilis, slaw roja) ($4.95) – This was good, but nothing special.
DUCK CONFIT TACO (Duck leg confit, ancho chili sauce, crispy shallot, queso panella, slaw roja) ($4.95) – My least favourite. It wasn’t as moist and juicy as I thought it would be.
ACAPULCO CEVICHE TACO (BC Snapper & Shrimp ceviche, crispy beets, boston lettuce and avocado) ($4.95) – Also loved this!!
Aside from the tacos, a big reason why Estrella became an instant favourite is because of their tequila selection. They have over 60 different types of tequila! (Sidenote: My friends always joke around that I’m the “tequila queen” – a nickname that I am happy to have lived up to in my late teens/early twenties. Don’t get me wrong, tequila and I will always be friends, but we’re like friends who don’t see each other too often anymore. So when we do, I kind of go nuts. I guess what I’m trying to say here is… I love tequila.) Our server was also very knowledgeable and helped us choose which ones we wanted to taste! It was cute explaining the different types to Kris and I think he finally gets it when I ask for “añejo” whenever we drink tequila.
GRILLED BAVETTE STEAK (with papaya marinade, mexican steak spice, burnt chilli/lime butter, grilled tomato, queso panella and guajillo sauce) ($16… and if you order it on Fri or Sat, you get a free order of churros!!)
We ordered a steak to share because we love meat and couldn’t pass this up. Even though it’s not the best photo, I assure you it was heavenly!!! Cooked perfectly and I couldn’t get over how amazing the flavours were! Burnt chilli/lime butter on top was perfection.
CHURROS (dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with Dulce de Leche) (Free with any entree order on Fri/Sat but otherwise $6)
I loved the churros! Perfectly crunchy! A little dough-y, but I really like that so it was perfect for me.
SWEET CORN ICE CREAM (Sangria sauce, sweet tortilla) $4.25 PINEAPPLE ICE CREAM (Dulce de leche, macadamia nuts, caramel dust, frozen pineapple) $4.25 POBLANO ICE CREAM (with ancho chill powder, Mexican chocolate ganache and Kahlua snaps) $4.25
The sweet corn ice cream was my fave!! (I think it was because it reminded me of the Filipino corn ice cream.) The sweet tortilla was perfect as well. Pineapple ice cream would have been perfect for the summer, but was too fruity for my taste at the time. Poblano ice cream was very different! If you love chili and chocolate, you’re going to flip when you taste this!
Overall, I was completely impressed with Estrella. We both wished we could eat more, but we were stuffed! It’s a great casual spot to hang out with your friends, get your tacos & tequila on and just relax. If I lived closeby, this would probably be one of my regular spots (yes I have decided after only one visit). Will definitely come back to check it out!
Let me know if you’ve come by and checked them out? Or if you’re planning to! I’d recommend taking advantage of their Daily Specials, too! Great deals.
Disclosure: I discovered Estrella Taqueira with the help of their PR team and was comp’d for our meal. As usual, this blog contains my honest opinion. I would never recommend a restaurant I didn’t truly love. (I take my food seriously, yo!)