New Snacks on the Block: Tacos 101

Photos by Meleah McKee and Laura Baker

“Toronto just upped its taco game.” With a claim like this on their website, it’s time to pay Tacos 101 a visit. Just down the street from campus at Dundas and Church, the tiny taqueria is bright, welcoming and busy, even on weekdays.

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Their small menu features five different tacos, from chicken to fish and even cactus for vegetarian customers. The taco prices are slightly cheaper than the average downtown Toronto taco, with each one at $4, except their fish taco, which is $4.50. They also offer chips with beans, guacamole or salsa, and they have salsa samples along the counter (which we love). Be warned—their salsa diabla is delicious, but is probably one of the spiciest salsas we have ever tried.

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During our visit, we choose an al pastor taco and a chicken adobado taco, and want to try their famous guacamole, but sadly, they’re sold out. Instead, we get chips with both the medium-heat morita salsa and the mild green salsa.

Packed right to the edge of the tortilla with pork and chicken, the tacos themselves are huge. The al pastor taco is the agreed-upon favourite—the pineapple topping adds a delicious contrast of flavour, and it’s not as messy as the chicken taco.

Pro tip: Tacos 101 places the taco fillings on two tortillas, so you can split the fillings and place half on each tortilla. Trust us, eating the entire taco in one go is a very messy experience.

For a more filling meal, be sure to pick up their chips and salsa for only $2.50—you definitely won’t regret it. In all honesty, the best food that Tacos 101 has to offer isn’t the tacos, it’s the tortilla chips. They’re worth the slightly longer walk instead of Chipotle and Metro tortilla chips—we have no idea how they’re made, but they are incredibly delicious and addicting. The medium-heat morita salsa is tasty, but if you hate cilantro, try to avoid their mild green salsa, as it’s one of the main ingredients (an unwelcoming surprise for some).

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Cheap, close to campus and tasty, Tacos 101 offers the perfect grab-and-go lunch between classes. As long as you’re not expecting to grab a seat in the little eatery—and as long as the thought of cilantro doesn’t horrify you—you won’t be disappointed.