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Jun 15, 2008 06:57 AM

Chipotle in Toronto

Don't know if this is old new yet, but Chipotle is opening up at Dundas Square. Never had it in the states, but everyone seems to get really excited about it.

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  1. Yes, I'm very excited about it. A lot of 'hounds on the boards in the States get a little snooty and pretentious about how they hate Chipotle, which irks me a bit. Yes, Chipotle is a fast food chain, and no, it's not "authentic" Mexican. But it's really tasty, the quality of the ingredients is excellent and they have a commitment to use organic, sustainably farmed/raised produce and meats. They make everything fresh on premises, nothing is pre-cooked and shipped frozen. If you're careful with what you order, you can have a yummy, reasonably low-fat "fast food" meal (e.g., a burrito bowl with chicken, rice, black bean, lots of salsas and no cheese). Or, of course, you can go whole hog and get a regular carnitas (my favourite of the meat options) burrito with all the trimmings! I also love the chips and guacamole -- it's real guacamole made fresh each day, and the chips have lime and salt on them.

    It's a good thing I don't work at Yonge and Dundas anymore, or I would be there every day. I'm guessing the lineups at lunch will be a nightmare. The good news is that the lines usually move pretty fast.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      I'm excited about this. Chipotle was a regular option for me when I lived in Calif to get something on the fly. It's not brilliant but miles ahead of the incompetant and now defunct Chimichanga that used to be in the hood!

      1. re: TorontoJo

        My take on Chipotle has been reasonably similar to yours. I just moved to Toronto from Madison, WI. There were definitely better and more authentic places around--Madison had a growing population of Mexican immigrants--but it was a nice place to grab a quick lunch. I might disagree if I'd lived in SF or Arizona, but I didn't.

        Locally, I haven't been too impressed with the Burrito Boyz, and I had better luck with New York Subway (is that the name? my wife picked up the food). My favorite is definitely Johny Bananas on Bathhurst just north of Queen.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I have to agree, I don't know why everyone gets so defensive over Chipotle Grill. I had it for the first time when I visited Chicago (also for the first time) a few months ago, and while it isn't authentic Mexican, we went twice in 1 week!

          I got hazed on the Chicago forums for saying that we liked it. So what? Everyone has their own tastes, and isn't that what Chowhound is all about???

          I think they will do very well for Toronto! The chips and guac were amazing and for $2 (Chicago US dollars), it was a steal!

          1. re: red dragon

            Forgot, I had pictures that I took while at Chipotle Grill - yes, I took pictures ...LOL

          2. re: TorontoJo

            People seem to get snooty about a lot of things on the boards here in the states. It's unfortunate, I think it cheapens the discussion and weakens the dialogue.

            I like Chipotle, I live in San Francisco so there are amazing options for Mexican here but I eat it when I'm on the road and love it.

          3. My Toronto parents swear by "Burrito Boys", but I've been there/done that, and Chipotle gets my vote. They finally opened near me in Miami, and it is just awesome stuff.

            1. Is Chipotle opening in the 3rd floor food court at the Toronto Life Centre north of the square? If so, that's turning out to be something of a chowfind. I had a falafel sandwich at the Lebanese place there last week and it was fantastic; probably one of the best I've had in Toronto. I have also heard good things about the Thai takeout place there, but haven't tried it first-hand (yet). Best thing about this food court is that it's mostly empty even at lunch hour as few people have discovered it yet; get while the gettin's good!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gary

                I would definitely eat at Chipotle if they open in TO. Their guac is amazingly fresh.

                1. re: Gary

                  I checked out the Lebanese place yesterday (Milo's Pita) and though it was awful. The ingredients didn't look or taste fresh at all and they didn't grill it afterwards in a panini press so it was stone cold. I will say though that I broke one of my golden rules by eating in a food court after 7:30PM so maybe it is better at lunch time.

                  For a food court shawarma (or almost any other for that matter) I have yet to find anything better than the place next to McDonald's in the Eaton Centre. I believe it is called Shawarma's King. (yes there is a unexplained apostrophe in the name).

                  1. re: badbhoy

                    Strange. I had a Shawarma there soon after they opened. The vegie's were fresh, the meat was cut straight from the spit (places sometimes precut) and they grilled it after. Places like that are so often ruined by staff who don't know or care.

                    1. re: badbhoy

                      What!? I've had a couple falafel sandwiches there over the past few weeks and they were wonderful... falafels crisp on the outside, creamy in the middle. Fresh ingredients, put together with care, delicious hot sauce... and a great chickpea salad on the side. Both times the staff seemed to be owners or the family. Usually I hate food courts but I really think Milo's is a cut above many of the other places I've tried downtown. However... I have not tried the schwarma, so maybe it's not as good...

                  2. This news THRILLS me. I've been waiting for this. I recently have been going to Moe's to fill my decent, fresh, fast food burrito craving void... but glad my original fake burrito love is coming to Toronto. I see 1400 calorie carnitas burritos in my future...


                    1. Love good mex food, where EXACTLY is this place? New to TO, not sure exactly where on Yonge/Dundas Dundas square is. Please advise!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: stapler

                        It's not open yet. But Dundas Square is on the east side of the intersection of Yonge and Dundas. I think it's going into the complex at the northeast corner. Right in the heart of downtown, kitty corner from the Eaton Centre. Just do a google maps search on Yonge and Dundas, Toronto.

                        1. re: stapler

                          On the north-east corner of Yonge and Dundas is a new behemoth of a building that looks like an enormous grey battleship covered in advertising. It is called the Toronto Life Square. The cornerstone of the building is the new AMC movie theatres. On the third floor is a new food court, and this is where Chipotle Mexican Grill will be when it finally opens. You can access the Toronto Life Square building either directly from the Dundas subway station via a new PATH extension, or through the main floor entrance on Dundas; take the escalators up to the third floor.

                          More info on food vendors:

                          1. re: Gary

                            Ohhh! So I can go work out at the Extreme Fitness location once they actually get showers operating at that location, then after I can choose from either a burrito at Chipotle, or I can get my Nathan's chilli cheese dog fix at Johnny Rockets!