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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: http://www.torontolifesquare.com/dire...

                          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!

                        2. Do we know when it will be open??

                          Is it accessable from the street?? If I have to park anywhere other than right out front for a walk in I'm screwed.


                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Davwud

                            Davwud, the closest parking that I know is the GreenP lot a very short block south of Dundas off Victoria. It's close, as you can exit right on Dundas, but it's not a stop-in-front-and-run-in kind of stop.
                            I'm also looking forward to Chipotle opening in TO. I anticipate that other locations should follow soon.

                            1. re: Yongeman

                              I guess I won't be going there. I live in Newmarket and drive a service truck in the city. If I can't park outside and whip in for something, I'm beat.


                              1. re: Davwud

                                Yeah, since Dundas & Yonge is (supposedly) the busiest intersection in Canada, its probably not the best place for parking and whipping activities. If you have more time there is a pretty big Green P lot beneath Dundas Square itself; I think that might be what Yongeman is referring to, not sure.

                                1. re: Gary

                                  I'm sure it is but I can't get the cube van down there.

                                  Maybe I'll find somewhere else to stop and walk over.

                                  How do they stack up against Moe's??


                                  1. re: Davwud

                                    Whenever I need to do anything at Yonge and Dundas, I just park on Mutual north of Queen. There's almost always space and it's a 5 minute walk back to the intersection.

                                    1. re: Davwud

                                      You might be able to stop for a couple of minutes on Victoria, just north of Dundas.


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        Chipotle is MILES better than Moe's, IMHO.

                              2. The Chipotle is actually on the outside of the building on Yonge Street, not on the 3rd floor. They're also applying for a liquor license.

                                I second the Lebanese place on the 3rd floor, can't remember the name.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JamesJT

                                  That makes more sense. Chipotle has always had stand-alone stores, no food courts.

                                  1. re: JamesJT

                                    Ah, thanks for the clarification, I was misinformed about its location.

                                  2. Does anyone know an opening date?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: damonster

                                      A Globe & Mail article states that it'll open by year end 2008:


                                      I cannot wait for this to open. I used to live in Denver where Chipotle started up. They're all over the city and always crowded because they're really popular with the locals. But the line-ups are really fast as the employees are well-trained and on the ball. Sometimes the managers threw in free stuff with people's orders, don't know if that's company-wide or if it will happen in Toronto.

                                      The food there is delicious and who cares what the food snobs say ... so what if it's not authentic Mexican? I know where to go when I want that. But when I want something fast, hot and jaw-droppingly yummy, I go to places like Chipotle. My favourite item from their menu is a carnitas burrito ("Naturally raised pork, seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries and freshly cracked black pepper - seared, then braised for hours." -- from their website).

                                      And if anyone is on a strict diet, be really careful with your Chipotle orders. Some can be killer with regard to calories. Here's a handy Chipotle calorie counter:


                                    2. Just talked to an employee the other day. Official opening will be August 15. August 14 from 11am on will be "free burrito day".

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I am beyond thrilled that they are finally opening up here, I've been writing to Chipotle for 3 years in the hopes that they would open up here (lived in Colorado Springs and ate there extremely frequently)... finally got a great email from them a few months ago saying that they would be opening in August! I used to drive to Troy, Michigan just for a burrito!! (ok, so I was pregnant, but a craving is a craving!!)

                                        Chipotle Mexican Grill
                                        10 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5B 2G9
                                        Telephone : 416-596-8600

                                        1. Chipotle is one of the half-dozen chains that I like. It fills a niche in my tummy. Portions are on the larger size...and I usually get their bowls or salads. They offer online ordering, esp handy when I work late, so all that's necessary is to stop in, pay, and take my order home.

                                          1. I am pretty excited about this place opening up. I could eat burritos every other day but am too lazy to make them myself all the time. My favourite burrito in Toronto right now is the ones you can get at Dufferin Grove Park on Thursdays from Tim Clement but Chipotle sounds like its going to be great. I love it that thay are using organic meat. I heard they are giving out free Burritos on the opening day. I am definatley going to check it out.

                                            1. I still can't quite figure out where this place is. I drove by Dundas Sq. yesterday on a scouting mission and didn't see a single sign for it.
                                              In relation to Johnny Rockets, where is it??

                                              It's free buritos today right??


                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                If you go west of Johnny Rocket and make a right turn (north) on Yonge St, it's right there. It's between the HMV and Futureshop entrace on Yonge.

                                                And yes, it's free burritos today. I had one, and it came with a drink as well. I went at 11 am and it was already a looong line! I am def going again before my meeting tonight though.

                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  If you go west of Johnny Rocket and make a right turn (north) on Yonge St, it's right there. It's between the HMV and Futureshop entrace on Yonge.

                                                  And yes, it's free burritos today. I had one, and it came with a drink as well. I went at 11 am and it was already a looong line! I am def going again before my meeting tonight though.

                                                  1. re: pinkprimp

                                                    I found it. I got there around 11 yesterday morning and determined the line was almost an hour long so I took a pass.

                                                    Can't wait to try it though.


                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      Good guess. I left the office at about 11:15, got there at 11:25 and didn't get my burrito till about noon-ish. A good 40 minute wait.

                                                      The burrito was HUUUUGE though. I asked for extra guac and I'm guessing mine was a good two pounder?!!

                                                      (it was so good, i lined up again after work...call me a pig. lol)

                                                      1. re: pinkprimp

                                                        Friday evening lines weren't that bad, but I guess the "free burrito" thing (which I didn't even know about) yesterday made the lines long. Honestly, I wouldn't wait an hour for that burrito.

                                                        I also don't think the burritos are that large. In fact, my exact thought when I got mine was, "Gee that's pretty small. Is that going to be enough?"

                                                        I wonder if they gave extra large burritos away just for that promotion. Then again, everything tends to be larger in the U.S. so maybe it's just my expectations.

                                                        I posted the rest of my opinions here:

                                                        Overall, I give them a B for the burrito and D- for the chips.

                                                        1. re: markml

                                                          lol i read your review on the other board...but yeah, i wasn't expecting the real opening day line (friday) to be half as long as the free burrito day! (and to be fair, I've never had Chipotle's before so how was i to know whether or not it was worth the wait? anyway, regardless, it was fun to do with my friends and we were out from the office, which is ALWAYS a plus)

                                                          i weighed mine and it was 2 lbs, which to me is MASSIVE. (i had to use a fork and knife).

                                                2. Dear God, please open in Calgary.

                                                  Chipotle might not be "authentic" but the fact is that there is zero authentic Mex or Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex in Canada. Period. This is a godsend.

                                                  1. I didn't go for free burrito day; the line wasn't really appealing to me. I did go this morning though, and split a carnitas burrito. Half was more than enough for me, but I already know this from eating at Chipotle in the States. Some friends had most of the other options on the menu (tacos, bowl, fajita burrito).

                                                    It was good. It may not be authentic, but the food is fresh (they were grilling steak to order while we were there), tasty, and of very good value. They tout their hormone-free, etc. meats, and service was fast (mostly because there were 20 employees there at the time, and few people in the restaurant). As we were leaving, it was really starting to fill up though.

                                                    You get meat choices (chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa) plus vegetarian, as well as the option of beans (pinto, which is not vegetarian, or black) or onions and peppers. You can also ditch the tortilla and get a bowl.

                                                    There aren't a lot of toppings to add (tomato, corn, tomatillo and chili salsas, sour cream, lettuce, cheese and guacamole), but I actually prefer this over a myriad of vegetables. They also have some tobasco sauces for use as well. All menu choices (minus the extras: chips, drinks, etc.) came out to $8.50, I think, after tax. Considering the prices of other fast food places, and the size (half being more than enough) and freshness of the food, I think it's worth it.

                                                    The space itself isn't that nice, and the chairs are fairly uncomfortable. They also have a fax-in, pick-up option, which is convenient if it ends up being really busy at lunch. I'll be in again, I'm sure.

                                                    1. Hm. I really am surprised that anybody that's eaten at Burrito Boyz enjoyed Chipotle. Went with a friend for lunch today, both of us ready to be impressed. Neither of us was remotely impressed by any part of the experience. May be that my appetite was totally killed by the $2 (!) guacamole tax, or the lack of hot sauce, or the overall vanilla-ness of it all, I dunno. We'll happily be going the extra 3 kilometres for Burrito Boyz from now on though. :)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Darrin

                                                        It depends on if you made a good enough choice on what you had on your burrito, you have to choose the right fit. But everyone does have different tastes of what they like and don't like, I've never tried Burrito Boyz but I would like to now

                                                      2. This is indeed good news. I'm glad this thread seems mercifully free of Chipotle-hate, but in case any haters should happen to stumble by, I will point out my experience: the first Chipotle I ever ate at was in Austin, Texas, where it did a thriving business among U of Texas students. These are people who eat tacos far more often than pizza; they know their Mexican fast food, they had many choices of it around, and Chipotle was a preferred option. When it started opening here in the Boston area, I was delighted to get the kind of Tex-Mex you can get in Texas.

                                                        But Boston did already have good Mexican food around. Toronto, on the other hand, has the quirk of being a splendidly international city where you can eat every cuisine there is - except Mexican! For whatever reason, as many Mexicans as there are trying to get north out of Mexico, they just don't make it all the way to Canada.