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Best Mexican (Itacate or Maria Bonita?)

zeim1 Aug 20, 2012 12:34 PM

So I am looking for the best and most authentic Mexican resto in Mtl. So far through reviews and recomendations, both Itacate or Maria Bonita seem to be mentioned the most.

From your experience, which would be my best bet in terms of food quality, service, etc.


  1. z
    zeim1 Aug 21, 2012 07:35 AM


    5 Replies
    1. re: zeim1
      sweettoothMTL Aug 21, 2012 09:01 AM

      I haven't tried all the Mexican in the city, but between those two, I would say Ithacate is generally towards the more ''usual'' Mexican dishes (enchiladas, Tacos, Buritos) but they do it well.

      Maria Bonita is definitely more original than that, and probably a little closer to authentic Mexican, but with a personal twist. It's like they know the theory, the ingredients, the sauce, but they make their own dishes.

      Both are good, just go with which menu inspires you the most.

      But this is based on one visit to Maria Bonita a few years ago, and multiple visits to Ithacate. We like Ithacate, but this reminds me I should re-visit Maria Bonita.

      1. re: sweettoothMTL
        Daiya Aug 21, 2012 10:03 AM

        I agree, having been to each of them once. I'd say Maria Bonita is a bit darker, cozier, and more "traditional" looking with a longer menu of small and large plates. My memory suggests that the food and service quality could be higher there, as well. Both are tasty options in my book. (Try both and tell us!)

        1. re: Daiya
          zeim1 Aug 21, 2012 12:18 PM

          Thanks you 2!! i think I will go with Itacate.... on that, any particular recommendations of dishes? what shouldn't be missed there?

          1. re: zeim1
            JerkPork Aug 24, 2012 05:07 AM

            I'm a fan of their Salsa Verde Enchiladas, Tacos as pastor and Shrimp tacos with the creamy chipotle sauce. For appetizers, Beef Tinga and their sopes are worth trying.

            1. re: zeim1
              Fintastic Apr 7, 2013 10:52 PM

              I'd also go with itacate. Good food made by caring people. There's nothing wrong with Maria, but my meals there never compelled me to return.

      2. h
        Horace111 Aug 29, 2012 02:22 PM

        El Meson in Lachine.Very good!

        1. j
          JerkPork Apr 7, 2013 07:45 AM

          I've been to Itacate only a few times in the past year but it seems that on each occasion there prices keep going up. They raised their prices when they moved to the corner and I'm pretty sure they raised them again a few months ago and they definitely raised them on my most recent visit. $19 for tacos? Seriously? Wow, I know food costs have gone up but these prices just don't make sense. Back at the old location the bill would come out to high $30s/low $40s with tip (no booze), for the exact same order you're looking at low to mid $70s today.

          I wish them all the best because the operators are really nice people but I just can't justify those prices.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JerkPork
            Glaff Apr 7, 2013 06:16 PM

            I went today for the first time. It's true that it's not cheap, but for the quality of the food and the service, there's nothing really wrong with the price either. I feel that if it was a french or an italian restaurant, we would not be talking about the prices right now... but since it's mexican...

            1. re: Glaff
              JerkPork Apr 8, 2013 06:06 AM

              But it's not a French or Italian restaurant and they are not serving 10oz+ of duck, lamb or beef, that's why I have a an issue with their price point. The quality of most of the food is very good I strongly agree (that's why I keep going back), although they should take the fish tacos off the menu because last time I had them it was obvious that they use Captain Highliner frozen fish fillets which I haven't had in 30 years but the first bite took me right back to that time.

              You have no problem paying $15 for a burrito that is filled with rice and beans and some chicken. Burritos and tacos shouldn't be at that price point that's why we're talking about it and also because they've increased their prices by 60%+.

              I get it, higher rent, higher food costs, got to pay the tax man with the new billing system so prices are going up but wow what an increase from their previous location.

              1. re: JerkPork
                Ghostquatre Apr 8, 2013 08:38 AM

                Word up. So many people on here justifies this on "well costs are rising and these people gotta live too", but the consumers too are taking a toll too. Cost of living has skyrocketted and wages aren't following. I have no idea how these expensive homely "quality" joints stay in business.

                1. re: Ghostquatre
                  catroast Apr 8, 2013 08:58 AM

                  most don't.

          2. w
            williej Apr 7, 2013 06:10 PM

            there was one I used to go to on Beaubien or Jean Talon east of St. Denis that was down some stairs. They had very good and authentic Mole. Any idea which one that was?

            5 Replies
            1. re: williej
              lagatta Apr 7, 2013 08:31 PM

              I belive this restaurant was on Jean-Talon, quite a bit east of St-Denis, not very far from Iberville métro station (one east of Fabre). On the north side of Jean-Talon. Sorry, forget the name, and haven't been out that way since last year.

              1. re: lagatta
                Glaff Apr 7, 2013 08:41 PM

                It's Le petit coin du Mexique. They're now just in front of their old location.

                1. re: Glaff
                  williej Apr 8, 2013 03:10 PM

                  Thanks. They had great mole when I went a few years back. Very authentic.

                  1. re: Glaff
                    lagatta Apr 8, 2013 06:53 PM

                    Indeed, that is it. Are they now on the south side of Jean-Talon?

                    1. re: lagatta
                      Glaff Apr 8, 2013 07:46 PM

                      Yep, just in front in a bigger and brighter location.

              2. n
                nikkori Apr 7, 2013 07:07 PM

                In terms of "authenticity", my Mexican friends like two cheap places, rather than full-service restaurants:

                + Tachido, for tortas (mexican sandwiches), on Parc near St-Viateur;
                + La Matraca, a great, cheap and simple taqueria, on St-Denis above Mont-Royal.

                1. f
                  foodinspace Apr 8, 2013 07:48 AM

                  Anyone know if Iguanas Ranas in VSL is still open? I've seen some Urbanspoon and Yelp entries from mid-2012 but anyone with more recent experiences?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: foodinspace
                    JerkPork Apr 8, 2013 09:49 AM

                    reply to nikkori: Love the tortas at Tachido, the home baked bread makes the torta just perfect. I still haven't made it to Matraca.

                    reply to foodinspace:Yes, Iguanas Ranas is still open, passed by recently and I'm pretty sure I noticed customers in there. Last time I was there must have been in Nov/Dec. I just wish the quality was better, the few times I've gone I walk out feeling a brick in my stomach. They fry too many things that shouldn't be fried and not properly, way too oily. I've only been there for lunch maybe ordering meat by the pound at night is a better option, maybe it will be fresher.

                    1. re: foodinspace
                      SourberryLily Apr 10, 2013 02:15 PM

                      Dunno, i'd be curious as i live nearby.

                      Tequila Bar (972 Boulevard Décarie) is still open though.

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