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Aug 20, 2012 12:34 PM

Best Mexican (Itacate or Maria Bonita?)

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.


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    1. re: zeim1

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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.

        1. 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

            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

              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

                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.

          2. 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

              I belive this restaurant was on Jean-Talon, quite a bit east of St-Denis, not very far from Iberville m├ętro 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

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

                1. re: Glaff

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

                  1. re: Glaff

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

                    1. re: lagatta

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

              2. 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.