Torontonians are being absolutely bombarded with tacos left, right and centre. Everyone claims theirs to be the best – some are truly authentic (Playa Cabana!), some are fusion (Swish by Han, Banh Mi Boys), some new shops are restaurateurs pairing up delicious new-age tacos with bourbon and yummy cocktails (Grand Electric and La Carnita). I’m the first to admit that I’m fully on board the taco train and have crossed the city to wait in (stupid) lines to try the next hottest and most coveted taco. While I believe a Taco Battle Review is in the works for an upcoming post (right, Kelly?!), I thought it couldn’t hurt to draw your attention to the latest contender.
I heard about Seven Lives through twitter, and although only open for about 2 weeks, the hype was already high. Hidden in the Latin American food court on the west side of Augusta, Seven Lives tacos are made in SoCal and Tijuana style. Seven Lives is not a traditional sit-down restaurant; there are only a few bar stools near the grill if you want to eat in. I was there right before close on a weekday night and was lucky enough to score a seat, but I can imagine that when they are busy (weekends), most patrons would be grabbing their tacos to go and eating them nearby. Kensington Park is steps away and would be perfect.
I ate a few (complimentary) chips and salsa after placing my order. The tacos were quickly prepared and I was told that the Gobernador (which changes nightly, but was made with shrimp, marlin and cheese when I tried it) and the Carne (pulled pork on this night) and Chorizo were the best bets. My dinner date also ate the carnita, which I sampled. Each of the tacos had unique flavours that really differentiated them from one another, from smokey to spicy to lime zest overtones. The ingredients were really fresh and plentiful in each taco. As we enjoyed our dinner, the chefs were busy preparing for the next day (it looked like lingua, or beef tongue, was next up on the menu!).
Priced between $3 – $5 per taco, I can’t say enough great things about Seven Lives. The flavours were exceptional, the staff were really kind, and especially given the rotating menu and the quick, convenient drop-in style location (read: no lines!), I am already planning a return visit. The ceviche was sold out at the end of the evening, so I’ll be sure to plan a visit earlier in the day sometime soon.
214 Augusta Ave (Kensington Market) 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.@SevenLivesTO