About La Carnita-John St

La Carnita is a celebration of urban culture through food, drink, art, and sound. Dedicated to injecting Mexican street cuisine and graffiti with a gringo twist, La Carnita is the spot to grab a taco, take in the sights, run through a mixtape, and wash it all down with a 40 of Old English (high school you would be proud).

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican

Hours of Operation:
Sunday -Monday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30am - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
King St W/John St

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
CAN$30 and under

Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(647) 348-1166

Website:
http://www.lacarnita.com/

Parking Details:
Paid parking across the street on John.

Executive Chef:
Jon Hamilton

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Located in the heart of the financial district is La Carnita’s South Central location. The beautiful two-story heritage building was locally designed and features the works of some of Toronto’s best street style artists. The upstairs makes for an engaging venue, seating 55 guests with its own bar.

La Carnita-John St Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
Food

4.4

Service

4.2

Ambience

4.3

Value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

82% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (17)
Good for a Date (16)
Tapas (12)
See All
Fit for Foodies (12)
Hot Spot (11)
Vibrant Bar Scene (11)
Fun (11)
Comfort Food (9)
Happy Hour (9)
Late-Night Find (8)
Bar Seating (7)
Authentic (7)
Lunch (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Group Bookings (7)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Cozy (6)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Neighbourhood Gem (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Spicy (6)
Great Beer (5)
Romance (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Pre/post-theatre (4)
Business Meals (4)
Gluten-Free Options (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Local Ingredients (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Brunch (1)
Child-Friendly (1)
Healthy (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
People Watching (1)
Scenic View (1)
Seasonal (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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120 reviews
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Food5
Ambience5
Service5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Absolutely fantastic, the chorizo taco alone... amazing!

Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined 2 days ago

Every time I go to La Carnita, I love it. I live in Vancouver and come here every time I visit Toronto. Fav restaurant in Toronto.

Food4
Ambience5
Service4
Value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Good vibes. Loud music, but still could talk. Great food, had the “Winter” preset menu. Would recommend for a date/out with friends!

Food5
Ambience4
Service4
Value3

 
·Dined on February 9, 2018

The food is always amazing, it is just a little loud to be able to talk to whomever you came with. So it"s not a great choice if you want to have a conversation but if you want to bliss out on an amazing meal this is the place.

Tags: Hot Spot, Gluten Free Options
Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Wow! So tasty, so many flavours. Every taco has a different protein and different sauce and different filling. We ordered the price fixed lunch. Was pleasantly surprised at the key lime pie dessert (not actually pie, but a popsicle), soooo delicious! Definitely will return!

Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on February 1, 2018

You need to add that buffalo cauliflower taco to the menu!!!! Bless

Food5
Ambience5
Service4
Value4

 
·Dined on January 31, 2018

Great food, good service. Interesting atmosphere and a positive vibe.
Very convenient downtown location.
Unconventional method of getting a coffee from next door “ sister” restaurant. Fix this.
Wine by glass or bottle, no half litres. Fix this too.
Overall 2 thumbs up.

Tags: Casual, Cozy, Spicy, Good for a Date
Food4
Ambience5
Service5
Value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on January 24, 2018

I found the food really expensive for what it is. Tacos are small.

Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on January 18, 2018

Prix fixe lunch is the perfect quantity at the perfect price. This is going to become a weekly ritual for me - great little indulgence!

Tags: Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Casual, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Tapas, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Neighborhood Gem
Food5
Ambience5
Service2
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Food was amazing as always but the service was not that great. It took about 25mins from when we sat down to when someone actually came over and asked us if we wanted a drink. Food came out fast but being able to order a drink or food was a long process of trying to flag down our waiter. We were beginning to think we were invisible, until they needed our table for another reservation.

Tags: Late-night Find
Food4
Ambience4
Service4
Value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on January 10, 2018

Great spot for dinner! we always like to try the specials when we visit!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Authentic, Romantic, Tapas
Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Always the best ! So yummy

Food4
Ambience4
Service4
Value4

 
 (Sydney / NSW)·Dined on January 4, 2018

Great food, very relaxed atmosphere, great place to catch up with friends for a bite to eat.

Food2
Ambience1
Service4
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Restaurant was freezing cold, our entire party had to keep our jackets on for the whole meal. Portion sizes were very small for the price. Better high end option: El Catrin, mid level: Wilbur

Food5
Ambience1
Service3
Value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 29, 2017

The restaurant was freezing cold and I had to wear my coat the entire dinner. We rushed out to leave and go to another warmer bar.

Tags: Tasting Menu
Food3
Ambience1
Service4
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Disappointing. They did not have a table for us despite having a reservation. We were seated on stools at a shared, makeshift bar right beside the door, and it was -20C outside. Dined unpleasantly in our winter jackets. This was supposed to be a special 30th birthday dinner. Would not recommend.

Food3
Ambience1
Service2
Value1

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Terrible experience. I know these guys probably don't care if it's a good experience for families but if you don't want kids there then don't offer a kids menu.

The music was so loud we had to yell to talk across the table and full of explicit lyrics that had my 10 year old counting all the 'bad words' in each song.

Food was mediocre at best. We ordered the nacho and dips trio including the queso - all of the dips were ice cold. The chorizo 'sharing' appetizer quesadilla was soggy and the size of a side plate. The kids quesadilla was the size of a teacup saucer and when it came out I actually thought it was a joke.

As we came in another group was leaving because it was too cold. I asked the hostess what was happening and she just shrugged. After being seated and ordering we still had our coats on and after asking the waitress if we could have a table in a warmer spot she told us that the heat had apparently been out for two days and the whole place was 'taking its time warming up'.

Disappointing all around. If you want great Mexican head east for Playa Cabana or to the Distillery for El Catrin.

Food5
Ambience5
Service5

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Great place to have a mouth watering taco!

Food4
Ambience3
Service4
Value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 19, 2017

Very casual atmosphere..good tasting food.. great service.

Tags: Good for Groups, Happy Hour, Casual, Pre/post Theatre
Food4
Ambience4
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 19, 2017

The staff were incredibly accommodating when I asked to switch tables for my large party. It made the whole experience so much better. Thanks again guys! :)

Food1
Ambience1
Service1
Value1

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Sadly, never again. A deplorable lack of hospitality which included leaving us in sub zero temperatures without acknowledgement to be finally scolded when told we don’t open until 11:30. It is a big problem when a restaurant is not ready for customers six minutes before their published opening time. There are so many authentic and soulful Mexican restaurants in Toronto. There was no love on the plate or in the room. Why would you serve signature margaritas and Sangria in dirty looking scuffed plastic pitchers? The guacamole was ice cold out of the fridge. I don’t know any decent Mexican restaurant that would do this. To be fair, one server did a great job of explaining how the menu worked but that was not enough.

Food5
Ambience4
Service4
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 16, 2017

best mexican food I 've tasted anywhere including mexico, nicely presented.

Tags: Tapas, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies
Food5
Ambience4
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Great service and delicious food. Good bang for your buck.

Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Great place ! Loved having my birth lunch here!

Food4
Ambience4
Service3
Value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Original server was great & pleasant, her replacement seemed rushed, but later I saw him sitting & talking casually with visiting friends it seemed. We got everything we needed (food, attention) I just didn't appreciate being rushed through my original order. I guess he was just being efficient. The ceviche taco left me wanting three more so I will be back! Food came out very quickly. You definitely need at least three tacos to feel full though.

Tags: Happy Hour, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Fun, Fit for Foodies
Food2
Ambience4
Service4
Value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Great environment. Food was okay. On the night we went their special was a beef brisket taco. Ordered 2 and one of them was dry, the second had more fatty parts than brisket. Carne Asada was much better. Would NOT recommend ordering Chips and Guac because the ratio to chips and guac was terrible. Churros weren't great either. Overcooked, very hard to chew threw.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Casual, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Tapas
Food5
Ambience5
Service5
Value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Great place with wonderful service!
Food is always amazing!!!

Tags: Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
Food4
Ambience5
Service1
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The servers here are terrible. All business, no personality & their just going through the motions. Shouldn’t have gave her a good tip, but I feel bad because she must hate her job or life itself. Not worth the money at all. Tons of Mexican places DT with far cheaper prices. The restaurant itself is really really cool, but a little dark in my opinion.

Tags: Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Comfort Food
Food4
Ambience5
Service5
Value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Great service and awesome ambience. We arrived at 5 p.m. before jt got too busy but even as the restaurant became full around 6:30 p.m., our server upstairs was attentive. The tacos are on the smaller side but delicious!

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot
Food2
Ambience4
Service2
Value1

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 1, 2017

I had booked a reservation for 10PM knowing you closed at 11. I had barely walked in the door, wasn't greeted, and was told you close in an hour. We ordered the meatballs which came out cold. Our food was dropped off with no explanation as to what the dish was...pretty disappointing and sort of ruined the experience. Made me feel as if I was eating at a Moxies or another cliche chain. Overall experience was boring and nothing memorable.

Food1
Ambience3
Service5
Value1

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Cool atmospherr but bad food and overpriced. Warm beer too.

Food3
Ambience3
Service2
Value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Boring... the waiter messed up the order numerous times. Rude

Tags: Tasting Menu
Food5
Ambience3
Service1
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 13, 2017

The food was absolutely amazing, as long as you know going in that it was small plates. Very expensive drinks and the food wasn't exactly the most affordable, worth it though. Absolutely horrible service though.

Tags: Quick Bite
Food3
Ambience2
Service1
Value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Service was horrible and my table was given to another party, so we waited 20 mins.

Tags: Late-night Find
Food2
Ambience3
Service3
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Order was messed up. Meat was dry, overcooked. Other locations are far better

Food5
Ambience5
Service4
Value4

vip
 (Calgary)·Dined on September 30, 2017

The food was very good. We decided to do a couple of apples and a few tacos. The meatballs we excellent, and the wings were tasty. The tacos we very fresh, very tasty, very authentic. So was the cerveza and the tequila.

Food4
Ambience4
Service5
Value5

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 19, 2017

I've been to La Carnita on a few occasions. Food is always fresh and with very unique options that you do not usually find in other Mexican restaurants. The Lime margaritas are always great there as is the variety in the taco options. I always get the Street Corn when I go. This time it was served a little cool (not hot) and the corn was a little overcooked but still very good. Would highly recommend this as a fun option when downtown!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Tapas, Fun
Food5
Ambience3
Service1
Value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 19, 2017

The food here is awesome, however the service when I visited was terrible. My friends and I got seated at the tiniest table that is definitely meant for 2 but they added a 3rd chair on. When our food came they just dropped the food down and walked away. I would definitely come again and would hope for better service.

Tags: Happy Hour
Food3
Ambience1
Service3
Value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 18, 2017

The food is ok -- nothing special and a bit overpriced. They also play their music way too loud. So it's almost impossible to have a conversation.

Tags: Casual
Food5
Ambience5
Service5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Awesome atmosphere, awesome music selection

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