Last week I finally made it out to a new Toronto restaurant that I have been dying to try, Grand Electric. After reading an excellent review of the restaurant by Stella (aka @foodieyu on Twitter), I knew this was a place that I would probably love! I couldn’t have been more right and can now confidently say that Grand Electric is one of my top 3 places to eat in Toronto.

I arrived at Grand Electric just before 6pm (when they open since they don’t take reservations) with my girlfriend Amanda, which is super early by my eating standards, but after skipping lunch I was fine with an early dinner. While waiting for them to open the doors I quickly popped in to visit Community 54 (a hot new clothing store across the street which also has old video games if you need to kill time waiting for a table) to see if anything new had come in since my last visit. By the time we left it was about 6:05pm and we made our way across the street to find the restaurant had already filled up! We took a seat at the bar which was a cool place to sit as you can watch the bartenders assembling cocktails while enjoying your meal.

Grand Electric Bar

To set the mood of how it feels in the restaurant picture a very dimly lit room blasting old school hip hop music (borderline too loud for some, but I didn’t mind it). There are no menus, just various chalk boards (drinks, food, liquors) posted around the restaurant which can be difficult to view depending on where you are sitting. Overall it is a cool vibe definitely targeted towards a younger clientele that blends in perfectly with where they are located.

Grand Electric Menu (After some photoshop work to brighten it up - too dark to take pictures in the restaurant)

We started with drinks and I decided to try their Grand Electric Sour (1.5 oz Vanilla Bourbon, Agave, Egg White, Lemon – $8). Typically I am not a huge fan of bourbon or whiskey, but I really enjoyed this drink. Amanda opted for one of their beers (Brooklyn Lager) instead which she had tried on her previous visit just 2 days before.

Grand Electric Sour ($8) beside the Brooklyn Lager ($6)

When it came to deciding on food items, this task was a lot more complex as everything sounded really delicious. We decided to try several items on the menu, including the Ensalada Electrico, Tuna Ceviche Tostada, Shrimp Tostada as well as an order of 3 tacos each.

First up was the Ensalada Electrico ($11) which contained buttery bibb lettuce with a buttermilk dressing and topped with a deep-fried pork cheek croquette. We quickly devoured it and I found it to be full of amazing flavour. My only complaint if I had to think of one was they went just slightly heavy on the dressing, but I would rather have it this way then not enough dressing. This is definitely a must-try item on their menu.

Ensalada Electrico ($11)

Up next were the Shrimp Tostada ($8.50) and the Tuna Ceviche ($7.50). Both dishes were very similar and had identical presentation as they were both essentially the same tostada with a different main ingredient and sauce. I really enjoyed both of them and thought they were both excellently balanced with flavour, delicately prepared with a nice crunch from the tostada.

Shrimp Tostada ($8)

Tuna Ceviche ($7.50)

After quickly finishing my Grand Electric Sour, I decided to give their Michelada a try as I have never had one. It looked somewhat like a Caesar but contained a mixture of beer and some spices and what tasted like hot sauce. The only downside to this drink is the flavours in the bottom of the glass go unnoticed until you near the end of the drink and can stir it up a bit. I am not sure how it is meant to be consumed but I would probably like to mix it up a little and this is not possible with the flimsy piece of cilantro that it comes with. Shortly after my drink arrived we also noticed an interesting looking beer behind the bar and asked Ian (co-owner) who was behind the bar about it. The beer was called Porter Baltique and Ian raved about how good it was but at 750ml was a bit more than Amanda wanted to drink. He offered to split the bottle with her (charging half the price) and joined us for a drink. He gave me a sample also and it was an awesome beer! It was a dark stout jam packed with flavour slightly on the sweeter side. We compared it to what a port would be to wine, this was to beer.

Michelada ($7)

Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique ($20/750ml)

Lastly were the tacos which at this point of the meal I was now very excited to try! I haven’t found really great tacos here ever since visiting Mexico in the summer and was hoping this would be the place to fill that void. For those of you wondering, yes I have tried La Carnita’s tacos on several occasions and other than one of the fish tacos they made, I thought they were ok but nothing close to what I had in Mexico. Fortunately the ones at Grand Electric delivered! The portions were very good and contained lots of meat (or fish). I ordered the Baja Fish, Pork Belly Al Pastor and Beef Cheek varieties, but also tried half of one of the Spicy Chicken ones. My favourite by far was the Beef Cheek taco as it was jam packed with flavour and Ian recommended adding a spicy sauce (the small red bottle on your table) to it to compliment the flavour nicely. After that I really enjoyed the Baja Fish taco then it was a toss-up between the others for 3rd place. There really wasn’t one that I didn’t enjoy! If you do opt for the spicy chicken, be forewarned that it does have some heat to it. I usually eat very spicy dishes and even I found it to be quite hot for most people but I enjoyed the heat.

2 Baja Fish Tacos & 1 Pork Belly Al Pastor Taco

Spicy Chicken Taco & 2 Beef Cheek Tacos

Beef Cheek Taco All Dressed Up

We were also going to order the Pazole Rojo (a Mexican soup) which was listed as the special for the evening but by the time we went to order it they had unfortunately run out.

We decided to skip dessert as I am not a huge fan of key-lime, and their dessert options were either this or something called Drunken Nog, which did sound amazing but had booze in it and I was driving that night so I didn’t want to drink too much.


Our meal came to just over $88 for the two of us, which may seem kind of expensive for tacos, but our drinks were a large percentage of the bill. We also tried a lot of different things so I feel that the value was very good. I was curious to try the Pollo Frito (Fried Chicken) but felt I’d rather order more tacos at $10 for 3 then order this for $14. You could easily come here have 3 tacos and a beer and your total would be $16 before tax which is very reasonable for the quality of food. We left very satisfied and with full bellies.


The best part of our service was listening to Ian explaining various menu items. You could see how passionate he was about the food and drinks. His offering to split the beer with Amanda definitely took the service experience to the next level!


I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here and loved every single dish I tried (which is very rare for me). The prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is great for a place to enjoy a nice meal. I will definitely be going back to try all the things that I missed on the menu.

SCORE: 8.5/10


Other Info: Grand Electric is located at 1330 Queen St. West (map) in Toronto. Their phone number is 416-627-3459. You can also find them on Twitter here: @GrandElectricTO

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