In the Hood – Playa Cabana Cantina

Playa Cabana Cantina opened in the Junction earlier this year, and it is raking in the great reviews and has rocketed to become the #5 restaurant on Toronto Life’s The Dish this week.
Playa Cabana Cantina

Playa Cabana Cantina Exterior

Playa Cabana Cantina is the little sister Playa Cabana in the Annex. By little sister, I mean drunken, footloose, loud and fabulous little sister. From the moment you open the door, you know you’re going to be in for a good time. The decor is obnoxiously awesome, with neon signs, a fantastic array of lighting, great art and what looks like every reclaimed building material available in the Junction.


We arrived for a late lunch (our 3pm reservation booked a week ahead of time was the latest reservation possible for Saturday night.)


We ordered drinks (Jarritos & margaritas) and chips & salsa for the table. I have eaten a fair share of chips & salsa in my day, but holy hell these were amazing. The fresh made salsa was light and perfectly seasoned, the chips were crispy bites of heaven exploding in your mouth. We finished off the chips in record time, but only half of the salsa. I later ordered another basket of chips, as I felt it was mean to let that poor salsa go to waste. (really I was only doing it a favour…)


When it came time to order our mains, we all suffered massive indecision. There were many many other appetizers we wanted to try, but tacos were a must. There were three of us, so we ordered different tacos , and shared bites all around. The tacos were amazing. We’re talking ground shaking, mind blowing amazing. Hell, I think I’m going to ask Santa to bring me these tacos for Christmas.

Here’s what graced our plates:

  • Tacos de Polla Al Carbon – Delish grilled chicken tacos with a sweet mango salsa, over fresh corn tortillas
  • Tacos de Chori-Queso – Crispy tacos filled with lovely chorizo & cheese. These tacos ensured good use of the provided cloth napkins. They were literally dripping with deliciousness
  • Ancho Braised Shortrib-Brisket Crispy Tacos – Crispy corn tortillas packed full of melt in your mouth braised shortribby awesomesauce

(For an extra $2 you can add rice & beans to your taco selection)

cheeky chickey tacos with mango salsa

I would have loved to sample their guac, grilled corn, and essentially every other item on the entire menu, but this will have to wait for future visits, as our tacos, chips & salsa were more than enough food for a late lunch.


Playa Cabana Cantina also has a small late night offering, and I could easily see wiling away a boisterous Friday night with friends, lots of tequila and many many more tacos.

*For my Gluten Free friends out there, almost the entire menu is gluten free!


Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

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