Gay Chef Owned Vegan Mexican Restaurant La Bartola Opens in Toronto

Today is the grand opening of LGBT chef-owned La Bartola in Toronto. Located at 588 College Street, the Mexican and vegan cuisine promises to create using fresh, local ingredients. The authentic Mexican menu is inspired by chef Ivan Castro's upbringing in his hometown of Mexico City.

The initial concept of La Bartola started last summer as a taco pop-up shop, serving at local outdoor festivals. Fast forward to today and the full concept is launching during an international pandemic, so service is restricted to take-out and outdoor dining while they focus on providing a clean, safe environment.

We're especially excited to try some signature tacos off the menu like the Braised Hibiscus Flower, Caramelized Onion and Salsa Macha Tacos. They're served with cilantro, raw onion and the salsa is made of a sweet and spicy roasted peanut sauce & morita pepper. We're also eyeing the Green Ceviche Tostadas with Charred Habanero Mayo.

To drink, La Bartola offers Mexican Coke, sangria, cocktails and beer.

Chef Castro leapt forward with opening in spite of uncertain economic times and is even still hiring for waiters, bartenders and cooks. He is also proud of the diverse work environment and sustainable philosophy. Their food packaging is compostable and the restaurant's vegan leather sofa is made of cactus.