Burritos at Ahora
Horchata at Ahora
Nachos at Ahora
Burritos at Ahora
Enchiladas at Ahora
Foods from Ahora

2011 Nov 19
I had a very enjoyable experience at this cute authentic Mexican place. Cafeteria style made it quick to order, but I think with such an intimate atmosphere it would have been nice as a full service restaurant as well. Bathroom was very tiny! I felt like a giant despite the fact im 5’3. I ordered a Burrito de Pollo and it was delicious! My friend ordered two soft Tacos, one with chicken one with steak, both very good. All the food tasted very healthy as well. Sangria was not too shabby either! I will definitely make a return trip to this place as soon as I’m in the area.

2011 Apr 19
This place is so great! The food is very affordable and delicious. I love how juicy the Chicken Burrito is.

2011 Feb 26
Went to Ahora tonight, and it was not a great experience. Atmosphere was pleasant and convivial and we were seated almost immediately. We went to the counter to place our orders and were advised to proceed to the salsa bar to help ourselves. There was a nice variety of condiments there, but only tiny paper ketchup cups to put them in, and whole stalks of cilantro with no way of carrying them to the table except placing them on a napkin (see picture). We started with a fresh guava juice which was delicious, and a pina colada. As discussed here, the pina colada tasted fresh and had the right balance between fruit juices and rum, however my preference is for pina coladas blended with cream of coconut, not icy from a slushie machine. To each his own, I guess. We ordered the nachos which were ok but greasy and not very hot. We each ordered the enchilada plate with one steak, one chicken and one vegetarian. Everything was fresh and of good quality, but SO bland. Yes, the fillings were well prepared, meat tender and cooked properly, but completely lacking in character or any kind of identifiable herb or spice. Many have said the food here is authentic. It is not anywhere near as good as what I have had in taquerias in Texas, California, Mexico or even Syracuse. There were a range of salsas available, and we ended up pouring them liberally on everything just to get a bit of flavour. The enchiladas were served with a nice green salad and either rice or black beans. The black beans were properly cooked and had a nice flavor. But our meals were otherwise unremarkable and tasteless. Total bill including drinks was about $47 for this disappointing meal. Although we will not be returning any time soon, Ahora doesn't appear to have trouble filling the seats, as there were many other diners who seemed to be satisfied with their dinners. Maybe it's the perfect Mexican food for Ottawa?

2011 Jan 13
We stopped by Ahora a month ago after having planned to go many times before. I had been before, a couple years earlier, but my partner hadn't.

We started with the nachos, which, as another person on this site had suggested to me, were one of the better (and more interesting) plates I've had in the city. The corn chips were crispy and more authentic-seeming than the usual Tostitos-like ones offered at pubs around town. They were covered, and I mean covered, in cheese, with black beans sprinkled all around over top. The nachos came topped with a Mexican flag made of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. They were spot on, though maybe a touch greasy, and we enjoyed the change of pace from the many other plates of nachos we've had in the past.

We split the Ranchero Vegetariano, which was a burrito filled with salsa gringa and guacamole, topped with sour cream. Kind of like our nachos, just in a different format.. and came with refried beans and salad, which were both great and plentiful additions to the plate. The burrito itself was exactly as advertised.. and massive. Between the 2 of us, we could barely get through it.

Everything was tasty and the staff were nice. Good place to get some quality Mexican, especially compared to the other (what other?) options in the city. They also have a neat selection of drinks, including Jarritos, that I'd like to try sometime. We'll be back.

2010 Sep 1
Full disclosure, my own personal bias: I am an American transplant living in Canada, grew up in a very multi-ethnic neighborhood with a big Mexican population (as well as Dominican, Salvedorian, and Cuban) and my biggest, biggest, gripe with this country is your terrible Mexican food (and frankly, "Latin" food in general. Where oh where can I get my chicharones craving fixed!). Now, I have had good Mexican meals in Canada. But for the most part, "Mexican" up North means smothered in cheese with a sketchy side of beans.

Onto the review:
Ahora is a nice alternative to that. The ingredients are fresh, there is an awesome salsa/hot sauce bar, the food is not covered in Kraft. Given that it is not god-awful, Ahora has a bit of a hype as the "best Mexican" food in town.

But that doesn't make it great, and all the reviews of how "Authentic" it is make me cringe for what passes as authentic here. The food is really, really bland. This mostly comes from the fact that their entire menu can be summed up as "Form of tortilla" + "grilled meat" + "accoutrements".

Ahora is a taqueria, and although I would love to see a place crop up with a kick-ass Mole or veracruz sauce, that is not a taqueria's job. But even for a simple taqueria, the food is remarkably bland. Great, authentic taco fillings are often slow cooked, not grilled. Pork Al Pastor, tongue (yum!), or even tripe braised in a tomato sauce. Now THATs a taco. Ahora strikes me as pretty much the kind of food I can make myself if I had a great hot sauce. Nothing special, but if you're jonesing for Mexican, it'll fit the bill. But I just can't rave about the place.

2010 Aug 28
Burrito au gratin filled with chicken or steak, salsa gringa and guacamole, topped with salsa Ahora and sour cream
Burrito gratiné garni de poulet ou de steak, salsa gringa et guacamole, servi avec salsa Ahora et crème sûre 12.95

This was my first time here. Loved this place! Well.... loved the food. There was so much confusion on how to order. I was alone, when I came in the waitress gave me a table. But then I had to go to the counter to order. I didn't really want to leave any of my belongings at the table. I ended up losing my table cause someone just decided to sit there. Also, it wasn't clear where the line up should be formed. I got in one line that went straight into the cash but then noticed that some others had formed a line along the counter. Basically, there is no room to form a line because there are tables right up to the order counter. They have waitresses to bring the orders to your table, I really don't see how it would be much more work for them to take the orders at your table as well. The line up is intrusive to the people eating close to the order counter. I'm all for cafeteria style but they just don't have this setup right for that. Perhaps you should be given a number that you can leave at your table so that it wont be taken when you get up to order. Also, they just need to get rid of some tables next to the order counter, it just doesn't work. Or simply have the waitresses take your order at the table.

Sorry that was a lot of ranting. All that being said, it was the best mexican I ever had, including Mexico. Love the salsa bar. Also had a yummy Horchata with it, super good.

darn I just noticed that my photos are rotated the wrong way and cant change them :-(

2010 Jun 14
Friday night a couple of friends and I wandered down to the Ahora, as we'd heard lots about it but never tried it. When we arrived in the basement restaurant, the place was bustling and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, which was fine considering how busy they were. I found placing the order a bit weird - you go up and pre-pay rather than someone taking your order, which means you also have to pre-tip... I wasn't sure I liked that aspect of it! I got the veg. enchiladas with black beans. The beans were really great, the enchiladas so-so - but I really can't complain for how cheap it was and how much I got! The salad was also pretty decent, better than your standard iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing - it was shredded romaine with some other veggies (radish, onion) and a light vinaigrette. The Michelada was interesting, I thought it was a resfreshing alternative to a margerita - though to be honest, I have no real basis for comparison! My friend had mis-ordered her dish, thinking it came with black beans, and when she mentioned something the staff brought out complimentary black beans even though she made the mistake - very nice touch. Overall I can see why it's popular, it's definitely better value-wise than somewhere like Mexicali Rosa's, but still a bit bland for my taste (I like spice!) and very busy.

2010 Jun 5
My girlfriend Amanda used my account to post about Ahora a few weeks ago. I had a chance to check it out last week, so I thought I'd share my experience. I went after the lunch rush, so I found that the place was empty. I ordered a Guacamole quesadilla, steak taco and nachos.

For under 10 bucks, there is nothing to complain about what so ever. The food was prepared relatively quickly, it was tasty and super filling. I did find the steak to be on the bland side, however they provide a huge table of condiments which include 4 or 5 kinds of hot sauce, cilantro, pico de gallo, onions etc etc, so there was no lack of flavor in my taco.

The quesdilla was simple: guac and cheese. It was delicious. The guacamole was flavorful, creamy and had a strong taste of garlic. My one qualm was that the nachos were not thaaat fresh. But meh, they were still, salty, crunchy and I topped them with onions, pico de gallo and hot sauce so - they were pretty good.

Ahora does not serve the best food in the world, however it's filling, fresh, cafeteria style, Mexican comfort food for a very reasonable price. Although it is located in a basement, decorated with tacky Mexican kitsch, and crowded, Ahora never-the-less has a certain charm. I suppose that the charm is the fact that it's decent(full flavored if you include the condiments)food for a decent price.


2010 May 2
Wow. That's awful. Do they have an owner or some kind of management you could address this to?

2010 May 2
I 'ate' at Ahora a couple of days ago at lunch.

I love the food, it tastes great and usually at lunch time the service is fantastic, but this time for some reason things just didn't work out. I ordered a burrito, then sat down and waited.

After 30 minutes, I asked the staff how much longer my meal would take since I had to return to work in a bit. They told me it would be ready in 'just a moment'.

After 45 minutes, I asked again, and was given the same answer. At this point, two different groups had been sat down and had received their meals at the table next to me.

After 55 minutes, I asked if they would give it to me in the next 5 minutes, or if I could get a refund. They gave me a refund.

However, because I paid with debit, they refused to refund me the (quite generous) tip that I gave them.

What the hell. Thanks for making me pay you to sit in your restaurant for an hour, I guess?

Newer · Older



2007 May 29
The take-away version came with no salad!

I hadn't realised how much I liked their little salad offering. It's not just limp afterthought iceberg, but actual salad.

There were a few bits of avocado, peppers and tomato in the box, but...

Oh, never mind. I'm looking at their on-line menu now, and noting "Served with two of the following: beans, salad, rice." It came with plenty of rice and beans. I see it's the fault of my food-fetching friend.

Moral of the story: GET THE SALAD. I had not realised until FF's commentary below how critical it is to rounding out this particular plate.

And now I have to give them props for the 'few bits of avocado...'

2007 Mar 11
At kmennie's suggestion, I had the vegetarian enchiladas and was not disappointed. It was satisfying and delicious. The black beans were very heavy but the refreshing salad sort of "lubricated" the whole meal and allowed me to eat the entire mess of heavy food without regret.

Anyone who thinks that a meal without meat is unsatisfying should try this dish (with the bean option). ;-)

2006 Oct 31
The 'enchiladas vegetariana' satisfy my cravings for cheese enchiladas, without being nearly so fat-laden and boring as the usual kind. Recommended without reservation.


2011 Jun 27
Burrito De Pollo.
Their Chicken burrito was pretty tasty, different from those I had in the past: the tortilla was thicker and there were less ingredients inside. All the dishes on the menu are very afordable which is appreciable.

2009 Jul 9
I just attended Ahora for the first time with the GF and it matched my expectations. We both got Burritos in different forms, as well as the corn chips and Guacamole. We only sampled the rice and the beans and a few of the sauces seeing as the Lady happens to be quite allergic to sweet peppers (red, green, yellow) which are only actually found in the salad or as a garnish.

It was astounding. It felt filling and healthy, like the very definition of quality mexican food. My only complaint was that there was so little space for a resto which is so wonderful. I will certainly be back to try the Enchilada, but I heartily reccomend the burrito's.

2007 May 29
After so much 'enchiladas vegetariana' abuse I finally branched out and got a take-away vegetarian burrito. The 'ranchero vegitariano.'

And, yum.

One thing stands out: Ahora is a great value. It's an awful lot of high-quality food for relatively little cash. Size-wise, it reminded me of something called a "Macho Burrito" from the US "Del Taco" chain, which was -- when I was there -- advertised with the not terribly appealing slogan "Over 1 pound of ingredients!" Really, a piggish size. But exactly the sort of thing I like to pig out on.

The hot-tish green salsa, all cilantro-y, is just the thing to douse it with.

2007 Mar 11
This is the burrito platter. I didn't eat it so I can only share what I saw.

Tacos 2



2007 May 22
I went to Ahora last night for the second time. I had the tres tacos (I was hungry!) - all vegetarian.
They were filled with black beans and veggies to which I added salsa from the condiment bar. With chips as one of my side orders, I got to try all of the salsas that were being offered. Yum! I also had the salad. I'm not sure what is in their vinegrette, but I thought it was great.

The woman who took my order was very helpful about which dishes contained dairy products.

We even got a bit of a dance show as they were closing up. :)


2007 Mar 11
Always keen to try something new, I opted for this beverage with my meal. It was quite good, consisting of milk, sugar, cinnamon, and a kind of milled rice whisked in a blender.

I had to chuckle when I watched the server tear open two paper packets of sugar and dump them into the blender. It's almost like camping! ;-)



2012 Oct 29
I completly agree with all the comments, the churros at Ahora are chewy...and in my experience, they shouldn't be like that! (and I am Latin).

If you are looking for crisply, freshly made churros (and you can order online) try www.mrchurritos.com , you won't regret.

2012 Jan 30
Churros should ALWAYS be crispy. Bringing them in from a bakery in Mtl is unacceptable to any self-respecting Latin churro-eater!

I thought that they were the only vendor in Ottawa to sell them - even then I refused to order them after my first try. However, you can find freshly made, properly crispy churros at Delice Royal Bakery in Orleans :D.

2011 Jan 25
I have had the churros from Ahora's on three seperate occasions and find them in general kind of hit-or-miss.

Given the fact that you really can't find churros very many other places in Ottawa (I've never seen them /anywhere/), it is difficult not to give them a good review. I guess I prefer my churros crispier on the outside, and generally find that Ahoras come off as a little soggy - delicious, but soggy.

Drenching them in chocolate sauce and dulce de leche doesn't really help the texture, but I have to admit that the flavour is heavenly.

2007 Oct 17
These are good and the only place I've been able to find (save Cinnabon) that has Churros. they're simple and come in two flavours. Dulce de leche wins over chocolate for me. They do come from an outside bakery in MTL, so that's a bit of a downer.
kinda pricey: 2/$3.95



2011 Jan 18
Every time I visit Ahora, I always order a Pina Colada - they are that good.

The cream of coconut ratio to everything else is so perfect and is so fresh that I always imagine that I am drinking it right out of a halved coconut. Very fresh, creamy coconutty-milk flavour with the brightness of fresh pineapple to balance it off.

The ice is ground but not to a complete watery slush, and there are still some pretty big chunks in there, which I like. The rum content is good, but not overpowering in any way. I often forget that it is actually an alcoholic drink until the room starts spinning. ;)

They have the perfect amount of rum, in my opinion, and it is the ideal drink to go alongside a delicious plate of fresh tacos and salad or a giant enchilada!

And yes, it is always garnished with a maraschino cherry. :)

Nachos -1



2007 Mar 11
Finally, an Ottawa restaurant that understands that salsa has no place in nachos! You won't find the pathetically soggy salsa-laden chips in this dish like you do in most places here.

Sadly, the chips aren't the greatest (thick and greasy) and I like to have black olives and jalapeños cooked with my nachos. Cheese is generous and the nachos are perfectly baked.

This was the Large ($6 or so)