Cocktails at El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
Churros at El Camino
Tacos at El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
El Camino
Foods from El Camino

2016 Mar 14
I went to Yuk Yuk's last night for a show with Nick Beaton and Patrick Haye. Left around 11pm since I stayed around for a bit of the open mike session and was feeling a bit peckish so went to El Camino for some bites.

Except for the eggplant taco at 4.5 most of the tacos are $5 or $6 now with my favourite crispy cod and ox tongue at $6 in addition to the lamb. I know about the price increase from a previous visit but that time I only ordered 1 taco and more non-taco so the impact was minimal..

There are 2 new tacos on the menu a crispy chorizo and a tacos del norte which is some chopped meat and potatoes by the taste of it. Both new tacos are $5.

I was in a seafood mood so ordered 2 of my favourites the salt and pepper squid and the Crispy Prawn Betel Leaf and later added the Taco del Norte to try it.

The salt and pepper squid is good as usual but the crispy prawn betel leaf was a bit disappointing. Before it was the shrimp mixture atop a batel leaf then fried and it was large chunks of chopped shrimp and you can really taste the shrimp flavours. Now they wrap larger batel leaf completely around the shrimp mixture but I tasted very little shrimp and the overhelming flavours are the batel leaf and the highly salty sauce. I don't think I will order it again since the quality really went down. I would rather they increased the price slightly and kept the quality.

The Taco del Norte was interesting but I tasted but I don't think I would order it again since I far prefer the cod and the ox tongue. I might give the Chorizo one a try sometimes.

I might also give Occo Kitchen a try to see if their tacos are good.

2015 Oct 10
I had been back a few times since my first visit, but never with my wife. Our visit on a Friday evening was long overdue!

We arrived at 5:45pm and were told we'd have a 25 minute wait. Experience has taught me that you wait less long here if you choose to stand near the door rather than leave the premises and wait for a text. In our case, we ended up waiting about 5 minutes. :)

We sat at the long winding bar and feasted on excellent cocktails and tacos. We tried the special, which was a sliced beef filet -- not bad, but not as great as the regular menu items. The tacos were still excellent, although they seemed a little skimpier in protein size and garnish than on previous visits. The price has risen a little, as it does, to about $6 per taco.

You really can't go wrong with the cocktails here. My wife had a lovely Bourbon Sour and I went for the spectacular The Way, which combines tequila with that culinary holy trinity of lime, chili, and cilantro. This is really top notch!

We each had the Coconut Cream Pie for dessert after our server told us that he wouldn't want to share it. This was a mountainous blob of just-okay coconut cream pie that was disappointingly uncoconutty. I regretted the calories of that one.

Come for the cocktails and tacos! Dabble in some of the other dishes and you may find a few gems.

2015 Aug 4
We should have more places like El Camino in Ottawa. The food, service and ambiance is just perfect. It comes with the wait but the food compensates.

Went last Friday with friends and the place was packed. We waited around 1 hour to get seated but enjoyed a pitcher of beer at Slice & Co next door while waiting. When seated, our food took literally 7-10 min to come out. We ordered all the tacos and half the menu and shared everything. I really enjoyed the Pork Belly...might be some of the best I've ever had. Squid was nice and tender. Papaya Salad and Salmon Tartare was also very nice and fresh.

One thing I noticed is the tacos prices, some of them are now $6 each. The Ox tongue, lamb and the fish if i'm not mistaken. Personally, I find it too expensive for just a taco. They are darn good but I will pass next time and order only items that are not tacos.

2015 Jul 10
Stopped by on a pleasant weekday evening, ordered a beef, lamb and pork taco from the takeout window, and waited 40 minutes to get our food. Spent most of that time staring at all the orders that weren't ours getting prepared and sent out, wishing we'd never ordered, frustratedly thinking about how no taco (or similarly prepared food) should be worth that kind of wait.

...and while they definitely weren't worth that wait (because, unless you're planning on it, what is?), all three tacos were pretty darned fantastic. Well-seasoned, nicely topped, and real juicy (esp the tender lamb).

Should mention, the kitchen was super packed with staff clearly working their tails off-- looked like more of a capacity problem than competence. The kitchen actually stopped taking new orders about 15 minutes in to our wait (felt for the people who waited unattended at the takeout window for ten minutes before finding that out..).

I'll probably go back if I'm in the neighbourhood at a reasonably quiet time, but won't take the risk again of going out of my way to get here (esp when I'm hungry).

2014 Oct 22
The food here is still beyond reproach - the last time I went the fish tacos might actually have been tooo big - weak criticism indeed.

It's still my favourite "new" joint in Ottawa for some time now. The atmosphere may not be for everyone, but anyone complaining about the food lacks credibility in my book.

2014 Oct 21
I'll jump on the troll too. Come on... El Camino never claimed to be an authentic Mexican restaurant! They just make tasty food. I don't think the Crispy Betel Prawns are very Mexican either. That doesn't change the fact that they rock.


2014 Oct 21
"Those are definitely not tacos"

Weirdest looking burgers i've ever seen.

2014 Oct 17
This place just showed me how desperate we are for good Mexican food in Ottawa. Those are definitely not tacos, the salsas are a total disgrace, I have no idea where the chef went to try Mexican food, but his inspiration is the wrong one.

2014 Jan 6
After munching on tacos from the take-out window all summer, finally got a chance to sit down inside for a cocktail or two. I must admit, the ever-present tats and ironic facial hair made me leery, but the inventive cocktails and laid-back vibe were just what the doctor ordered on a frosty Friday night. Started with some gratis pinball while we waited for a spot (as T Bourdain says, no reservations), then finally seated at the bar. Tried the Bourbon Sour, delish. Then asked them to make a Chardonnay Sour, which my partner proclaimed as divine. I had the pork belly, which was mix of fatty/meaty heaven, accompanied by a tart and tangy sauce.

Enjoy the food and drinks, just ignore the hipsters, and all is good.

2013 Nov 22
I finally stopped by earlier this week on a whim while I was driving by. One person ahead of me, 5 minute wait for my order. I got the Ox tongue, lamb, and the pork tacos. All very good. The Ox was interesting in that they had grilled it to crunchy blackness which contrasted very well with the velvety texture of the meat. Nice punch with the ranchero sauce too. The lamb was very rich and lamby. Tasty but not really a taco meat for me. The pork was great , silky and tasty. More of what I am used to. I will return for fish tacos soon. Hopefully not tilapia.



2015 Oct 10
The Bourbon Sour is perfectly made here, and it's an obvious first choice for newcomers. The cocktail flavour combinations and balance are extremely well done. This is one of Ottawa's best house cocktail lists. You really can't go wrong!



2014 Feb 11
Crispy fish, pork and ox tongue tacos. I strongly preferred the ox tongue. It was special. The texture was just amazing. It reminded me of foie gras. The pork was similar to pulled pork in a BBQ sauce. The crispy fish was probably the least satisfying of the three. It is drizzled in a spicy mayo type sauce. Without that drizzle, the fish was kind of bland (I know cos my daughter had the sauce less version and couldn't finish so I did). Overall, decent tacos in a funky setting. The cocktails are my favourite part. I think I slightly prefer going to a more traditional Mexican restaurant for tacos such as Ahora or Corazon de Mais.


2014 Feb 12
I enjoyed an order of churros here after a scrumptious late night snack of tacos and was impressed. $5 gets you 4 of these little sticks of fried dough. They are rolled in sugar and served with a salted caramel dip that you can use as little or as much as you like. Just spectacular!