First, there was Frankie’s Tortas and Tacos on Smith Street in Collingwood, a Mexican food stand on an empty lot that could pull a crowd rain, hail or shine.

Those crowds might have swam across channels and traversed deserts for Frankie’s exceptional tacos, hulking tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches), imported beers and house-made horchata. Luckily, they didn’t have to. Frankie’s found its first bricks and mortar home in a former burger shop, right around the corner on Johnston Street.

The Mexican-inspired taqueria has a kitschy fit-out, which was brought to life by co-owner Todd Vaneste’s other business, Weekdays Design Studio. It has white tiles and a red- and white-speckled bar. But most of the magic happens in the kitchen, which has a flat-top grill that’s ideal for crisping up chicken, mushroom or al pastor (spiced pork).

The proteins are served in tacos – layered on La Tortilleria corn tortillas – or stuffed into tortas served on hefty bread rolls along with shredded lettuce, hot sauce or salsa, and pickled red onion.

Billy van Creamy provides the Choco Taco look-alike, filled with either chocolate-cinnamon or caramel and guajillo chilli ice-cream. Also find house-made horchata and hard seltzers flavoured like Palomas or tepache (a sweet drink made with fermented pineapple rind).

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Updated: February 10th, 2023

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