There’s a reason why there’s a constant line of people out the door at Seven Lives (@SevenLivesTO) – their tacos are worth the hype!
Starting out as a Toronto Underground Market (TUM) food vendor, Seven Lives opened up a brick and mortar storefront in the heart of Kensington Market last year. It’s a tiny spot with limited seating – there’s one table which seats six or so people, standing counter room for a handful of people and two small two-tops outside.
The seafood-heavy menu consists of eight tacos (including a veggie option) at $5 each and a ceviche for $7 which changes daily.
They also offer several fresh juices for $2 each. One of the options on this visit was the Fresh Strawberry Pineapple Juice which I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t believe this was only $2… a real steal for fresh juice!
Mike and I started off with the Ceviche – steelhead trout and shrimp ($7). I found it great value for $7 as the portion was bigger than I expected. The lime-marinated seafood, which was sandwiched between two crispy tostadas, came with a generous amount of guacamole, tomatoes and red onions. I loved how refreshing the dish was and found the flavours to be spot on. It’s something I’d happily order again.
The first taco that I got my hands on was the Camarones a la Diabla – spicy shrimp with cheese ($5). The taco (which came with two tortillas like all their tacos) was packed full of plump shrimp. Covered in a ton of crema and cheese, there’s no way you can eat this gracefully. But I was too hungry to care even though I could feel the stares of people outside looking at me through the window. Saucy, spicy and overall just a damn good taco – my favourite of the bunch.
The only meat option on the menu is the Carnitas – slow cooked pork ($5). Just look at all that pork! While $5 price tag might seem high for one taco, they really pack their tacos to the max here. We couldn’t even wrap the entire tortilla around all the filling.
Unlike the pulled pork tacos I’m used to, this taco consisted of small chunks of pork. While it was a solid taco, it just wasn’t as memorable as the other ones we tried.
Next up was the Gobernador – smoked tuna, shrimp & cheese ($5). It was similar to the spicy shrimp taco but with the addition of smoked tuna. The tuna certainly had a distinct smokiness to it and added a meaty texture to each delicious bite.
The last taco we tried was the Baja Fish – battered, deep-fried mahi mahi with house sauce ($5). The fish was fried to perfection – a nice crispy batter which wasn’t too greasy and the fish was wonderfully moist on the inside. Topped with house sauce, chunks of tomato and onions, it was a damn good fried fish taco.
Overall, we had a fantastic lunch at Seven Lives. Having been open for well over a year, it’s a real shame I only dropped by recently. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Run, don’t walk for some of the best seafood tacos in the city!
At a glance:
• Located in the heart of Kensington Market
• Simple seafood-heavy menu; tacos ($5) and a daily ceviche ($7)
• While the tacos might seem pricey at $5, they’re large and filling
• Small storefront with limited seating; we stood and ate at a counter
• Must order: Camarones a la Diabla taco (spicy shrimp) and the ceviche
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 2 stars