Birch Cliff siblings open restaurant

Oct 2, 2017

Los Hermanos exterior

Los Hermanos restaurant on Kingston Rd. at Kingswood

By Sean Mallen

In the midst of a late-September heat wave a little taste of Mexico popped up in the east end.

Although tiny, it is hard to miss the cheery turquoise and pink exterior of Los Hermanos on the north side of Kingston Road at Kingswood.

It is the dream of Birch Cliff residents Paulina Finkel and her brother Ismael Romero.

Los Hermanos translates as “siblings”, and it is a family effort to bring authentic Mexican food to our corner of east Toronto.

“The community always needed one (a Mexican food place),” said Paulina as she bustled between serving customers and stepping behind the screen to whip up some tostadas.

They were born in Mexico City and grew up in a town near the historic city of San Miguel de Allende.

Paulina married her Canadian husband, Steve, and settled in Birch Cliff.

Los Hermanos owners Paulina Finkel and her brother Ismael Romero

Los Hermanos owners Paulina Finkel and her brother Ismael Romero

Ismael visited Canada in 2009, fell in love with the country and immigrated this past year.

“Since I arrived I told my sister you know it would be nice if we could open a place where we could sell some Mexican food because we have been around some Mexican restaurants and we have not found the special flavour that we have already at home,” he said.

When a space that used to house a sewing shop came up for lease, they jumped at the opportunity.

It was a family effort to spruce it up, with a bright, whimsical décor that suggests warmer climates and will be a nice break from the February greyness of Toronto.

There are a few stools for patrons who wish to eat in, but it is principally a take-out operation.

The brother and sister team are adapting recipes handed down from their mother and grandmother, using Canadian ingredients for a simple, clean approach to their food so that the essential flavours come through.

The menu is relatively short, sticking to a few essentials.  For the morning crowd, you can choose huevos abuelita—scrambled eggs and bean with homemade salsa.  For afternoons and evenings, a selection of tacos and tostadas.

My daughter kept asking to coming back for tinga—chicken chiplote with avocado and queso freso.  I opted for hermanos, a tasty combination of marinated pork with pineapple and salsa (although I chose to not opt for the jalapeños).

With great food, local ownership and authentic roots, Los Hermanos is well worth a visit.

Sean Mallen is a communications consultant/media trainer and the former European Bureau Chief for Global News.


  1. Ian Harvey

    Esta bueno. Mi gusto mucho!!!

  2. I can’t wait to try this place. I have always loved Mexican food and so does my husband. We are also committed to supporting small businesses in our community!

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