La Bartola is a plant-based Mexican restaurant bursting with authentic Oaxaca sights, aromas, and flavors.

The restaurant is helmed by co-founders Ivan Castro and Pedro Afif, who brought their vegan Mexican concept to Toronto’s “Little Italy” neighborhood.

Ivan and Pedro met in Mexico and both have a passion for the mountain region of Oaxaca. After immigrating to Toronto a few years ago Ivan, a chef, was inspired to bring the flavors and culture of Oaxaca to Toronto.

However, bringing this dream to life proved challenging when the COVID-19 pandemic brought Toronto’s restaurant scene to a halt.

Find out how Ivan and Pedro beat the odds and opened their dream restaurant in the midst of the pandemic.

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by Katherine Pendrill

Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.

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