Poco Loco 131 Ottawa Street North

To celebrate I Heart Hamilton’s anniversary, the tradition is Mexican food. This worked out perfectly, given that there are so many Mexican food joints in the city. So many, that there are a bunch I still haven’t been to. For the blog’s third anniversary, cue Poco Loco! The restaurant on Ottawa Street as been on my list from the very beginning.

First, I was drawn to a mural along Ottawa St. and just had to stop to take a few photos. It’s amazing how many stunning murals there are throughout the city; I’ve got a little collection of photos going now. It was a cold day and I still needed my coat, hence me blending in and looking like one of the smoke stacks.

Mural on Ottawa Street
Mural on Ottawa Street

It’s hard to miss Poco Loco – it’s a pop of colour along the street. Inside, it’s even brighter, with its lime green walls and orange table tops. It’s mainly a takeout spot, but there are a few places to sit down to eat. One long table is lined with hot sauces. There was a tv in the corner showing CHCH News. The staff were friendly and ready to serve.



There’s a ton of stuff to choose from – rice bowls, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, and way more. Grant and I each went with the classic burrito this time around – a chicken burrito, to be exact. It was filled with veggies and sauce. Super filling. But I’ll have to return to try more off the menu – their Loaded Taco Salad looks awesome! They also have a “Frito Pie,” which sounds intriguing. We chose some festive cherry colas to drink.



Being a staple of Ottawa Street, Poco Loco is part of each Sew Hungry event. It’s worth a stop in as you’re bouncing between food trucks.

Grant seizing a photo opportunity at Poco Loco
Grant seizing a photo opportunity at Poco Loco

Strolling back out on the street, it was off to a Hamilton landmark. As your resident Hamilton tourist, I would be remiss if I didn’t visit the very first Tim Hortons at 65 Ottawa Street North. It’s really incredible when you think about it, knowing how ubiquitous our beloved Timmie’s is now, that the very first one opened up right here in Hamilton on May 17, 1964. We just take it for granted now, but it’s neat knowing we are home to the first one. It was fitting that I visited just before they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Aside from being your standard Tim Hortons, inside it’s like a mini Hortons museum. There are several display cases filled with memorabilia. It’s was cool to see the row of cups and note how the branding has changed over the decades.



Celebrating I Heart Hamilton’s anniversary turned into an unexpected touristy day, which couldn’t have been a more appropriate way to mark the milestone. Three years in, and there’s still so much to see and do!

– Kristin


Poco Loco on Urbanspoon

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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