Canada’s urban metropolis that’s often compared to New York City sometimes hides in the shadows of “prettier” cities like Montreal and Vancouver. But Toronto deserves the limelight as one of the most gastronomically diverse places in the world. It just takes a stroll through its streets to catch the unique scent of Caribbean, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and South American (to name just a handful) dishes emanating from Michelin-rated restaurants, street vendors, and holes in the walls. So whatever tickles your tastebuds, loosen your belt and follow us as we take you on a scrumptious tour that’ll make you want to tuck into Toronto!
Want Some Great Japanese Finger Food?
Imanishi Japanese Kitchen has emerged as one of the city’s most popular izakayas (Japanese gastropubs), and you’ll see why when you dig into their small plates of monkfish liver pate, pork cheek, or Agedashi eggplant, all washed down with a cocktail or sake of your choice. Another great Japanese tapas joint that has people coming back for more is the tidily tucked away (behind Churchill on Dundas Street – easy to miss!) Hanmoto, where you can enjoy plates of Salmon Aburi and Nasu Dengaku (roasted eggplant with fried beets).
Craving Something Caribbean?
Yah maan, it’s no secret that when it comes to jerk chicken, Cabbagetown’s Under the Table is hard to beat! They also make a mean oxtail, and don’t forget to finish your meal with their excellent sweet funnel cake for dessert. Also, they’re great for brunch with their steak benedict being a crowd fave.
Care for Some Chinese/Southeast Asian Fare?
Toronto’s Little Italy is home to DaiLo, a sit-down restaurant that serves up adventurous Chinese cuisine that includes fried watermelon and their famous Big Mac Bao (yes, you heard right!). If you’re picking up to go or don’t mind dining in a crowded space, Chinatown’s Swatow Restaurant will satisfy your late-night, post-drink munchies with their chow mein and shrimp dumpling soup. If you want Vietnamese, then Bach Yen’s Bun Bo Hue and authentic phos will delight your palate, and for Thai all you need to do is head to Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, where their legendary pad thai and khao soi will knock your senses out the park.
Picky About Your Pierogies?
It’s no secret in Toronto: Cafe Polonez is the place to go for the best pierogies. You’ll also love their hearty beef goulash soup and delicious beetroot soup with mushroom dumplings, as well as comforting cabbage rolls.
Need to Satisfy that Sweet Tooth?
The SOMA Chocolatemaker on King Street (in other locations too, but this place has seating) will spoil you rotten with their toffee squares, made-from-scratch chocolates, cookies, ice creams, and hot and cold beverages. Sip on a decadent hot chocolate and enjoy a few a salted caramel truffles – life doesn’t get better than that! If you want baked goodies, then head to Sanremo Bakery, where their gorgeously baked donuts with flavors like red velvet or Nutella will soon make you forget your worries. They also make an assortment of macaroons, pies, and cakes that are outstanding.
Want a Scoop (or Two) of Happiness?
Most locals will tell you that Greg’s has the best ice cream in town, and we agree after trying their signature Roasted Marshmellow flavor (with Coffee Toffee coming in a close second). For a more avant-garde twist on ice cream, pop into Bang Bang Ice Cream on Ossington Avenue, whose fusion flavors like Totaro (taro +avacado) or Love Oolong Time (guess you can figure that one out) come generously smothered on cones, bubble waffles, or in between cookies.
Fishing for Some Good Seafood?
Head to Pearl Diver, a popular seafood restaurant and bar where their “100 oysters for $100 bucks” special is sure to be perfect for a small group. Don’t forget to try their cured seafood plate, grilled sea bream, and finish off your meal with their heavenly sticky toffee pudding. You can also pop by Honest Weight, a retail fishmonger and restaurant, where you can enjoy the simple pleasure of a perfectly flaky, soft haddock sandwiched between two slices of bread. Don’t forget to sample their famous Okonomiyaki too.
If enjoying an upscale meal of filet mignon and fois gras in a white tablecloth dining setting is more your thing, then step by Scaramouche, a restaurant that celebrates classical European cooking. Plus, it’s got a great view of Toronto that’s truly the cherry on the cake. Don’t forget to cap off your meal with a slice of their famous coconut cream pie. If you like a premium steak and a bit of refinery, then you can enjoy the A5 Kobe Beef and Wagyu at the stylish (and expensive) Jacobs & Co Steakhouse.
Let’s Do Brunch?
If buttermilk biscuits, gravy, sausages, and eggs is how you want to start your morning/afternoon, then you can brunch to your heart’s content at Emma’s Country Kitchen. Another great establishment that offers up comforting portions of joy is Saturday Dinette, where dishes like shrooms on toast with a side of hashbrowns or pancakes and chicken will put a big, goofy smile on your face for the rest of the day.
Want to Bite into a Big Juicy Burger?
The Queen Street Burger’s Priest is sure to satisfy your craving for a great burger. While their regular cheeseburger is a sure winner, you can also bravely face off against their Four Horsemen – a monstrous quadruple burger that is sure to challenge your capacity. If The Preist didn’t satisfy your unholy craving for more grease, then head to the divine Holy Chuck. Their Holy Chuck Burger is a perfect match with a bacon, fudge, and sea salt shake, while their gargantuan Go Chuck Yourself is probably best for those who want a Man Vs. Food type challenge.
Need to Spice Things Up?
Toronto’s sizeable Sri Lankan diaspora brings you Hopper Hut, with its spicy crab curry, famous Sri Lankan street food kottu roti (chopped up rotti with spices, veggies, eggs, and meats), and lamprais (a Dutch-influenced rice, veg, and meat preparation steamed in a banana leaf). If your spice tolerance level is a bit low but you still want to enjoy the spices of the region, head to Banjara Indian Cuisine, where you can dig into flavorful portions of their lamb masala, chicken tikka masala, and dosa, to name just a few.
Want to Keep it Light and Healthy?
And here it is, #flockers – our next addition to the #salad lineup starting this coming Monday to all locations: the #PawPawFlock 💥💥- Shredded Napa, Green Papaya, Adzuki Beans, Marinated Tofu, Crispy Onions, Pickled Daikon, Hearts of Palm, Snow Peas, Carrots, Fresh Mint, Coconut/Thai Basil Dressing & Ginger….and more… #Toronto #Healthy #Vegan
The Entertainment District’s Flock Rotisserie + Greens has some great, tasty, and healthy options, with firm faves being the Fancy Flock and Power Flock salads, and the rotisserie chicken sandwich. If the weather’s a bit on the colder side when you visit Toronto, then head to RaviSoups, where their soup and wrap combos will give you real value for money. Don’t forget to try their corn chowder and lamb wrap – you’ll leave, warm, fuzzy , and totally stuffed!
Got any favorite food joints in Toronto? Tell us why we got to go there!