Toronto Food: A Destination Guide Of Where To Eat
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Toronto has become one of my favourite cities to eat my way around. Due to its diverse mix of cultures, there are many amazing places to dine in the city at any budget. As Canada’s largest city, it can support a great restaurant culture and young culinary talent. In the past few years, I have visited Toronto twice and each time, I gain a little weight there. Ha. If you’re planning a trip to Toronto and are a culinary travel lover, note some of the places below. When I travel to destinations I do a lot of online research along with getting recommendations from my local food lovers.
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Toronto Food Guide
Fahrenheit Coffee – 120 Lombard St
This past trip, I only tried out a handful of coffee places in Toronto. When I stayed near St Lawrence Market, I went to one coffee shop and came across Fahrenheit. In the end, I preferred Fahrenheit’s coffees. The only warning I have is that it’s a bit like an episode of Portlandia in there.
Dark Horse – several locations
Dark Horse has several locations throughout the city and is known for their espresso-based coffee. Come here when you need your latte!
*I didn’t try Sam James. I heard a lot about Sam James but there weren’t any locations that were nearby.*
Toronto Food Market
St. Lawrence Market – 92-95 Front Street East
If you like food markets, St. Lawrence Market is a must. Visiting food markets is one thing I do in almost every city I travel to. Nat Geo awarded St. Lawrence Market the best food market in the world in 2012. They know a thing or two! Every Saturday, the farmers market starts at 5 am.
Banh Mi Boys – two locations
There is probably cheaper or more authentic banh mi at some Vietnamese cafe but I like Banh Mi Boys. It’s centrally located and delicious. My friends and I ordered the kimchi fries, a pork belly bao, and a kalbi banh mi.
Mothers Dumplings– 421 Spadina open till 10pm/10:30 pm on weekends
Love dumplings? Mother’s Dumplings is a great go-to for Chinese food. It’s cheap, semi-cheerful, and comforting. One day I went solo and ordered their lamb shumai because I have never seen that on any menu. Lamb shumai!
Burgers Priest – many locations even in Edmonton and Hamilton now
From what I heard, the owner wanted to make a burger that was similar to In n Out. They even have a secret menu. I like burgers and I’m a fan!
California Sandwiches – several locations
Ok…California Sandwiches has been on my radar for a while. Even when I was in Seattle having lunch at Salumi, my Toronto dining neighbours raved about the veal sandwich. My cousins brought me here and now I’m a convert.
Here’s a tip I learned from my cousin: order the sauce on the side to dip your sandwich in.
Porchetta and Co – 825 Dundas St W
My cousins and I had an Italian sandwich kind of afternoon and came here after going to California Sandwiches. We ordered a porchetta sandwich to share just so I could try one. I love porchetta (extra crackling please), so I’m a fan of this place. We also had an arancino (deep-fried, breaded rice ball hi!) as a snack because…why not?
Seven Lives Mariscos – 69 Kensington Ave
One day I met up with some friends in Kensington for drinks and hangs. Seven Lives had just opened up (in 2013) so we ordered a few things. My favourite thing was the ceviche. Living in San Diego I eat tacos a few times a week so I’m pretty finicky.
West Indian/Trini Food
Toronto has a large West Indian population so if you’re a fan of West Indian food and island food, this is your city! You can get West Indian food in the city but the really great places are in the suburbs.
Patty King – 187 Baldwin St in Kensington Market
Patty King is great for picking up a snack when you’re hungry and in the Kensington Market area. A double or beef or goat patty is my go to.
Island Foods – 1182 King St W
Island Foods is pretty basic but I like it. Judge me if you want but I love the place. A chana roti and a Ting and I’m super irie mon!
Ali’s Roti – 1446 Queen Street W (in Parkdale)
My friend Josh took me to Ali’s Roti in Parkdale one day. It’s a hole in the wall but really delicious. We shared jerk chicken and a buss up shut (translated: busted up shirt) aka goat paratha roti. This place fills that island craving and is in Toronto proper.
Pizza Libretto – 3 locations
Pizza Libretto has several locations around the city. It’s a great restaurant for group dinners. My friends and I came here and shared a few appetizers and pizzas. The pizza is a thin Neopolitan style pizza.
La Mesa Filipino – 669 Queen St W
Since I’m Filipino, I love Filipino food but don’t get to eat it much. My parents are no longer around and it’s hard to cook Filipino food for one. When there is a Pinoy restaurant around, I’ll always pop in to try it.
After my cousin got married, I went here with family and friends for a family style dinner. We ordered from their prix fixe menu. Our party were happy with our meals which is a miracle when you have judgmental Filipino aunties in the group.
Bar Isabel – 797 College St
When I planned my trip to Toronto, the first thing I did was make a reservation for Bar Isabel. During my previous trip to the city, I was not able to dine here. My friends and I ordered loads of different dishes to share. Spanish food is one of my favourite cuisines and everything here was fantastic. The service was top notch, the cocktails were amazing, and the food, divine.
Apologies for my photos, it’s really dark in there. Bar Isabel is only open in the evenings and I recommend making reservations early. Our dinner time was at 10:30 pm which was the earliest I could get for our group.
Bar Raval – 505 College St
I read that the owner of Bar Isabel was opening a new pintxo bar called Bar Raval. Having spent some time in the Basque region, I was super excited by this and put it high on my Toronto to do list.
My cousins and I came here for brunch one weekend morning. We drank cortados and ate tortila, sardines, jamon, and pulpo. This place is fantastic.
416 Snack Bar – 181 Bathurst St
416 Snack Bar is a tiny little place. It’s great for cocktails and small plates to share.
Weird side note: 416 does not have forks. So if you’re trying to eat a fried whole fish you gotta pick at it with little chopsticks. That was my only complaint but I really like this place a lot.
La Carnita – Two Locations
La Carnitas is a fun and tasty place for Mexican in Toronto. My favourites dishes were the ribs (a special) and the paletas. The restaurant is lively so it’s super load. If you’re on a date, it may not be the best place if you’re trying to talk. The host was a salty little hipster so make a reservation because this place is popular.
Nadege Patisserie – several locations
Nadege is a very pretty patisserie. Macarons and eclairs are what I come here for when I’m craving something sweet. Besides desserts, they also have savoury items like croissants and sandwiches as well as coffee and tea.
Bang Bang Ice Cream – 93 Ossington Ave
My cousins brought me to Bang Bang Ice Cream. They make ice cream sandwiches on homemade cookies here or you can have it in a cone/cup or even bubble waffle Hong Kong style!!
- 416 Snackbar
- Mill Street Brewery in the Distillery District
- Bar Isabel
- Bar Raval
- Drake Hotel (a bit scene-y but it could be your thing)
Poutini’s – 1112 Queen St W
What’s a trip to Canada without some poutine? Poutini’s is awesome and even more awesome when you throw bacon on it.
This blog post is by no means the be all, end all of Toronto food. These are just a few of my favourites in the city that I really enjoyed and would go back to.
What are favourite Toronto food spots? Share in the comments!
**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.**