Canadian cuisine is not as well known around the world as Chinese or Italian cuisine. It's the rare town outside the country that has a Canadian restaurant, and you don't often hear someone say, "Let's have Canadian dinner tonight."
But this lack of true national cuisine is one of Toronto's strengths as a fine dining city. After all, it's one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and successive waves of immigration from around the world have made Toronto a fantastic place to eat.
Leave your bagsBounce luggage storage in Torontoand you'll be ready to enjoy all the city has to offer. Whatever you like to eat, you will find it here. Whether you want to enjoy the best food Canada has to offer or eat some of itbest street food in toronto, you will find them all here and they are all delicious. And don't worry if you're trying to avoid meat. Thebest vegetarian restaurants in torontocan help you enjoy the tastiest food in town without eating animals.
With such a great food scene, it would be a shame to visit Toronto and not try some of the city's traditional dishes. Here's an overview of some of the best.
Toronto Food: Bagels
Technically, Montreal is the epicenter of the Canadian bagel world. But if you can't make it to the largest city in the French-speaking province of Quebec, you'll find plenty of city transplants who have set up bagel shops in Toronto, too. Bagels are big business in Canada, and they're the perfect breakfast to keep you energized while you're out on the town.
For an authentic Montreal-style bagel, head to St Urbain. These bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven and topped with a thick layer of cream cheese, making them a delicious way to start the day and a true Toronto icon.
Toronto Cuisine: Khao Soi
Pai Northern Thai Kitchen on Duncan Street is undoubtedly one of the best and most popular Thai restaurants Toronto has to offer. The restaurant is inspired by the cuisine of northern Thailand, specifically the city of Chiang Mai.
One of the standout dishes on the menu is khao soi, a coconut curry noodle soup that's perfect for cold Toronto days. The dish consists of egg noodles, chicken and pickled mustard and is served with lime, chilli and shallots for extra flavour.
Toronto Kitchen: Poutine
Poutine is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. For the uninitiated, it's a dish consisting of potatoes with gravy and cottage cheese. It might not sound like much, but it's surprisingly addictive.
This is another dish that came to Toronto from Montreal. However, good food knows no borders and poutine has become Canada's national dish. Served warm, the sauce melts the cheese into a delicious mass, making it a great hangover food as well as a hearty and filling meal. Whether you pick it up from a nearby food truck or one of Toronto's many poutine joints, this sauce and melted cheese dish is sure to please. It's also a classic pub dish that you'll find on menus all over Toronto.
There are many places to get poutine in Toronto, but Poutinerie Smoke's is widely regarded as one of the best. With multiple locations around town, it's easy to find something to eat, and there are many different variations of this dish to try, from traditional poutines to vegetarian and vegan options.
Toronto Food: Bacon Sandwich with Allemal
One of the foods from Canada that has become famous around the world is bacon. Often known as Canadian bacon in the United States, here in Toronto it's known as grits bacon. This type of bacon is made from lean pork tenderloin, which is then cured and coated with cornmeal. It's a delicious and unique variation on traditional bacon and a perfect sandwich filling. Much juicier and less crunchy than regular spreads, it's also a unique breakfast product.
The Bacon Oatmeal Sandwich is a Toronto classic and you'll find it on menus across the city. However, if you want to try the best, head to Carousel Bakery in St. Laurentius. This sandwich is simple but effective, with freshly baked bread and lots of peames bacon. For non-meat eaters, a vegetarian option is also available.
Toronto Food: A smoked meat sandwich in Montreal
Another classic sandwich from Toronto's eastern neighbor is the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich. This dish is made from beef that has been cured with salt and then smoked and served on rye bread with mustard.
Like poutine, Montreal smoked meat is something of a national dish in Canada, and there are plenty of places to get it in Toronto. Wolfie's Deli is one of the most popular places for this sandwich and has been serving it since 1975. If you're looking for a taste of Montreal in Toronto, this is a dish worth trying.
Toronto Food: Bary Nanaimo
These bars are named after the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but are very popular across Canada. They consist of crumb, cream filling and chocolate ganache coating, which makes them extremely rich and delicious.
You'll find Nanaimo bars in bakeries and coffee shops all over Toronto. You probably won't need more than one because they're so sweet, but for those with a sweet tooth, this is a treat you definitely shouldn't miss.
Food Toronto: Butter Tarts
These tarts are a classic Canadian dessert and are made with butter, sugar and eggs. The filling is similar to a nut cake, but without the nuts.
Butter tart crusts are usually flaky or yeasty and can be baked or unbaked. They are often served with raisins or other dried fruit, but some prefer them plain.
If you want to try the best butter tarts in Toronto, head to the Butter Tart Factory on Yonge Street. They have a variety of flavors to choose from as well as vegan and gluten free options.
Food in Toronto: BeaverTails
These fried pies are a favorite Canadian food and are shaped like a beaver's tail. Usually served with cinnamon sugar or chocolate sauce, they make a delicious treat.
BeaverTails stands are located all over Toronto, but one of the best places to get them is The Beavertail Cafe on Queen's Quay. This cafe also has a great view of the city so you can enjoy your cake while enjoying the view.
Toronto Food: Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is another food product that has become synonymous with Canada and is produced in the eastern provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
Maple sap based syrup has a unique flavor that pairs perfectly with pancakes, waffles and oatmeal. It is also a popular ingredient in baking.
If you want to try the best maple syrup in Toronto, head to The Maple Leaf Tavern on Dundonald Street. They serve a delicious pancake breakfast with lots of syrup, and also have a number of other maple flavored dishes on the menu.
Toronto Food: Baja Fish Tacos
It's a long way from this northern city to Baja. But that doesn't mean you can't find good Mexican food in Toronto, and Baja Fish Tacos is a prime example of that.
These tacos are made with fresh fish and usually served with coleslaw and chipotle mayo. Other toppings include sour cream and salsa for a classic Mexican flavor. You can find them in Mexican restaurants all over Toronto, but one of the best places to get them is El Catrin on Distillery Lane.
Toronto Food: All Dressed French Fries
These chips are a Canadian favorite and are made with a mix of different flavors like ketchup, sour cream, vinegar, salt and pepper. It may sound strange, but the spicy taste of these fries made them a hit across Canada.
There is nothing extraordinary about this delicacy. You will find all the dressed chips in supermarkets and corner shops all over the city. However, if you're looking for a quick snack to eat on the go while still maintaining a classic Canadian snack, these are great options.
Toronto Food: Naklejki Kimchi
These fried noodles are a popular Korean dish, but they taste good in Toronto too. They are made with pork and vegetable filling and served with sauce.
The kimchi pancakes at Sue-Ann's Fish & Chips are some of the best in town. The store is located in Koreatown, so you can be sure that the potstickers are authentic.
Toronto Food: Lee's Signature Singapore Salad
Lee's Restaurant has become an icon of Toronto cuisine and is one of the best restaurants to visit while in town. One of the reasons is the unique Singapore salad. This dish combines 19 different ingredients, including daikon, shallots and pickled red onions, into a delicious, spicy and aesthetically pleasing salad that will leave you wanting more. It's more than just one of the best dishes on our vegetarian list. This is one of the best dishes Toronto has to offer and definitely worth a try when in town.
Toronto Food: Pupusas
Fried corn cakes stuffed with cheese and refried beans are a classic Salvadoran dish. But thanks to Toronto's status as an immigrant destination, you'll find puppy in restaurants all over the city.
There are many places to buy pupusas in Toronto, but one of the best is Pupuserias Y Restaurante El Triunfo. This Salvadoran restaurant serves some of the tastiest puppies in town and is worth a visit if you're looking for a taste of Central America. They can also be found on the menu of a local food truck or two. Pupus are practically made to be amazing street food and are perfect for eating on the go. Whether you get them from a food truck or the dining room of a classic Salvadoran cafe, you'll be wondering where this delicacy has been all your life.
Toronto Food: Pit Master Platter at Bar Carbon
This is definitely not a vegetarian dish. This meat feast consists of buttermilk fried chicken, pulled pork, ribs in BBQ sauce and beef brisket. It's a lot of food, but it's the perfect dish to share with friends if you're looking for something hearty and filling.
Bar Carbon is one of the best BBQ restaurants in Toronto and this platter is definitely one of the highlights of the menu. So if you're craving good old-fashioned comfort food, this is definitely the dish for you. Just remember to come hungry!
Food Toronto: Vegetarian chili from The Friendly Butcher
Even meat eaters will enjoy this vegetarian chili from The Friendly Butcher. It is made with a variety of beans, including black beans and kidney beans, as well as corn, tomatoes, onions and a blend of spices. It is nutritious, filling and perfect for cold winter days.
Vegetarian chili can often seem bland, but that's definitely not the case with this dish. You won't need hot sauce to flavor this dish - although it's there if you need it.
With so many amazing restaurants in Toronto serving cuisine from around the world, there's no way you won't find something good to eat. Whether you're craving something classic like steak frites served with Belgian fries at an upscale wine bar, or prefer to head to Toronto's food trucks and dine on poutines and Nanaimo bars, there's something for you. And when the calorie count starts to creep up a bit, check it outbest hike in torontofor some great ways to use up everything you ate.