The 7 Culinary Wonders of Toronto
How do you know you’re a foodie? It’s more than just being up to date with the latest food trends—it’s going to be the year of the poutine, I have a feeling—it’s about having a taste for the unexplored, the never-been-tried before, and the fusion dishes that seem just a little too far-fetched to be good, but always are.
In a town like Toronto, with inspiration from all over the world mixed with the delicious local fare, it’s easy to stumble upon great eats, but why stumble unnecessarily? Check out these killer vittles from Muddy York—perfect for any foodie—and tuck in!
It’s a simple mix: fries, cheese curds, and gravy, but in Toronto, it’s always so much more than just the basics. At Poutini’s House of Poutine, you can get them simple and original, or with pulled pork, bacon and chives, vegan-style and more. Just don’t forget to add a side dipping sauce like Roasted Garlic Mayo or Bleu Cheese Mayo—it’s a delectable addition.
And if you’re head over heels for the dish like me, you’ll rearrange your schedule to accommodate the Toronto La Poutine Week—with 26 participating restaurants you can taste your way around the city and have a voice in voting the best poutine available. It’s not a bad idea for an adventure!
East Meets West
I’m going to be incredibly liberal with the term “East” and have it apply to anything East of Toronto because not only is the asian fusion in Toronto to die for, but the Dutch inspired gastronomical tradition is also a must try. Grab lunch, a three-course experience, at Momofuku Daisho for kimchi-accented hanger steak ssäm, a cocktail made from Korean moonshine at OddSeoul, and head to The Ossington on Sunday afternoons from 1pm-6pm for your weekly dose of bitterballen—it’s an international city with menus to prove it, so don’t miss your chance to eat like a globetrotter.
Burgers & Dogs
Just because you’re traveling North of the U.S. doesn’t mean some of the American food traditions haven’t snuck their way across the border, and the tradition that stands out most is the burger from Holy Chuck. Six is the magic number with their “Go Chuck Yourself” burger challenge: six patties, six cheese slice, bacon and grilled cheese bun substitutes, and it’s certainly worth getting a picture of.
Also check out Uncle Betty’s—home to a pretty bad-ass burger in their own right, but definitely home to the best hot dogs around, from the Ultimate (topped with homemade mac and cheese, pulled pork, and garlic aioli) to the Chicago (sport peppers, tomatoes, onions, and celery salt).
You don’t get a name like Hogtown without seriously bringing home the bacon, so in Toronto, you’ve got to have your fair share of pork. Bacon in pancakes from Saving Grace? Yes please! A “concoction” of vodka, Walter’s all natural caesar mix, sour pickle and bbq bacon from the genius of Anthony Rose and his Big Crow eatery? Count us in, double in. It’s not hard to get me to say yes to bacon, but in Toronto, it’s even an easier sell—there’s just something about that Canadian bacon.
Saving Grace is so awesome we had to put it on this list twice–because who else serves french toast with carmelized bananas? But it’s not the only great breakfast place in Toronto and checking out Lady Marmalade is an absolute must. Try their Moroccan scramble for something exotic, or the Bennies, served with hollandaise, potatoes and fresh tomato with add-in options from pesto to pulled pork, for something customized.
Think you know Baked Alaska? Unless you’ve had it at Dutch Dreams, you have no idea what it really can be. Almonds, fruit, cake, ice cream, toasted meringue…need I say more? It’s a gigantic order to satisfy your sweet tooth and you’ll gladly accept the challenge of getting to the bottom of the bowl. Want something a little more off-the-wall? Try one of Paulette’s original donuts, they come in hipster-friendly flavors like Peppermint Patty, Raspberry Rose, Mojito, and Rootbeer Float and they’re pretty too!
At one time, the greatest junk food to treat yourself to in Toronto was the McDonald’s french fries—they used to fry them the old way, making those little golden sticks better than any other potato around—but now that’s just not the case. From Buttermilk Chicken Tenders at The Chickery to a Vatican on Ice at The Burger’s Priest, there’s just a hell of a lot of opportunities to get something really tasty and original in Hogtown. If you’re feeling like you need to be a health nut, try the quinoa breaded onions rings at Fresh, because no one said all junk food had to be bad for you!
There’s only two tips left to give for taking a taste adventure in Toronto, and that’s just to go hungry and make sure you upload all your food pics on Instagram!