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Begin with Peameal Bacon Sandwiches - Toronto's Diverse Food Scene

Explore Toronto’s Diverse Food Scene: From Peameal Bacon Sandwiches to International Cuisine (2024)

Toronto is Canada’s largest, most vibrant, and most diverse city, and so are its Food offerings. All thanks to the multicultural population here, Toronto has cuisines from most parts of the world. The permanent and temporary residents in Canada represent over 200 ethnic origins. Nearly 50% of the nation’s population isn’t born here. The people who decided to settle here temporarily or permanently brought a wide range of culinary traditions along with them and made Toronto a melting point of food traditions.

The food scenes in Toronto are truly incredible. From traditional Chinese cuisine to flavourful Indian delicacies and Korean, Ethiopian, and Jamaican dishes, international food offerings here knows no end. And since the basics of authentic Canadian cuisine is already there, the experience of a food trip to Toronto multiplies greatly. Whether you are keen on exploring culinary traditions or simply state yourself as a foodie, Toronto is a must-visit destination for you.

Explore Toronto’s Diverse Food Scene: From Peameal Bacon Sandwiches to International Cuisine

So join us and explore the diverse, flavourful, and truly satisfying flavors’ of Toronto. Whether you are in the mood for a classic poutine, want to try some peameal bacon sandwiches, or dive into international cuisine, a food trip here 2will delight you. With that said, let’s get started:

1. Begin with Peameal Bacon Sandwiches

When in Toronto for a food trip, always start with the Peameal Bacon Sandwiches. This delicious meal is deeply rooted in Toronto and Canadian culinary history and is a beloved local dish. Peameal Bacon dates back its origin to 19th-century farmers, and it soon became popular in the working-class neighborhood. It isn’t just a sandwich but a symbol of Canadian culinary heritage. In fact, Canadian bacon is another name for Peameal Bacon.

A trip to Toronto is always incomplete without trying a Peameal Bacon Sandwich. The unsmoked back bacon is coated in a layer of cornmeal and layered between bread or a soft roll. The bacon is crispy on the outside while juicy and flavorful on the inside. It is a popular breakfast or lunch option amongst Torontonians and can be found across cafes, diners, and restaurants. The best place to try this flavourful sandwich is Carousel Bakery in the historic St. Lawrence Market. The bakery has been serving sandwiches for over 4 decades now, and they can never go wrong with it. In addition, Paddington’s Pump at 430 Bloor Street West, Senator Restaurant at 249 Victoria Street, and Rustic Bakery at 461 Church Street also offer this iconic Canadian dish.

2. Try Poutine, Canada’s National Dish

Another quintessentially Canadian dish to try in Toronto is Poutine. This Classic Cheesy French fry dish originated in Quebec in the late 1950s. It is beloved all across Canada, and Toronto is no exception. It is so popular and admired that Canadians call Poutine their National Dish.

In Poutine, the French Fries are typically cut thick and fried until crispy. They are then mixed with cheesy curd and a meat-based sauce that increases the flavors. Poutine also comes in vegetarian and vegan options and is becoming increasingly available for people with different food choices. The best place to try Poutine in Toronto is Smoke’s Poutinerie. This fast-casual restaurant offers Poutine with a range of toppings and variations. Whether you want to try the authentic traditional flavor or wish to go adventurous, they have a range of options. Or visit Nom Nom Nom Poutine in Kensington Market and enjoy traditional Quebec-style Poutine. The Fry in Distillery District and Smoque N’ Bones at Queen Street West are some other great restaurants to check out.

3. Try Montreal-Style Bagels

Trying Montreal-style bagels is one of the must-do culinary experiences in Toronto. Especially if you are a bagel lover, do try this iconic Canadian food. Even though the dish originated in Montreal, it gained popularity in Toronto and other parts of Canada similarly. Today from local bakeries to delis, every other place in Toronto offers this delicacy.

Montreal-style bagels are prepared using bagels coated in malt syrup, eggs, and sugar. The bagel remains crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. It usually has a sweeter taste with slightly smoked flavors. The best place to try Montreal-style bagels in Toronto is St. Urbain Bagel in the Annex neighborhood. They have been offering this classic dish with an authentic taste since 1919. Or visit Bagel House for its wide variety of bagel flavors. Restaurants like Kivas, What A Bagel, and Gryfe’s Bagels are some great options as well.

4. Do Not Miss Butter Tarts

Butter tarts are small pastry tart that has been around for over 100 years in Canada. It is highly regarded in Canadian cuisine and is loved by almost each and every one. The dessert originated in Ontario but, with time, became popular all over Canada and the world across. The tarts basically consist of a small pastry shell with a filling of sugar, syrup, and eggs inside.

The tarts are baked until the entire filling is set. Locals and tourists in Toronto enjoy Butter Tarts as a sweet snack or dessert. It is commonly available at bakeries, cafes, and restaurants and is a grab-and-go kind of treat.

The most popular place to try Butter tarts in Toronto includes the Carousel Bakery in St. Lawrence Market. The Butter tarts they bake have a flaky pastry shell and a deliciously crumbly crust. Whereas the filling inside is perfectly gooey and rich, and it simply melts in the mouth. Or, visit Blackbird Baking Co. and try their traditional tarts. Food lovers can also check out Dufflet Pastries for their traditional and chocolate-flavored butter tarts. In addition, do not miss Roselle Desserts for their unique twist on desserts.

Discovering Toronto’s Food Scene at St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is a paradise for food lovers, and you cannot simply miss it. The marketplace hosts more than 100 vendors selling everything from local and international food to fresh produce. Some of the popular dishes and restaurants in St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, include:

  1. If you are a cheese lover, do visit Cheese Boutique for their selection of artisanal cheeses from around the world. From soft and hard cheese to blue cheeses and goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, they have literally everything one can ask for. The best part about Cheese Boutique is since their staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the cheese, they make visitors feel at home. Before shopping, some visitors can sample a different variety of cheese and discover new flavors and pairings.
  2. Or, try Churrasco chicken from Churrasco St. Lawrence. Churrasco chicken, though, is a Portuguese dish, but trying it here is a must. The outlet at St. Lawrence Market follows a secret family recipe that gives their dish a unique, flavourful, and soul-satisfying flavor. They cook it over an open flame which gives the dish a smoky flavor. Churrasco chicken here is reasonably priced and comes with a lot of side dish options making it a wholesome meal.
  3. When at St. Lawrence Market, do not forget to try French macarons from Chocolates by Delaine. This vendor at Lawrence specializes in handmade chocolates and French macarons. They use traditional French techniques and handcraft macarons in small batches for their perfectly light and airy outcome. Macarons here are available in different flavors, including lavender, Earl Grey tea, peppermint, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and chocolate.
  4. Visit European Delight and try Pierogi. This traditional Eastern European dish is quite popular across the world and so in Toronto. Pierogi is basically a handmade dumpling filled with either sweet or savory ingredients. Upon visiting European Delight, individuals can watch as the pierogi are made fresh on-site. Either try them or take them home along with other options like babka, sausage, sauerkraut, and strudel.
  5. Lastly, if you are a seafood lover, then do try Oysters from Buster’s Sea Cove. This popular joint at the St. Lawrence Marketplace is quite loved by seafood enthusiasts. They offer a range of Oyster options from regions like Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and more. Oysters here are served on a half-shell with a lemon wedge and some mignonette sauce. If you are new to eating oysters, start with a milder variety and eat it when hot and fresh.

Best Places to try International Cuisine in Toronto

The multicultural city of Toronto has a lot of International Cuisine offerings. Here are a few of the most popular to try:

  1. Visit Chinatown For Authentic Chinese Food: Chinatown is a bustling neighborhood near downtown Toronto and is quite popular for its food offerings. The authentic Chinese food here is full of unique flavors and textures. The most popular dishes to try here include a variety of Dim sum (specially siu mai, cha siu bao, and har gow). Or try Noodles variety like dan dan noodles and beef chow fun. Hot Pot, Roast Duck, and Bubble Tea are more options to dwell in. The most popular restaurants in Chinatown, Toronto, are Rol San Restaurant, King’s Noodle, Mother’s Dumplings, and Lee Garden.
  2. Visit Little India for Spicy and Flavorful Indian Cuisine: The flavourful and rich Indian food will take you into a food coma in Toronto’s Little India neighborhood. The area has several non-vegetarian, vegetarian, and vegan options to try from. However, the bold and flavorful spices here can be slightly over for individuals with a very basic palette. When in Little India, do try Pakistani-style barbecue dishes, butter chicken and tandoori chicken, and authentic South Indian cuisine. The most popular restaurants in Little India include Udupi Palace, Lahore Tikka House, and Little India Restaurant.
  3. Visit Little Italy for Some Italian delicacies: The Italian heritage and delicious Italian cuisine in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood is a must-to-experience thing. A visit here allows food lovers to try everything to try from tiramisu, spaghetti carbonara, risotto, and pizzas. The neighborhood also hosts the Taste of Little Italy festival annually in June for a truly soulful culinary experience. The most popular restaurants in Little Italy include Cafe Diplomatico, Bar Isabel, Pizzeria Libretto, and Trattoria Nervosa.
  4. Lastly, Visit Korean Food in Korea Town: This neighborhood is a perfect place to start your Korean food journey, whether you are new or repeatedly coming here. Some of the popular Korean food offering you can try here include Kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable dish used as a staple side in Korea. Or enjoy Korean BBQ, which is basically marinated meats and vegetables grilled right at your table. Bibimbap, a Korean rice bowl, and Jjajangmyeon, thick Korean noodles served with black bean sauce, are some other comforting options to try. The most popular restaurants in Korean town include Korean Grill House, Miga Korean BBQ, Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, Owl of Minerva, and Bi Bim Bap.

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