Toronto is well known for its multicultural food scene. You’ll find neighbourhood pockets famous for their Sunday morning dim sum or pierogi festivals. It’s very easy to feel like you’re travelling the world within a 30-minute drive around the city.
You’ll find places to eat for every budget: from peameal sandwiches to tasting menus. To help guide you through Toronto’s culinary scene, I’ve picked out the best places to eat in the city. You’ll sample some famous Canadian cuisine, get a taste of cultural history, and explore neighbourhoods many tourists don’t bother to visit.
This culinary food tour of Toronto will help you learn more about the city and find some of the most delicious dishes in Canada.
The Best Places to Eat in Toronto
1. Famous Canadian Peameal Bacon Sandwich from Carousel Bakery
Carousel Bakery is an institution in Toronto. They’re the best place to get the famous Canadian peameal bacon sandwich.
This sandwich began over a hundred years ago when people transporting food were trying to find ways to preserve it. They rolled it in peameal, a yellow course flour, and the iconic meat was born.
Carousel Bakery is located in the St. Lawrence Market, one of the best places to shop for local produce and meat in Toronto. It’s a perfect activity on a winter day in Canada, when you can stroll through the aisles, quickly amassing a feast for dinner.
The reason Carousel is so famous for their peameal bacon sandwiches is because they make their buns from scratch. It’s the perfect mix of salty meat with a fresh kaiser roll. Top it with mustard, honey, or both! The best is a blend of the two, but be careful as the honey can get a bit messy.
Carousel Bakery is located at 93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada.
2. Take a Trip to the Islands at Chubby’s Jamaican
Canada has a long history with the Caribbean Islands. We nearly made the Bahamas a province decades ago.
Although there were never plans to make Jamaica a province, it still has a rich history with Canada.
Chubby’s Jamaica is an innocuous white building when you first approach it. As you near, you’ll notice the neon “Chubby’s” sign above a bright pink door. When you enter, you’re enclosed in the warmth of the islands, complete with large palm trees throughout the restaurant.
Chubby’s has the best Jamaican food in Canada. You must try the jerk chicken and salt cod fritters.
This is a hot spot for locals, especially business people looking for a good lunch between meetings. On weekdays, you’ll need to make a reservation to ensure you get a table amongst all of the office workers trying to hold on to the feeling of their last Caribbean vacation.
Chubby’s Jamaican is located at 104 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N2, Canada.
3. Try a Nova Scotian Lobster Roll at Rodney’s Oyster House
Canada is famous for our seafood. It’s one of my favourite pros of living in Canada.
Although Toronto isn’t on the coast, we still get excellent seafood flown in fresh every day. You can sample the best we have to offer at Rodney’s Oyster House.
Located in King West’s indie neighbourhood, Rodney’s is surrounded by fusion restaurants and thrift shops. You have to go down into the basement to reach this sea lover’s fantasy. The whole place is decked out like the interior of a ship, with rich wood panelling making it feel oddly airy even though you’re a storey underground.
Rodney’s is a pricier meal than some of the others on this list, because seafood is more expensive. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Order some fresh oysters to start with and sample Rodney’s homemade sauces and vinaigrettes. Get a fresh lobster roll or a warm clam chowder for your main to try some of Canada’s delicacies.
I always get a lobster roll because it reminds me of living in Nova Scotia, where lobster rolls are a near daily occurrence. The roll is fresh lobster chunks with mayonnaise and butter sauce on a fresh buttered bun. It comes with onion rings big enough to wear as bangles and a side salad that I don’t think I even noticed the first few times I ate there.
It’s best to sit at the bar so you can watch them shucking the oysters and get to chat about the local beers on tap.
Rodney’s Oyster House is located at 469 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, Canada.
4. Rol San Restaurant to Celebrate Asian Culture in China Town
Toronto’s Chinatown is one of the best places to go shopping. It’s right next to Kensington Market, where you can get great produce. Browse the Asian markets for fresh spices and hard to find sauces so you can cook more incredible Asian dishes at home. I always head to Chinatown when I’m making dumplings from scratch.
Rol San is a favourite among Torontonians. It offers cheap dim sum that is absolutely to die for. People line up outside for hours to get a table if they’ve slept in on a weekend.
Arrive 30 minutes before they open to ensure you get a spot. Then order the best dim sum in Toronto.
If you’re not sure what to get, ask your waiter to give you a sampling. I always get the har gow, siu mai, and a fresh green tea. Otherwise, I tend to let them go wild! It’s best to visit with a group of friends so you can get more dishes and share them.
Rol San Restaurant is located at 323 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2E9, Canada.
5. Treat Yourself to French Luxury at Alo
If you’re looking for a truly special meal, head to Alo. This restaurant is well known as being one of the most luxurious spots in Toronto.
Alo is a contemporary French restaurant that offers multi-course meals and tasting menus. They pride themselves on working with seasonal ingredients to create fresh, delicious menus for you to enjoy.
Every time you go to Alo you’ll fall in love with something new. Whether it’s the contemporary design, the way they make Canadian cheeses shine, or the subtly complicated desserts.
I can’t recommend an individual dish as I’ve never seen the same thing on the menu twice at Alo. It’s always a new experience that will take your breath away.
Alo is located at 163 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5V 2L6, Canada.
Where to Get the Best Desserts in Toronto
Toronto isn’t just the best place to eat different cuisines, it’s also an incredible spot for people with a sweet tooth.
6. Tom’s Dairy Freeze
Tom’s Dairy Freeze is a Toronto treasure. Every Torontonian has cycled to Tom’s in the summer to get a freshly swirled soft serve cone at some point in their lives. If they haven’t, they aren’t really a Torontonian. It’s one of the reasons why summer is the second-best time of year to visit Toronto.
Tom’s is a 50’s diner feel with a take away window to get your summer treats. I recommend getting a dipped vanilla cone or a banana split. Unlike other places that use ice milk, they use actual cream and make all of their syrups from scratch. You can really taste the love!
Tom’s Dairy Freeze is located at 630 The Queensway, Etobicoke, ON M8Y 1K5, Canada.
7. La Banane’s Ziggy StarDust Egg
The most stunning dessert in Toronto comes from a seafood restaurant. La Banane has become celebrated for their Ziggy StarDust Egg. This is a giant chocolate eggshell that you have to crack into like an Easter Egg. Inside, there are chocolate truffles, espresso beans, milk sponge and dried fruit.
Even four people can’t eat it all in one sitting. You can get a take away box and keep the luxury going for a week!
La Banane is located at 227 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8, Canada.
8. SOMA Chocolatier
Located in the Distillery District, SOMA Chocolatier is the best spot to visit for chocolate. You’ll find fresh hot chocolate, including a Mexican version with a hint of spice, homemade ice creams, and the best truffles in the city.
If you’re looking for a treat or a nice present for someone else, you’ll want to visit SOMA.
SOMA Chocolatier is located at 32 Tank House Lane, Toronto, Canada.
9. Sweet Jesus
Sweet Jesus is a newer ice cream parlour in Toronto. It’s gone viral for their over the top ice cream toppings, including giant chunks of cotton candy.
If you’re looking for an instagrammable dessert, to get an epic sugar high, or to call out “sweet jesus!” at the first bite of ice cream, you need to visit Sweet Jesus.
Get the smallest size and split it! They’re absolutely massive.
Sweet Jesus is located at 106 John ST Toronto, ON, Canada.
Bio: Nina from Nina Out and About
Nina is a solo female traveller who has lived nomadically since 2017. She discovered her love of travelling when she moved to Italy alone at 16. Since then, she’s been working to inspire other women to gain the confidence to solo travel the world.
She started Nina Out and About, a solo female travel blog, to help share her wisdom and to stop annoying her friends with constantly sharing travel tips and stories. You can expect expert tips, informative articles, and some funny mishaps on Nina Out and About.
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