Canadian Maple Syrup

Tastes of Toronto’s Culinary Mosaic

In Canada, Food Travel by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Toronto is a culinary mosaic comprised of many cultures and ethnicities. This diversity brings much to the city’s vitality, especially as respects the food options.

While in Toronto, we made a point to visit several neighborhoods that create the mosaic.

Our first stop was for dim sum in Chinatown. This thriving neighborhood in the center of the city bustles with activity and shopping. It’s also a great place to sample different Toronto cheap eats.

Vibrant Chinatown in Toronto Canada

Vibrant Chinatown

Next time we’re in Toronto, we want to try some other Chinatown delicacies such as the Hong Kong style meats hanging in the windows.

Hong Kong Style Meats in Toronto Canada

Hong Kong Style Meats

Not to mention the eclectic produce selection.

Rambutan in Toronto Canada


Of course, we went to Little Italy. We tried both savory and sweet foods while there.

Appetizer at Enoteca Sociale in Toronto Canada

Enoteca Sociale Appetizer

Cannoli at Riviera Bakery in Toronto Canada

Enjoying a Cannoli at Little Italy’s Riviera Bakery

Koreatown is another happening neighborhood. While there, we took a beverage break.

Drinks from a Koreatown Grocery Store in Toronto Canada

Drinks from a Koreatown Grocery Store

Little India is a bit more off the beaten track. While there, we made a food pit stop.

Tandoori Chicken at Bar-Be-Que Hut in Toronto Canada

Tandoori Chicken at Little India’s Bar-Be-Que Hut

Unlike Toronto’s colorful, eclectic Kensington Market, the St. Lawrence Market is enclosed in two buildings. The south building has lots of food shops and casual eateries. The north building hosts a weekly farmer’s market each Saturday.

The St. Lawrence Market is old, dating back to 1803, and has lots of interesting local foods. There’s plenty of peameal bacon – Toronto’s unique contribution to the global pork spectrum.

Peameal Canadian Bacon in Toronto Canada

Peameal (a/k/a Canadian Bacon)

We tried this Toronto staple on a sandwich at the Carousel Bakery.

Carousel Bakery in Toronto Canada

Carousel Bakery – Home of the Famous Peameal Bacon on a Bun

Peameal Bacon on A Bun at Carousel Bakery in Toronto Canada

Carousel Bakery’s Peameal Bacon on A Bun

Biting into a Peameal Bacon Sandwich in Toronto Canada

Biting into a Peameal Bacon Sandwich

We walked around the market and visually feasted on the many options. From meat to maple, the St. Lawrence Market has a tremendous selection of specialty foods.

Crocodile Meat in Toronto Canada

Crocodile Meat – Just One Example of the Different Game Options

Maple Candy in Toronto Canada

Maple Candy

The St. Lawrence is a fun culinary spot in Toronto. It has been ranked as tops in the world by National Geographic and CNN Travel, which is kind of wrong when you think about market gems such as Barcelona’s La Boqueria, London’s Borough Market and Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. Planning tip – the St. Lawrence Market is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

All in all, we recommend that you check out the different neighborhoods and markets when you visit Toronto. Are these neighborhoods as exciting as Chinatown in Flushing, NY or Koreatown in Los Angeles? Probably not. But touring them is a good way to survey Toronto’s food culture and a great way to experience the diverse Canadian city.

Hungry for more food in Canada? Check out the iconic Montreal restaurants that you cannot miss.

Research Toronto Hotels

Click here to research rates for hotels in Toronto and here if you want to find an Airbnb apartment with a kitchen.

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About the Author

Saveur Magazine's BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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