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Maple Syrup - a Canadian Staple

Tastes of Toronto’s Culinary Mosaic

In Canada, Food Travel by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch4 Comments

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 Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Hong Kong Style Meats

Not to mention the eclectic produce selection.

Rambutan Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Rambutan

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

Enoteca Sociale Appetizer Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Enoteca Sociale Appetizer

Enjoying a Cannoli at Little Italy's Riviera Bakery Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 Little India's Bar-Be-Que Hut Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 (a/k/a Canadian Bacon) Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Peameal (a/k/a Canadian Bacon)

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

Carousel Bakery - Home of the Famous Peameal Bacon on a Bun Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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

Carousel Bakery's Peameal Bacon on A Bun Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Carousel Bakery’s Peameal Bacon on A Bun

Biting into a Peameal Bacon Sandwich Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 - Just One Example of the Different Game Options Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

Crocodile Meat – Just One Example of the Different Game Options

Maple Candy Toronto Canada cultural mosaic

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 in Canada? Check out the iconic Montreal restaurants that you cannot miss.


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Comments

  1. What did you think of Pastel de Natas? Was it made by Portuguese? They look great on the picture. I might be starting to feel homesick 🙂

    1. Author

      We first fell in love with Pastel de Natas in Lisbon. We have since had them in Montreal, Toronto, Kyoto and Macau. They’re always good, but best in Lisbon.

  2. Oh boy, you’ve hit on one of the best reasons to live in Toronto. We have authentic food at great prices. New places and new favorites popping up all the time! Really great food shots in this post!

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