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Tastes of Toronto’s Culinary Mosaic

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.

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While in Canada, we made a point to visit several Toronto 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
Rambutan

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 and a must visit for anybody who loves Korean food. 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

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.

Maple Candy in Toronto Canada
Maple Candy
Pro Tip

The St. Lawrence Market is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Final Thoughts

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 New York or Koreatown in Los Angeles? Probably not.

However, touring them is a good way to survey Toronto’s food culture and a great way to experience the diverse Canadian city.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

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.

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Lesley Peterson

Friday 3rd of April 2015

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!

Mike Orobona

Sunday 4th of January 2015

A great place for Italian groceries is the Monastery Bakery in Oakville. Still in the GTA, but a little ways from downtown.

Sandra

Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

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 :)

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

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.

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