Visit almost any major city in the world and you will find incredible local cuisine, plus a good burger, pizza and other global staples. Toronto is no different: head over to the famous St. Lawrence Market for an iconic peameal bacon sandwich, or sample the smash burger spots that keep popping up around the city.
But, if you want to discover what makes Toronto special, the source of pride for Torontonians, it’s our diversity. More than half the residents in the city were born outside of Canada, and it shows in the incredible diversity of delicious food, which you can see more of on my Instagram, @seed.eat.repeat.
To get you started, I’ve rounded up 12 delicious and diverse Toronto food spots to try — including five of my and Amaara’s faves, which you can find Slice’s TikTok, too.
@slicedotca Ok yum 🍽 #diversitymatters #foodtoronto #torontoeats @Aashim ♬ The Chicken – small j
Related: 5 things to do for the perfect weekend in Toronto.
One of the newer spots on the list, Pomarosa is a cult favourite for the city’s growing Latin-American population. Featuring arepas from Venezuela, ceviche from Peru and much more, Chef Luis takes inspiration from the whole region and makes dishes that are his own.
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Step into the past at this Toronto favourite — a pillar of the city’s Jewish community — run by the Ladovsky family since its opening in 1912. Go for breakfast, order their famous pea soup and round out the meal with a sandwich on their delicious bagels and breads.
See also: Where the stars really go when they’re in Toronto.
Sala Thai is one of the many women-run Thai restaurants that is passionate about sharing authentic Thai food with Torontonians. While they nail all the classics, try one of their signature creations like the tom yum pad thai with pork belly.
Saints Island Pies
Detroit-style pizza in Toronto? Yes, Toronto currently has a love affair with the thick, crispy pies first invented in the Motor City. But what you won’t get in Detroit is Saints’ Filipino-inspired creations, such as Bespren Longaniza, topped with Filipino sausage and fried egg.
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Toronto has an endless number of options for delicious Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, but Rendez-Vous stands out as one of the best. Order a platter to try a variety of stews served atop injera, a fermented, spongy bread that soaks up all the flavour. End the meal with a coffee ceremony, and experience the importance of the hot drink in Ethiopian culture.
Little Tibet in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood is home to North America’s largest Tibetan community. Loga’s Corner is a go-to for momos, comforting Tibetan dumplings that can be ordered steamed or fried. Don’t forget the house hot sauce!
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If there’s one neighbourhood that reflects Toronto’s diversity best, it’s Kensington Market. A staple of the area, Rasta Pasta brings Jamaican and Italian cuisine together with their fusion dishes. The jerk chicken fettuccine alfredo is just one of the mouth-watering pastas on offer.
One step into this tiny bar and you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to Barcelona, Spain. From the curved architecture to the menu of tapas, or small plates, Bar Raval is dedicated to creating a memorable experience. Don’t leave without a slice of basque cheesecake — perfect for sharing on a special date night.
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Toronto’s three favourite foods might just be poutine, shawarma and jerk chicken. Chris Jerk puts all of them onto one plate! Crispy fries, bold gravy, jerk chicken cooked shawarma-style and melty cheese, what’s not to like?
Pow Wow Cafe
Indigenous cuisines have been around in this area longer than any others, but unfortunately only a few spots in the city offer these dishes today. Bring cash and jump on any of Pow Wow Cafe’s seasonal specials — especially anything that’s served on frybread.
Related: Indigenous-owned businesses to support across Canada.
Toronto’s beloved brunch spot, Maha’s, serves up modern and classic takes on Egyptian dishes. The Mind Blowing Chicken is appropriately named, and their vegan/vegetarian options will leave you just as satisfied. Expect a line to get in, but it’s well worth it!
Anybody that commutes into the city will tell you that subway station Jamaican patties are a highlight of their busy days. If you truly want to eat like a local, keep an eye (and nose) out for the smell of Jamaican patties made by Fahmee Bakery — while a fire in May 2022 has temporarily set the team back, they should be back at your fave subway stations soon.
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