Food: Delicious Choices
By Stephanie Dickison
Over the past 20 years, the selection and quality of ethnic food has been rising across the country. No matter where you live there are lots of good ethnic restaurants and markets.
For those of you who live in major urban areas, the prospects for fine dining are especially good. There is probably a better selection of high quality ethnic eateries and markets in Toronto than anywhere else in Canada.
Whether you are looking for Japanese, Caribbean, Greek, or Indian ingredients to make your homelands authentic dishes, Toronto has what you need! While many of our large grocery stores have various world foods, Toronto has areas and restaurants dedicated to many cuisines. We pride ourselves of having a little bit of everything and once you’ve been in the city awhile, you’ll soon see the large range of products and services we have available. In the meantime, let me show you around town for all the great food shops and restaurants!
Chinese ingredients can be found at the many stores in either of our Chinatowns located downtown between Queen and College on Spadina and from Yonge to Spadina on Dundas, and at Gerrard and Broadview. Here you can find baby bok choy, Hoisin sauce, fresh and frozen seafood, along with many noodles, teas and baked goods. One of many to try is Kiu Luen Co Chinese Grocery, 341 Broadview Ave. (416-465-4928).
For eating out, Spadina Garden at 114 Dundas St. W. at Bay (416-977-3413) and Bright Pearl Seafood (they also offer dim sum!) 346 Spadina Ave. at St. Andrew, 2nd and 3rd flr. (416-979-3988) are good places to start, but there are many to choose from, so walk and discover all the fabulous Chinese food in our great city!
If you are looking for sushi and other Japanese ingredients then look to Kensington’s own Little Tokyo and Queen Street’s Sanko. Here you can find wasabi, soba noodles, sushi rice, Edamame (soy beans) along with fresh produce and seafood.
And don’t forget J-Town, a Japanese supermarket with a wide array of products to choose from!
Oisi Oyster Japanese Restaurant, 245 Eglinton Ave. E. (416-483-6848 www.oisioyster.com) and Izakaya Japanese Restaurant, 69 Front St. E., (416-703-8658) offer authentic Japanese food and experiences.
Little Korea can be found on Bloor St. between Bathurst and Christie. You can find items to make
kimchee and bi bim bap or pick up freshly made walnut cakes (among other flavours!). P.A.T. Central Market, a huge supermarket has Korean ingredients along with prepared foods. It is a fun place to visit!
Ninth Gate Korean Bistro, 11 Jarvis St., (416-981-1919) and Korea House, 666 Bloor St. W. (416-536-8666) offer great Korean barbeque along with tasty noodle soups and other specialties.
“The Taste of Asia” can be found at T&T Supermarket where a wonderful variety of produce and canned goods await you. Looking for Oxhead Brand Thai Rice? What about Tian Jin Ya-Li Pears, Elephant Papayas, Frozen Roasted Eel Fillets, Grand Maple Sweetened Soy Drinks, and Marinated Pig Ears? Look no further. T&T has what you are looking for!
Also, be sure to check out North America’s largest indoor Asian mall, Pacific Mall, for all of your food and household needs.
Little India can be found along Gerrard Ave. There are many shops and restaurants here. A listing of them can be found at www.mastindia.com/toronto.html. A couple of note are Surati Sweet Mart on Gerrard and Indian Groceries in Scarborough.
There is a lot of great Indian restaurants in the city. Just a couple are The Host, with multiple locations
(416-962-4678) and Sher E Punjab, 351 Danforth Ave. (416-465-2125).
Caribbean food is a Toronto favourite. You can shop for authentic ingredients at Joyce’s West Indian Foods, 854 Bathurst St. at Bloor (416-533-4872) and African Caribbean Grocery, 24 Dundas St. E. Mississauga (905-281-9515).
Irie Food Joint, 745 Queen St. W. (416-366-4743) and Irie Caribbean Restaurant, 808 College St.
(416-531-4743) are great fun.
Greektown offers chamomile tea, oregano, tzatziki, gyros and everything else that you need to make authentic greek food. You can find more information at www.greektowntoronto.com/ but be sure to stop by the Pape IGA along with the many specialty shops on the Danforth Ave. between Jones and Broadview.
For restaurants, you need only walk along the Danforth. It is jam-packed with great places to eat. There is truly something for everyone here, but if you are overwhelmed by all the choices, try Omonia Shish Kebob Place, 426 Danforth Ave. (416-465-2129) and Ampeli Taverna, 526 Danforth Ave. (416-465-4001).
If you’re looking for European fare, look no further than Bloor West Village, Bloor St. between Jane and Runnymede. The bakeries, delis and markets offer European delicacies. Go to bloorwestvillage.com for more information and try these restaurants for authentic European dishes – Amber European Restaurant, 2372 Bloor St. W. (416-763-6164) and Sweet Gallery Exclusive Pastry Ltd., 2312A Bloor St. W. (416-766-0289).
For Mexican food, you can find tortillas, tomatilloes and fresh and dried peppers in Kensington Market at Mexican Food and Perola’s on Augusta Ave. To try authentic Mexican dishes, go to El Trompo Taco Bar & Cactus Grill, 277 Augusta Ave. (416-260-0097, www.eltrompo.ca for something casual and Milagro Restaurant And Cantina Inc., 5 Mercer Street (416-850-2855, www.milagrorestaurant.com for finer dining.
To find more restaurants, go to www.dine.to and www.toronto-restaurants.com to look by type of cuisine. Here you’ll find everything under the sun including French, Russian, Cuban and even delis!
Enjoy and Bon Appetite!
ETHNIC FOOD DIRECTORY
Sanko Trading Co.Japanese Food & Gifts
730 Queen St. W.
Open 6 Days 10 am – 7 pm Closed Tuesday
Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
199 Augusta Ave.
(in Kensington Market)
J-Town 3160 Steeles Ave. E.
(North Side of Buffet City)
Tue – Fri 10 am – 7 pm,
Sat 9 am – 7 pm,
Sun 11 am – 6 pm
Mon – Closed
locations are available at 1-877-321-8113 and www.tnt-supermarket.com
P.A.T. Central Market
675 Bloor St. W.
Promenade Shopping Centre
Y007 – 1 Promenade Circle,
9 am – 10 pm
4300 Steeles Ave. E.
(NE corner of Steeles & Kennedy)
Open year round including all holidays
Sun – Thurs 11 am – 8 pm Fri – Sat 11 am – 9 pm
Surati Sweet Mart
1407 Gerrard St. E.
Joyce’s West Indian Foods
854 Bathurst St. at Bloor
African Caribbean Grocery
24 Dundas St. E. Mississauga
Yummy Market European Food
4400 Dufferin St.
Papa IGA Foods
623 Danforth Ave.
Bloor West Village
200 Baldwin St.
247 Augusta Ave.