Toronto food is best known for its diversity. The entire city is divided into many ethnic zones, each serving its own kind of food. There are a total of six Chinatowns that serve authentic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes; the Danforth and Little India are famous for their Greek and Indian food respectively while Little Italy and Corso Italia adhere to Italian cuisine. The city of Toronto also has many restaurants serving specialized Hungarian, Korean, Caribbean and Japanese dishes. The huge Jewish population of the city has ensured the various delis and Jewish eateries of business and these establishments are renowned for serving only kosher food.
Apart from the ethnic dining, Toronto food also includes a number of Canadian, North American and European dishes that are found in the up scale eateries as well as in the popular fast food chains located throughout the city.
‘Summerlicious and Winterlicious’ is a food festival held in Toronto twice a year when the restaurants experience a lean period. Food is offered at discounted rates at the festival.
History of Toronto Cuisine
The city of Toronto is situated on the banks of the Lake Ontario making seafood a standard food item on every kind of menu. The influx of the Europeans especially the Jews from Eastern Europe have added to the variety of Toronto food and the immigration of the Chinese, Filipinos and South Asians have further divided the food culture making Toronto a home for every kind of cuisine in the world. It is the only city which has 49% of its population born outside the country and the standard Canadian fare has amalgamated with the local influences making it extremely diverse in nature.
Popular Food Items of Toronto Cuisine
- Peameal Bacon sandwich- Most probably the only item recognized as authentic Toronto food, it is made with pork loins coated with cornmeal.
- Chinese Food- Ironically, the Chinese food has become the best cuisine in Toronto. Soy marinated chicken, dim sums to the Chinese BBQ platter all are now served as a part of the city cuisine.
- Roasted Marshmallow ice cream- a delicious ice-cream prepared with toasted marshmallows and half and half along with eggs.
- Dragon Fruit- Salads and sorbets containing dragon fruit are available in Thai restaurants and are included within Toronto’s most loved dishes.
- Beef Souvlaki- The beef based Greek dish is a signature dish of the annual festival ‘Taste of the Danforth’ held in Toronto.
Places Famous For Food in Toronto
Ame Cuisine- a Japanese restaurant featuring a multi course menu as well as a sushi-sashimi counter.
Fiamma Ristorante- a fine dining restaurant serving authentic Italian fare.
Nirvana, Flavours of India- Serves traditional South Asian food toned down to suit American palates.
Popular Chefs of Toronto Cuisine
Toronto has a number of celebrated chefs working in the city. Notable among them are Susur Lee, Brad Long, David Adjey, Christine Cushing and David Rocco.
Food of Toronto: Trivia
Toronto food also includes halal food items like kebabs and falafels which are regarded as street food.