Toronto, Canada has been recognized as the most multicultural city in the world, offering residents and tourists a wealth of experiences. Its eclectic neighborhoods and vibrant festivals are packed with a wide range of shops, markets, and most notably, a variety of delicious foods in Toronto.
We will take you on a culinary journey of Toronto, exploring the city’s various flavors and delights, guided by your taste buds.
What’s Special About Food In Toronto
Toronto’s multicultural title makes the city so different from many others. Being home to over 250 ethnicities who speak 170 different languages, the city not only represents them but their cultures as well.
Each one of the different cultures brings a ton of combined greatness to the city, but the best part is that they bring their recipes with them. The different culinary cuisines that you experience because of the cultural diversity are a win for us all.
You get to be acquainted with flavors from all over the world, making the foods of Toronto the best in the entire country.
Most Famous Food In Toronto
Poutine (Fries, Gravy & Cheese Curds)
Ahh, the good old famous Canadian food classic, Poutine. While it may not be the greatest food you’ll ever taste, it is famously Canadian so you must try it.
That said, there’s a good chance it will most likely be the greatest thing you’ll ever taste as well, particularly if you like a hearty, flavorful snack. So be prepared to have a new favorite food!
Originally created in Quebec, poutine is a sacred treasure of Canadians and they embrace it proudly. How could you possibly go wrong with a mound of piping hot french fries covered in fresh gravy?
The secret ingredient that takes this basic dish to the next level is the fresh cheese curds that melt into the gravy, making your fries come alive in a way you would never expect.
If you’re in the city (or anywhere else in Canada), it’s a must for you to try this top dish that Canada is known for. You will never regret it and will probably brag about it to your friends, your kids, and your grandkids for years to come.
Must Try Foods In Toronto
Peameal Bacon Sandwich (Bacon, Kaiser Bun & Toppings)
A Canadian breakfast classic that Toronto is known for is the peameal bacon sandwich.
This food staple in Toronto is made up of cured pork loin bacon that has been rolled in cornmeal and grilled until it is a perfect balance of crispy and juicy. It’s a delicious way to start the day and if you are a foodie, you will love it.
The peameal bacon sandwich served on a kaiser bun can be endlessly customized and topped with whatever suits your fancy. Other popular options for toppings are mustard, maple syrup, avocado, mayonnaise, and pickles.
Whatever your heart desires, you can make it happen with this sandwich. You’ll find this dish served all over the city, especially around St. Lawrence Market. A trip to this local market is one of the best things to do in Toronto, as you can find plenty of delicious foods and goodies.
Jamaican Patties (Pastry With Meat Filling)
There is a Reddit debate saying that Jamaican patties should be at the top of the list as the best food in Toronto. The thriving Caribbean community has brought patties to the city and Toronto has never been the same since.
Jamaican patties are found in restaurants and food trucks throughout the city and they’re especially great if you’re looking for cheap eats in Toronto. For only a few bucks, you’ll be able to get one of these flaky, golden pastries.
They are so mouth-wateringly delicious and you can choose between different fillings like spiced beef, chicken, or vegetables.
Shawarma (Pita Wrap With Seasoned Meat)
With a large and thriving Middle-Eastern community, Shawarma is another amazing cultural food to try in Toronto.
Shawarma is a dish consisting of chicken, lamb, beef, or even a combination of meat. The meats are seasoned wonderfully before being slow-roasted on a spit grill, thinly sliced, and served up with toppings in a pita wrap.
To top off the meat you can add some pickled turnips, banana peppers, and lettuce but the life-changing factor is the sauce. Tzatziki, garlic sauce, and sweet sauce are all popular options to amp up your Shawarma.
You will quickly begin to understand why it is not only a favorite in the Middle East, but also all over the world.
Sushi Pizza (Sushi Served On Rice)
If you’re craving sushi and pizza but just can’t decide what to get – why not both? The sushi pizza was brought into Toronto in 1993 and satisfies both sushi and pizza lovers alike. The locals love this Toronto food, and you will too.
The pizza is made with a crispy, fried rice patty crust, topped with a combination of salmon, avocado, crab, and tuna. It’s is arranged very elegantly and drizzled with mayonnaise and wasabi.
Be sure to take a picture first because it looks like a piece of art. You will just want to admire it but after one bite you will find yourself scarfing it down in no time.
Asian Foods In Toronto
Dim Sum (Bite Sized Dumplings, Buns & Meat Bites)
One of Toronto’s oldest but most dynamic neighborhoods is Chinatown. This district features some pretty cool markets, shops, and some of the best foods in Toronto. So head in deep amongst the glowing array of neon signs and find yourself a dim sum shop.
Dim sum is a traditional Chinese meal of small, steamed, or fried dumplings accompanied by sticky buns and other bite-sized treats. The main types of dim sum are noodle rolls filled with seafood, meat, or vegetables, steamed buns with bbq and spareribs.
Going for dim sum in a group is a great way to try a lot of different items, as you can get so many flavors in one meal. However, if there is only one or two of you, we have faith you can still succeed with trying multiple items.
Sushi (Seafood & Rice Wrapped In Seaweed)
The Toronto sushi scene is out of this world, making this Japanese delight one of the most famous foods in Toronto. You’ll not only find every kind of sushi you could possibly want but also different experiences to accommodate the type of night out you’re looking for.
There are many different fusion restaurants. We’ve already mentioned sushi pizza but you can also see a creative mix of sushi and tacos at Japanese-Mexican fusion joints. Whether you’re looking for classic rolls, fresh sashimi, or even vegan sushi, you’ll find it all in Toronto.
Butter Chicken (Chicken In Tomato Cream Sauce)
Another all-time world favorite, butter chicken, is one of the most delicious foods of Toronto that will have you going back for seconds.
With over 1 million Indian people in the city, you know at least a few of them know how to make a succulent butter chicken. This is one of the most popular dishes with its delightful creamy texture and flavorful taste.
The tenderized chicken is perfectly cooked in a tomato-based sauce and is usually served with naan or rice.
Hot tip – order some extra because the second-day leftovers taste even better than fresh. This is because the chicken and sauce thicken up as it continues to slowly marinade causing it to get more flavorsome by the minute.
Korean Fried Chicken (Fried & Spiced Chicken)
Sorry KFC and Colonel Sanders, there’s a new KFC in town! While it’s been around since the 15th century, it seems to have only recently caught on in the Western world. And we all know that Korean fried chicken is the way of the future.
This popular dish is fried in a way that makes it lighter and crispier than regular fried chicken. You can also get a variety of flavors like umami sesame, garlic, sweetened spicy, and soy.
The different types of flavors are a hit as everyone can find their personal favorite. The new-age KFC has become a fan-favorite food in Toronto and you will have no trouble finding a place to grab some.
Ramen (Noodle Soup In Rich Broth With Egg)
Another delectable dish that has really blown up in the last decade is ramen. It seems like a sin that Canadians waited so many years to have this magical warm soup that makes winter almost bearable. It’s ok though, Canada – better late than never!
This Japanese noodle soup is made with a rich combination of broth, noodles, meat, and vegetables. It’s often topped with a boiled egg and served in many different variations. Seafood ramen, traditional ramen, beef ramen, and miso ramen are some of the faves you will find around the city.
Snack Foods Of Toronto
Roti Wrap (Flour Wrap Filled With Curry)
The Caribbean population has made themselves known with not only The Toronto Caribbean Festival but their delicious foods as well. Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica flavors are some of the top foods to try in Toronto.
Roti wraps are wrap-style sandwiches filled with curried or stew meats and vegetables. The roti is a soft, warm bread that has the absolute best texture.
You can get chicken, fish, goat, or even chickpea fillings and top it off with chutney or pepper sauce for a kick of flavor. Once you have a roti-wrap, you’ll never go back.
Perogies (Boiled Dumplings Filled With Potatoes)
The wonderful taste of Poland makes itself known in the city of Toronto through many popular dishes. The Polish community has a long history in the city and in that time they have definitely perfected their perogies.
Made from dumplings and filled with cheese and potatoes, there is nothing more satisfying than snacking on perogies. Perogies can be dipped in a variety of sauces including garlic, sour cream, pesto, and tomato sauce. If you’re really hungry, add a Polish sausage on the side to complete the flavor party in your mouth.
Tacos (Tortilla With Meat & Veggies)
Tacos are also known as the universal love language. Wherever you’re roaming, fear not when hunger strikes, because this Mexican food dish is a staple in Toronto.
You will find taco trucks galore in the city, and these are great pitstops for taking a break from exploring the famous landmarks in Toronto.
Made on small corn or wheat tortilla shells, a taco is stuffed with different meat fillings and garnish. You get plenty of options, beef, pork, fish, chicken, and also the choice of soft or hard shells. They even come in different forms – taquitos, carne asada tacos, and gringas are a few we recommend.
Budget-Friendly Foods In Toronto
Hot Dogs (Meat Or Veg On A Bun)
Everyone’s favorite street meat, the hot dog, is an all-around crowd-pleaser and also the price is right.
If you’re hungry and on the hunt for cheap eats in Toronto, you really can’t go wrong with a hot dog. They’re not just for the ballgame anymore.
The Toronto food trucks and even specialty restaurants that serve hot dogs are offering plenty of options now. It’s not just your regular dog with ketchup and mustard anymore- you can get slaw dogs, corn dogs, and even bagel dogs.
The wide variety of hot dogs stacked with some serious toppings will make you feel like you’re living large while spending small.
Falafel (Chickpea Or Bean With Herbs)
Falafel’s are one of those foods in Toronto that are found everywhere, they’re almost as common as hot dogs. These delicious deep-fried balls made from chickpeas or beans are ground with fresh herbs and spices and are the perfect cure for your hunger pains
Falafel’s are crispy and fluffy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside, for the perfect combination. You can eat them on their own, dipped in hummus or yogurt sauce, or have them served in a wrap with vegetables.
Banh Mi (Baguette With Meat & Vegetables)
If you have never had Banh Mi, you are missing out and need to have one during your time in Toronto. Add it to your itinerary now!
Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sub sandwich served on a perfectly cooked, flaky baguette. The contrast of the different meats with the pickles and fresh vegetables is out of this world. You can have your Banh Mi made with pâté, roast pork, cold cuts, meatballs, bbq pork or beef, and chicken satay.
Jerk Chicken (Chicken Served In Jerk Seasoning)
This popular Jamaican dish is another staple in Toronto that you will find all over the city. It is made by marinating chicken in Jerk seasoning, and then smoked or grilled over wood to give it a unique smoky and spicy flavor.
Jerk Chicken is usually served with rice, beans, and slaw so you’ll be sure to be full afterward. If you’re not too strapped for cash, try a ginger beer for the perfect pairing.
Best Dessert Foods In Toronto
Elephant Ears (Fried Dough With Toppings)
This modern-day treat originated from the fry bread that Native Americans used to make using flour, sugar, salt, and lard. Named elephant ears for the shape that it’s made in, they are crispy circles of dough deep-fried and coated with cinnamon and sugar. It’s so delicious and a crucial part of your Toronto food experience.
You can get a variety of toppings added like strawberries, chocolate, caramel, and powdered sugar if it’s not sweet enough for you.
Maple Syrup Anything (Maple Syrup)
When in Canada, do as the Canadians do! Maple syrup is a national pride and one of the best parts of visiting the country. It’s considered a real delicacy and staple of Toronto.
This naturally made sweet comes right from the source – maple trees and is made into a plethora of different treats. You can get maple syrup bars, cookies, pudding, and fudge – all sorts of sweet Canadian goodies.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Toronto during the winter, you can even get raw maple syrup frozen in the snow onto a stick. Trust us, it’s amazing!
Ice Cream (Cold Dessert)
Foodies are well aware from Instagram that Toronto’s desserts are poppin’. There are so many fun sweet shops that have some satisfying treats.
The various ice creams that the city offers in some of these niche shops are out of this world. You can get ice cream stacked with a mountain of other treats like cotton candy, chocolate, or gummies. Or you could combine the best of all three worlds and get elephant ears with soft serve and maple syrup drizzled over top.
There is no better dessert than a coolin’ ice cream during summer as you are taking a break from a day of fun at the beautiful beaches of Toronto.
Portuguese Tarts (Custard Filled Tart)
The best food in Toronto list is not complete without mentioning the amazing gem from Portugal – Pasteis de nata. These tarts are a combination of caramelized custard filled into a flaky, golden brown pastry.
If you come across this delicious little treat during your visit to Toronto, you should buy six because one will not be enough.
Discovering Traditional Food In Toronto
The different cuisines you get to experience are what make the foods in Toronto so special. There is not just one specific cuisine that stands out.
Because this city is such a cultural melting pot of people, you get to reap the benefits of enjoying the different types of food from every part of the world that they’ve brought with them.
One of the most exciting facts about Toronto is that it has over 7,500 restaurants; the options for cuisine are really endless. Anything that you are craving or want to try for the first time, it’s almost guaranteed you will find in Toronto.
Best of all, this is just a surface list of dishes you will experience; so get out there, explore the city, and find out for yourself which of the foods of Toronto is your favorite!