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Cuisine in Toronto facts for kids

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The cuisine of Toronto reflects Toronto's size and multicultural diversity. Different ethnic neighbourhoods throughout the city focus on specific cuisines, such as authentic Chinese and Vietnamese found in the city's Chinatowns, Korean in Koreatown, Greek on The Danforth, Italian cuisine in Little Italy and Corso Italia, and Indian/Pakistani in Little India. Numerous other world cuisines are available throughout the city, including Portuguese, Hungarian, Japanese, and Caribbean. Toronto's large Jewish population has also ensured a variety of Jewish restaurants and delis, with varying adherence to kosher rules. In addition to ethnic cuisines, Toronto is also home to many fine dining establishments and chain restaurants ranging from fast food to casual or upscale dining.

Neighbourhoods with prominent ethnic food

Toronto koreatown 2009x
Toronto's Koreatown is home to a number of Korean restaurants.
  • Eglinton West – Caribbean food
  • Roncesvalles – Polish cuisine
  • Chinatown and East Chinatown– Chinese and Vietnamese food
  • Kensington Market – Latin American and others
  • Little Italy and Corso Italia – Italian
  • Gerrard India Bazaar and Rexdale – Indian and Pakistani
  • Agincourt – Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, South Indian, Sri Lankan
  • Koreatown – Korean
  • Little Portugal/Rua Acores – Portuguese
  • The Danforth – Greek, Turkish
  • The Annex – Hungarian (historically)
  • North York City Centre, Newtonbrook - Korean, Chinese, Iranian


Notable chefs from or based in Toronto:

Food-related personalities

  • Kevin Brauch
  • Jamie Drummond
  • Charles Khabouth


  • See: Restaurants in Toronto

Culinary festivals

Taste of the Danforth 2012 (7782704616)
The Taste of Danforth is an annual festival in Toronto's Greektown celebrating Greek food and culture.

A number of culinary festivals take place in Toronto each year. In addition, food tours in Toronto, like those offered by Tasty Tours Toronto or Culinary Adventure Co. are an increasingly popular way for locals and tourists to explore the food culture of the city

Toronto-based culinary events and festivals include:

Breweries and wineries

Mill Street Brewpub
The back of Mill Street Brewery Brew Pub in Toronto's Distillery District. Mill Street is one of several breweries based in Toronto.

Toronto has a long history of beer brewing. Eugene O'Keefe, founder of O'Keefe Brewing Company, grew up in Toronto, to which his family had emigrated from Ireland in 1832. O'Keefe was the first to produce lager beer in Canada along with the traditional ale and porter.

The Toronto Beer Festival is an annual event that showcases local craft beers. There are several breweries in the city, many of which are microbreweries:

  • Ace Hill
  • Amsterdam Brewing Company
  • Bellwoods Brewery
  • Great Lakes Brewery
  • Magnotta Brewery Limited
  • Mill Street Brewery
  • Steam Whistle Brewing
  • Cool Beer Brewing Company
  • The Granite Brewery
  • Indie Alehouse
  • Spearhead Brewery
  • Kensington Brewing Company
  • Black Oak Brewing Company
  • Junction Craft Brewing
  • Liberty Village Brewing Company
  • Muddy York Brewing Company
  • Left Field Brewery
  • Halo Brewery

Toronto's surrounding region has many wineries. The Sante Wine Festival is an annual festival which features vintages, noted winemakers and celebrity chefs.

Street food

Toronto Fish and Chips August 2011
A food truck parked behind an ice cream truck in front of Toronto City Hall

Toronto is not known for a diversity of foods from street vendors, however, there are numerous take-out restaurants. There are numerous food trucks around downtown Toronto, including in front of Toronto City Hall that sell french fries, hot dogs and pre-cooked sausages. Food trucks on the University of Toronto campus offer Chinese food. Along Dundas Street West, just east of Bathurst Street, a range of international street foods are sold from shipping containers converted to food stands. The stands are known collectively as Market 707. There are also several food trucks, serving food that is more specialized, that can be found at special events.

In the summer months, ice cream and pops are sold from vendors on bicycles while ice cream trucks ply the city streets. Frozen yogurt, although not found in street vendors, are popular and increasingly so, with many shops opening recently. The coffee culture in Toronto is also highly developed, with many independent cafes especially in areas like Queen West and Kensington Market.

Until 2009, hot dogs and pre-cooked sausages were the only kind of street food allowed by law. The law sets extremely high requirements for street food vendors. However, there was an initiative to allow more varied and nutritious street food, which resulted in the introduction of Toronto a la Cart in 2009. Toronto a la Cart allowed vendors to sell halal foods such as kebab, falafel and shawarma. However, by 2010, Toronto a la Cart was deemed a failure by local politicians, due to the expenses to vendors from excessive red tape, and the program was discontinued.

Unique dishes

Peameal bacon sandwich

Flickr bokchoi-snowpea 4266923676--Roast peameal bacon
Peameal bacon was a type of back bacon developed by Toronto-based William Davies Company. Today the peameal bacon sandwich is considered a staple of St. Lawrence Market.

Perhaps one of the most iconic and distinct Toronto offerings is the peameal bacon sandwich, normally on a Kaiser. Peameal bacon was originally developed by William Davies at the St. Lawrence Market. Some notable offerings of the sandwich are Paddington's Pump, Sausage King, and Carousel Bakery; coincidentally enough, all are located at St. Lawrence Market. Further east in Leslieville is Rashers, billed as North America's only bacon sandwich shop, recently opened and sells a peameal bacon sandwich that Toronto Life describes as "Toronto's iconic sandwich done right".

East Indian roti

Another distinct Toronto offering is the "East Indian Roti", a variation on the stuffed Roti from the West Indies. Owing to Toronto's considerable immigrant populations from both South Asia and the Caribbean, a hybrid dish has been developed, using South Asian bread and curries as stuffing, for the otherwise West Indian dish.


Sushi pizza (1)
Sushi pizza
  • Pablum, a pre-cooked cereal for infants, was developed at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in the 1930s.
  • Sushi pizza, a hybrid of sushi and pizza invented in the early 1990s.
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