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What food is Toronto known for?

San Francisco...
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What food is Toronto known for?

Hi, everyone.

I am planning on visiting Toronto in May for a weekend. I don't know much about Toronto's food scene. Is there any thing particular that I do not want to miss when I'm there?

I'm also thinking about taking a cooking class. I made a must-do-before-I-die list and one of them is to visit 100 cities and learn to cook something unique from each city. LOL. Is there anything special that I want to learn to cook in Toronto? For example, lobster in Boston, dungenes crabs in San Francisco, etc.

Thanks!

Foodies on Foot
Lessons & Workshops, Cooking Classes, Food Tours, City Tours
Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Toronto's main dish is a veal sandwich. The place that is most popular with locals is California Sandwiches. There are several locations in Toronto, but I would recommend the downtown location or the Queensway.

http://californiasandwiches.ca/claremont.html

http://californiasandwiches.ca/queensway.html

As for a cooking class, not sure what to tell you on that. Toronto is a haven fir foodies, there is a tour that comes highly recommended:

http://www.culinaryadventureco.com/

There appears to be cooking classes available here.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Hi VincentSF,

Welcome to the TORONTO TRAVEL FORUM

And I see that you are fairly NEW to the TA FORUMS... so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

Interesting comment by TDSUPERSTAR... in regards to the Veal Sandwich... I certainly wouldn't say that it is that highly known... actually I believe it is the FIRST TIME I've ever read of it here on TripAdvisor, although we have fielded a lot of Questions about Toronto and Canadian Cuisiine in the past...

If anything I'd say that Toronto is most known for its great ethnic fares... incluiding REAL Chinese Food (Toronto has a HUGE Chinatown)... and other ethnic communities that call Toronto home (Greek / The Danforth - Little Italy - Little India to name but a few... )... infact there are many Annual Festivals that celebrate how diverse Toronto is.

When it comes to "Canadiana"... then Toronto probably is home to some of the best "street food" in Canada... including the Peameal Bacon Sandwich !!

For more info, check out this Wikipedia entry on Toronto Cuisine = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_Toronto

And these past topics from the TripAdvisor CANADA FORUMS

*Canadian Cuisine* = tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g155019-i55-k200719…

*What Should We Eat / Drink to know We've Visited Toronto* = tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g155019-i55-k404187…

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 01 April 2012, 06:29
Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Toronto's food choices are quite similar to SF, just a lot cheaper IMO. Probably better to think of what you can't get in SF that you'd like to try rather than looking for something native to TO. How is the Eastern European fare in SF? Caribbean? East African, etc.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Well, at first glance, this may also seem akin to recommending someone from California eat a "California Sandwich" (I too found that suggestion surprising), but, oddly enough, one of Toronto's greatest food offerings is in fact oysters! Surprising to many, specially as we are located so far from salt water, Toronto is considered in the bivalve loving world to be the centre of oyster epicurean-ism.

"How could this be?" --You may very well ask. Well, it is mainly because of, not in spite of, the fact that Toronto is located so far from -- but almost equal distance to -- three oceans. Whereas, for instance, Ireland is renowned for its love of oysters (justifiably so) it would be odd to find Japanese Miyagis being served alongside local Galway Flats in an Irish pub -- but both can easily be found in a typical Toronto Oyster bar. And whereas some oyster restaurants in the United States, like the delectable Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco (personally one of my favourite restaurants in SF), may still offer a small variety of oysters, due to U.S. Import restrictions it does not compares with the wide variety available in Toronto -- usually flown in daily.

If you'd like to read more about this culinary phenomena here's a short article:

thegridto.com/life/…

While oysters are available in most upscale Irish pubs in Toronto, I would personally recommend Rodney's Oyster House:

tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g154943-d81…

Or the Ceili Cottage (the owner is the holder of the Guinness World Record for Oyster shucking)

tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g155019-d23…

Hope you have fun!

West Grey, Ontario
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5. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Hi Vincent;

Toronto isn't known for a distinctive food item.

Best Regards

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

The veal on a sandwich is as close as a distinctive Toronto offering as you'll find. It is true that Toronto is known for it's ethnic cuisine, that's why I wrote that it's a foodie haven......as for the California Sandwich thing, it is just a coincidence that the guy asking is from California, simply put The best veal sandwich I've had in Toronto is at California's, many imitators, but only one California.....By the way, it's an Italian Sanwich, a part of the ethnic food offerings available in Toronto....As a foodie myself, I've done research, also I've dealt with food critics/writers that would say if Toronto had a distinctive food, it would be a Veal sandwich slathered in tomato sauce, you just don't find that anywhere else, like you do in T.O.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

I'm sorry Tdsuperstar, I didn't mean to crap on your helpful input. I think my response came off snarkeir than I intended. I'm unfamiliar with the California Sandwiches restaurants and I thought, considering the OPs location and his search for local food, your post was wonderfully ironic if nothing else,

I whole heartedly agree that veal sandwiches with tomato sauce are indeed popular in Toronto. Personally, I think the best veal sandwich in Toronto can be found on the Lower floor (below the Carousel Bakery) of the St.Lawrence Market. I can't remember the name of the place -- although I've eaten there many many times -- but it's hard to miss as there is usually a very long line in front of it.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

As for Toronto having some of the best street food in Canada, I find that Toronto being named in that category highly unlikely.....Toronto is known for it's street meat, the hot dog and sausage, but attempts to broaden the availability of different foods on the street have largely failed due to bureaucratic bungling....I have NEVER seen a peameal on a bun being served as street fare in Toronto (other than in festivals)....but never as regular street food....if the best street food can only be determined by largely one food being served on the street, maybe Wine-4-2 has a point, but as a Torontonian, I would have to disagree with that categorization.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

The place at St. Lawrence Market is top notch for sure....always busy, always tasty, but California Sandwiches brings it to another level, on Friday afternoon I have seen people put in orders of 60 sandwiches, just mayhem!

Edited: 01 April 2012, 15:08
Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: What food is Toronto known for?

Not quite a foodie thing, but a big food trend the last few years has been poutine. (That's french fries with gravy and cheese curds.) It's French Canadian in origin, so it's more local to Montreal or Quebec City, but Toronto has a number of poutine places, e.g. http://smokespoutinerie.com/ .