One of the best and most significant defining features of Toronto is its multiculturalism. As it happens, Toronto is known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world with half its population being born outside of Canada. You’ll find well over 100 languages and dialects spoken here with 30 percent of the city’s population speaking a language other than English or French at home. That type of diversity makes for a vibrant city as well as an enviable culinary scene. In Toronto, it’s truly possible to eat your way around the world without hopping on an airplane, whether you seek out some of the best ethnic restaurants, or the neighborhoods where you’ll find foods representing various countries and cultures.
Ready to take your taste buds on a trip? Here where and how to eat your way around the world in Toronto.
01 of 07
In the mood for some souvlaki, saganaki or spanakopita? Greek goodies are not hard to come by in Toronto’s Greektown, which you can find in the city’s east end along the Danforth. The Danforth has long been synonymous with Greek food and although the bustling neighborhood is home to a variety of other (non-Greek) shops and restaurants, if it’s Greek you’re craving, you can find it here. As a start, try Pappas Grill, Pantheon, Mezes and Astoria.
02 of 07
The area along Spadina Avenue around Dundas St. West makes up one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, which in itself is pretty impressive. Walk along the busy streets during the day and you’ll find piles of produce being sold to passerby, as well as shops selling traditional Chinese medicine. And of course, no matter the time of day (or night), you’ll find lots of food – Chinese, as well as Vietnamese and some Thai-influenced eateries. Whether you’re looking for all-day dim sum, pork buns, Peking Duck or a steaming bowl of pho, you’ll find it in Chinatown.
03 of 07
Toronto’s Little Italy, which spreads out along College St. between Euclid and Shaw, is a colourful neighborhood that's just as well known for its nightlife and café scene as it is for Italian food. But that’s not to say you still can’t get a plate of good Italian in the area or a quality shot of espresso to enjoy with an Italian pasty. Stop by Café Diplomatico, A3 Napoili, Il Gatto Nero and Trattoria Taverniti.
04 of 07
Head to Parkdale to experience some authentic Tibetan food. The west end of this Toronto neighborhood is home to Little Tibet and it’s where you can find a strong Tibetan community and several cozy Tibetan restaurants offering up traditional cuisine. Tibetan food takes some of its culinary cues from neighboring Nepal, India and China and makes for a hearty, flavourful meal. Some good spots to add to your must-eat list include Lhasa Kitchen, Om Restaurant and Tibet Kitchen.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Indian restaurants abound in Toronto, but a high concentration of them can be found in the city’s Little India neighborhood, also known as the Gerrard India Bazaar. You’ll find this neighborhood, which happens to be North America’s largest South Asian ethnic market, on Gerrard Street East, between Coxwell Avenue and Greenwood Avenue. On arrival you’ll be greeted with splashes of vibrant colours courtesy of textile and clothing shops. But the food is why you’re here. Check out Lahore Tikka House, Moti Mahal, Udupi Palace and Bombay Chowpattyto start.
06 of 07
The small stretch of Bloor Street between Christie and Bathurst is jam- packed with Korean restaurants making it the perfect ‘hood to get your fix of Korean barbeque, bibimbap, or a steaming bowl of pork bone soup. The area is also home to restaurants serving up sushi and ramen, as well as shops selling cute (and affordable) Korean fashions and several karaoke houses.
07 of 07
Like many ethnic neighborhoods in Toronto, Little Portugal has also seen a big shift in terms of new businesses coming into the area, but you’ll still find a variety of Portuguese bakeries, bars and specialty food stores here. This is still the spot to come if you’re craving a creamy, custardy Portuguese tart, or to indulge in some churrasqueira. Check out Bairrada Churrasqueira around Dufferin and Dundas or Lisbon By Night around Dundas and Dovercourt.