Snacks come in many forms. They can be salty, they can be sweet, they can be crunchy, chewy, decadent – or a delicious combination thereof. Toronto is home to some awesome snacks that have you covered no matter what you’re craving, be it an afternoon pick-me-up, late-night indulgence, or something to take the edge off between meals. And when you think about it, the definition of a “snack” can be many things to many people, which is why this list covers a diverse array of snackable items that you’ll definitely want to try the next time you need to curb a craving or quell some hunger pangs.
Smash Bags: Junked Food Co.
If you happen to be craving something salty, spicy and totally fun to eat, smash bags from Junked Food Co. might be the perfect solution for your desire for something to snack on. Instead of reaching for a plain old bag of Doritos or nacho chips, try something a little more indulgent. Basically, a smash bag is nachos – built in a bag. A bag of chips (already a sufficient snack for some) is generously loaded down with lettuce, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, black olives, sour cream and chili sauce for a snack that is guaranteed to keep you going for quite a while. Think of it as nachos crossed with taco salad, all served up in a convenient bag.
Is there a more quintessential Canadian snack than poutine? Especially late at night when all you really want is something salty and decadent, but not too big in terms of portion size. Toronto just happens to be a place to pick up a really good serving of spuds, courtesy of Poutini's, draped in house made gravy and satisfyingly chewy, locally-sourced cheese curds. The best part is, you can choose from beef, vegetarian or gluten-free gravy so you’re covered no matter your dietary preference or restriction. Opt for original (fries, curds and gravy), or depending on how strong your snack cravings are, go for the layered poutine (traditional poutine with an extra layer of curds in the middle), roasted mushroom and onion poutine, or poutine with bacon and maple syrup.
Vegan Doughnuts: Through Being Cool
Vegan and doughnut don’t often come in the same sentence, but in the case of Bloordale’s adorable vegan bakery Through Being Cool, once you try one, you won’t question that combination any longer. Doughnuts here are made with care and come in a variety of flavours that are all worthy of your snacking time. These are particularly good with a cup of coffee or tea as a late afternoon pick-me-up when you need something sweet and flavourful, but not too heavy.
Salsa and Chips: Mad Mexican
Salsa and chips are an easy go-to snack and one that’s prevalent in many households. But it’s the chips and salsa that come courtesy of Mad Mexican that put all those other chips and dips to shame. Chips are thin, crisp, perfectly seasoned and able to easily stand up to one of the local brand’s signature salsas. Choose from a tangy pico de gallo with a bit of spicy kick, or go for the tangy salsa verde. The company also makes a mean chunky guacamole (mild or spicy) and an addictive roasted tomatillo and avocado salsa.
Soft Pretzels: Amsterdam BrewHouse
You can get soft pretzels in some variation pretty much anywhere you go, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll find snack-worthy soft pretzels everywhere you travel. If you’re in the mood for something soft, chewy and salty for your snacking purposes, look no further than Amsterdam BrewHouse on the city’s picturesque waterfront. Pretzels here are flaked with just the right amount of sea salt and come with a grainy mustard that’s perfect for dipping. You might be tempted to share with your dining companion, but you’ll likely want one all to yourself.
Gelato: Death in Venice
When you’re in the mood for something sweet, but not something that will weigh you down, gelato is one of those snacks that can really hit the spot. Some of the best gelato you’ll have comes courtesy of Toronto’s own Death in Venice. They work exclusively with local farmers and suppliers to ensure their product contains the best and freshest ingredients. Flavours change with the seasons, but no matter what’s on offer you’re sure to find something that catches your eye (and satisfies your stomach). Some of what you might find in terms of creative flavours include popcorn and caramel, Turkish coffee, Mexican chocolate mole, white chocolate, and hibiscus and blueberry cocoa rum. They also make vegan and gluten-free options.