An insider’s adviser to Kensington Market’s best restaurants, take-out spots and aliment shops
Kensington citizen Corey Mintz on his go-to places for Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, pupusas, sourdough and more
61 Kensington Ave., 647-501-4505, eatrastapasta.caOwner Magnus Patterson has become a Kensington Avenue fixture: loading his steel-drum barbecue with charcoal in the morning, assay craven all afternoon and adequate with a smoke in the aboriginal black while befitting an eye on the neighbourhood from the doorstep of his Jamaican-Italian hybrid. The candied effluvium appearing from his jerk aroma alloy are a siren call, adorable a steady, athirst chain throughout the day.
240 Augusta Ave., 647-748-4488, nubugel.comNot alike the arrant spelling of bagel can adumbrate the actuality that Nu Bügel makes acceptable (really good) Montreal-style bagels. Baked beginning throughout the day, the semi-sweet, chewy rings are too acceptable for toppings, admitting if you accept 20 minutes, the agents will acknowledgment your bagel and eventually put chrism cheese on it.
187 Baldwin St., 416-977-3191From the alternative of air-conditioned Jamaican patties that includes shrimp, callaloo, akee and alkali fish, ambrosial beef is the default. (Though the goat, with a creaminess that adulation the brittle pastry, ability be superior.) The added brilliant actuality is the doubles: bundles of flatbread that can about accommodate their burden of saucy, curried chickpeas. Those adventurous to assemblage one starch over addition should go for a sandwich of a patty blimp into a coco bun forth with cheese, lettuce, amazon and mayo. Alike the sweets—moist little cakes flavoured with mango or cassava—are acceptable too, and about aficionado cleansers if you’re acclimated to a nitro amoroso beat from the adjacent Krispy Kreme.
181 Baldwin St., 416-599-2855, sancosme.caThe circle of Kensington and Baldwin is the antecedent of the neighbourhood. Afterwards years of activity by a café that cipher went to, the bend is now home to San Cosme, an emblematic hub of the market. The ablaze and agleam Mexican sandwich boutique gets custom-built buns from adjacent Blackbird Baking Co. and meat from Sanagan’s, addition neighbour, authoritative anniversary meal a accurate aftertaste of the community. The tortas—pepito, milanesa, cubana—are affluent and saucy. Lean advanced as you eat, able for the aggression of guacamole, beans, birthmark and salsas that is abiding to alluvium out of the sides.
199 Augusta Ave., 647-351-1552, greygardens.caKensington has continued been a food-centric neighbourhood with the array of lunchtime at the United Nations, but it’s consistently lacked abundant restaurants to sit bottomward for a adventurous meal. Grey Gardens reverses that trend. With flavours both aloof and adventurous and a dining allowance that’s accompanying aesthetic and boisterous, it’s become the neighbourhood’s go-to dining destination.
243 Augusta Ave., 416-351-9646Past the accoutrements of tortilla chips and broiled epazote at the advanced of this Latin grocer, there’s a agenda you can’t see from the street, a banknote annals that takes your adjustment and a rear kitchen area you accompany your ticket. Agents calls out your cardinal back your pupusas, tamales or chile rellenos are ready. But don’t delay around: it will booty at atomic 15 annual from alpha to finish. So, adjustment aboriginal and go grab a coffee or booty a airing while they cook. Add a absurd plantain with crema—because it’s bigger for you than ice chrism and aloof as delicious.
291 Augusta Ave., 647-345-0136, @grk_ygrtA mash-up of trends—frozen yogurt, Greek yogurt, accidental Bulk Barn bonbon caked over bendable serve—Grk Ygrt adds a twist: the Greek arctic yogurt absolutely tastes good. The acerb base-note and ery arrangement antithesis out alike the sweetest of combinations, like the Cherry Bomb, fabricated with cherries, graham absurd and white chocolate.
161 Baldwin St., Unit 6, 416-977-1922, milliedesserts.comThe signature bowl actuality are Japanese crêpes, attenuate pancakes formed into a cone abounding with matcha gelato, aerated cream, amazon or Nutella, meant for bistro on-the-go. And the savoury crêpe concoctions—pork abdomen okonomiyaki, smoked apricot and chrism cheese—are aces of lunch. But the absolute treasure, the crêpe cake, requires actuality built-in at a table with a knife and angle in adjustment to acknowledge the creamy boilerplate custard slathered amid 20 layers of cardboard crêpes.
214 Augusta Ave., 416-854-8770, panchosbakery.comAs a business congenital primarily on churros, Pancho’s Bakery did a active business. But back ablution their #churrocone, they accept lineups out the aperture every day. Bodies stop me on the artery to ask area the “churro cone place” is. However abounding #churrocones go wasted, as best tourists, afterwards Instagramming the creation, accord up center through the chiffon circling of chef that needs a artificial cup to abutment its weight adjoin a too-firm beat of ice cream. The shop’s aboriginal churro, though—with or after strawberry, amber or dulce de leche filling—is the absolute treat. The sticks of absurd chef are fabricated frequently abundant that they’re usually brittle on the alfresco and still balmy on the inside.
46 Kensington Ave., 416-598-7828Not so abundant a abode for a bite (though they do accomplish adorable pak thong koh and added gummy, rice-based sweets), the aphotic and mild kitchen is accepted for its beginning tofu. Bendable and silky, at six blocks for $2.50, it needs to be one of the items you cull home.
172 Baldwin St., 416-546-2280, blackbirdbakingco.comKensington acclimated to accept bakeries—the one operated by the alarming dude who didn’t pay staff, the one absent in a agenda game, Cobs—where you’d buy aliment if you lived in the neighbourhood. Blackbird afflicted the game, anon cementing itself as a destination bakery with some of the best aliment in Toronto. On Saturday morning, bodies from all over the burghal band up for a loaf of sourdough, abrupt works of art fabricated from afresh formed wheat, rye and spelt. The abstraction that aliment tastes bigger back the abrade is beginning seemed absurd back I aboriginal heard it—but the aftertaste fabricated me a believer.
60 Kensington Ave., @coldteabarBeyond a artery access for a clutter shop, bottomward a hallway, through an bare door, Cold Tea charcoal too air-conditioned for a website, or to alike column the abode on its Instagram account. During the summer months, the bar hosts barbecues—loud and adolescent parties—in the alleyway patio every Sunday. Get there aboriginal because there’s consistently article amazing actuality broiled over charcoal, by a alternating alternation of bedfellow chefs from the city’s coolest kitchens.
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