Walking around Toronto, it felt like I was walking through Boston, Chicago, Philly, Brooklyn all at once. I guess in some ways it felt like another generic big city and maybe why people kept questioning my decision to go to Toronto instead Montreal. But once I dug deeper into Toronto, it became more. Especially walking through Kensington Market and down Queens Street West. Oh....how I regret not going into a Tibetan restaurant for momos. Literally, blocks and blocks of Tibetan and Indian and Vietnamese restaurants. I DID, on my last night, get some pork/chive dumplings and a bowl of beef noodle soup. Gotta get my Chinese food.
So why did I pick Toronto? It was mostly to eat the hot chicken dish at Parts & Labour. After watching all of Matty Matheson's Keep it Canada on Munchies, I began to follow him on Instagram and one day I saw a picture of his hot chicken dish and that was it. I had to go eat it......well and also one of my all time favorite photographer/food blogger, Tara O'Brady, lives near Toronto.
Pie....and bakeries. They are usually the first things I search when I'm doing research. I just love baked goods too much to not find good ones in every city I go to. And I found two good ones in Kensington Market. Wanda's Pie in the Sky makes a killer Ontario sour cherry pie that tasted just like Dr. Pepper! It was also a great spot to just sit and people watch. Just a block over is Blackbirds Baking Co. I couldn't help myself so I got three things. The croissant was good but I could definitely eat more of the brioche cinnamon roll. That roll and a cup of coffee and a quiet airbnb morning, magical.
Of course it wouldn't be a Toronto trip without a visit to St. Lawrence Market. It kind of reminded me of Pike Place Market in Seattle. Definitely a tourist destination but it's filled with lots of local vendors and residents and has loads of history. Peameal bacon, peameal bacon, peameal bacon. I got myself a peameal bacon sandwich and also a custart tart from Carousel Bakery and.....also........a Montreal style bagel from St. Urbain Bakery. Haha...I know I know. But I really wanted a bagel and St. Urbain Bakery is the OG in Toronto.
And sometimes you eat two bagels in two days. Went to Simit & Chai Company for their Turkish bagel. I filled it with cream cheese and smoked salmon. The cortado was delightful too!
If I could write a love song, I would write it to Canis Restaurant. The...THE biggest surprise of my whole entire Toronto trip. Canis was not on my list but I randomly walked in for dinner on Saturday night. It had the perfect amount of people in the restaurant, it was clean/spacious/airy, and the menu looked good. Literally, from my first bite to my last bite, it was all so fantastic. The bread, the butter, the chicken liver mousse, the grilled pork jowl, the scallop cream, the grape granita, the buttermilk ice cream..... *sigh. Oh Canis. You're just an hour flight away.
All in all, it was a great trip. I did a lot of walking because I was tooooo lazy to figure out the street car/subway system. Also, I would suggest taking the ferry over to the Toronto Islands to catch the sunset. It's pretty darn nice.