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Street Foods That Define Toronto

Street Foods That Define Toronto

Toronto, a city of 6 million people composed of a huge first-wave immigrant population has created a blend of interesting culture most especially in their food. You can find Carribean, Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, South American, European and of course Canadian. All over the world there is a lot of street food and first-wave immigrants have brought their own here, but what defines a street food? Street food is ready-to-eat food and sometimes drinks sold in the street or a place where it is accessible publicly like a market, hawker food hall, festival or a fair that are made for immediate consumption. You will see street food sold from a cart, food truck, hole in the wall spaces or a food booth.

Street food is a way to experience a culture through food. Nowadays, street food has gained popularity because of globalization and the attention the media has placed on food and chefs reinventing it in innovative and delicious ways. With a population that has a diverse background we can’t help but to explore what has evolved as street food that defined Toronto now. Here are 10 of them that we believe shaped Toronto’s street food culture.


Poutine is composed of French Fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, that is the classic version of it, but some brands have innovated and have mixed the classic version with different toppings like Pulled Pork, Jerk Chicken and some chefs have elevated it and offer Foie Gras.

Undoubtedly, This is Canada’s ultimate street food. It is a food unique only in Canada and you can get anywhere in Canada. You can walk into a fast food restaurant, a food truck, a food cart and heck, even at Tim Hortons and you will be able to order it.

Beaver Tails

Beaver Tails are hand stretched dough made to resemble the tail of a beaver, fried and topped with either sweet or savory ingredients.


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The classic topping is sugar and cinnamon but you can get it with toppings such as banana, whipped cream, chocolate hazelnut. You can get savoury toppings like Poutine.


A street food that has roots from medieval Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia has made its way to Canada and most especially to Toronto. Samosas are fried or sometimes baked pastry with savory filling that can be vegan or non vegan.

The most common filling that you can find here are spiced potatoes with peas, beef, chicken or lentils and the most common version you will see is the Indian version that is accompanied by Chutney. You can find it easily in Toronto subway stations like Kennedy Station, Warden Station and more.

Jamaican Patty

Flaky pastry colored yellow with an egg yolk mixture filled with either beef, chicken or vegetable brought to Toronto by Caribbean and West Indian immigrants.


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It is a perfect street food because it is affordable, ready to eat and easily packed warm on the go. This one can be easily found in West Indian restaurants, grocery stores and even subway stations.

Street Meat (Hotdogs and Sausages in a bun)

If you ever walk the streets of downtown Toronto you know that you can find a street meat in almost every corner. It is popular due to the fact that it’s cheap, delicious and always open when downtown Toronto restaurants, bars and malls have closed. You can order regular beef hotdog, veggie hotdog, Italian sausage, Polish sausage and German sausage.

What makes this street food awesome is you can customize it’s toppings with onions, pickle relish, corn relish, Sauerkraut, pickled hot peppers, bacon bits, olives, pickles and a wide array of sauces such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, Sriracha, Mustard, Honey Mustard, and yes, ask for their secret sauce, each vendor has one.

Coffee and Doughnut

Nothing more Canadian and most especially Torontonian than a cup of a Double Double and a Doughnut. A Candian’s morning starts with this and midway through the day we get a boost from it. In Canada Tim Hortons is the most popular coffee chain and it is in every corner of Toronto streets.


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The most popular way it is ordered is Double Double meaning two sugar and two cream while the most popular doughnut flavors are Boston Crème, Apple Fritter, Old Fashioned Plain, Honey Cruller, Chocolate Dip, Vanilla Dip, Sour Cream Glazed and more.


Another street food from the Caribbean that has gained popularity and adoption to Torontonians is Doubles. Originating from Trinidad and Tobago a staple for breakfast, Doubles are made of 2 fried flat dough called Baras and it is filled with curry Channa which are chickpeas that come with different sauces like hot pepper, pickled green mango and tamarind sauce.

What makes doubles even more awesome is that it is affordable ranging from $5 to $8 per doubles.


This a street food that traces back its roots from eastern and central Europe. Pierogis are dumplings that are either filled with potatoes, ground meat, mushrooms, sauerkraut, quarg and sometimes a sweet filling like fruits.

The savory Pierogis are boiled and then fried with butter and onions topped with sour cream, but here in North America, you will see some preparation topped with crispy bacon bits.

BBQ Ribs

During summer time in Toronto there are multiple rib fests across the city, it is part of a Toronto summer. Smoked ribs are usually from baby back ribs, spare ribs, or St. Louis style ribs.

Smoked for 3- 12 hours and doused with different in-house BBQ sauces upon serving and usually comes with sides like mac and cheese, cornbread etc.

Canadian Style Pizza

A Canadian style pizza is usually medium thick crust with 2-3 toppings. What sets this pizza apart is the way it is eaten. I have had different pizzas in North America and Asia and it is here only in Canada that a pizza is eaten with a dipping sauce.


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The variety of sauces are usually Creamy Garlic, Honey Garlic, Cheddar Jalapeno, Creamy Dill, Blue Cheese, Peppercorn Ranch, BBQ, Creamy Garlic, and Blue Cheese.

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