food and drink

Explore Kensington Market, The New Foodie Paradise

Explore-Kensington-Market-as-a-foodie-paradise-do-not-miss-to-try-foods-like-fish-chips-pies-chicken-waffles-and-more

Explore Kensington Market’s culinary delights with our guide to iconic foods like fish & chips, pies, chicken waffles, and more!

Kensington Market, nestled in the heart of Toronto, is not just a neighbourhood; it’s a vibrant mosaic of cultures and flavours that beckons food enthusiasts from far and wide. Here, culinary traditions from around the globe converge, creating a tapestry of tastes that define the essence of Kensington’s food scene. Let’s delve into nine iconic foods embodying this eclectic market’s spirit.

Fresco’s Fish & Chips: A Taste of Tradition

Fresco’s Fish & Chips stands out for comfort food with a local twist. Located amidst the colorful hustle and bustle of Kensington, Fresco’s offers a classic British dish infused with a unique Canadian flair. The secret lies in Miss Vickie’s Extra Crisp Batter, made from kettle-cooked potato chips, which adds a delightful crunch to every fish bite. Whether you prefer halibut, haddock, or cod, one thing is certain: Fresco’s delivers a memorable fish and chips experience that captures the essence of Kensington’s culinary charm.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky: Where Pies Reach New Heights

For those with a sweet tooth, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is a heavenly destination within Kensington Market. Known for its wide array of pies, including vegan and gluten-free options, Wanda’s is a true testament to artisanal baking. Among their stellar creations, the Peach Praline Pie stands out. It features a decadent brown sugar praline topping and a tangy peach filling that promises to tantalize your taste buds with every forkful.

The Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles: A Hip-Hop Homage in Every Bite

Enter The Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles, a culinary ode to comfort food and musical legend. Named after the iconic rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard, this establishment pioneered Toronto’s fried chicken renaissance. The star of their menu, the ODB, combines boneless dark meat, buttered maple syrup, and their signature dirty sauce atop a house-made waffle. It’s a dish that pays homage to its namesake and celebrates the bold flavors that define Kensington’s culinary landscape.

Pancho’s Bakery: Where Churros Meet Cheesecake

Step into Pancho’s Bakery and prepare to be mesmerized by their inventive take on traditional desserts. A local favorite, Pancho’s is renowned for its Churro Cheesecake, a decadent creation that fuses creamy cheesecake with sweet, crispy churros drizzled in dulce de leche. Whether shared with loved ones or savored solo, this dessert embodies the spirit of indulgence that Kensington Market is known for.

Golden Patty: Jamaican Comfort, Kensington Style

golden patty kensington market

At Golden Patty, authenticity meets innovation in every bite of their renowned Patty Supreme. This Jamaican and West Indian bakery has been a community pillar for over a decade, serving up flavorful patties nestled in coco bread with optional toppings like cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. A visit to Golden Patty is incomplete without sampling their classic Jamaican beef patty, a true Kensington staple that continues to delight locals and visitors alike.

Seven Lives Tacos y Mariscos: Tacos with a Twist

For fans of Mexican cuisine, Seven Lives Tacos Y Mariscos is a must-visit in Kensington Market. Known for its authentic Mushroom and Cactus Taco, topped with tangy pickled cactus and savoury avo sauce, Seven Lives brings a taste of Mexico to Toronto’s culinary scene. Despite the occasional wait due to its popularity, the flavors and atmosphere make it well worth the visit, offering a true taste of Kensington’s cultural richness.

Jumbo Empanadas: Chilean Delights Since the 1990s

Since its humble beginnings as a hotdog cart, Jumbo Empanadas has evolved into a Kensington landmark beloved for its hearty Chilean-style Jumbo Empanada. Available in vegetarian, chicken, or beef varieties, these empanadas are a testament to time-honoured recipes and quality ingredients. Whether enjoyed as a quick bite or a satisfying meal, Jumbo Empanadas continues to charm locals and tourists with its authentic flavors and generous portions.

King’s Cafe: Vegetarian Excellence

King’s Cafe has been a vegetarian haven in Kensington Market since 1996, offering a diverse menu that appeals to both herbivores and omnivores alike. Their BBQ-flavored Soy Drumsticks stand out, boasting a crispy exterior and succulent texture that rivals traditional fried chicken. This dish not only showcases King’s Cafe’s commitment to vegetarian cuisine but also underscores its ability to cater to diverse tastes without compromising on flavour or quality.

Rasta Pasta: Fusion Cuisine at Its Finest

In the heart of Kensington, Rasta Pasta seamlessly blends Jamaican and Italian culinary traditions to create a menu that reflects Toronto’s multicultural ethos. While their Jerk Chicken Lasagna is a standout favorite, combining spicy jerk chicken with layers of fresh pasta and creamy cheese, Rasta Pasta offers an array of dishes that celebrate the intersection of flavors from two distinct cultures.

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