Appropriately enough, my first Toronto blog post is about one of my favourite neighourhoods in the city, Kensington Market. Whenever someone asks me what they should check out in the city, Kensington Market is one of the top spots I usually recommend. It has this authentic bohemian and eclectic vibe that is unique to this part of Toronto.
Toronto’s multicultural mix is most noticeable in this part of town and what better way to experience it than through food. So here are a few of my favourite food spots in Kensington Market.
Fika Café: This coffee shop is a perfect location for Instagrammers. The Swedish-inspired interior is bright and airy. There’s a charming wall towards the back that is covered with open books. The tree-covered patio in the back also has a hammock that’s perfect for midday relaxation. Their pastries are all made in house and they also have a great selection of sandwiches and soups.
Jimmy’s Coffee: This café is the opposite of Fika in terms of design. The interiors are more masculine and dark. The long space has an exposed concrete wall on one side and a bookshelf-covered wall on the other. The patio in the back is also nice and has a lot of seating that’s excellent on a nice sunny day. Jimmy’s Coffee has multiple outlets in the city now but this location is one of my favourites.
Seven Lives: I love Mexican food and Seven Lives serves some of the best tacos in the city. You can’t miss this tiny joint because there is usually a lineup outside especially on weekends, even before they open. I highly recommend their Baja fish taco. Pair it with Mexican soda and what else can you ask for? (Maybe dessert, but more on that later)
Otto’s Berlin Doner: This place serves scrumptious German street food that is best paired with their German beers, available on tap. FYI, their hearty meals are the perfect hangover cure.
Torteria San Cosme: You’ll find some of the best Mexican style sandwiches at this fairly new eatery. I highly suggest trying the Cubana sandwich, which has three different types of pork layered together: smoked ham, adobo pork and bacon. Don’t forget to order a side of elotes and aguas fresca to drink. This spot also plays awesome Spanish music that goes well with the colourful interiors.
Seven Lives Paleteria: There’s a lot of dessert options in Kensington Market but if you’re looking for bright, tropical flavours, this is the place to be. They offer several flavours of paletas and soft serve ice creams. Order the colada sundae and you’ll be transported to a tropical beach somewhere.
Bonus: For drinks, there’s no better spot than Grant van Gameren’s El Ray Mezcal Bar! Pair your mezcals or cocktails with the most delicious Mexican bar snacks.