This review was written by one of our fabulous Savor Saint Louis Food Tour guides, Shawna! Read her experience taking a food tour in Toronto.
Hello! Also… hallo , hola, and tashi dele! I was so eager to go on this tour with my brother Byron during our sibling get-away to Canada… and it proved a wonderful choice! The Kensington Market neighborhood has a sprawling, internationally diverse array of grocery shops and restaurants, so it is often called “the kitchen of Toronto.” I had visited Kensington Market long ago and loved it back then, but really wanted the inside scoop and local recommendations during this trip. Time for a food tour!
Our cheery guide, Fenny, had a style much like mine … enthusiasm, humor, and facts galore. She offered a ton of background from the very start and kept going for 2 ½ hours, giving us a geography lesson and walking breaks between tastings. During her overview, she noted that approximately 200 languages are spoken in Toronto, plus 45 percent of the residents speak a mother tongue other than French or English. Overall, this city is incredibly proud of its immigrant and indigenous character, and the tour offered a glimpse into its many cultures and cuisines. With just four guests and a guide, our little group moved easily through the busy streetscape and made the following series of food stops:
- Nu Bügel – Montreal bagels, which are smaller and sweeter than their New York cousins. Their smoked trout sandwich was rated “one of the best sandwiches in Toronto” and coconut honey bagel was a lovely, flaky treat.
- Golden Patty – Compact, busy Jamaican bakery serving sweet pastries and savory patties in coco bread. A hot and tasty takeaway.
- Jumbo Empanadas – Veggie empanada, a wrapped humita tamale with salsa, and Inca Cola.
- Pow Wow Café – Ojibway frybread and duck bacon skewers — my favorite stop!
- Tibet Cafe and Bar – Three kinds of delicious Tibetan dumplings, plus hot buttery milk tea (must be an acquired taste).
- Fika – Cute Swedish coffee shop and great spot for wrapping up the tour with Dala horse gingerbread and iced Rooibos tea on an outdoor patio. Perfect!
At the end of the tour, Fenny said she hoped we would be inspired to explore more of Kensington on our own and provided several solid recommendations for later. We also traded tips about being a tour guide and travel ideas, then Byron and I left to wander, hoping to burn off all of the delicious food that we just consumed and talk about our upcoming meals. Success!