Going Local

One of the biggest complaints about local food is that it’s hard to find. Sure, farmer’s markets are popping up in many neighbourhoods, but the issues involved in getting local food to local tables, particularly restaurant tables, are many and diverse. As part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, a panel discussion and networking event […]

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It’s Hip to Be Square

Art Square Café 334 Dundas Street West 416-595-5222 brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $33 I have a thing for tiny little tucked away cafés. They’re the kind of place I’d open if I ever became a restaurateur; someplace cute and cozy with great food and no pretension. The only problem with […]

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Creating a Delicious Thing

A couple months back I had great fun writing a piece on cupcakes in Toronto, comparing a variety of the pretty little cakes from different bakeries and shops across the city. The result of that taste test determined that the vanilla cupcake from Circles and Squares bakery topped our list, winning as both our favourite […]

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My Little Dumpling

Yu Shan Dumpling Cuisine 771 Dundas Street West 416-869-0606 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer (no dessert): $40 I’m always jonesing for the dumplings from that other dumpling place over on Huron Street, but never seem to make it over there. So when I found myself at Bathurst and Dundas recently, and […]

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Here’s to Your Health

We arrived at the Canadian Health Food Association’s Expo East shortly after 9am with the assumption that we’d breeze through the trade show in a couple of hours. Even when we hit the floor and realized just how many exhibitors there were, we were still optimistic. Four hours later, we stumbled from the Toronto Convention […]

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Out of Africa

One of the coolest things about Toronto’s many cultural neighbourhoods is how they’ve evolved over the years. One group of immigrants moves out, another moves in to create their own community in their new home. During years of overlap, communities exist side by side and somewhat intertwined. The most recent example of this cultural mosaic […]

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Hail to the ‘Dale

People don’t really think of Parkdale as being a foodie paradise. And yes, if you’re looking for high-end health food items, organic meat or artisanal bread or cheese, you’d be mostly out of luck. But as one of the most multi-cultural neighbours in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, we’ve got a […]

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Good Eats at the CNE

Immediately after entering the CNE grounds on opening day, we ran into a neighbour and her young daughter. The little girl was eating slices of fruit. Not an odd sight normally, but at the Ex, not the kind of thing you’d expect to see. The mind really isn’t able to connect watermelon slices and the […]

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Who You Calling Cupcake?

As I mentioned last week when discussing sandwiches, there are a number of food trends that have taken off south of the border that just never got a footing here. Cupcake bakeries or boutiques – shops dedicated solely to cupcakes – is one of those trends that seems to have passed us by. It looked […]

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‘Wich Hunt

It’s fairly common knowledge that if you want to make money in the restaurant industry, you don’t open some high end joint specializing in truffles and caviar and lobster and champagne. Oh, sure, those places do well, but for most people who have mortgages and kids and car payments, $200 meals are for special occasions […]

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Maroc the Casbah

The Sultan’s Tent & Café Maroc 49 Front Street East 416-961-0601 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer/wine: Sultan’s Tent – $110, Café Maroc – $90 The first visit was the typical cliché – it was my birthday and I was fascinated with belly dancing, so I dragged everyone to the Sultan’s Tent. […]

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The Pickle Barrel Gets Healthy

When we started this site some six months ago, we determined that our mandate was to cover anything and everything to do with food in Toronto. It’s easy to fall into the foodie trap of focusing on either cutting-edge and high end places, or hole-in-the-wall spots serving “authentic” cuisine from various cultures and completely ignoring […]

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Sweet Treats on the Street

To say that the City’s Street Treats Fair was a resounding success would be a huge understatement. That line-up provoked a refrain of “Holy Shit!” from any number of people who entered Nathan Phillips Square from the north-east corner and were confronted with the throngs of people as they rounded the Peace Garden. Crowds were […]

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A Bag of Magic Beans

Merchants of Green Coffee 2 Matilda Street 416-741-5369 Coffee. Where would we be without it? It wakes us up, keeps us going and fuels social gatherings. But how many people actually think about where their coffee comes from? Or how fresh it is? For people who grew up on (and possibly still drink) supermarket coffee, […]

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Zippity Street Food

Zippie Café 1718 Queen Street West 647-723-9292 lunch for two with all taxes tip and juice (no apps): $33 In the whole debate we’ve been having in Toronto about street food, one thing seems to have been forgotten – that it should be not only delicious, but simple and easy to eat with the hands. […]

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Treated Like a King at Udupi Palace

Udupi Palace 1460 Gerrard Street East 416-405-8138 Dinner (no dessert) for two with all taxes, tip and mango lassi (unlicensed): $40 Everyone who visits Little India inevitably has their favourite place to eat. Mine happens to be a chain. Yes, a chain. Udupi Palace has locations in Maryland, Illinois, Seattle, Queens and Mountain View, California […]

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What Do You Want… A Cookie?

Ah, the cookie. A simple treat that brings delight to millions. The cookie is the choice companion to cups of tea, the pacifier of boo-boos, the financial means for Girl Guides everywhere, and the choice prize handed out by the snarkily sarcastic. But for people with food allergies, finding tasty cookies and treats that won’t […]

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Plates From Brazil

Cajú 922 Queen Street West 416-532-2550   The word authentic gets bandied about a lot these days – to the point where I wonder if some writers know what it actually means, especially when it comes to food. In our cultural mosaic of a city, where so many cultures have their traditional foods on offer, […]

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Soma – Home to the True Chocoholic

Soma Chocolatemaker Historic Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, Building 48, unit 102 416-815-7662 It’s a sad fact that many people who deem themselves to be “chocoholics” have never tasted anything made from good quality chocolate. That’s not meant to sound snobby, but I make the statement to illustrate a point. There are “chocoholics” who get […]

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Sunday Brunch – beerbistro

beerbistro 18 King Street East 416-861-9872 Three course brunch for two with all taxes and tip: $90 There’s an old cliché about the difference between night and day, but I’ve actually found a good example for which to apply it. I guess you could say I’m one of those “sensitive types”, or maybe my hearing […]

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Good Phở Fo’ Shizzle

Phở Asia 21 1208 King Street West 647-436-0680 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beverage: $30 My immediate neighbourhood is not well known for its fine dining. Sure, there’s a couple of awesome Ethiopian places within walking distance, not to mention The Gladstone, The Drake, Beaver Cafe, and some interesting Tibetan restaurants if […]

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Manic Organic – Part 2

Today we’re looking at the organic options in the higher-end grocery stores in my ‘hood. And the options really appear to be all about location. In Parkdale proper, even the prepackaged organic items can be hit or miss, but once I headed over to Roncesvalles Avenue where the supermarkets face stiff competition from a plethora […]

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Manic Organic – Part 1

A few months back I read something in one of the newspaper food columns about how relatively easy it was to get organic produce at local supermarkets. The article specifically mentioned the No Frills in Dufferin Mall, and it left me scratching my head. See, I shop at that No Frills and I can’t really […]

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Chefs Are the New Rock Stars

Imagine for a moment that you’re walking down the street and you pass a punk-looking kid wearing a black t-shirt with Anthony Bourdain’s face on the front. Or you’re in the mall and the gaggle of girls outside of Old Navy are all wearing sparkly pink shirts emblazoned with the Rachael Ray logo. Or maybe […]

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Mitzi’s Cafe and Gallery

Mitzi’s Café & Gallery 100 Sorauren Avenue (at Pearson) 416-588-1234 lunch for two with coffee, tax and tip; $35, cash only Think for a moment about your perfect neighbourhood café. It would be small and cozy, hidden from the beaten path, but still busy enough to flourish. There would be funky mismatched furniture, artwork on […]

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The Cost of Service

The Toronto Star is reporting that Joe Badali’s restaurant has backed down from a proposed $2 levy against their servers to cover the costs of cleaning aprons. A popular Toronto restaurant has backed down after trying to claw back most of the extra 20 cents an hour it has to pay its minimum-wage waiters. Joe […]

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Eat the Rich

Before we even officially launch this site, I want to make something perfectly clear – while TasteTO was created in order to celebrate all of the wonderful food choices we have here in Toronto, we should never ever forget that there are a lot of people in our city who do not have those options. […]

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