Hail to the ‘Dale

gatefishPeople 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 lot of variety working in our favour.

Most folks tend to think of the ‘Dale as a low-end neighbourhood full of nothing but greasy spoons and burger joints. For sure, we’ve got two of the best. The Gate (1206 King Street West) sits at the corner of King and Dufferin and offers up filling breakfast, burgers and some damn fine fish and chips. Peggy, the waitress who’s been working the tables here since the late 60s when she came to Toronto to be a go-go dancer, tells regulars to help themselves to coffee. Further west along Queen, The Skyline (1402 Queen Street West) is about as retro as you can get in terms of diners, with that famous neon sign out front, and fast and efficient service inside from the flurry of activity that is Doris, once voted “best waitress in Toronto”. Other places that serve up a mean burger or all-day breakfast includes Harry’s Burgers (160 Springhurst Avenue) and Stavros (1530 Queen Street West).

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Zippity Street Food

zippiemushroomZippie Café
1718 Queen Street West
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. Local chefs are looking to countries in Asia and South America for inspiration for the dishes they’ll serve at the upcoming Street Treats Fair on July 13th, but there’s one country I’ve yet to have heard mentioned, one country completely overlooked. Poland.

No doubt, readers are scratching their heads in an attempt to come up with any kind of Polish street food that isn’t kielbasa. Turns out, Polish street food has turned into café food, and a little space known as Zippie Café is turning out open-faced sandwiches known as Zippies.

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