Movies and their stars walking the red carpet are the main attraction at the Toronto Film Festival, but you’ll need pit stops between screenings.
The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of new restaurants in multicultural Toronto that will get you round the world — and into the heart of North American indigenous cuisine .
Pow Wow Café
This Native American eatery in the popular Kensington Market features seasonally foraged indigenous ingredients and foods traditional to the Great Lakes region, like pickerel, wild rice, corn, beans and squash. “The inspiration behind Pow Wow Cafe is the delicious foods of Pow Wows dishes such as Indian tacos ($15), scone dogs, corn soup ($7) and fry bread,” Ojibway chef Shawn Adler tells THR about indigenous spin on the taco trend sweeping Toronto.
213 Augusta Avenue, 416-551 7717
For chef Enos Miller, who prepares authentic North American indigenous food like fresh Pickerel ($24) or a Bison Stir-Fry ($32), it’s about bringing past recipes to the here and now. “One must try a Bison Burger on a fresh frybread bun or a Navajo Taco. The smell of fresh bannock awaits you,” Miller adds about bannock, a flat quick bread long a staple of early indigenous peoples.
1294 Gerrard Street East, 416-220 2915
The diversity of regional Chinese cuisine is delivered by executive chef David Schwartz and chef Braden Chong as they offer their take on Shaokao spots in Chengdu and Xi’An to Dai Pai Dongs in Hong Kong. Popular picks include Hunan Chili Sea Bass ($68) and Sichuan Province’s Hidden Crispy Chicken ($35). The duo have also just opened Sunny’s Chinese in Kensington Market with dishes like King Mushroom Stir Fry ($18) and Typhoon Shelter Squid ($20).
265 Davenport Road, Toronto 416-505 0799
Chef Marvin Palomo and Chef Kim Haugen’s hotel lobby-inspired restaurant uses seasonal ingredients to infuse his classic menu items. “Toronto itself is a big melting pot of culture, which allows us to create all kinds of delicious dishes using what Ontario gives us,” Palomo tells THR. That includes Octopus ($45) with a tamari glaze and almond ajo blanco, and a Caviar Fried Oyster ($40).
90 Portland Street, 416-364-1111
Executive chef Mitch Bates oversaw the Michelin starred kitchen at Momofuku Ko in New York, and now runs the East Chinatown eatery that pairs classic Japanese recipes with the traditions of his Japanese Canadian family. “Each dish on our menu comes from our family and community,” Bates tells THR about a menu that includes Oji Classic Shio Ramen ($19) and Oji Classic Shoyu Ramen ($19). Having just celebrated its first anniversary, Oji Seichi has had hometown celebrities like action star Simu Liu and and Never Have I Ever star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan at its tables.
354 Broadview Avenue, 416-519 4356