FOOD AND DRINK
Tracking Down Great Toronto Street-Side Eats
The food truck scene is relatively new to Toronto. Here are some of the city’s best vehicular kitchens to track down.
The last three or four years saw Toronto’s street food scene bloom. Street food festivals happened practically every weekend during the summer and it seemed like a new food truck was rolling out every month. Even restaurants were getting into the action by coming out with street food-inspired menus – and even their own trucks. Here’s five of them to hit when navigating the city’s street foods. Pro tip: to find where all the trucks are on any given day, go to www.torontofoodtrucks.ca (or download the app) to see which trucks are on the road.
Fidel Gastros Food Truck
The truck belonging to the Fidel Gastros catering company and its Queen West restaurant, Lisa Marie, is usually found roaming the downtown core when it’s not at a wedding or food festival. Specializing in meaty sandwiches, first timers should go for the Sargent Slather – in which an Italian bun is stuffed with barbecued pulled pork, guacamole, and tortilla chips – or the Captain Belly that’s crammed pulled pork and slaw. If you want something more unconventional, try the El Paisano: a spaghetti and meatball sandwich. Be sure to get a side of pad thai fries: crispy and tossed in Sriracha, bean sprouts, and cilantro. They are seriously addictive.
Carib Fusion Street Stall
Perhaps the only street food stall in the city that doesn’t sell hot dogs, Carib Fusion is one of the few survivors of Toronto’s disastrous street-food initiative a few years back. Located in the heart of the Financial District at King West and Bay streets, bankers line up during the lunch hour for juicy jerk chicken wrapped in a delicate roti and dressed with a mango salad (a warning that if you ask for it hot, it is REALLY hot). The menu changes often, but you can also expect to find curried beef roti on Wednesdays and oxtail with rice on Fridays.
Gushi Street Stall
Head west to the southeast corner of Dundas West and Bathurst for Market 707 in front of the Scadding Court Community Centre where shipping crates are converted into food stalls. One of the longstanding ones is Gushi, selling Japanese snacks like takoyaki (octopus balls) and rice boxes topped with fried chicken (karange), hot dogs, sweet curries, and croquettes. Get the incredibly crispy chicken (it’s what they’re known for) and text your order beforehand so it’ll be ready when you arrive.
707 Dundas W., 647-447-1707
Buster’s Sea Cove Food Truck
The longstanding St. Lawrence Market seafood restaurant has hit the road so that it can serve people craving lobster rolls beyond the Market’s short opening hours. Aside from the rolls, which are filled with big chunks of lobster, lightly mixed with mayonnaise, and come with a pickle and a bag of Ms. Vickie’s chips, other highlights are its fish and shrimp tacos (and maybe octopus if you’re lucky). It’s affordable but not the cheapest offering from a truck. Still, when it comes to seafood, the last thing you’d want is cheap.
Kal & Mooy Food Truck and Stall
It’s the city’s only Somali food truck and it’s serving piping hot samosas stuffed with beef, chicken, and vegetables (remember to douse it with its fiery hot sauce). Demand for its food eventually led to a storefront in the mini food court at 238 Queen West, where you can find a larger menu of sbaya wraps (a Somali-style shawarma wrap), spiced chicken or goat with vegetables and cinnamon-raisin rice, and homemade anjera, a fluffy and spongy sourdough flatbread topped with vegetables. It’s a good option for those who are tired of the burger and fry options, and want some more veggie-heavy dishes.
238 Queen West, 647-463-4626