From indulgent sweet treats and naughty snacks to hot, hug-on-a-plate meals, leading local food Instagrammer allons.y tries, tests and shoots the finest foodstuffs Toronto has to offer

Listed in alphabetical order; everyone’s a winner here

1) Bake Shoppe

859 College Street, ON M6H 1A1 (+1 416 916 2253)

Bake Shoppe is basically your childhood fantasies 1,000-fold, famed for its take on classic North American childhood treats like Pop-Tarts and Flakies. But these aren’t the Pop-Tarts and Flakies of your school lunch bag; everything is made in-house using fresh, high quality ingredients. While you’re here, try the Rice Krispie Treats topped with potato chips or the peanut butter sandwich cookies. Your inner seven-year-old will thank you.

2) Butter Avenue

3467 Yonge Street, OH M4N 2N3 (+1 647 341 8686)
477 Queen Street West, ON M5V 2A9 (+1 416 815 8686)

Butter Avenue is the gold standard of French-style patisserie in Toronto. While famous for its macarons, it’s the St. Honoré Tarts that are a must try. A shortbread crust filled with different flavoured Chantilly – think Earl Grey, matcha or pistachio – topped with seasonal fruits and those signature macarons. Looks impressive; tastes incredible: not always an easy feat.

3) Home of the Brave

2nd Floor, 589 King Street West, ON M5V 1M5 (+1 416 366 2736)

Home of the Brave serves next-level classic American food, with an atmosphere as suited to a big night out as a lazy lunch. Its Home of the Brave burger is made with AAA-grade ground rib-eye, and tastes like it; the Shaved Bologna Sandwich sees layers of paper-thin bologna topped with American cheese, toasted pistachios and spicy mayo; and the Kentucky Fried Handshake sandwich is an eye-popping conversation piece: perfectly fried chicken that literally greets you at the table with a waving hand.

4) Kitten and the Bear

1574 Queen Street West, ON M6R 1A6 (+1 647 926 9711)

In Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood, Kitten and the Bear has become legendary for its piping-hot house-made scones and small batch confiture jams, made daily using fresh seasonal ingredients. Spend an afternoon in the charming space taking tea served in antique tea sets, alongside clotted cream, Sloane tea, melt-in-your-mouth scones and a selection of their seasonal jams with such flavours as Banana Bourbon and Vanilla Bean, and Pear and House Mulled Wine. It’s impossible to leave without taking a jar of their jam home with you. Or ten.

5) La Cubana

392 Roncesvalles Avenue, ON M6R 2M9 (+1 416 538 7500)
92 Ossington Avenue, ON M6J 2Z4 (+1 416 537 0134)

With mosaic floors and teal tiles, La Cubana is, in look and taste, Toronto’s answer to Cuba. Beloved for brunch, lunch and dinner, it’s the type of spot that works at any time of day. The sandwiches here definitely take centre stage on a menu where, frankly, everything competes for star dish. The Pressed Cubano Sandwich is a particular hit, piled high with thin slices of ham and pork, topped with Gruyère cheese, onions, pickles, and chipotle mayo. Wash it all down with some of their fresh Guava juice and you’re guaranteed to leave not only full, but happy.

6) Patois

794 Dundas Street West, ON M6J 1V1 (+1 647 350 8999)

Patois represents everything that is beautiful about Toronto. As one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, locals and tourists alike have a plethora of cultural cuisines to choose from. The menu here is dotted with dishes that marry Jamaican-Chinese influences with North American comfort classics, like the Jamaican Patty Double Down with two cocktail patties, bacon, Swiss cheese fondue and Sriracha. Frequently voted a top dish to try in the city, the Prosperity Jerk Lobster is crispy stir-fried with Jerk Butter, Hong-Kong style. Can’t decide what to order? Go with a group of three or four and get “The Whole Shebang”, which gets you the entire menu. No regrets.

7) Petit Nuage

707 Dundas Street West, ON M5T 2W6 (+1 416 902 5632)

One of Toronto’s true hidden gems, micro-patrisserie Petit Nuage can be found in Market 707, Toronto’s shipping container market, and is home to some of the best macarons and crème puffs the town has to offer. Flavours are heavily Asian-inspired, dotted with black sesame, uji matcha, and Hong Kong milk tea, alongside classic s like Earl Grey and salted caramel. If you’re lucky, there will also be Japanese roll-cake, which is only offered occasionally as a daily special – try pre-ordering one. Wash it all down with a matcha latte, one of the best in the city.

8) Rose and Sons

176 Dupont Street, ON M5R 2E6 (+1 647 748 3287)
892 Queen Street West, ON M6J 1G3 (+1 647 348 7926)

Rose and Sons is the last word in comfort food. Queues here are frequent and with good reason; the food not only looks good, but makes you feel good too. While dinner is incredible, it’s the daily breakfasts and weekend brunches that will get you out of bed in the morning. Try the PLB Special Melt, the king of all breakfast sandwiches, stacked with bacon, sausage, fried eggs, fried onions and sour cherry jam. For something a little lighter, but equally satisfying, there’s the Lox Bagel, served with a generous heaping of pastrami salmon, cucumber, pickled onion, cream cheese and fried capers.

9) Roselle

362 King Street East, ON M5A 1K9 (+1 416 368 8188)

In Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood, Roselle is one of the finest patisseries in the city, serving high-end French-style pastries in a simplistic, stylish space. A personal favourite is the Turtle Tart, with salted caramel, candied pecans and milk chocolate mousse tucked in an almond tart shell. Or try the Banana Cream Pie Éclair, oozing vanilla bean cream and infused with caramelised bananas and rum. Finally, there’s the house-made Earl Grey ice cream, which can be eaten as is, or “taken to the next level” with lemon curd and crispy pearls. Go early for this customer favourite, which frequently sells out by early afternoon. You’d hate yourself for missing out.

10) Terroni

720 Queen Street West, ON M6J 1E8 (+1 416 504 0320)
57a Adelaide Street East, ON M5C 1K6 (+1 416 203 3093)
1095 Yonge Street, ON M4W 2L8 (+1 416 925 4020)

Say the name Terroni to any Toronto local and you’ll be greeted with a nod and a knowing smile, followed by a seemingly endless list of their favourite pastas, pizzas and appetisers – it’s impossible to decide because everything on the menu is just that good. I’d recommend going as a group, ordering multiple dishes and then sharing everything family style.

Get a taste for what else the town has to offer in our Toronto destination guide

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