Kensington Market Food Tour

Toronto Kensington Market - from WikipediaI recently when on a food safari in Toronto with Chopsticks and Forks. We spent 3 hours walking through the Kensington neighborhood and sampling cuisine from 6 different regions of the world. 

The Kensington neighborhood is a great example of Toronto’s multicultural nature. As we walked through narrow streets, Victorian homes and colorful storefronts, we were greeted with sights, sounds and smells from around the world. 

Interesting Facts: This area is home to 30 distinctive cultures and religions. 

Toronto Kensington Market - Pow WowWe started our International Toronto Food Tour at Pow Wow Café, which serves traditional native Canadian foods.

Our sample was Bannock (Fried-bread) with Duck Bacon washed down with Cedar Soda. The combination of Bannock and Duck Bacon was very tasty. I didn’t enjoy the Cedar soda much. It is probably an acquired taste.

We then stopped at Nu Bügel, for a taste of Europe and Venezuela. What a unique mix of cultures. We had the Smoked Salmon Sandwich with a Sesame Seed Bagel. The place is also famous for their coconut bagels. 

Toronto Kensington Market - Nu BugelOur guide Jessup is a great host. He made sure everyone got a taste and he catered for special needs. Some in our group were vegetarian so he made sure there were always meatless choices.  

We then traveled all the way to South America for a Chilean taste. Jumbo Empanadas serves unique dishes like a 600-year-old corn hash indigenous recipe and baked wheat Empanadas with hard-boiled egg and raisins. This non-traditional combination actually tasted great. 

Interesting Facts: At its start in 1910 this area was known as the Jewish Market due to its large population of eastern European Jewish immigrants. Several synagogues are still standing now.

Toronto Kensington Market - Tibet CafeOur next stop was for a unique Toronto taste. At Golden Patty, we had a Beef patty in Coco Bread. Both items are Jamaican in origin, but the mix can only be found in Toronto. A wonderful texture and flavor.  

Without having to climb the Himalayas, we got to taste Tibetan food at Tibet Café. We started with a unique Tibetan drink, Butter Tea. This thick hot tea with butter was invented to replenish energy at high and cold altitudes. We also sampled some Momos. The Momo is basically a Tibetan Dumpling. 

Interesting Facts: Kensington’s streets have several unique public art displays. The most outlandish is the “Garden Car”. This old rust bucket was filled over time with plants and flowers by residents and looks totally out of place in this urban setting.

Toronto Kensington Market - Fika CafeWe ended our food tour with a relaxing stop at Fika Café. “To Fika” in Sweden is to stop and slow down, which is what we did at this place while sipping tea and trying a spiced morning bun. It tasted like a cinnamon bun with a hint of Cardamom. What a great way to end this world food tour. 

Interesting Facts: Pedestrian Sundays happen during the summer months letting people stroll around and enjoy this eclectic neighborhood without worrying about cars.

We really enjoyed this tour with Chopsticks and Forks and especially our friendly guide, Jessup.  He made sure everyone was happy with the samples and kept us engaged with lots of information about the neighborhood.  

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