HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

Good poutine in Toronto?

An american friend of mine is visiting me from L.A., and she insists on having some poutine. I love the dish myself, and frankly, I'm puzzled how I haven't asked this question before on chowhound.

So, where are the good poutines at? I live around YOnge and Bloor, so preferably something not too too too too far.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Jamie Kennedy, Trevor.

    1. Yeah honestly you won't find the good cheap delicious Quebec-style poutine here, nobody does it the right way. Far better to go for upscale poutine, and JKWB serves the best, I think. Just a nice place in general to take someone from out of town.

      1. why suggest chic places for poutine of all things. It's best when it's done down-home- like as in Quebec.
        I prefer the blue truck on Queen St. near Bay St. when the craving hits occasionally of course.
        Sure it's artery clogging, but's it tasty and a HUGE portion. Don't order large unless your ordering for two.
        I believe a medium poutine is about 4 dollars.

        YUM

        1 Reply
        1. re: lonestartor

          SECOND! this is my favorite poutine in the city. don't ignore it b/c it's from a truck, it's way better than those from a poutinerrie

        2. Hopefully not too far away....Dangerous Dan's at Queen & Broadview.

          1. Yes but sorry this is my point, I'm from Quebec, and we don't do it right here in Toronto. Even the blue truck, which is one the better options to be sure, really isn't proper poutine. No chicken gravy, lacking in squeaky cheese curds, etc.

            This is why I'm suggesting going upscale. Believe me if we had our own version of La Banquise here in Toronto I would be all over it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: childofthestorm

              Gimme Au Pied de Cochon's artery-clogging, foie-gras-laced poutine over La Banquise's version any day!

            2. I've never had their poutine, but Rebel House is a great pub with above average pub food. It's just north of Rosedale station on Yonge. Their menu says they use cheddar curds, smoked mozzarella and homemade gravy.

              If you're open to variations on poutine, I love Utopia's "gourmet poutine" which has goat's cheese, sauteed mushrooms and their own (vegan?) gravy. Their regular poutine is also good, I hear.

              4 Replies
              1. re: foxymoron

                Regardless of whether they have the poutine they should go there. Great pub with great food.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  My comment about Rebel House would be "Great pub with okay food...". I went to Abbott on the Hill two week ago for the first time. It's just up the street from Rebel House. I would describe Abbott on the Hill as "okay pub with great food." Maybe the owners should get together.

                  1. re: acd123

                    I like Rebel House a lot, but I don't like their poutine. It uses their chip-like fries instead of real fries, and there are no cheese curds, or if there are they grate them along with the smoked mozzarella.

                    And redearth is right, one of the best poutines in Montreal is at APDC, and it too is a gourmet version. So gourmet-style gets the Quebecois seal of approval!

                    1. re: childofthestorm

                      As I've written on this board before, the poutine at APdC is the most incredible, decadent plate of food I've ever eaten. It is a must try for every serious poutine lover in Canada. We go on an annual pilgramage, mostly in the summer so we can have the poutine and also gorge on mega fresh seafood from the Gulf of SL.

              2. For a unique take on poutine try Utopia on College at Clinton. It's made with vegetarian gravy and goat cheee. Fantastic.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JennyBenny

                  Agreed, the mushrooms they add to it are so good. Also, their lamb sausage (merguez) and brie cheese poutine isn't authentic or La Banquise by any stretch, but still decadent and delicious.

                2. I have been enjoying the poutine at Craft Burger lately and the one at Freshwood Grill in Kensington is good too, not chicken gravies but good curds and fries...each around $5

                  1. There really is no good poutine in Toronto. That said, if you have to eat poutine, I've found that Harvey's is decent enough in a pinch, if you can believe it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: snackventurer

                      Second Harvey's - it's where I get my fix when I can't wait to be in Québec City and go to Ashton's - Yep. I'm a Québec City gal...

                      1. re: pâté chinois

                        Well, I'm a Montreal guy and I agree, except I won't be going to Ashton's, I'll be going to La Banquise (but let's be honest, there are numerous better options available there than here - "Yes, it really is worth the drive to Ashton's").

                        Getting better here but not quite there yet. Same can be said for baguettes and croissants. Time, patience, and an elevation of expectations are key. It will happen bye-and-bye.

                    2. Cadillac Lounge, really, really good

                      1. I like the chip truck on St. George St. in front of Sid Smith. They use cheese curds and a thick gravy that's better than what I've had in many pubs. The fries are chunky, similar to English-style chips. It tastes like good, classic junk food.

                        I haven't tried the Queen St. truck, nor have I had good poutine in Quebec. The only times I've had poutine in Quebec, they used grated mozzarella and the gravy was meh - even there you can't be guaranteed good poutine.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: missmu

                          Where did you get grated mozz on poutine in Quebec? Whenever there I eat way too much poutine and have never anything other than cheese curds and that swiss chalet-esque gravy. APDC is the holy grail of poutine, but even most of the 6 or so varieties of the poutine they slop out at La Ronde are pretty damn good.

                          1. re: abigllama

                            I take full responsibility for not having found good poutine in Quebec. I wasn't on the look out for it at all at the time. I just ordered it a couple of times from whatever diner I happened to be in. Next time I'm there I will definitely only go to recommended places.

                        2. I've been in Toronto for 3 years and I've yet to find a good poutine. Being from back east, I get a craving for it everyone once in awhile so rather than order yet another poutine wannabe when I'm at a pub, I head by to Loblaws, grab a bag of curds, a can of St. Huberts poutine gravy and bag of McCain fries (the ones with the peeling on if I'm too lazy to do my own potatoes) and head home to make a decent poutine. ...No one seems to use the right gravy here in TO, and I'm hard pressed to find the curds as well. Everyone seems to think mozzarella is poutine?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jorgee

                            I do the same sometimes too, you can get some nice curds form the cheese shop in Kensignton that is beside European Butcher, I think it is called Cheese Magic, and Price Chopper sells their generic brand of poutine sauce that tastes exactly like the St.Hubert one...good times!

                          2. The chip truck in front of city hall is as close to poutine that I have found in Toronto. I do like the poutine at Rebel House, but it's more cheese fries and gravy than poutine.

                            There are more options if you are driving north or east of the city. I had a good poutine last weekend at the gas station on the corner of hwy 48 and Durham 23 in Port Bolster on the edge of Lake Simcoe. It's called Skippers. They use real curds and put them thoughout the fries, not just on top.. There's also supposed to be a chip truck in Manila with the real thing.

                            1. Harvey's is OK, but I've found the poutine at New York Fries to be quite good. Fresh potatoes, not frozen, reasonable amount of curds, and a quite acceptable gravy.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: KevinB

                                I'm from Ottawa and I am a poutine fanatic. I like New York Fries poutine a lot! It's the only consistent, delicious poutine I've found, and believe me, I've looked. (I've had beef gravy on poutine LOTS OF TIMES in Ottawa and Quebec... I know people don't consider it to be technically "authentic" but in my experience, I've encountered gravies of all types!) Swiss Chalet does an okay poutine. I'm not crazy about the Harvey's poutine but I do get it from time to time. I've almost given up on finding good poutine in this town, though! It's always grated orange cheddar cheese and pre-frozen fries. Gross.

                                I love this thread! It has made me totally ready to jump right back on the poutine horse!

                                1. re: Sarah Cat

                                  All the poutine you've had here is grated orange cheddar? Really?

                                  1. re: Sarah Cat

                                    Ive never experienced grated orange cheddar on Poutine, where the heck are you going for the stuff? There are actually some decent places for Poutine in the city now, your maybe looking in the wrong places.

                                    1. re: mlukan

                                      I must be. Thank heavens for this thread.

                                2. According to some friends of mine:

                                  "the best poutine is in front of Nathan
                                  Phillip's Square. Thick cut wedge like golden brown
                                  fries, rich gravy and real cheese curds."

                                  "Slack's restaurant in the Church & Wellesley area has
                                  "poutine" that is sweet potato fries topped with brie,
                                  cranberries, and duck. Poutine or not, it's pretty
                                  goddamn awesome-tasting."

                                  "By far the best Poutine is at the JK Wine Bar on
                                  Church"

                                  And someone else agreed with that:

                                  "Jamie Kennedy's poutine is TO DIE FOR. Although... the Drake's poutine in winter-time is pretty yum...but Jamie's is still best."

                                  "Bier Markt has a fantastic poutine with smoked chicken, gruyere and green peppercorn gravy."

                                  Hope that helps!

                                  -Foodhogger

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tp24

                                    Second the Bier Markt... despite that place's (many) other flaws, the smoked chicken/gruyère poutine is pretty addictive. I haven't had most of the others mentioned here though. Clinton's at bloor used to be ok for a cheapo veggie version (with curds) but I think they've changed their gravy in the last year or so and it's a little fake and too salty (if that's possible) now.

                                    1. re: Manybears

                                      Harvey's is very salty, so salty that it is difficult to swallow after a while. Have lots of water handy for afterwards.

                                  2. Anyone know of a decent poutine (with the chicken gravy and curds) in Mississauga or Brampton? :)

                                    1. If you want an upscale version of poutine, I recommend trying the one a Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. He plays around with the cheese and meat from time to time, so it's a great excuse to go there again and again for it :D

                                      (JKWB is located on Front and Church)

                                      www.jamiekennedy.ca

                                        1. re: Jay98

                                          Nice little primer. FWIW, here's a site devoted to poutine in Montreal, for those who are curious: http://www.montrealpoutine.com/review...

                                          1. re: mrbozo

                                            Awsome link, thanks mrbozo Even a map with them all on it, good times!!!

                                        2. Found a great Poutine place, best Poutine and Steamines outside of Quebec. Its real Poutine home made fries, real curds, chicken based sauce......hmmmmm Can't wait to go back. The place is in Oshawa, and is called Montreal Fries and is at 36 Simcoe Street North in Oshawa. Not a lot of ambiance but great Poutine, the best I have had outside of Quebec.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mingram

                                            It sounds great.. Too bad I never make it to Oshawa though :(

                                          2. Thanks for all the info on this thread!~~ my co-workers introduced me to my first poutine @ poutini's and I must say its quite a delicious Canadian invention :) Will try to check these other places out soon and report back!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: missy77

                                              Try the poutine at Great Burger Kitchen.

                                              DT

                                              -----
                                              Great Burger Kitchen
                                              1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                            2. You've got to check out newly(ish) opened Smoke's Poutinerie. Lots of locations and lots of choices. http://smokespoutinerie.com/

                                              Try the curry poutine, the nacho poutine and, of course, the original.

                                              They are open for your munching pleasure until really really late ( i think until 4am on weekends!)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Jennys_Food_Ink

                                                Yeah I saw this place on T.V and it looked great. They don't really have anything in North York so it's to far for me to hike all the way down town for poutine.

                                                If your ever in North York the best poutine I've had by a long shot is at a pub called "the tickled toad" which is near Yonge and Steeles. The food there in general I find to be very good but I particularly wanted to mention the poutine because I find it hard to find good poutine in Toronto.

                                              2. When I need a quick fix, i go to my local Costco. Large portion, great gravy and cheese curds.
                                                I think it's worth a try.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: mraca

                                                  there has been much talk of the Costco poutine. I must try it. So far, Swiss Chalet has the best poutine in Toronto. Yes, I've tried all the poutineries.

                                                  1. re: food face

                                                    Costco is acceptable. They offer excellent value.

                                                    Have you tried Stampede's poutine? - IMHO best "traditional" poutine in the city.

                                                    And for non-traditional - Caplansky's. Meaty deliciousness.

                                                    -----
                                                    Caplansky's
                                                    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                    1. re: mikefly

                                                      second the rec for stampede bison's poutine! excellent fries cooked in fresh oil, topped with lots and lots of squeeky curds. in fact, the consistently squeekiest poutine curds I've had so far in Toronto.

                                                      1. re: mapotofu

                                                        I was in stampede one afternoon and they told me they couldn't make me a poutine because the curds they get shipped in were still frozen solid. I guess freezing them makes them keep their squeak. Still a good poutine regardless.

                                                        1. re: mlukan

                                                          Have not found them to be squeaky - but still recommend their poutine.

                                                    2. re: food face

                                                      Swiss Chalet curds always squeak! Always.

                                                      1. re: Sarah Cat

                                                        That's right. They are fresh because they keep the product moving in volume. Who woulda thought Swissy's poutine is so killer.

                                                        1. re: Sarah Cat

                                                          I've had the SC poutine and mine's never squeaked.

                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                            Hmmm. The location at St. Clair and Keele has squeaky curds! I wonder if it matters where you go?

                                                            1. re: duckdown

                                                              unfortunately. Swiss Chalet is not one of those "reliable/I know what I'm gonna get" corporate chain restaurants. It seems that it does indeed matter which location you go to in almost every aspect of the experience. The curds I had at the former location of Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton were just as good as any other Toronto poutine spot. I will be going to the Yonge and St. Claire one once I loose 4 pounds. Will report back on their poutine....stay tuned.

                                                              1. re: food face

                                                                I think it's quite sad that in Toronto the Swiss Chalet poutine actually has to enter into the equation. On the other hand - good for them.

                                                                1. re: mikefly

                                                                  Well... it IS poutine that we're talking about!!! Not exactly fine dining-type food!!! Hahaha!!!!

                                                      2. Curds are often shipped frozen. Does anyone want to discuss squeakiness from pre-frozen curds, as opposed to fresh curds from a cheese factory?

                                                        1. The best poutine in Toronto in my opinion is at the Corned beef house, sqeaky curds homemade gravy and crispy fries. I believe they're at the corner of Adelaide and John

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: iceman1662

                                                            Whoa. Will try. Fan of their club sandwich.

                                                          2. OMG! You have to try the Poutenerie on Queens Street, by Drakes hotel!

                                                            1. I just discovered that St Louis Wings has an incredible poutine! I have tried poutine all over the city, and IMO this is one of the best. Rich, beef gravy with lots of squeeky curds. And their special fries stay crispy down to the last bite.

                                                              -----
                                                              St Louis
                                                              5307 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R4, CA

                                                              1. C'est What, on Front east of Yonge, has poutine worth checking out. Real cheese curds, fresh fries, and a sprinkle of green onions. Not to mention the beer selection to wash it down with is fantastic.

                                                                -----
                                                                C'est What
                                                                67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

                                                                1. I know this is an old post, and I'm not an expert, but I just tried the poutine at The Pilot last night. OMG!! I inhaled it! AMAZING! I'm shocked no one else has mentioned it...

                                                                  1. I had occasion to try the poutine at Uncle Betty's Diner recently. It was very good but I'd like to see a thicker fry. The shoestring fries aren't sturdy enough I don't think.

                                                                    Other than that, very enjoyable. I'm not a poutine authenticity nazi either though.

                                                                    DT

                                                                    1. when i was still working downtown, i was pleasantly surprised by the squeakiness of the curds at jetsun's juicyburger in the st patrick's market building (queen & john). cheaper than smoke's, too