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The Best Empanada of My Life

Admittedly, my empanada eating experience has been isolated to the greater Toronto area, parts of southern California and some quality time with my Venezuelan aunt. But last week, I tasted the best empenadas ever.
I was driving through the Weston/Finch area and stopped in the famous 9 Milvan Ave building to have my first-ever lunch at their unusual food court. On the north side of the food court is a Columbian joint making and selling huge empanadas. I tries the Chorizo, Spinach-feta and Pork. Each was a meal (and priced like it at $2.95), and each was sublime.
I will make a return trip to this weird office building to sample fare from the six other South American stands nearby. But 9 Milvan seems like a an early contender for my personal Food Court Hall of Fame.

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  1. I'll give it a try next time I'm in the area...if you're in downtown T.O. a very good option is Jumbo Empanadas in Kensigton Market (245 Augusta). I usually go for the beef and chicken empanada with egg and black olives for about $7.50.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Finnegan

      I don't like the crusts from both empanada places on Kensington - too heavy and bready. The Cuban versions I had in Miami had a light crust which I much preferred.

      1. re: Teep

        the only columbian empanadas i've tried in toronto so far are from la paisa on st clair west and they are really delicious. i much prefer the cornmeal crust myself and they do such a great high heat deep fry on them that they're almost completely greaseless and awesomely crispy. the spicy vinegary sauce is a great complement to it as well. they only have potato and ground beef filling, mostly potato. they also reheat rather well from the freezer in an oven.

        am looking for more places with the columbian empanadas.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          I haven't had the ones at La Paisa but from what you described, they sound like the ones we had at Mi Tierra (further west on St Clair next to the Hungarian centre) so you might want to check them out to compare.

    2. Thanks for the tip-off! I just started working around there, and am looking forward to trying the empanadas.

      1. Does anyone know the name of the people who sold Empanadas at the farmers market at the Brickworks this past summer? They also had a really tasty tart. Quince?

        2 Replies
        1. re: stayathomesommelier

          I seem to recall it was this place (If I'm not too late):

          Surkl
          Mariana Queirolo
          144 Pinewood Avenue, Toronto M6C 2V5 / (416) 932-1013 / surkl@rogers.com
          Empanadas, tartaletas, cocktail sized empanadas. Fillings: Meat: spicy beef, chicken with leek, green onion, red pepper and tomato. Cheese: Ricotta and green onion. Vegetable: Butternut squash and corn with sage, spinach, corn and cilantro.

          1. re: stayathomesommelier

            I recently purchased a pack of 6 sirloin empanada from Sûrkl at the Wychwood market. In a word, the were amazing. The best I have ever had outside of my friends mom's.

            Sûrkl adds raisins to theirs, which I believe is traditional. While I normally do not care for meat with raisins, there were delicious.

            I am somwhat ashamed to say that I ate all of them.

            Their stand at Wychwood had a few items. Chimmichurri, quince tarts, etc. Once they had alfa jores. But taling with her, she doesn't make dulce de leche that often, as the process is very time consuming, and apparently uses quite a lot of milk for very little yield.

          2. The empanada place at 9 Milvan is great. And the people working there are very nice.

            I havent had the same experience in the rest of that mall. It seems that all the other food stands won't serve me. No matter what I order from the menu, they don't seem to have it.

            Is it because I don't speak Spanish?

            3 Replies
            1. re: TOChow

              Years ago, I used to get very good empanadas in the mall that used to be at Weston & Finch. I wonder if this is the same people.

              I agree with Teep - I don;t like the empanadas in the Kensington market: Too doughy.

              1. re: TOChow

                I still visit Milvan whenever I can and don't speak a word of Spanish. Among my recent trials, I can recommend the ceviche at the Ecuadorean joint in the corner; the 5-taco plate from the Mexican place, or anything starting with "arroz con..." at the Cuban counter down the hallway. All good, all fresh and all friendly. This place is gem in a awkward part of town. Open six days a week; closed Mondays.

                1. re: romanruin

                  Agreed on all counts.

                  The Chilean place is also very good.

                  DT

              2. I love that place. It's an absolute chowhound goldmine.

                DT