Good Eat in/around Kensington Mkt
Would appreciate some good place/local fav. to eat in Kensington market
The Black Metal Brunch on Sundays at Grafitti's is amazing. The chef gathers local ingredients in the market and puts together offbeat brunch specials as well as classics. Limited menu, and food can take awhile if it's busy but it's always excellent and worth the wait. A full plate of food and.
There's one bartender and server and Linda is in the kitchen solo. They don't take reservations, you show up and grap an empty table. If the server isn't busy he'll bring you some menus, if he is just walk up to bar area and ask someone for one. You'll get a photo copy with the specials of the day on one side and standards on the back. It's a limited operation but service is always super friendly. A large plate of food and a Ceasar will set you back around $10. Also if it's an option always get the homefries - a blend of well seasoned, slightly crispy red and new potatoes. Delich and my fave in the city.
They do play extreme metal music, not too loud, occasionally later in the afternoon there's a band which is fairly loud but well after prime brunch hours. They serve food until 4, and the specials will run out. Black Metal Brunch isn't for everyone, but those that know it always go back.
Perola's is nice. Also good is Emporio Latinho, which is the same kitchen-at-the-back type of place, though they focus on pupusas and tamales. They also have a small seating area at the front. It's two doors down.
Across the street is El Gordo, which makes many different flavours of empanadas. Appetizer size, and generally less than $3. Next door to that is Segovia Meats. Last time I was down there on a weekend, they were selling chorizo burgers, and what looked like tamales.
Once a month, they have pedestrian Sundays, where many more vendors bring out the charcoal. You can find grilled pizzas and sardines as well on these days.
Torito is probably the best restaurant in Kensington Market, at least as far as dinner is concerned. Nice innovative tapas, not traditionally Spanish but very much in keeping with what is going on with tapas in Spain right now. Many people love La Palette for bistro food - I've had two bad experiences in a row there and won't be hurrying back. But they are one of the few places where one can get a grilled horse steak. For a great no-frills Portuguese meal on a patio, I've always loved Amadeu's, the grilled sardines are delicious. I do hope they're still open, the patriarch and namesake was killed in a car crash last year. Can someone confirm? La Tortillaria is good for a decent-not-awesome quick taco and, more importantly, takeout freshly made tortillas. Finally, on the border of the market and Chinatown, Ka Chi has fantastic Korean pork bone soup.
Yes, sadly Amadeu passed away last year, after looking at retirement properties, no less. And kudos for mentioning his great resto. The lulas grilladas is remarkable.
My fave spots here in the mkt are:
Kim: best pho Ive had in the city
Urban Herbivore: awesome vegan soups, sandwiches, salads, and muffins that require 2 people to lift
El Trompo- best mexican Ive had, including a stay in Mexico!
Ka Chi, as has been said, makes a killer pork bone soup, among other pretty good Korean meals.
Oishi Kada - sushi at a great price and its super yummy.
The best thing you can do to get a big, overall glance at the culinary goings on is come by for a pedestrian sunday (streets closed to cars, vendors selling food and whatnot on the streets, ginormous games of chess!), and nosh all damn day. Those are bound to start up any day now.
I have loved Jumbo Empanada, since i moved to Toronto about 4 years ago. I almost always get the beef (3.99) and a few sopapillas (0.75/ch) with lots of salsa (which has lots of cilantro in it, in case you're not a cilantro lover). The corn pie is also fantastic.
245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L8, CA
Back Alley Woodfire BBQ at 188 Augusta - the hours are unpredictable, but it's worth it for the scallion pancakes and the grilled calamari. And the folks there are very friendly.