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May 30, 2011 06:06 AM

Kensington Market?

Any decent places to eat in Kensington Market.
Taking some out-of-town friends around the city for an afternoon and looking for something decent around Kensington or surrounding area.
Must be casual and child-friendly, but still decent food-wise.

I don't go down to Kensington a lot, but my experience with the area is that there seem to be a lot of coffee shops... not familiar with restaurants in the area.

ps As we're Asian, they don't want to do anything Asian, so the nearby Spadina restaurants are out of the question.

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  1. I'd recommend Jumbo Empanadas if you want Latin American fare, which is a big part of the market's identity.

    Just a couple blocks west on College there's Auntie's and Uncles and Caplansky's, Auntie's and Uncles is more of a breakfast place but it's still great. All of these places are inexpensive, child-friendly and offer good food.

    Jumbo Empanadas
    245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L8, CA

    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    1. When I took my 9-year old to Kensington Market for the first time, she enjoyed tasting food from many places instead of sitting down to eat...not sure if this would work with your crew, but an afternoon of sampling empanadas, patties, fruit juices, cheeses, wandas paies, etc while taking in the sounds and sights can be fun!

      5 Replies
      1. re: BequiaT

        Not sure what your kid friendly qualifications are but Back Alley Grill on Augusta may be a good option for you - The food is reasonably priced and its casual - We have had excellent experiences there - Flatbreads/pizzas, Spicy Chicken with rice and also their Curry Dishes are all solid. We have popped in with various groups a few times, and they are also always impressed with the food - They have an amazing wood fire oven they use- and the smell in there is wonderful

        1. re: BequiaT

          I agree, I enjoy that the best, Sitting down at a restaurant in Kensington really isn't that fun and you can get way better take-out and snack foods in Kensington than a sit down, What I like to do is Get a double at Patty king, Some tostadas at A&A, as well as an empanada across the street, then get a churro back at El Gordo, then go to Wanda's for Pie.

          El Gordo
          214 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

          1. re: Bobby Wham

            There's a large patio out the back at El Gordo now, which adds a bit of civilization. I know there's a lot of press for Agave etc, but the other vendors in the space are also worthy of investigation.

            El Gordo
            214 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

              1. re: Bobby Wham

                I might have to check it out for lunch today...

        2. I'd recommend the Back Alley Grill as you can get delicious pizzas and simpler chicken dishes for the kids; although they do have asian inspired dishes there clearly is a variety. The vibe is very relaxed and has more of an atmosphere than other in-and out type places (although I agree with BequiaT that walking around and having a bit of everything is the best way to explore Kensington.)
          Make sure to have dessert at Wanda's Pie in the Sky - it's amazing the the kids will love it!

          1. For a snack, I love the sweet potato date muffins at Urban Herbivore.