I hate to break it to you but there is more to Little Italy than pizza and pasta. The neighbourhood, which is home to the Italian Walk of Fame, has diversified in recent years adding several different food and drink options. So if you’re heading to a show at The Mod Club or having a night of board games at Snakes and Lattes, you can fuel up at any number of these delicious spots.
705 College Street
If you’re like me when you think vegan you immediately think bland and boring, although this vegetarian butcher shop is anything but. With a great selection of hot and cold counter vegan and vegetarian meals including BBQ Pulled Chicken, Chicken Schnitzel, Hickory BBQ Ribs and more – you’ll actually forget what you’re eating isn’t meat. The service is absolutely impeccable and if you’re having a hard time choosing, the staff will have no issue walking you through the menu and helping you decide. Pro tip: try their cold press juice; it beats most places in the city.
Utopia Cafe & Grill
586 College Street
For years friends of mine have been telling me this restaurant has great nachos and I have to admit: I never believed them. But move over Sneaky Dee’s because Utopia is where it’s at. The quaint space just off College Street (hidden patio included) has all your tex-mex needs, including burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and chilli. In addition, you can also find some great diner classics like burgers, fries and sandwiches. The best part about Utopia? Their commitment to vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options. So no matter the budget and the fellow diner, you’re sure to find something!
Soi Thai Street Food
651 College Street
Let’s be honest: Toronto is not short on great Thai restaurants, but if you’re in the area, you have to check out Soi Thai. Severely underrated, the restaurant focuses its menu on the street foods of Thailand and most recently earned a Thai Select distinction. Some stand-out dishes include their garlic greens or the stir-fried morning glory (which is a family recipe). One of the things I really love about this space is they offer in-house cooking workshops so you too can learn how to make incredible Thai at home.
655 College Street
So many times I walked by Burro Burrito discounting it as one of those ‘other’ burrito places until my friend explained just exactly what I was missing. Watch out Burrito Boyz – you’ve got competition. The Small Burrito is packed with tons of ingredients and your choice of meat for $8.80 and for an extra cost of only $2.00 you can up-size your burrito. The service is friendly and the staff doesn’t mind taking the time to chat through the whole menu with you. Not to mention, Burro doesn’t charge extra for guacamole! So what are you waiting for? Go get it.
610 College Street
There are a couple things to know about PG Clucks before you head over. The first thing is this is some of the best fried chicken in Toronto. Yep, I said it. The second is that you can’t eat here. There is only a bench outside so you’ll have to take this fried chicken to go, but trust me, it will be well worth it. I’m a huge fan of the fried chicken sandwich, which is topped with coleslaw, different sauces, and a huge chunk of chicken – it’s REALLY good. You’d be surprised to know the sandwich is only $7, but sides do cost extra, which if I had my way would be their heavenly Potato Salad ($4). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some fried chicken to eat.
Duff’s Famous Wings
558 College Street
My college friends and I would always head to Duff’s once every week to commiserate over school work and hot wings. If you’ve never been to Duff’s, it’s your typical wings joint. Over 50 flavours to choose from, lots of TV’s to watch sports and beer. The heat on the wings is always on point and they’re also meaty and generously sized. Not feeling wings? They have other stuff too like fried pickles, calamari, and mac & cheese wedges. Pro tip: visit on a Tuesday where one pound of wings is $7.75 with the purchase of a beverage.
The Fish Store & Sandwiches
657 College Street
If you can’t get to the St. Lawrence Market to experience fresh fish, then you can always grab it here. I mean, it’s not called The Fish Store for nothing. From salads, burgers, tacos and sandwiches – this place always has everything you could potentially want or need to satisfy your fish craving. Each day they bring in between 10-15 different types of fish, so there is always an abundance of options available and everything is made fresh to order. My advice? Get the grilled fish plate!
Did we miss any of the most underrated restaurants in Little Italy? Which restaurants have you tried? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.