Mix things up the next time you drop by your favourite restaurants by ordering off their secret menu. View The VIBE’s Libby Roach rounds up the best secret menu items in Toronto.
The best kept secrets in life are often short lived and that definitely holds true when it comes to ordering off the menu. Secret menus are all the rage these days, even huge corporate restaurants like McDonald’s are baiting you into building your own burger. While Rotten Ronny may have a few tricks up his clown sleeve, you too can embrace the creative flow of your favourite chef and order some pretty covert meals. No golden arches required.
Secret menu sites like Off the Menu and Hack the Menu give you the skinny on what your fave restaurant really have to offer. But we’ve rounded up a few of our best bets in the big smoke. Keep in mind – it’s a chef’s prerogative to switch things up. So don’t be gutted if you get left in the cold.
Pay penance for last night’s evil deeds with The Pope – a creation sure to exercise any lingering demons. The Pope features a double cheeseburger with The Option – a cheese stuffed, panko crusted portobello mushroom caps resting in between. BP offers countless other confession worthy options too – scope out their website for more.
202 Davenport Rd
Drake’s fave seafood joint Joso’s was named dropped in his classic ‘5AM in Toronto’ for good reason. Chef Manuel Moreno whips up his clandestine Pasta Goodfellas – a massive pasta platter bringing the holy trinity of meat, fish and carbs in one glorious creation. The surf and turf inspired dish is studded with juicy filet mignon, shrimp, octopus, calamari and mussels. It’s a feast for the eyes and a feat to finish.
402 Bloor St W
Bloor Street West is home to Za Pizzeria. It’s owned by pizza loving power couple Lisa Costantini and hubby/chef Jason. Their secret stash brings a half crescent shaped pizza loaded with pepperoni. Plus, it leaves one side saved for their buttery knotted garlic rolls. It’s like an appetizer and a meal all rolled into one. Truly, a perfect pair.
1214 Dundas St. West
This DuWest darling is known for their inventive and creative fish dishes. It sources from Toronto’s finest fish monger John Bil at Honest Weight. Relying on his daily grabs, Ufficio creates pretty plates that celebrate his honest work and pair perfectly with local Ontario veg. Recent secret menu items have included fish and razor clams or a melt in your mouth crudos made from the freshest fish. Ask what’s off the menu for the latest daily import.
59 Cameron St
Matty Matheson weighed in on the menu at this Chinatown pizza place. Putting his magical touch on their blistery and bubbly pies. Scope out their Instagram to stay in the know on what’s cooking. A recent peruse of their account announced creations like Burn After Eating – a triple dose of cheese with a double hit of heat. Or The Chizzler, a tempting circle of roasted jalapeños, fior di latte and Italian sausage.
598 College St
College Street is home to this new sushi spot, with a few stellar secret options. Chef Gerald Jung brings his years of sushi making to fruition with his fun finds. Like the Mini Chirashi in a cup, which has ten layers in a single dish, each rewarded with a different flavour profile. Combining MP finds like tobiko, unagi, kani, salmon, tuna and raw vegetables and spicy sauces. Also off the menu is the delicious and curious Lobster dish. Combined with pan fried buttery mushrooms, garlic mayo and sweet soy sauce, flanked with a lobster tail and crispy fried leeks.
922 Queen Street West
This Queen West Spanish restaurant is known for their Insta-worthy walls and artfully presented plates. Chef Luis Valenzuela is known to concoct this paella for those in the know. A dish compiled of sea bass, scallops, shrimp, squid and clams. No chorizo in sight. The fish friendly find made waves amongst diners, ask for the Secret Paella and prepare to be swooned.
93 Ossington Ave
Fans of this Ossington strip hot spot brave long lines to scoop up their vegan and dairy filled ice creams and cookies. Double-Decker Ice Cream Sandwiches are a part of their hush hush options. As is the Cinnamon Bun ice cream sandwich. A decadent and nostalgic dessert sandwich that’s a safe bet for sharing.
Did we miss any of the best secret menu items in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.