Follow Vv Magazine’s Ama Scriver as she takes a food tour through the 6ix, finding the best hidden gems across the city in a Ford Fiesta.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Toronto has some of the most incredible and most diverse food in the country but there are a few misconceptions about the city and our eating habits. First and foremost, almost everyone thinks that every good restaurant is in the west-end of town. Second of all, everyone thinks that you can get everywhere in the city via transit. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but both (for the most part), are incorrect.
As someone who has a deep appreciation for food and loves exploring this fine city of ours, I was so thrilled to partner up with Ford Canada to take on this food adventure. You see, it’s not every day you’re given a car for three days to go and eat all throughout what Drake lovingly refers to as ‘the 6ix’. My own personal objectives for this trip: find some of the best hidden local spots and eat as much food as humanly possible, because yolo.
Okay, so I’m sure you’re wondering what constitutes the six boroughs of this fine city? Well, for those of you not familiar with Toronto pre mega-city merger we had: Etobicoke, York, North York, Downtown Toronto, East York, and Scarborough
Now it was time to plan the official food list and while I have my own opinions as a person who loves food, I decided to do some *ahem* sleuthing in the Bunz Food Zone and Bunz Helping Zone to see what my fellow Bunz thought the best eats and treats were in those areas and wow, did I get a lot of opinions and suggestions. By a lot, I mean hundreds of suggestions.
So I created my list, I checked it twice and alongside my fellow food lover (and photographer) Patrick Tomasso – we were off to pick up our small, but mighty fierce Ford Fiesta to set out for the day. We decided to head off to our first stop, a classic North York stop – Bagel World. As we typed the destination into the GPS, the Fiesta knew exactly where we were headed too. Good vibes, all around. The drive was quick and pleasurable with the Bluetooth hooked up to our respective playlists for maximum road trip tuneage.
Bagel World has been a Toronto tradition for 50 years, one that I have always been dying to try. I am obsessed with bagels and anytime that I make a visit to Montreal, I’m coming home with dozens to eat. So how do these stack up? Well, I ordered up a classic cream cheese & lox spread, because I’m boring. But oh, it was worth it and the bagel, oh so tasty. I am not going to lie, I think I still prefer Montreal bagels – but would I make another visit to Bagel World? Absolutely! What I would suggest though is to get a flat bagel. It’s worth it.
One of the things I really loved about the Fiesta was that it had an automatic keyless car starter, so we could pre-chill the car a couple minutes before hopping in. Seems indulgent, but on hot days like this, it was worth it. Next, we were off to East York, making a visit to a locally recommended Portuguese chicken joint called Churrasqueira Costa Verde. Having just arrived prior to lunch time, the space was packed with locals – which we knew was a good sign. Rather than going for the typical chicken, we tried out the fish sandwich alongside some potatoes. Using the in-car GPS, we located the closest park to have ourselves a mini picnic in Cedarvale Park. Verdict: totally understandable why it’s a local fave.
The area that Patrick and I were most excited to head to throughout our journey was Scarborough for a variety of different reasons. One: it’s one of the areas in Toronto that without a car, is the most difficult to get to and two: thanks in large part to Suresh Doss, Scarborough is getting some much-needed love for its epic food culture. Case in point, our two food stops in Scarborough were based entirely on his recommendations. First up, we both went to Hopper Hut for our first Sri Lankan food experience. To describe the Hopper Hut experience is difficult as you really need to experience it for yourself, photos don’t even do it justice. But the service is excellent, the portion sizes huge and the prices incredible. It makes me wonder why more people don’t go outside their comfort zones (or take Suresh on his food tour offers to go out to Scarborough) to try places like Hopper Hut. We shared a diced mutton roti and lamprais wrapped in a banana leaf and had SO MANY LEFTOVERS. Worth it. Afterwards, we headed across the street to Sri Lankan takeout spot, New Quality Bakery where we picked up some sugary sweets.
All this driving (and eating) had us close to a food coma, so we stopped off at Boxcar Social’s Riverside location to take a quick break to check emails before heading out again on the road. If you haven’t been to the Riverside location of Boxcar, it is the most chill space ever. The coffee is pretty great and fuelling up with their iced coffee was exactly what I needed before we headed back out on the road. Plus, I’m not going to lie: our lil’ Ford Fiesta looked pretty cute parked outside.
One thing Patrick and I noticed was the fuel efficiency of the Fiesta was pretty aces. We were just hitting our fourth borough on our tour and had barely made a dent into the gas gauge. Perhaps we needed to clock in some more time, so off we went to our next destination Rashers, where they didn’t go bacon my heart!
The day was almost done and we needed to finish it off with pizza. I knew just the place: True True Pizza where you can customize and cook your own pie in 5 minutes or less. We ended up getting their Donnie Brasco pizza (ricotta, fennel sausage, chorizo sausage, pepperoni, pickled red onions, and parmesan) and then headed off to Neo Coffee Bar to get one of their famous roll cakes including the Orange Dark Chocolate and a Cold Brew infused cake.
We drove our Fiesta down to the Portlands to have a bit of ‘hood pie’ and look out over the beautiful view of downtown Toronto. If you’ve never ate pizza off the hood of your car and stopped to appreciate just how beautiful the city we live in is, I highly suggest that you do it. Like almost immediately.
We had one more stop and this one was close to home, thankfully. I live in the Junction and oddly enough, as close as I live to Etobicoke had never been to Sanremo Bakery. It was so delightful and packed with so many incredible eats, treats, and wonders. Of course, we had to pick up donuts because what other way to end off a day of driving around the city without donuts?
If you had a Ford Fiesta for the day, where would you have taken it? Let us know and perhaps we’ll be able to take this Ford Fiesta out for another #FiestaFoodie challenge sometime soon!
Are there any neighbourhood classics that we missed? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.