Unfortunately, Indigenous cuisine is often overlooked in the culinary world. Despite opening its doors just 10 years ago, Toronto’s Tea-N-Bannock is the city’s longest-running and operating Indigenous restaurant. Here, the comforting and delicious food allows the city’s Indigenous communities to enjoy a familiar home-cooked meal and welcomes those from all walks of life to come and experience true Canadian culture. In honour of Canada Day approaching, venture out to Leslieville and experience true Indigenous cuisine.
Chefs Enos Miller and Thomas Norton have come together with their culinary team to create a taste of Canada’s First Nations heritage. Miller spent time cooking at Slate Falls First Nation where he learned First Nations traditions, including cooking, fishing and smoking meat. Classically trained in French and Italian cuisine, Norton had to do a bit of a cultural catch-up because he, like too many Indigenous people, was a victim to the ‘Sixties Scoop’–the government policy of cultural assimilation that began in the 1950s and lasted until the ’80s. Together, they have created a restaurant that is about more than just food. At Tea-N-Bannock, people can gather together to celebrate and heal.
On the menu is a beautiful selection of Canadian-sourced meats and fish, including Alberta bison and elk. The restaurant gets its wild-caught arctic char from Nunavut and pickerel from Indigenous communities along the northern lakes. Popular dishes include the in-house smoked Bison Stew with an assortment of fresh veggies and wild rice, Navajo tacos with beef chilli and the salmon burger on traditional Frybread. For dessert, the delicious options include wild blueberry crumble, bannock pudding and bear paws (Frybread with cinnamon sugar)! Each dish at Tea-N-Bannock is presented simply and highlights the local and fresh ingredients.
Tea-N-Bannock is available for pickup or delivery through DoorDash and Ritual and you can find them at 1294 Gerrard St. E. Celebrate and support Toronto’s Indigenous communities by trying out a few of these fantastic dishes!