Unapologetically authentic food brings foodies from afar to this under-the-radar food town
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of the most multicultural places in the world, with an incredibly diverse food scene to match. Among the foodie destinations in the region, one city stands out: Brampton. From Sri Lankan “short eats” to Trinidadian doubles and Nigerian suya, you can find a bite from just about anywhere in the world in this culinary treasure trove, located just north of Toronto. Of course, with the myriad places that you need to dine at, it can be a bit overwhelming to acquaint yourself with all the city has to offer. We’re here to help. Read on for the ultimate list of Brampton’s best international eats.
View this post on Instagram
For the best Sri Lankan short eats
Vinayagar Vilas, 85 Kennedy Rd. S. Unit 31
“Short eats” is a Sri Lankan term that essentially refers to snacks – a quicker bite. Start your journey with savoury vegetarian stuffed patties, onion pakoras or a dal vada before indulging in sweeter vaipan (fried dumplings) washed down with a house-brewed masala tea.
For the best Nigerian suya
MJ’s BBQ and Suya, 361 Parkhurst Square Unit 5
Serving up home cooking and traditional Nigerian dishes, MJ’s BBQ and Suya is a family-owned and operated business that is a mainstay in the community. Its take on suya—a skewer of thinly sliced spicy beef marinated in a blend of herbs and spices imported from Nigeria— is a must-try. Have yours with a side of jollof rice and pepper soup.
View this post on Instagram
For the best Trinidadian doubles
Alima’s Roti and Pastry, 13 Kenview Blvd.
If you’ve ever heard of doubles, the iconic Trinidadian snack consisting of spicy curried chickpeas sandwiched between fried dough, you know they’re a) always plural and b) delicious. Here’s one more lesson: Alima’s Roti and Pastry is one of the best places in Brampton to find them. So, grab yourself a doubles or two (or three) and an extra serving of tamarind sauce on your next visit, then level up your experience by grabbing some parathas or dhalpuris to go, alongside a curry of your choice. Yes, that’s a lot of food, but whether you enjoy these delicious eats for lunch the next day or sneak in a midnight snack, your future self will thank you.
For the best Afghan kabobs
Royal Kabob, 284 Queen St. E.
Layers of sweet, salty, sour and savoury Middle Eastern syrups and spices create the flavour bomb that is Afghan food. Royal Kabob makes some of the best – you guessed it –kabobs in Brampton. Every bite is beyond tender and well seasoned, from beef shami and beef chapli kabobs to tandoori chicken and tikka kabobs. Upgrade your platters to include Afghan Qabuli rice. A blend of Afghan rice, raisins and carrots, its textures, smells and flavours make for a divine sensory experience.
For the best Hakka cuisine
Guddu’s Chilli Chicken, 205 Van Kirk Dr. Unit 3
What’s better than Chinese or Indian cuisine? A fusion of both. Guddu’s Chilli Chicken has been serving up Hakka cuisine for more than a decade, and one bite will tell you exactly why. Our favourites are the dry chilli chicken, chilli fish and chilli paneer alongside traditional Hakka noodle and rice dishes. Curious about their other offerings? Try one of their unique Chinese biryanis for all the comfort, flavour and spice that a fusion of regional Chinese and Indian cooking offers.
For the best Jamaican stuffed patties
Mackay Pizza, 930 N. Park Dr.
Another community favourite, Mackay Pizza has also been a staple for well over a decade, and for good reason. Though most waltz through those doors for a taste of the cheesy goodness of pizza, the star of the show is their stuffed Jamaican patty. Mackay patties are loaded with freshly shredded lettuce, mayo and cheese with an option for other add-ons. This snack is simple, balanced and mind-blowingly tasty, with each bite being better than the next.
For the best Indian sweets
Kwality Sweets & Restaurant, 2150 Steeles Ave. E.
This family-run restaurant has a full dine-in menu, but the real draw here is the dessert menu, which boasts over 70 Indian and Bengali desserts including ladoos (made with flour, nuts, sugar, jaggery and ghee, these round treats are little bursts of joy), many varieties of burfi (square, milk-based sweets that are sprinkled with chocolate, coconut, almonds or other toppings) and amriti (a Bengali sweet made from batter deep-fried in the shape of a circular flower then soaked in a sweet syrup). Also on offer: cakes, cookies and gift boxes of dried fruits and nuts.
Visiting Brampton soon? Check-in at Great Taste of Ontario Passport locations and earn points towards some great local rewards!
This piece was originally published in the April 29th Edition of the Great Taste of Ontario Special Report in the Globe and Mail.