In Kensington Market, anything goes. One of Toronto’s most beloved neighbourhoods, its global food game is strong; within a few short blocks you can devour döner, tacos, churros, arepas, paletas, momos, beef patties, arancini, banh mi…we could go on. It’s not just the global food game that’s on point in Kensington though! There’s a distinct pride of place in the market that encompasses both global flavours and local products. If you’re looking to chill out, Jimmy’s Coffee on Baldwin brews Pluck Teas all year long — but come summer, they create iced concoctions with the loose leaf blends. They’re perfect for sipping while relaxing on their spacious patio or wandering the market. “The Market” is also an ideal place to shop for that perfect Toronto Island picnic or backyard BBQ. Start your shopping at Sanagan’s Meat Locker, also on Baldwin, serving up high quality local cuts of meat and charcuterie, as well as a great selection of ready-to-go eats (think “supremely delicious” sandwiches, irresistible roasted chickens, and bags o’ brekkie). The team at Sanagan’s can tell you where all the meat came from, how to cook it, and what to pair it with. They also sell locally blended spice rubs, condiments, Caplansky’s mustards and other condiments. To supplement your picnic or BBQ there are at least half a dozen little greengrocers in the Market, many of whom stock seasonal Ontario produce like asparagus, strawberries, apples, mushrooms, onions, and fiddleheads. Come night fall, a new market crowd emerges. In the last five years, a new league of licensed dives, bars and speak easy’s have opened their doors in the once (relatively) dry neighbourhood. It’s become a great place to taste one off brews and hard to find small batch ciders too. Most bars rotate their offerings, but you can always guarantee to find a wicked selection of local craft beer on tap at Thirsty and Miserable (cash only!), Cafe Pamenar, and The Handlebar, the latter of which serves exclusively Ontario beer and cider – mad props, Handlebar, mad props. Patio lovers will be happy to hear it’s not just Ronnie’s anymore! With the largest patio in the market and a rotating list of small batch beers and Ontario ciders, Trinity Common has become a hub for those looking to soak up that fleeting summer sun. Can we talk about ice cream for a second? Kensington Market’s ice cream offerings have EXPLODED in the last two years. There are Mexican palettas, Italian gelato, frozen Greek yogurt, thai rolled milk ice, traditional scoops and tropical soft serve too! We suggest wandering the busy streets and trying one of each. #GameOfCones is a thing folks, get on board.
Don’t forget that from May to October, the last Sunday of every month is Pedestrian Sundays, and most places, Sanagan’s especially, pull out all the stops, cooking up something different and exclusive just for all those hungry bipedal market-goers.
Looking for more insider tips on where to go, what to eat and what’s hot right now in The Market? Hot tip: our Community Manager lives in the fray. Follow her on instagram here for the latest and greatest!