Travelling the world has shown me the beauty of different cultures and magical landscapes. It has gifted me with the joy of discovering countless cuisines, and has opened my taste buds to an array of flavours; but nothing feels as good as home. Toronto is a city where diversity of cultures and wonderful cuisine creates one of the most unique food scenes in the world.
I recently partnered with Banana Republic to showcase how Toronto is a world class food destination, and the places that make my city stand out. It needs to be said that one of the most exciting parts about Toronto, is that it’s a city of neighbourhoods. Each one exudes its own personality, so it is a must to visit Kensington Market and wonder its streets in search of what makes this bohemian neighbourhood so especial. I started at Seven Lives, a Kensington Market favourite for their baja-tyle fish tacos.
Walking into this colourful spot, instantly reminded me of the places I used to go for tacos when I lived in Mexico City. Bustling with people that are patiently waiting for their order. It surprised me to see huitlacoche on the menu, a type of Mexican mushroom that grows on corn, and that I hadn’t seen outside of Mexico before. I ordered a fish taco, and of course, had to try the huitlacoche one. Both were served in fresh corn tortillas and the toppings ranged from cotija cheese, shredded cabbage and roasted corn. Four bowls of different kind of sauces laid in the counter so that you can pour generous tablespoons on top. My favourites? the tomatillo one as well as the salsa macha. It was heaven. Those were without a doubt the best tacos I’ve had outside of Mexico.
After that epic lunch I walked around the neighbourhood in search of a few things to bring home. In Toronto we are lucky to have a place like Kensington Market, my go-to go if I want to buy Latin American ingredients that I wouldn’t find in any grocery store. From Oaxaca cheese and crema from Mexico, coffee from Ecuador and Dominican Republic, Dulce de leche from seaside Mar del Plata in Argentina, to empanadas from El Salvador . Kensington Market is without a doubt, the purest definition of how multicultural Toronto is. An eclectic oasis in the city that makes Toronto’s diversity rich and always exciting.
I met with Devin Connell, founder of Crumb a fantastic website dedicated to all things food and travel, and owner of my favourite sandwich spot, Delica Kitchen. Also with Afrim Pristine, owner of Cheese Boutique, the place to go for unique cheeses in the city and who is soon releasing his first cookbook! Cory Vitello who owns Flock where you can find some of the best take-out and roast chicken in the city, Craig Harding chef and owner of some of the top restaurants in Toronto, including Campagnolo (don’t miss their Burrata with roasted grapes), beautifully designed La Palma and Constantine. Brandon Olsen was also with us, who not only is one of the most creative chocolate makers I’ve ever met ( hello Ziggy Stardust Disco egg!) but whose restaurant La Banane is an ode to French Cuisine with Olsen’s own twist.
Devin, Afrim and Cory made a colossal charcuterie board made with local cheeses as well as imported ones, sweet cherries, breakfast radishes, prosciutto and olives that we had at Campagnolo’s patio. We chatted about what makes the Toronto food scene so uniquely vibrant and about our favourite places to travel.
While drinking chilled Rosè, we enjoyed a delicious Tuna Crudo prepared by Chef Harding and then feasted on creamy burrata served on roasted grapes and house- made pasta all’ amatriciana that I suggest you try, because it was out of this world. We agreed that our city is having its best moment when it comes to food and it has nothing to envy to any other city in the world. It was a day filled with some of the best spots the city has to offer.
What I wore
I went from day to night in a Banana Republic royal blue dress that was super light and comfortable during the entire day, plus the cutest black sandals, bangles , ring, and earrings that have become some of my favourite pieces this summer.