Recently the American economist, academic and writer Tyler Cowen commented that after a tour of Scarborough ethnic cuisine it was some of the best he's ever experienced. Well, as locals we know all about the diversity of our neighbourhoods and the authentic small restaurants and mom and pop bistros that make a compelling argument for eating out.
But when it comes to the suburbs, sometimes these hotspots are lesser known. We've listed some of the more popular authentic eateries; from Filipino to Caribbean and Chinese Hakka. There's a melding pot of spices, flavours and mouth-watering sizzling dishes waiting to be discovered. Just take your pick from some of Scarborough's best ethnic restaurants below, in no particular order!
1.) Lotus Garden: 3460 Danforth Ave
With over three decades of experience and regarded as an "original" Hakka Chef, the man behind the great tastes of the Lotus Garden has helped establish this restaurant as a leading Hakka eatery in the greater Toronto area. Definitely try the crispy beef chili chicken or Jeera Beef. Family owned and operated, this small diner should be a must on the Hakka lovers "places to eat" list.
2.) Nilgiris: 3021 Markham Rd #50
Sit back and relax with filtered coffee or south Indian tea after a delicious meal of homestyle curries and vegetables at one of the best south Indian restaurants in Greater Toronto, let alone one of the best restaurants in Scarborough. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in flavour and whether dining on a date, or hitting the lunch buffet, this guaranteed good meal—even if you're not vegetarian. Try the Bobmay Thali, Rasam or Mysore Masala Dosa that comes with three different chutneys.
Did You Know?
The term "hakka cuisine" comes from a cooking style that was perfected by the Hakka, originally from southeastern provinces of China.
3.) Remeley's: 4830 Sheppard Ave E
This Filipino restaurant will have you coming back time and again once you've sampled the fresh quality and authentic tastes of Remely's. Head chef and owner Remeley Depandte Guiterrez has been sharing her recipes with locals after many years as a restaurant chef in San Pablo City, Luguna. Try the fresh Lumpia, Menudo, or Turon, a mouthwatering deep-fried plantain spring roll drizzled in caramelized sugar.
4.) Wonton Chai Noodle: 4400 Sheppard Ave E
For a quick and affordable meal that you'll remember, this is one of the best places for wontons in Toronto. Try the Lo Mien and Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce or dig into a bowl of classic Wonton Noodle Soup. The dumplings are big, fresh, and the broth is packed with flavour. Also try the beef brisket rice noodle, or if you're in a hurry and need some inspiration for dinner buy a dozen wontons for a DIY soup dish at home.
5.) Charcoal Kebab House: 3256 Lawrence Ave E
With traditional hand-pulled Uyghur noodles you can't go wrong! This is a family-vibe, casual eatery that spotlights the authentic noodle dishes that come from the Uyghurs, Muslims living in China's Xinjiang province. Meals here mix Asian and Turkic influences, with kebabs grilled over charcoal, naan bread, rice and noodle dishes. Make sure to try the Langman with lamb, or Manta (lamb dumplings). The Danpanji is a chicken and homemade noodle dish that is also sure to please!
1.) Mona's Roti-Caribbean: 4810 Sheppard Ave E
This is a welcoming Trinidadian roti bakery that features melt-in-your-mouth jerk chicken, curries and stylish West Indian refreshments. if you're looking for some of the best food in Toronto this inviting, colourful eatery has won the Post Magazine's taste test for one of the tastiest Jerk Chicken spots in the city. You'll be right at home in this 25 year old family business. Enjoy a variety of curries from chickpeas to shrimp and stews that feature beef or king fish, with veggie dishes that spotlight spinach, squash and eggplant.
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