Leslieville Cheese Market's Staff Favourites
and Hidden Gems of Toronto Cuisine
Our staff all love to eat great and unusual foods, and probably don't seek out much cheese when we're not at work. We also love to share, so here are our secrets. Please tweet your agreements and disagreements, and your own suggestions.
Michael's Favourite Foods and Hidden Places
Chinese Dumplings — Fennel and Pork Dumplings map
My first time at this new place on St. Clair West, I walked in as they were turning off the open sign, worried that I might get some sad old dumplings that they had lying around from today. Instead, they pulled out the rolling pin and put together my order by hand right there in the front window. These Beijing style dumplings are absolutely top notch. The lamb dumplings are BETTER than the same at Traditional Bun. The cabbage and pork are very good. But the fennel are loaded with fennel greens and seeds and are possibly the best traditional dumplings I have ever had. Most of these eaten without bothering to put any sauce on them. They just don't need sauce. I do crack open the malt vinegar and chili oil for a few at the end. They also gave me soy sauce packages. Please don't put more than a drop of soy sauce on any dumplings, anywhere (unless they really stink). The pork dumplings are $6.95 for 15 pieces! This is a great deal and well worth the trek. I need to go back with a large group so we can order everything on the menu!
Chinese Traditional Bun — Mutton Dumplings map
In a basement at Dundas and Spadina, this is a throwback to the days of Mother's Dumplings' humble beginnings.
Ravi Soups — Lamb Curry Wrap map
The young founder tragically died a year ago. This wrap is one of his legacies. It has mango, sweet potato, and lots of other tasty things. It is wrapped in what reminds me of an authentic Malay roti, not a dhalpuri roti.
Bamiyan Kebab — Afgani Kebabs map
This place gets busy! The photo menu helps to choose, but it's all excellent.
Tropical Joe's — Oxtail and Gravy with Rice and Peas map
Shockingly good Trini-Style Caribbean food in the food court at Gerrard Square. Don't believe me? Check the Yelp reviews.
Sauce Bar on Danforth — Hot Crab and Asiago Dip map
Fair warning, we make some of the food that Sauce Bar sells. They sell our cheesecakes, pates, cold dips, and hot dips. So basically, they have fantastic food!
Ha Gow Dim Sum — Handmade Har Gow map
Most dim sum places sell previously frozen Har Gow. These guys make their own. Little known facts: in Cantonese, the verb "to eat dim sum" is "yam cha" which literally means "drink tea". It is said that Har Gow is the essence of dim sum; if you haven't had har gow, you haven't had proper dim sum.
Mr. Jerk — Boneless Goat Curry on Rice and Peas map
Mr. Jerk has been around my whole life, and there are more than just a few tings on the menu that should be noted. Bwoiled dump, bwoiled banana, codfish frittas, an' akee an' salt cod. Nyam it up!
Osler Fish Market — Fish for Sushi
Get the salmon that looks like the orange colour of a creamsicle, not the dark orange translucent flesh of salmon that has been sitting out all day. (They have lots to choose from, but they won't be able to give sushi advice. FYI, Bento Nouveau supermarket sushi dies their salmon that frosty orange colour so that it can sit there for days.) Ask them to remove the skin and pin bones. Take the skin home and toast it with soy sauce in the toaster oven to make crispy salmon skin hand rolls.
Sarah's on Danforth — Duck Breast Dinner
For some reason Sarah's is never too busy to get a table. Go eat there, you won't regret it.
Albert's Real Jamaican — Red Pea Soup on Fridays
Their food is ok, but this soup is great.
Tenoch Mexican Restaurant — Pineapple Pork and Grilled Cheese Tacos map
Roti Cuisine of India — Amazing Curries in Fresh Roti Bread map
Great traditional curries with no suprises and no disappointments.
Stephanie's Special Foods
Oyster Boy — Kingfish Tacos
House of Gourmet — Duck Congee and Beef Corriander Rice Roll with Fried Ghost (Salty Doughnut)
Future Bakery — Mashed potatoes and traditional Ukrainian Dill and Vegetable Soup
Café Geraldine — Clams Casino
Union — Roasted Root Vegetables on Tuesday Night
Cava — Escargot and Venison Skewers
Tom's Dairy Freeze — Soft Serve
Circles and Squares Bakery — Lemon and Ginger Scone
Cafe Pomegranate — Lamb, Walnut and Pomegranate Stew
CNE — Conklin Ice Cream Waffles
Liz's Go-To Comfort Foods
Urban Herbivore — Moroccan Stew
Flip Toss & Thai — Golden Curry