Great Global Cuisine Restaurants in Toronto

Indian Street Food Co.

Summer and wanderlust go hand in hand: there’s the romance of the open road and the excitement of jetting off somewhere new. But even for those of us stuck in the city, battling the sticky weather, there is hope.

You may not have plane tickets to see the world but in Toronto, you can eat as though you’re a million miles away. This summer, track your progress on a map as you treat the family to a tour of global cuisines right here at home. Every new taste, whether Tibetan momos, Filipino lumpia or true Texas bbq, will give you a break and the kids an opportunity to learn something new before the next school year begins.

Adamson BBQ

 

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We’ve all had burgers off the grill but true, Texas-style barbecue is a different beast altogether. Slow-smoked over wood fires, just like they do in the Lone Star State, Adamson’s fork-tender brisket, spare ribs, sausage and more display the telltale pink smoke ring that tells you this is the real deal. And if that isn’t enough to impress the kids, they also have gooey, house-made mac and cheese.

Campechano

Convincing kids to eat tacos is generally stress-free, meaning a meal of Mexican street food at Campechano can make for a relaxed, summer outing. Order a margarita, then share ceviche and guacamole, to start. Next, dive into a round of tacos crafted from made-to-order tortillas enveloping fillings from fried fish to marinated steak. Whether the kids pick off the cilantro or scowl when their taco implodes, we guarantee a good time will be had by all.

Bacan

 

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Travel to the pampas via Roncesvalles, for a diverse sampling of Argentinian cuisine. From beef empanadas and choripán to charcoal-grilled costillitas and chimichurri-topped striploin, there’s a variety of flavours sure to appeal to the whole family. For a decadent finish try dulce de leche flan or grilled bananas with vanilla corn cream. Just be prepared to share.

Gare de L’Est Brasserie

 

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Glam it up with a night on the town at this on-point, family-friendly, east-end eatery. Think a plate of escargot will make your choosy children squirm? Then ease them in with classics like soupe a l’oignon gratinee, steak frites or truite amandine. As you savour the food, the ambiance and a little wine, embrace the joie de vivre and start hinting at next year’s summer vacation.

Tennessee Tavern

 

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Trust local food-industry vet Grant van Gameren to turn a tired Parkdale bar into one of the city’s coolest Eastern European spots. Traditional smoked fish and veal schnitzel appear alongside cabbage rolls, pierogies and more on the diverse menu. Kids will get a kick out of pretzels as big as their face, even if they’re wary about everything else you order.

African Palace

Treat kids to a meal they’ll be encouraged to eat with their hands at this East-African hub. Choose from a host of interesting options, from meat-based braises to vegetarian platters brimming with lentil, chickpea and other plant-based stews. Served with salad and injera for scooping, dinner here is fun, healthy and, best of all, totally hands-on.

Queen of Persia

 

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We all eat with our eyes first, making Queen of Persia the perfect place to overindulge in ornate décor, original art, unique serving dishes and gorgeous platters of traditional foods. Here, familiar ingredients (think chicken, rice and grilled veg) are elevated with mountains of fresh herbs, traditional spices, fruits and nuts into fresh, delicate plates infused with rich history and tradition.

Indian Street Food Co.

As bustling and colourful as its namesake streets, this casual Leaside restaurant offers a sampling of the flavours that made chef Hemant Bhagwani’s name. Start kids off with sweet, savoury chaat and shatteringly-crisp poppadums served with chutney and raita. From there, steer clear of aggressively spiced vindaloo and, whether you try mild butter chicken or coconut-bathed prawn curry, you’ll find there are no wrong steps.

Tibet Kitchen

 

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Fun to say and even more fun to eat, momos are the real draw at this popular Tibetan/Himalayan joint. Available steamed, pan- or deep-fried, choose between chicken, beef or veg or simply try them all. Settled into the sunny back patio, you may want to extend your stay with one of the kitchen’s specialty stir-fries. Or you may just want more momos.

Casa Manila

 

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If your kids can sit for over an hour, then Casa Manila’s traditional Kamayan feast can’t be beat. Layered across banana leaves set on the table, this communal meal allows your family to try a variety of authentic Filipino dishes such as chicken adobo, grilled beef ribs and chicken chicharon. As for the colourful, party-in-a-bowl that is the kitchen’s “Ultimate Halo Halo”? The sensational blend of a dozen sweet ingredients served over flavoured, shaved ice is unlike any ice cream sundae the kids have ever seen — and is sure to be a highlight of their summer.

 

feature photo credit: indianstreetfoodco.com

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