Last Updated on February 1, 2024
Toronto is quickly burgeoning into a world-class food mecca. The city’s staunch dedication to multiculturalism (it’s the most diverse city in the world, according to many sources) and flair for innovation keep it flush with exciting food options and beverage choices.
You could write an entire four-volume compendium on the Toronto food and drink scene. However, here, we’re narrowing our scope considerably – focusing on the four best Asian treats Toronto. These sweet nibbles and drinks are a perfect pick-me-up for the long, cold Toronto winters and a refreshing counterpoint to the sweltering city summers.
Without further ado, let’s roll up our sleeves and dig in.
Korean “Bungeoppang”: PAT Central Market
Bungeoppang hasn’t reached full mainstream recognition yet. But those who like it like it a lot. Basically, these are sweet waffle-like pastries filled with nutty red bean paste and then stamped into the shape of a fish. (Don’t worry, there’s no actual fish in bungeoppang!) Aside from the novelty of eating a fish-shaped pastry, the Korean treat is a comforting little nibble that pairs well with the next entry on our list (more on that in a moment).
While you can find bungeoppang at a few places around Toronto, the best and most accessible is probably PAT Central Market in the heart of Bloor Street’s Koreatown.
Taiwanese Bubble Tea: Chatime
Chatime is the undisputed king of bubble tea – here in Toronto and elsewhere across Canada (and the world, come to think of it). The bubble tea brand is known for nailing the classic milk tea and tapioca combo, but it also features a rotating cast of innovative flavours.
Head to Chatime Mississauga to find boldly creative bubble teas like Golden Lily Oolong Milk Tea, Matcha Strawberry boba, and even Salted Caramel bubble tea! It’s impossible to try every delicious bubble tea in one visit, so budget for multiple trips to the city’s Chatime locations. (There’s a Chatime near PAT Central Market in Koreatown, and other near affiliated Bake Code on Yonge Steet, if you want to mix and match treats!).
Japanese Cheesecake: Uncle Tetsu’s
When Uncle Tetsu’s first opened at the corner of Dundas Street and Bay, there were lines around the block. That’s how passionate Torontonians were – and still are – about the shop’s airy, decadent cheesecakes.
The lines have died down slightly since then, but the shop’s cult following remains. Try the treat at its original Bay Street location, or pick one up in Union Station before you board the train out of town.
Vietnamese Pastries: La La Bakeshop
Vietnamese pastries don’t get the love and attention they should. The country has a rich tradition of churning out fusion-y sweets (it was a French colony at one time, and wears that influence proudly), including durian cakes, salted egg yolk croissants and pandan tiramisus.
That tradition is on display at La La Bakeshop, a relative newcomer to the city. Try the bold and creative takes on bakery classics at their Annex location (around Spadina and Bloor).