Taste Toronto’s local food when you’re studying abroad


Trying new food is one of the many exciting parts of studying abroad in Toronto. This is a city of many cultures and food from all over the world, with a Canadian twist. But there are some local specialties you may not have come across before. So, while you’re in the city, taste some local cuisine and connect yourself with Toronto and its culture. These are some of the local favorites to try as you explore the city.

Peameal Bacon Sandwich

Complete your study semester at the University of Toronto with a bite of the iconic Peameal Bacon Sandwich. Considered Toronto’s signature dish, it’s particularly linked to St. Lawrence Market. The sandwich is a soft bun with thinly sliced peameal bacon (an unsmoked back bacon cured in brine and rolled in cornmeal), lettuce, tomato, and mustard. The best place to try it is Carousel Bakery in St. Lawrence Market

Butter Tarts

The Canadian Butter Tart is a must. Originated in Quebec in the 1600s, it appeared in Canadian recipe books in the early 18th century. Toronto bakeries have perfected the butter tart over the years, and today there’s a mix of classic and unusual flavorings.

A classic Canadian tart has a thick pastry shell filled with a velvety brown sugar, eggs, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. There’s a whole stack of fillings out there, too. Head to Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington Market, just a short walk from campus, for a tart made the classic Canadian way.

Sushi Pizza

Yes, you read that right! This is a modern Toronto favorite. A large pizza-sized rice patty topped with salmon, tuna, or crab, then green onion, spicy mayonnaise, and wasabi sauce. Japanese chef Kaoru Ohsada invented sushi pizza in the early 1990s when he was working at Nami, a Japanese restaurant in Toronto. The unusual dish has become surprisingly popular, popping up on menus in sushi places across Toronto. Although Chef Ohsada no longer works at Nami, the restaurant is still open and has sushi pizza on the menu.

The Montreal Bagel

OK, so not officially invented in Toronto, but the Montreal bagel is everywhere in Toronto. These bagels are smaller, sweeter, and denser than the traditional bagel, and they taste delicious. They’re made of flour, sugar, eggs, and oil, boiled in honey-sweetened water then baked in a wood-fired oven. There are lots of bagel stalls and bakeries close to campus. Bagels on Fire is a short stroll away, and it has a custom-built wood-fired ovens especially for baking Montreal Style Bagels.