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Eat & Drink

What are the most annoying food trends in Toronto?

Posted by Derek Flack / July 11, 2013

Toronto Food trendsFood trends aren't necessarily a local or recent thing, but with the dawn of the food network, celebrity chefs and a fiercely competitive Toronto restaurant scene, our fair city has seen its share of culinary flashes in the pan. Remember sliders? There's one trend that's thankfully faded away (even if a few places still carry them). Other "trends" have proven more resilient. Cupcakes, for instance, have never gone away, even as the putatively gourmet doughnut has entered the scene.

Ditto for Neapolitan pizza. Before Libretto, the closest thing you were going to get was Terroni's thin crust offerings (which are still top drawer), but now you have a bevy of restaurants with wood burning ovens that claim VPN certification. Is this really a trend or is there merely space in the market to accomodate a number of these pizza joints?

More fickle, one suspects, are things like bacon-covered doughnuts, calling plates served in restaurants "street food," the ubiquity of poutine, and the very use of the word foodie (please stop doing this). We polled our Twitter followers on their food trend gripes, which produced other suggestions like the drive to label everything as "artisinal," "avocado everything," BACON, and the above mentioned gourmet doughnut trend. Weigh in with your choice of most annoying Toronto food trend in the comments section.

Photo of a maple bacon doughnut at Planet Donut



rrrr / July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Saying your "vegan".
alan / July 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm
mac & cheese...poutine...bacon...sliders...and any high price restaurant that exploits any of these, charging higher prices...

especially mac & fucking macaroni and cheese...a food staple for poor folks...
Ana Phalax. / July 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Being allergic to everything, all of a sudden.
AV / July 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Anything that originates in Parkdale.
ChyKnees / July 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Lining up in the cold for hours to what amounts to glorified Mr. Noodles.
Rich / July 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm
Wow, surprised I'm the first to say TACOS
poh replying to a comment from alan / July 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm
No its a staple for lazy people, which I assume you are referring to the thing that comes in a blue box. Macaroni and Cheese has a long history before JL Kraft was even born. And its pretty simple and affordable to make- bechemel, pasta, and cheese. Nothing wrong with tinkering with that basic formula.

There seems to be an expectation among many in the GTA that certain foods like pizza, mac and cheese, and hamburgers can't be elevated. I think this has a lot to do with so many of us being raised on really shitty variations of these items. I always chuckle when people call the burgers at Burger's Priest or Holy Chuck gourmet. They only seem gourmet when you compare it to the dreck you get at Lick's or Weber's. There's nothing 'gourmet' about freshly ground meat, that's how burgers are supposed to be made!
Cornish replying to a comment from rrrr / July 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Your "vegan" what?
Garneau / July 11, 2013 at 01:03 pm
Licence to gripe?!? Ok, here goes:

Enough with the Pork Belly already. Anyone can do rich and fatty.

And Bacon on a donut isn't creative. It is Homer Simpson sitting in front of a T.V. salivating that the Good Morning Burger adds a fried egg to an already fatty cheeseburger.

Let me dine out regularily without having to order a sodium bomb. The test should be a minimalist one. Show me a restaurant in town that has skill bringing out the taste of a subtle freshwater fish, and I'll come around about Toronto actually having a food scene. Those lakes to the north are what makes this place special, but nobody in town knows how to eat fish.
Jason replying to a comment from rrrr / July 11, 2013 at 01:07 pm
My vegan what?
will / July 11, 2013 at 01:08 pm
I would add $10 hamburgers (no fries or drink), $10 grilled cheese, and $12 eggs benedict. It's 2 eggs and an English Muffin FFS.
Mr. Krabs / July 11, 2013 at 01:10 pm
Tossing bacon on everything to attract bros.

Advertising fancy international ingredients in order to attract hipsters and raise prices.

Pho noodles - taste like those $1 cup noodles you buy at the supermarket. There is a reason why everyone at the pho joints are emptying bottles of sriracha and other sauces into their bowls. Not to mention that weird, pink, tasteless meat.

Sushi - the sushi trend seems to be slowing down but I still see many people raving about it. It's good for a snack but I can't see myself dining on it regularly. People who talk about 'complex palates' are usually talking out of their asses.
george replying to a comment from Garneau / July 11, 2013 at 01:11 pm
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I was just thinking the same thing when I read the headline. Enough of the pork belly already. It is crazy how people have been conned that something so fatty, cheap, drowned with sugar and salt, is a delicacy.
Laura / July 11, 2013 at 01:13 pm
I'm so over bland, mediocre seafood that's barely above Red-Lobster status but costs $18 for an ounce of lobster in a roll and about a pound of fries.
W. K. Lis / July 11, 2013 at 01:14 pm
Why do we always get large portions of everything? I want smaller portions, else I end up paying more for oversize food that I can't finish.

And why do fast food outlets serve cheese on all their hamburgers? Used to be that there we were able to get hamburgers without cheese, but could pay addition coin for cheese if only we actually asked for it.
Arthur / July 11, 2013 at 01:14 pm
Artisan, home- anything (i.e. home-cut fries).
hipster / July 11, 2013 at 01:16 pm
What are the most annoying food trends in Toronto?

Those food stops and restaurants which are featured on this website on a daily basis.

I also like the INCREDIBLY ironic tweet of "donuts. It's the same dough with different toppings. But check out this gourmet donut shop in BC" Because apparently the food trend of donuts sucks only on the eastern half of Canada.
Kimmi / July 11, 2013 at 01:17 pm
Prairie Gir cupcakes claiming they are gourmet! Nothing but low budget garbage!
Bloory / July 11, 2013 at 01:17 pm
There are no annoying food trends. I love tacos and poutine and other supposed "trends" and don't understand why someone would hate them aside from just not liking the flavours or something. How can pizza be annoying?

Been eating tacos and poutine since I was a toddler. Never did catch onto the doughnut boom though. And avacado is great! The only thing that's annoying is bad food.
zoomzom / July 11, 2013 at 01:18 pm
Food Trucks.
d / July 11, 2013 at 01:24 pm
mango everything
Rich replying to a comment from Bloory / July 11, 2013 at 01:27 pm
You missed the point sport
J / July 11, 2013 at 01:28 pm
Gluten "sensitivity": the hipster allergy. Remember when everyone was lactose intolerant? You don't hear about that anymore. Nobody cares if you ate some mouldy bread and it made you sick. IF you truly are allergic to gluten you wouldnt be holding that can of PBR now would you?
Simon / July 11, 2013 at 01:28 pm
Selling a food product for 4x the price because of its "DETOXIFYING" capabilities. A glass of juice that costs you $8 isn't going to do any remarkable change to your body and it certainly isn't going to compensate for your crappy lifestyle that includes processed foods, binge drinking and zero exercise.
gary replying to a comment from Jason / July 11, 2013 at 01:37 pm
user-pic vegan grammar is atrocious
Satan / July 11, 2013 at 01:44 pm
Goddamn gluten-free everything! I do not have celiac disease, along with 99.5% of the population. Give me gluten! Its delicious!
Kat / July 11, 2013 at 01:46 pm
Everyone who comments on here is clearly a miserable 30-something year old sitting in their cubicle in the financial district. Calling everything hipster is getting SO old.
sean / July 11, 2013 at 01:53 pm
Fish tacos. And bourbon with a taco of any kind
Sarah replying to a comment from J / July 11, 2013 at 01:54 pm
I'm still lactose intolerant. It didn't leave me when the trend died down unfortunately. Thankfully Marble Slab has lactose free ice cream.
Yvonne / July 11, 2013 at 01:56 pm
pretentious hipsters vegetarians/vegans wearing big glasses and tight jeans
Concise / July 11, 2013 at 01:59 pm
What's the point of this article, exactly?
Mike / July 11, 2013 at 01:59 pm
Grilled cheese.
CaligulaJones / July 11, 2013 at 02:01 pm
Taking fucking photos of your food. Just stop. It will look like every other badly photographed you've ever taken, which looks like every other badly photographed photo all of your online friends have taken as well.

Trust me: as a bitter 48 year old in a cubicle, the time you spend doing this will add up and bite you in the ass...
Nelson Abreu / July 11, 2013 at 02:16 pm
You can add gourmet burgers and bbq smokehouses to your list. If you eat Italian regularly how can you miss "spigola" aka Mediterranean Sea bass.
Barb C / July 11, 2013 at 02:19 pm
The term "gastropub." Please.

$3 for a donut that tastes like vinegar.

Red velvet everything -- it's just chocolate cake with red food colouring.

Ani / July 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
I love food! I love food in the city! So many different things to try! It can get too expensive though. If there was something I could change about the food scene in Toronto it would be the (sometimes) unreasonably high prices.
Martin replying to a comment from will / July 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
You forgot the Knorr hollandaise sauce, that's what pushes it over the top.
Steven / July 11, 2013 at 02:28 pm
Japanese Sushi = asked staff where they came from: China.
Thai = asked staff where they came from: China.
Vietnamese cuisine = asked staff where they came from: China.
Boycott these places. Not only that, they seem to be very popular at failing DineSafe Toronto. Ask yourselves... why is that?

Open a steak house, upscale beef burger restaurant or a rib/chicken BBQ place and these weirdos walk in, "do you serve vegan?" HELL NO! Meat eaters don't walk into vegan restaurants asking if they serve meat. Duh? (They do this on purpose to attract attention to themselves. Nobody cares, KICK them out of your businesses, PLEASE).

Open up bakery and the weirdos come in, "do you serve glutten-free?" KICK them out too. They waste your time and your REAL customers don't have the patience for them either.

Processed cheese must NEVER be served in restaurants.

Poutine is only served one way - the original way. None of that fancy dancy 'upscale' crap. No, I don't want bacon or olives on my phreakin' poutine!

NoThankYouBourbon / July 11, 2013 at 02:30 pm
Bourbon everything in every drink everywhere
rod replying to a comment from Kat / July 11, 2013 at 02:37 pm
I'm sure you were calling everything hipster before it went mainstream
Drew / July 11, 2013 at 02:41 pm
I'm a long time vegetarian who had been vegan for five years. I went to culinary school and pastry school and made the transition to veganism after that. I'm sorry that my dietary habits annoy some of you and that local businesses are offering more choices to someone like me who isn't following this lifestyle because it's trendy.

Plus, as a culinary professional I can tell you that making something vegan is one of the most inventive, challenging, and inspiring things you can do as a chef...not to mention it's way more sustainable than traditional restaurant fare.
greg / July 11, 2013 at 02:44 pm
Dead animals
jennsanerd / July 11, 2013 at 02:53 pm
I love that a chunk of the tweets read "knock it off with the bacon already."

Then the next post that showed up on BlogTO was about bacon.

Danielle / July 11, 2013 at 02:55 pm
BOAR....DUCK EGGS and the lack of anything on "trendy" menus that doesn't contain at least 3 forms of meat or egg. Hipsters taking butchery courses, really - nothing better to brush up on than how to slaughter your own 'local' meat. So pretentious is sickening.
Bay Street replying to a comment from Kat / July 11, 2013 at 02:56 pm
Hey! I'm in my twenties!
Danielle replying to a comment from Steven / July 11, 2013 at 02:58 pm
Thai and sushi became 'trendy' in the 90s....not a recent trend. And why so much venom and anger at other people's allergies and dietary preferences? Maybe you have the meat sweats but please geez calm down.
Meg replying to a comment from Yvonne / July 11, 2013 at 03:04 pm
As a vegan I'm well aware that hipsters loooove meat, trendy forms of meat such as anything local or wild. Not having eat meat for 20 years I'm well aware that its 'trend' factor went out about 5 years ago. PS hipsters are currently into butchery courses.
Meg replying to a comment from Yvonne / July 11, 2013 at 03:06 pm
Why do people care so much about others not eating meat? Fact, not eating animals products leaves 500% lesser carbon footprint that a regular meat eater. If what others do or do not eat bothers you so much find a hobby.
Rick / July 11, 2013 at 03:52 pm

1. Shwarma
2. Pita
3. "Authentic" BBQ/smokehouse places
4. Oyster Houses
5. Vegan anything
6. Congee House (or as I like to call em, "gizz in a bowl hut")
Bob / July 11, 2013 at 04:08 pm
Designer donuts
Food Trucks

The problem is the followers jump in and water down any potential originality and quality that the initiator had. My case in point, Lou Dawg's! Worst POS covered in ketchup, wanna be BBQ you have ever tried to swallow. And I know about swallowing, HEYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
doink / July 11, 2013 at 04:32 pm
Wait, bubble tea didn't make it to the list?
sw / July 11, 2013 at 04:33 pm
Everyone and their phantom gluten allergies. Celiac disease wasn't on anyone's radars until two or three years ago and now all of a sudden everyone and their mothers are gluten-free.

First of all, no you're not.

Second of all, even if you are, I don't want to hear about all the stuff it does to your insides when you eat it. I want to hear all about your diarrhea and bloating just as much as the guy you're trying to bang at work.
Don'tHateMeBecauseI'mVegan / July 11, 2013 at 04:42 pm
As a new-ish vegan (for health reasons, not to be cool since everyone tries to lure me with meat & cheese as soon as they find out - equally annoying!), I must be missing veganism as a food trend. Possibly a trend but are there a whole bunch of vegan restaurants in the city that I'm not aware of. I can name about 5, none of which opened within the last year. How is that a food trend? If there are vegan restaurants popping up left & right, please feel free to point them out to me and mock me mercilessly. If you just don't like hipsters ... well, I don't either, frankly. :)
zoomzom replying to a comment from sw / July 11, 2013 at 04:49 pm
haha. couldnt agree more.

no one gave a flying fuck about gluten until recently.

and ya now, like you say, everyone is allergic to it.

Stra / July 11, 2013 at 05:26 pm
all vegans are know-it-alls. It reflects in your personalities you bunch of pompous asses. We live next door to staunch vegans who'll go on about smelling the bbq smoke from our bbq, and moments later exit their driveway with burning plumbs of oil coming from their car - hypocrites. ps. I have a rare allergy to avocado, so this new avocado craze is going to put me in the hospital soon.
toronto dude / July 11, 2013 at 05:30 pm
fish tacos...unless you are a regional mexican restaurant, they don't belong on the menu in toronto
Drew / July 11, 2013 at 05:55 pm
Stra...I am a vegan who doesn't drive a car and who doesn't make remarks about people's dietary habits whether they eat meat or not. Grand generalizations like that are harmful and unproductive when you apply them to any demographic.
Mr. Krabs / July 11, 2013 at 06:07 pm
This doesn't have to do with the food itself but I can't stand everyone whipping their cameras out at the table once their food is brought to them. Then the photographers get up to take pictures at different angles, move their plates around to get the best shot and there's always those that need to use their flash.

I can't ever remember seeing a food picture on any social network and being intrigued by it.
mm / July 11, 2013 at 06:17 pm
I vote for doughnuts, if only for making a quintessential working class food into $6 each obnoxious works of excess.

I love doughnuts, but I don't love the price gouging.
Ryan replying to a comment from Stra / July 11, 2013 at 06:38 pm
Please do eat an avocado. We'd all be much happier with you in the hospital.
Shawn / July 11, 2013 at 07:48 pm
Places with a high enough volume of customers to treat their customers like shit (I'm looking at you original & Lawrence Burger Priest; how the hell do they get tipped 20-50 bucks for a $10 burger anyways?)
buba / July 11, 2013 at 09:04 pm
I'll third the fish tacos thing as most annoying
Burger's Priest is also annoying. It's ok, but come on
Preachy vegans have always been annoying everywhere
I can appreciate the gourmet doughnut thing, but its not for me
Cupcakes, but they're easy to ignore
Supposedly amaazing Thai places. Thai stuff is fine everywhere, but its never mind blowing
James / July 11, 2013 at 09:31 pm
Cupcakes, Mexican food, donuts, burgers, poutine, grilled cheese, avocados, hummus, sangria, sushi, Ethiopian food
John / July 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm
Restaurants that don't take reservations
John replying to a comment from Shawn / July 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm
must have been by the guy that drove his Ferrari into the
big pond last Monday!
Wheresmycar replying to a comment from Drew / July 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm
Drew, take it easy. BlogTO and the comment sections are all about broad generalizations. Vegatarians and vegans are annoying; deal with it. Deal with yourself.
Nina / July 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm





Cyrano / July 12, 2013 at 01:44 am
The most annoying now is, of course, the Hipster Bacon Movement, but historically the most annoying was crunchy rice and pasta made by Chefs who misinterpreted what "al dente" meant. "Lavender in Everything" was revolting, and probably the most ubiquitous trend ever was the omnipresent "Balsamic Vinegar" "drizzled" (most annoying word ever) on anything that doesn't have the power to run away. Oh, and if you insist on cracking fresh pepper on my strawberries I will dump them on your shoes. NO, it doesn't taste amazing.
JBass / July 12, 2013 at 03:16 am
Donuts. You can't beat KrispyKreme for the price, $1.10. "Gourmet" donuts at $3.75 are stupid.
Bacon. Breakfast only, and BLT
Avocado. Why hate? It's a fucking vegetable,
Cupcakes Are Stupid
Rob R. / July 12, 2013 at 06:20 am
Most of the time when someone claims to be a 'foodie' I correct them. The term is "amuse douche".
opensource1111 / July 12, 2013 at 01:39 pm
Gluten "sensitivity". I know only one person with confirmed celiac's, and only because he is a doctor and thought it wise enough to actually see an alergist before declaring himself gluten sensitve. If you haven't been diagnosed with gluten allergy, then how do you know?
toronto dude replying to a comment from Cyrano / July 12, 2013 at 08:25 pm
take some ontario strawberries lightly saute them in abit of butter with cracked pepper and finely chiffonade some fresh basil in with it. serve with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream...this lets the strawberries be the star of the show and it's delicious!
Davenport / July 12, 2013 at 08:34 pm


"Gourmet" Hot Dogs, Burgers & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
6 Weird-Ass Ingredients, Over-Priced Cocktails
Food Trends Copied From: Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Havana, Seoul and The Mexican Riviera

I'll give Craft Beers and "New" Southern US Food another year...

Artemis replying to a comment from alan / July 12, 2013 at 09:27 pm
I'm what you'd consider poor (on ODSP) and even I wouldn't eat mac and cheese-I'd rather eat pasta salad instead (I make that with pasta, vinegar and spice.) I mostly eat cheese sandwiches sometimes, and if I had to eat something like that, I'd rather eat nachos instead (same starchy element mixed with cheese) or just buy a large hunk of cheese, loaves of bread/boxes of crackers and live on that, or I plan my meals to avoid mac & cheese.

As for all the bitching about the foods in Toronto mentioned, it's very simple; DON'T EAT THEM IF YOU DON'T LIKE THEM.
Artemis replying to a comment from Artemis / July 12, 2013 at 09:45 pm
^Okay, one more to add:

Low-cal/diet anything; listen up, people, and listen good: THERE IS NO OBESITY PLAGUE!!!! It's a creation of the media, and is mostly bullshit, as shown by Penn & Teller:

Alex replying to a comment from sw / July 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm
Ya, Celiac's makes me want to punch alleged sufferers in the face. Apparently, only 0.75% of the population has it.
sk replying to a comment from J / July 13, 2013 at 07:01 am
I'm incredibly lactose intolerant. Anything with a more than a small amount of butter (like 1tsp) or cheese or milk and I'm in the bathroom doubled over for a good 45 mins if I don't take lactose pills. I don't understand how you could call lactose intolerance an annoying 'trend'. I love cheese, ice cream, all kinds of dairy, but have to take the max dose of 2 9000 ccu pills before eating anything with dairy in it. I wish this were a 'trend' that i could just get rid of. you're a real genius, eh?
Brian / July 13, 2013 at 06:17 pm
I'm tired of people (a.k.a. "Foodies") who treat eating and food as a form of entertainment. It's not art and neither is home renovation, landscaping and all of the other annoying stuff that the bourgeosie prattle on about because they don't read, go to the theatre or do anything remotely interesting with their lives.
Licorice Allsorts / July 13, 2013 at 06:32 pm
Servers who hang around your table after they bring your food explaining what each thing is on your plate and why it's so "special."

Guess what. I don't care! Leave me alone. My dinner's getting cold.
Fender Bemde / July 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm
The most annoying food trend in Toronto is being told by acquaintances that I should try a restaurant because "it got a good review on blogTO". Hah!

Virtually every blogTO food review is glowing, with very few criticisms of any. This is unnatural. If you follow a decent restaurant review column from an actual newspaper, you will see that there are as many bad reviews as good ones, of not more. In my experience, many of the flowery reviews on blogTO tend to be far off the mark once I actually try these places.

Hire some reviewers who have the guts to say something bad about a restaurant.

Relaed to this, I can't fathom how restaurants that open only opened a week ago suddenly appear on the blogTO "Best Of" lists. Let's wait at least six months, honestly.
Fender Bender replying to a comment from Fender Bemde / July 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Apologies for the spelling mistakes: iPhone keypad.
Fender Bender / July 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Last thing: oysters and Burger's Priest are also incredibly annoying.
Me / July 14, 2013 at 03:19 pm
Anything that can be called a "trend" really. But top of the list is probably Vegans.
Me replying to a comment from John / July 14, 2013 at 03:20 pm
Bitter much? Boofuckinghoo!
Ticatman / July 14, 2013 at 09:00 pm
Burritos. Will never, ever understand this fascination.

Pumpkin beer. Move on.

Ossington...just cuz its there, doesn't make it great.
Hillary / July 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm
House-made "simple syrup." It's called that because it's a simple syrup to make. Stop adding it to my drink in order to charge me $16.
sw replying to a comment from sk / July 17, 2013 at 01:54 pm
Ughhhh shudder.... It's people like you that are totally disgusting. Just because you're lactose intolerant or gluten free or vegan or vegetarian or allergic to air, water and the sun, NOBODY - I repeat, NOOOOOBODY - wants to hear about your f*cking bowel movements.

Sara / July 17, 2013 at 07:09 pm
Prairie Girl cupcakes are low budget.
Sean / July 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm
Glutten-free vegans that want meatless burgers with poppy buns.
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