kensington market

The top 15 cheap eats in Kensington Market

Toronto's Kensington Market is full of delicious treasures. Whether you're craving a mid afternoon snack or a full meal, there's a spot for pretty much all your cravings.

Here are my picks for some of the best cheap eats in Kensington Market.

Doners at Otto's Berlin Doner
This German-style sandwich shop serves up some epic street foods. Berlin döners are available in your choice of chicken, veal and lamb, fried halloumi, or gemüse. All sandwiches get topped with a yogurt sauce and a harissa-like hot sauce, plus red cabbage, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

Moo Frites

Belgian-style fries at Moo Frites
Belgian-style frites are all the rage in Toronto thanks to this small fry shop. While their fries are delicious with only salt as a dressing, I'd opt for a more unique offering like the War Frites. Freshly cooked fries get topped with peanut butter, mayo and onion.

El Arepazo

Arepas at El Arepazo
This is where to go for a taste of traditional Venezuelan food. Arepas are offered in a variety of different meats, veggies, cheeses and sauces.

Trinity Common

Fried green tomatoes at Trinity Common
Fried green tomatoes are a staple on the menu at Trinity Common. Slices of unripened tomatoes get buttermilk-dredged and cornmeal-crusted. They're then deep fried and served alongside green tomatillo salsa and queso fresco.

Seven Lives

Fish tacos at Seven Lives
You can find the best tacos in Toronto in the heart of Kensington Market. This taqueria deals in fish and seafood tacos done SoCal or Tijuana-style. A menu favourite is their the Gobernador.

Fika Cafe

Smoked salmon sandwich at Fika Cafe
This Swedish cafe serves an opened face smoked salmon sandwich with whipped chive cream cheese and cucumbers on homemade toasted buttermilk seeded rye bread.

Cosmic Treats

Tofu at Cosmic Treats
This all-vegan restaurant dishes out an array of vegan comfort foods. A must-try is their southern fried tofu and mixed root vegetable fries. The tofu is seasoned with southern spices, coated in panko breadcrumbs and served with BBQ sauce for dipping.

Fresco's Fish and Chips

Fish and chips at Fresco's
If you're a fan of traditional fish and chips, then a visit to Fresco's is in order. While the shop also serves up great poutine and po'boys, the star of the show will always be the fried to perfection fish and chips.

Torteria San Cosme

Tortas at Torteria San Cosme
Found on the corner of Baldwin and Kensington Avenue is this Mexican-style sandwich shop. They have a variety of torta offerings including their Cubana, which is loaded with smoked ham, adobo pork, gouda, sliced avocado, tomatoes, chipotle sauce and spicy dijon.

Mare Pizzeria

Pizza at Mare Pizzeria
Kensington's biggest and best slice can be had at this Baldwin St. pizza parlour. Mow down on a slice of pepperoni on one of the few bar stools or if it's nice outside walk around Kensington 'za in hand.

Rasta Pasta

Jerk chicken at Rasta Pasta
Kensington Market locals know to come here for their fill of homemade jerk chicken. All jerk chicken is served alongside rice, beans and coleslaw for a complete meal.

The Dirty Bird

Chicken and waffles at The Dirty Bird
Scrolling through your Instagram feed you've surely seen this chicken and waffles spot once or twice. Order up The ODB and chow down on boneless dark meat piled on top of a maple buttered waffle and dressed in a sweet and tangy sauce.

Top Gun Burgers

Burgers at Top Gun Burgers
This burger joint is an offshoot of Top Gun Steak. If you're brave enough ask for their Invader burger. It comes with three beef patties, two grilled cheese sandwiches and fried onions. It's Halal too!

Hibiscus Cafe

Crepes at Hibiscus Cafe
This hidden gem of gluten-free, vegan and all organic eats is nestled in the heart of Kensington Market. The cafe is best-known for their sweet and savoury crepes, all made with homemade vegan buckwheat batter.

Emporium Latino

Pupusas at Emporio Latino
Those in the know head to the back of this Latin American grocery store on weekends to find ladies making cheap and tasty El Salvadorian street food. A freshly made pupusa filled with e pork, cheese and refried beans will set you back a mere $3.

What did I miss? Share your favourite cheap eats in Kensington Market in the comments.

Photos by Hector Vasquez, Jesse Milns and Ike Ford.

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