Dinner in Kensington Market
It wasn't too long ago that suggesting dinner in Kensington Market would raise more than a few eyebrows. The neighbourhood was renown for shutting down as soon as night fell. Even the most intrepid diners weren't likely to find much to graze on beyond the ice cubes in the rye and gingers at the since shuttered Planet Kensington.
How times have changed.
Since the emergence of north Augusta, Kensington has transformed itself into something of a culinary destination (and I'm not just talking about lunch). Among the early entrants on the scene were La Palette and Amadeu's, but these were later joined by hot-spots like Supermarket and Torito. Who would have thought, that in a span of less than a block, we'd now be able to indulge in three distinct types of tapas - Spanish, Asian and Indian.
The list below highlights twelve of the best spots to grab dinner in Kensington. But a note of caution: some of these places close early (8 or 9pm) making it essential to dine early. But thankfully, even for early diners there are now plenty of good options to imbibe in an after-dinner drink including The Embassy, The Boat, Bread and Circus and Ronnie's Local.
Is your favourite place missing? See also: Lunch in Kensington Market.
Tops in our list of the best tapas in Toronto, Torito shines with both the food and the ambience. Two floors plus one of the best back patio's in Kensington set the stage for one delicious dish after another. Try the grilled kingfish and the spanish tortilla. Also stocks a good selection of Spanish wine and cava. More »
This Asian-inspired tapas restaurant is perhaps more well known for its regular DJ nights. Join in the fun as the back dining room morphs into a late night dance floor. Shareables include tofu salad rolls, dumplings and crispy calamari. Substantial main options run the gamut from shrimp pad thai to grilled Argentinean style steak. More »
Kensington's only sushi spot (save for take-out from one of the fish stores), Oishi Kada shines with their well-made, but non-adventurous sushi, maki and tempura. Best bets are the baked whitefish roll and the killer shrimp roll. More »
When the mood to eat horse strikes, this French bistro serves it up as good as anywhere in the city. Those not impressed can also take time to frown at the chef's foie gras and instead opt for the excellent bouillabaisse, streak frites or escargots. More »
Ground zero for Mexican street eats including their famous Mexico City style tacos. There's also quesadillas, quesongos (grilled mushroom tacos with melted cheese), guacamole, fajitas and homemade Mexican soft drinks. More »
This popular spot overlooking the park is as good a place as any to start the evening with a glass of red or pint of beer. And when the munchies inevitably surface, why not indulge in some fresh grilled fish, clams or other seafood treats. More »
This Chinese vegetarian restaurant has being going strong since 1997. The menu is heavy on tofu and mushroom dishes including the fried tender bean curd in seaweed sheets with braised vegetables. More »
Since opening earlier this year, Waterfalls has recovered from some initial scathing reviews and re-branded and re-focused their menu on tasty bites from the Indian subcontinent. The inside is still a bit too cavernous but the front patio makes for nice people watching along Augusta. More »
Last Temptation is one of the quintessential neighbourhood hangouts. It's best on a sunny Summer's day, sharing a pitcher of beer among friend on the front patio. Inside, things descend into darkness (but not quite bleakness) with a bar, some tables and a fusball and pool table. The menu features a global mix of pub grub including perogies, pita pizzas, sandwiches, calamari and pad thai. More »