The Best Meat Pies in Toronto
The best meat pies in Toronto are, as one would expect, dominated by either Brits or Aussies (with both offering a different slant on the dish). The British contingent is well represented on the list below, with The Queen and Beaver and Bristol Yard ranking highly. For Aussie-style meat pies the Pie Commission take the top spot, but otherwise your best bet is to stop by Sanagan's or Hot Oven Bakery until Kanga opens a bricks-and-mortar location of their own.
Beyond the traditional meat pie, Canadian cuisine isn't incapable of combining meat and buttery crust: Woodlot's tourtiere is a fine example of how we do things in the Great White North. There's also a number of entries that focus on potato-topped pies like shepherd's pie or cottage pie.
Without further ado, here are the best meat pies in Toronto.
Serving their pies from a window hatch on the Queensway, The Pie Commission has been a huge hit for anyone looking for an authentic taste of Britain. Using only the freshest, local ingredients (and lots of butter for a fantastically flakey crust), pies are sold individually starting at $6.95. Otherwise, you can buy them to bake at home - a frozen mixed pack of 4 runs for $26.95. For those who can`t stomach the thought of traveling that far west for a taste of Toronto's top pie, there's word of a downtown location being scouted.
The Queen and Beaver have done an excellent job of recreating the rural English gastropub experience, with antique mismatched china and furniture. The layout of the building gives you the sense that you've entered somebody's house, replete with upstairs Manchester United-themed TV lounge. The decor is not the only British touch, the menu is chock-full of favourites. Scotch Eggs, a Ploughman's platter, and of course, the pies. Hand Raised duck and potato pie ($19) is rich and hearty as is the Atlantic salmon ($21), and either can be washed down with a pint of real cask ale.
Located on St. Clair West, Rachel Pellett and Heather Mee have a breakfast and lunch diner spot serving fresh country food for the masses. Born out of a love for cooking, the space is an homage to Heather's grandmother, who also owned a restaurant of the same name. With a focus on simple and back-to-basics cooking, the Sunday brunch has become a must try in the city. The restaurant also offers a mixture of baked goods and frozen meals for take away including chicken pot pie ($13) and cottage pie ($12). Both are big enough to feed two people.
After noticing a lack of shops in the neighbourhood dedicated to providing her vision of quality in their prepared foods and baked goods, owner Lorraine Hawley opened up her first shop in 2008 in Roncesvalles. The response has been amazing, and she's since opened another on Queen West. Both stores offer a large variety of ready-made organic (whenever possible) meals for people on the go. Their chicken pot pie is made with farmed raised chicken with seasonal vegetables, gravy, and topped with buttermilk chive biscuits, or there's an Ontario lamb shepherd's pie. Both should be big enough for two very hungry people or a small family.
Since opening in early last year in Bloordale, the Emerson has been appealing to hip 20-somethings and families alike. The space is relaxed and unpretentious with an open kitchen concept. The chefs wear pointed paper hats and bow ties and resemble 1950s soda jerks. The diner-style menu places an emphasis on affordable quality, and they have an excellent Sunday roast. With specials every night of the week, Tuesday is The Emerson's pie night (all $16)
With four outposts around the city, Brick St. Bakery is known for their excellent, all-natural, local and organic bread. However, they also offer cold and hot sandwiches, cookies, cakes as well as sweet and savoury treats. Meat pies are also on offer ($6) including steak and stout, chicken tarragon and a shepherds pie. They're also one of the only places to do a Cornish pasty ($5), which is a pie completely encased in crust.
Woodlot is a cozy rustic-style restaurant and bakery serving hearty and simple Canadian-inspired dishes. Since opening in 2010 they've focused on providing fresh and local ingredients, all made in their 5 tonne wood burning oven. They also have a great vegetarian menu which changes seasonally. One of their best sellers is the wood-fired tourtière ($26), filled with pork, beef, venison, maple, thyme and housemade ketchup. The veggie version is the wood fired mushroom and TVP pie ($24) made with maple, winter root vegetables and house made ketchup.
Summerhill market has two locations - one on Summerhill Ave and the other on Mount Pleasant Rd. Both deal in fresh organic produce, fish, meat and gourmet prepared foods. All the prepared food is made in their massive 6000 sq ft. kitchen. Dishing up quiches, pizzas, pastas and finger foods for the last 20 years, they've developed a loyal following. The item that's put them on the map, however, are the pot pies, with people coming just to snag a few dozen when they can. Varietes include steak and kidney, turkey and chicken, and cheddar and broccoli.
Owner Andrea has been baking since she can remember. After formalising her studies under the George Brown chef program in the pastry department, she worked Dufflet and Cafe Belong before finally realizing her dream of opening up her own shop at Gerrard and Broadview. Her baked goods - savory and otherwise - are nothing short of amazing. Meat pies come in small ($6.50) and large ($25). Flavours change on a regular basis and usually sell out quickly, so it's worth calling ahead of time to secure your dinner.
Located on the Danforth, this family-owned and operated bakery emphasizes local organic ingredients. The neighbourhood has welcomed them with open arms thanks to a winning combination of cute shop, good prices, and amazing bread (including gluten free options). They also sell baked goods, pizza, quiche, sandwiches and, of course, meat pies. You can buy them frozen to take home or hot and ready to eat. Flavours change on a regular basis, although the chicken and the steak and Guinness are ones to watch for.
This French store in Etobicoke could be the closest thing you'll find in Toronto to authentic French cooking. The decor has a traiteur feel that's both warm and inviting. Owner and chef Patrick Alléguède grew up in the south of France before living and cooking in cities like Tokyo and Los Angeles. Serving tarts, jams as well as prepared meals, there's a little something for everyone. Try his meat pies or one of his sous vide meals to take home - or settle into the 12-seat cafe area and indulge in buttery heaven. Come holiday season, he also makes a mean tourtière.
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