The Best Poutine in Toronto
The best poutine in Toronto takes three humble, basic ingredients - fries, cheese curds, and gravy - and transmutes them into sloppy, melty, drunk-food magic. The Quebecois staple has become a bona fide food trend here in the city, colliding with everything from chicken wings to Japanese food to pizza. Purists prefer to savour the flavours of hand-cut potatoes, squeaky curds and slow-simmered gravy unadorned; I say there's room for everyone.
Here is the best poutine in Toronto.
Toronto's best poutine shop doesn't just do poutine, but this tiny shipping-container creperie, run by a former Montrealer, does the dish up right. The "traditional" ($6), with red potato fries, homemade (!) cheese curds, and gravy imported direct from Quebec, might be the most authentic poutine in town - or get it topped with smoked meat, chicken and peas, or brie and caramelized onions.
They take their poutine seriously at this Queen St. spot, layering the toppings evenly in each bucket (no dry fries here). The basic poutine ($4.99 small, $6.99 large) comes with your choice of beef, veggie, or gluten-free gravy; there's also Daiya cheese versions for the vegans, and optional bacon and pulled pork for the totally-not-vegans.
If you want a poutine that eats like a meal, your first stop will likely be one of Toronto's many Smoke's locations. A snack-size classic is $4.99 while a larger box runs $6.99, but nobody really bothers with the basic poutine at Smoke's - not when there's peppercorn steak, triple-pork and smoked meat versions to be had.
This Quebec import graced Toronto with all-you-can-eat poutine last year, and the city rejoiced. Curiously for their province of origin, they're anything but purists - the potatoes are hand-crushed instead of julienned into fries, and their signature, the Poutineville ($12), takes things up a notch with braised beef and red wine gravy. They even do a filet mignon version ($18) if you're feeling fancy.
The brisket sandwiches at this Leslieville rest stop are famous; take things up another couple notches by getting that beef stacked onto a bed of hand-cut fries, Ontario curds and homemade gravy ($5.97 plain, $8.84 loaded). There's also brisked chili, pulled pork, or - for another Quebecois twist - baked beans.
This midtown burger spot revels in both the obscene and the sublime, dressing up dirty-delicious diner food with toppings that border on the preposterously indulgent. So too it is with their poutine, which is either available in classic form with real Quebec curds ($6.99) or topped with white truffles and foie gras ($29.99).
This Queen St. snack shop will make your choice of toppings, from coconut shrimp to taco pork and beef to chipotle pulled short ribs, into salads, wraps, sandwiches or - you guessed it - a poutine. Big sizes are available for lunch until 5pm; they then go down to snackable mini sizes until close.
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