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Best of Toronto

The Best Poutine in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / November 17, 2014

best poutine torontoThe best poutine in Toronto has elevated the common Canadian dish from its early casse-croûtes origins in Quebec, adding all manner of combinations and far-out toppings. But, a truly fine poutine still begins with three simple ingredients. There's fresh cut fries using a (usually local) potato variety, homemade gravy (beef, chicken, gluten-free, vegan - it's debatable) and those toothsome squeaky cheese curds - sometimes straight from Quebec, sometimes closer to home.

Once a restaurant has these mastered they can go hog-wild on the upgrades (foie gras and truffles, anyone?) but nothing beats that diner classic.

Here is the best poutine in Toronto.

See also: The Best Fries in Toronto

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

A lot of magic can happen in a small space, like the shipping containers at 707 Dundas. Nom Nom Nom Crepes makes their own homemade cheese curds, hand cut red potato fries and gravy. Then you can get it topped with hot dogs, slow cooked pulled pork, chicken and green peas, Montreal smoked meat or brie cheese and caramelized onions. More »

Poutini's

Poutini's

You don't take on a name like Poutini's without having cause to back it up. Hand cut fries, that trad squeaky curd (or vegan cheese), beef, vegetarian or gluten-free gravy, or get additional toppings like bacon, pulled pork, or the works. More »

Smoke's Poutinerie

Smoke's Poutinerie

With several locations around Toronto, Smoke's Poutinerie aims to please. Their fries are hand cut and 'custom' seasoned, with real Quebecois cheese curd and their signature gravy, plus an impressive list of add-ons including sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions, diced pickles, flat iron steak, smoked meat, Italian sausage and grilled chicken. More »

Lou Dawg's

Lou Dawg's

Lou Dawg's may have the hand-cut fries and cheese curd like everyone else, but they make and use their own smoked chicken gravy to dress their poutine, and it makes all the difference. They also offer their famous pulled pork, chicken or brisket, meaty beans or veggie chili to dump on top of it all. More »

Great Burger Kitchen

Great Burger Kitchen

At Gerrard and Jones, Great Burger Kitchen makes a mean poutine with hand cut, double cooked Yukon Gold fries, cheese curds and gravy, and then ups the ante with several combinations, like the Mexican Poutine, with tomato salsa, cheddar, guacamole and sour crème and the GBK Poutine with BBQ pulled pork and goat cheese. More »

Poutineville

Poutineville

Montreal's Poutineville has recently set up shop in Toronto, bringing the best of la belle Province's favourite dish with them. Their rather upscale versions (and seemingly endless choices) feature hand 'crushed' potatoes, fresh Quebec cheese curds, pepper gravy, filet mignon steak, vegetables, black olives, gyros and guacamole among many other items. More »

Fresco's Fish and Chips

Fresco's Fish and Chips

Don't be fooled by Fresco's in Kensington - it's not just a source for fish and chips. The poutine is classic and delicious, using Ontario Russet potatoes (or you can sub in sweet potato fries) with cheese curd and gravy, or try their meat chili poutine with their homemade chili and white cheddar cheese curds. More »

BQM Diner

BQM Diner

At BQM you can start with the basic Quebec style poutine, and then beef it up by adding any of their meats. With locations on Queen and on Ossington, BQM poutine is sure to please. More »

Leslieville Pumps

Leslieville Pumps

The Leslieville Pumps begin their poutine with Ontario cheese curds, their fresh cut fries and homemade gravy. Stop there, or go all out on one of their loaded poutines, which come topped with either pulled pork, beef brisket, beef brisket chili, or baked beans. Wowzers. More »

Off the Hook

Off the Hook

Another gourmet fish and chips joint that just happens to be simultaneously serving great poutine is Off the Hook. The half-dozen or so include pulled pork, duck confit and the house OTH, which includes brie, sweet potato fries and onion rings. All of them come topped with their gluten-free gravy. More »

Holy Chuck

Holy Chuck

At Holy Chuck's you have two choices - your basic French traditional with fresh cut fries, real Quebec Cheese curds and gravy, or, for sheer gluttony and decadence, there is a foie gras poutine with fresh white truffles. (Say what?) More »

Melt Grilled Cheese

Melt Grilled Cheese

I like the name of Melt Grilled Cheese's The Backstabber poutine - classic Quebec cheese curds, fries and gravy with crispy chicken, bacon bits, herbed tomatoes and mayo. Why it's called the Backstabber, I have no idea. If the name makes you uncomfortable, there is also the classic, a veggie version, spicy beef and the bacon and pulled pork-topped Porky Pig. More »

Discussion

45 Comments

Ricardo / November 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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LOL @ your #1. "Poutine sauce", you mean gravy? Deadly
lister / November 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm
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Poutini's.
Elvis / November 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm
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Smoke's is terrible, their cheese tastes like a pencil eraser.

As for Poutini's lol, it is easy to say that 90% of their clientele is absolutely shitfaced when they eat there so not many people can give Poutini's a fair review.
Joanne / November 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Did we totally forget about the blue chip truck outside Nathan Phillip Square?!
Sean / November 17, 2014 at 01:09 pm
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Smokes? Ugh. Unless readers voted based on prominence of stickers on random objects or "food that smells like the container it came in", I'm not sure how this made the top 200 on the list, let alone top 10.
And I know it's not authentic at all, but Mary Brown's tater poutine with fried chicken is AMAZING.
Ryan Henson Creighton / November 17, 2014 at 01:21 pm
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Glad to see Poutini's ranked above Smoke's. The gravy at Smoke's tastes fundamentally wrong. Like, *morally* wrong. i can't put my finger on it.
Lena / November 17, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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Sadly the best Poutine is A Baldwin Street Burger, 53 Baldwin St N, Whitby..it's all about the gravy...:)
Sarah / November 17, 2014 at 01:31 pm
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Yummy new places to try over the Christmas holidays!!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Great-Hall-Academy-Of-Learning
Candice / November 17, 2014 at 01:31 pm
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Lets also not forget that Hogtown Vegan has wonderful vegan poutine! :D
char replying to a comment from Joanne / November 17, 2014 at 01:32 pm
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Yes!! Nothing touches the chip truck!
Pantagruelia / November 17, 2014 at 01:34 pm
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I think there's oregano in the Smoke's gravy. It is tasty but not what I expect for a legit classic poutine. If you need a fix and Smoke's is you're closest option, go for the veggie mushroom gravy. It's pretty delicious.
horsepower replying to a comment from Ryan Henson Creighton / November 17, 2014 at 01:36 pm
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I've heard its a mushroom based gravy, perhaps that's why.
Cris / November 17, 2014 at 01:42 pm
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I don't know, including Smokes on this list is like including Sneaky Dee's on The Best Nachos list. It's a little obvious, not unexpected and definitely overrated.

And I would NEVER put Smokes above Poutineville. Smokes is fine for drunk food, but Poutineville with those shoestring fries? Unbeatable.
loper replying to a comment from Candice / November 17, 2014 at 01:42 pm
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Actually, I would be happy to forget that.
chester / November 17, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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Smokes twice now has sold me a poutine with old rancid potatoes. I know it must be hard for the stoner kids working there to know what a mushy, rancid, nasty potato smells like but I won't be going back. Smokes is the definition of a business that grew too quickly which lowered their across their stores.
Steacy / November 17, 2014 at 01:54 pm
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This is the worst list.
sadfio / November 17, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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For God's sake...please give credit to your photos BlogTO! Every single food blog has photos but no caption/info that indicates where the food is from. Where's the poutine in the first picture from?
roberto / November 17, 2014 at 01:59 pm
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Smoke's is the worst . The blue truck downtown by Nathan Phillip Square is much better.
Also I try bugershops poutine.
Annnn replying to a comment from char / November 17, 2014 at 02:06 pm
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100% agreed! Baffles me that it doesn't get the recognition that it deserves.
Mike / November 17, 2014 at 02:08 pm
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Poutini's and Leslieville Pumps definitely deserve to be on this list. Smoke's is like eating dog food out of a box.
SteveM / November 17, 2014 at 02:13 pm
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Poutine with shoestring fries? Just wrong.
CW / November 17, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Ahh Smokes. Went to the Queen street store for the first time this year and left disappointed. If I ever go back to Smokes it won't be to that location.

There were three people behind the cash but it took forever to get one of the two kids on cash to take the order. I was the only person in line. To the right of the cash there were the sauces with fruit flys hovering around. Picking a seat was difficult because there was garbage on most tables. The table I sat at was off balance.

It appeared to me that the owner didn't care about their business. Im not a poutine connoisseur, but the food was alright.
Jose / November 17, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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.................Costco poutine is boss.
shan / November 17, 2014 at 02:45 pm
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I don't get if this thing is using straight up legit poutine (fries, curds, gravy, and nothing else) or also including all the innovative fanciness

what's the true basis for this ranking?
Carolines Cellar Niagara On The Lake / November 17, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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I know it's not in Toronto but..... I had their poutine on Tks Giving weekend! It was a Tks Giving poutine! turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, added to regular poutine. I have never had anything so wonderful, simple and so delicious! The winery has a casual restaurant attached to their cellar, you can have their wines, pricing was so affordable.I highly recommend it.
whatever / November 17, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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Plugging Smokes? Shame on you.

What about Come and Get It? Or Cosco??
Brandon replying to a comment from shan / November 17, 2014 at 03:08 pm
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The basis is what the readers vote on, which is typically extremely biased due to people voting for places they've heard of but likely have never been, rather than just skipping that section all together. This is evident with places like Smoke's, Hero Burger, Caplansky's, etc making any sort of "best of" list.
meatballs replying to a comment from Ricardo / November 17, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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I remember a guy in Harvey's who wanted some gravy for his fries (but not an actual poutine) confuse the hell out of the staff by repeatedly referring to it as 'BBQ Sauce'.
J / November 17, 2014 at 04:17 pm
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Jimmy's poutine on Queen East in Leslieville is hands down the best. All Star Wings offers a decent poutine too.
Ashley / November 17, 2014 at 04:38 pm
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Yay! I love Off The Hook! Great poutine and try their crab cakes too!
Poo-tznnnnnnn Againnnnnnn / November 17, 2014 at 10:55 pm
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Where are those pretentious douchebags who always enter these Poutine discussions to tell us that Toronto is lame for not pronouncing it the "correct" way. Silly Toronto pronounces it as a person from France would. We are supposed to say it with a nasal lisp, à les Montréalais. We are losers, apparently, because we do not.
Jack / November 17, 2014 at 11:00 pm
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The thing is we're all trying to pretend we're eating healthy but at the same time fueling the fast food restaurant trend. Poutine, Tacos, Burgers
Frances / November 17, 2014 at 11:45 pm
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Too Funny!!!
lol / November 18, 2014 at 07:37 am
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Wow how do people even tolerate poutini's. It's by far the most overrated poutine I've ever had. It just is crazy mediocre, very expensive and an annoying cash only business. I'd not judge them for being shamelessly hipster but your poutine can't even touch a mid tier chip wagon. Poutini's is actually worse than Smoke's which is also mediocre. How really crap poutine can be the only item these stores sell is beyound me.
Tastytime / November 18, 2014 at 10:20 am
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Smokes "Gravy" is just GFS canned gravy (That's "Gordon Food Services" - the competitor to Sysco Foods). It's no secret, as you can see the cans lined up in the kitchen at any of the locations.

uh, hello!! / November 18, 2014 at 10:53 am
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What do you people think the "special sauce" is on poutine in Montreal? It's gravy out of plastic bag or a can, of course. When this this greasy muck get elevated to gourmet status? You can put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig. Or, in this case, a cochon.
you forgot one! / November 18, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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By far, and for the longest time, Bier Market's poutine is the best. Even with the recently revised recipe!
My top 2 / November 19, 2014 at 03:33 am
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I love how opinionated people are - so patriotic! Best poutine I had was my highschool cafeteria. Second best was Bannock. They do multiple layers of fries, cheese, and gravy. No more soggy cheese-less reject fries at the bottom.
Zombieriot / November 19, 2014 at 05:23 pm
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How is dangerous Dan's not on this list... Beats the hell out of smokes... Fuck that place.
Rosanna / November 19, 2014 at 06:57 pm
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I'm sad that Patty and Frank's did not make the list :( they have the best gravy, cheese and fries! And they do awesome burgers and hot dogs
Chad / November 20, 2014 at 12:33 am
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Poutine is disgusting! When I was in montreal for a fashion show I had to evacuate the building, because all the French Canadian female super models couldn't stop farting after having poutine for lunch.
Marcy / November 20, 2014 at 02:14 pm
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You should definitely check out Slab Burger, little hole in the wall off of Bay and Bloor, but mouth watering burgers and poutine.
Jeff / November 20, 2014 at 02:19 pm
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It appears as if this list was compiled by searching Google for "toronto poutine". It is not very well-considered and some of the places listed do not serve good poutine. The blue chip truck outside of Nathan Phillips Square is remains one of the best poutines in the city.

There used to be a chip stand at Eglinton Subway station that also had a great poutine with real curds back in the 90's before poutine was cool.
Johny / November 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm
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Gilead Cafe or any other Jamie Kennedy establishment has always had the best poutine.
muircurry / November 21, 2014 at 09:46 am
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the Great Burger Kitchen makes DISGUSTING poutine. One of the WORST in Toronto: the fries are always burned, the gravy tastes burned and likes it's been scraped off the bottom of an old pot and the cheese isn't fresh/is never a melted mess (which indicates that the curds aren't fresh).

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