Monday, September 1, 2014Showers in the Vicinity 26°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / February 8, 2012

shepherds pie torontoThe best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto evokes images of cobblestone streets and old English stout. While we might not have the streets (though if you squint hard enough at a pothole-marked Steeles Ave., it might start to look like cobblestone) and the stout is only sporadically available, Toronto does have some pretty decent options for an authentic plate of hearty Shepherd's Pie.

Traditionalists vow it must be made with lamb, ideally braised with wine or beer and mixed with carrots, peas, and other vegetables. The top crust--the mash--may be classic or garlic flavoured, but always generously applied, fluffy, and crispy on the edges where the oven has done its thing. Bangers on the side? That's a matter of preference.

Here is the list of the best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto.

See also:

The best fish and chips in Toronto
The best pubs in Toronto
The best Irish pubs in Toronto

Top photo by poopoorama on Flickr.

Stout Irish Pub

Stout Irish Pub

Stout Irish Pub in Cabbagetown makes its Shepherd’s Pie with ground lamb (sticklers for precision would argue that Shepherd’s Pie by definition is made with lamb; the beef variety is called ‘Cottage Pie’), which has been braised with red wine, roasted with vegetables, and topped with garlic mashed potatoes and leeks. Gluten free as well. More »

The Monk’s Table

The Monk’s Table

The Monk’s Table has a great selection of European draft beer but uses just one variety (an English ale) to make its signature Shepherd’s Pie. The hearty dish uses seasoned ground lamb, vegetables, and a mashed potato crust, all topped with cheddar and a bit of Stilton for the full English experience. $12. More »

Habits Gastropub

Habits Gastropub

Another $20+ option but this one involves truffles. Habits Gastropub in Little Italy makes its Shepherd’s Pie with lamb braised with Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale, tosses it in some pearl onions and roots, and tops it off with truffled mashed potatoes. I bet that’s how the rich shepherds did it. More »

The Abbot Pub

The Abbot Pub

North York’s answer to grilled lamb sausages, apple and Stilton salad, and chicken pot pie. A list like that of course includes Shepherd’s pie, which is made with lamb and vegetables in a house gravy and topped with scallion mashed potatoes. $13 More »

Irish Embassy

Irish Embassy

For those who like their Shepherd’s Pie with a side of rowdy beer-drinkers and group sing-alongs. The Shepherd’s Pie here is traditionally Irish, made using Ontario lamb, carrots, peas, corn, and a mashed potato crust. Lots of European beer options to go alongside. $16 More »

The Roy

The Roy

The Roy’s Shepherd’s Pie is actually made with beef. Rowe Farms grain-fed naturally raised beef, but beef. While the semantic police may be preparing to storm the doors with “Cottage Pie” signs, the rest of us can enjoy the fairly priced ($12) dish made with carrots, peas, corn, and homemade mashed potatoes. More »

The Lakeview

The Lakeview

Another blasphemous version of the traditional lamb pie, made at The Lakeview with seasoned ground beef. The classic plate, which, unfortunately, is not available during those 3 a.m. drop-bys, is made with Lakeview’s house gravy along with carrots, peas, corn, and a mashed potato crust. $13 More »

C’est What

C’est What

Beef, again, but at C’est What it is braised in Coffee Porter (though perhaps that is not enough to appease the lamb loyalists). The meat and vegetables are topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar, garnering a little extra time to prepare but a tag ($11) that’s easy on the budget. More »

Discussion

4 Comments

the lemur / February 8, 2012 at 11:29 am
user-pic
The braising with wine or beer part and the garlic mash are recent inventions; the dish is much simpler in its origins and the shepherd/cottage distinction is possibly spurious as well. Bangers on the side? Maybe if you're confusing it with bangers and mash. Toronto restaurants have no business being purists/traditionalists about it - most of them can barely spell 'shepherd' as it is.
EPIC ICE BURN!!!! replying to a comment from the lemur / February 8, 2012 at 11:57 am
user-pic
If you're interested in reading about the origins of the name of Sheppard Ave., feel free to indulge in the Wikipedia entry for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheppard_Avenue

As it relates to Shepherd's Pie, The Roy's is pretty darn tasty in my opinion. Total comfort food.
Erin / February 11, 2012 at 02:25 am
user-pic
Thank you blogto.com for recognising our efforts in making great individual dishes from scratch. We work hard to make great food locally, for great value with the best customer service and atmosphere you could wish for. Thank you for the accolade!
Erin
David O'Rourke / April 9, 2012 at 03:53 pm
user-pic
Witrh lamb it should be called Shepherd's Pie and with beef it should be called Cottage Pie. They are both good names for two diferent kinds of pie each of which deserve their own name. I am fond of both.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal