The top 26 restaurants in Toronto by Pan Am Games country
41 countries, including Canada, are participating in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Spanning South, Central and North America as well as the Caribbean means there are countries with food that's increasing common in Toronto (Mexico, Brazil, Cuba) as well as those that are harder to find or non-existent (Bolivia, Dominica, Suriname).
While I couldn't track down restaurants serving food from every participating country here are my picks of the top please to eat in Toronto by Pan Am Games country.
Che Food Truck
While I can appreciate Sky Ranch or Branca might have been easy choices here I'm giving this spot to one of Toronto's newest food trucks. Find cheap eats like choripan sandwiches and chimichurri fries among their rotating offerings.
This stalwart Caribbean spot near Queen and Bathurst is a good take-out or late night option for jerk chicken, oxtail or curry goat.
Mata Petisco Bar
The food at this Parkdale haunt offers a little bit of everything, but its roots lie in Brazilian cuisine. Wash down their feijoada or beef cheek poutine with a classic caipirinha. Also watch out for their new food truck - Made in Brasil.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Caribbean food doesn't always have to be about the salted meats and jerk chicken, as is proven at this casual spot near Eglinton Hill. A popular vegetarian option here is the veggie stew made with callaloo, okra, green peas, chickpeas, potatoes, and carrots.
A Canadian restaurant in Toronto? While any of the poutine places might have been the obvious choice, head to this Roncesvalles destination for some good old-fashioned Nova Scotian fare. You can't go wrong with the donairs or any of the seafood options.
Now with three locations including the original near Yonge and Eglinton, Caribbean Bistro doesn't hold back on the spices. Grab some doubles, oxtail, jerk chicken or cod fritters.
When nothing but oversized empanadas and tamales will do head to this Kensington Market original for some authentic street food. Don't miss out on the sweet creamed corn.
This popular bakery and snack shop on Dufferin embodies everything Colombian. They not only make all the traditional breads and pastries like alfajors and buñuelos, but they also serve up empanadas, sausages and other hot meals.
This Cuban snack bar and brunch spot with locations on Roncesvalles and Ossington aims to capture the essence of Havana. Go for the cubano sandwich but stay for the fun snacks and drinks.
Taste of Dominican
Near Danforth and Woodbine, this casual restaurant is where to find traditional and healthy Dominican eats in Toronto like sancocho, platanos, and chuletas.
Plaza Latina Food Court
While Plaza Latina near Weston Rd. offers a number of small Latin American eateries, it also features two Ecuadorian favourites: La Fuente del Puro Sabor juice bar and Comedor Popular Ecuatoriano which does a brisk business in fried beef empanadas and sopa de gallina (chicken soup).
Tacos El Asador
This small and always-packed Koreatown favourite serves a fusion of El Salvadorian and Central American street food. The best thing to get here are the pupusas.
Bakery El Quetzal
This spot near the corner of Lawrence and Jane St. is one of the few places you can get authentic Guatemalan food in Toronto. Fill up on tamales, pupusas, tacos and soup.
Get the goat and chicken curry roti at this restaurant on the Danforth near Donlands. You'll thank me later.
This Dundas West restaurant is also a cocktail bar. Drink from their extensive selection of rum until the wee hours of the morning while snacking on the compact but highly sharable menu. Have a sweet tooth? The sweet fried plantains with coconut ice cream is a must.
There are outposts of the Playa Cabana empire in the Junction, Annex and Koreatown but since the Athletes Village is just steps from the newest member of the family you might as well visit this small Berkeley St. spot for a cocktail and homestyle Mexican cooking.
La Bella Managua
Traditional Nicaraguan food is hard to come by - that's why La Bella Managua near Bloor and Ossington is such a gem. Go here for dishes like gallo pinto, sauteed sweet plantains and crispy fried marinated pork.
King's BBQ Chicken
While El Fogon is also a good option here, more adventurous eaters should make a beeline to this casual Rogers Road restaurant for the city's best Chifa cuisine - that's Chinese food made with traditional Peruvian ingredients.
With a remaining downtown location on King St. near Liberty Village, this stalwart continues to pack in the crowds for cheap Caribbean eats including usual suspects roti, jerk chicken, and oxtail.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
A little taste of the Caribbean can also be found at Simone's on the Danforth. Favourites include the codfish fritters with jalepenos and the jerk chicken. Don't forget to order a ginger beer.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Fried bread and spices - that's what you'll smell when you enter this take-out spot on Sheppard Ave. in Scarborough. The doubles and the roti are the main attraction here but it's worth coming back to sample everything on the menu.
Home of the Brave
Sometimes you just want some good old-fashioned comfort food. This King West homage to America serves up gut busting options like fried bologna sandwiches, bones in a basket (beef and pork ribs), and Philly cheesesteaks.
Head to Wilson Ave. in North York for traditional Uruguayan fare like empandas, faina and chivitos.
Still lots of countries missing! If you know of where to indulge in the cuisine of the other countries participating in the Pan Am Games not mentioned above please add your tips to the comments.
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