messiest restaurants toronto

The 10 messiest restaurants you can eat at in Toronto

The messiest restaurants in Toronto will make you work for your food. If you like getting your hands dirty, head to these restaurants for some saucy dishes and drippy feasts. 

Here are my picks for the messiest restaurants you can eat at in Toronto. 

Captain’s Boil

Perhaps the city's original mess-maker, this boil bar has many locations across Toronto where you can don bibs and gloves to toss your seafood in sauce. Expect very few plates here: this DIY experience will have you eating your shrimp off a paper tablecloth. 

Crown & Dragon

The Rosedale spot is known for great deals on the best wings in town, in a wide variety of house fusion flavours. Just keep the wet naps handy as they can be one saucy affair.


Prepare to stretch your mouth wider than it's ever gone to devour one of these halal burgers. This Kensington Market spot serves up towering burgers full of dripping cheese and their signature oozing Ozzy sauce. 

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken

Oily, cheesy, and powdery, the Taiwanese fried chicken at this spot are massive filets that come stuffed with cheese and coated with different types of breading. Good luck devouring these ginormous filets at one of their three Toronto locations.

Adamson Barbecue

Texas-style BBQ eats implies eating with your hands, and that's mostly what you'll be doing at this hit restaurant in Leaside. Tear away at their gristly spareribs and juicy, fatty brisket.  

Sneaky Dee's

There's absolutely no graceful way to dig into the mountains of fully loaded nachos at this bar at College & Bathurst. Just go for it and deal with the consequences of the stained clothes after. 


Gorge yourself on a hands-only Filipino kamayan feast at this St. James Town restaurant. Form little balls of delicious garlic rice with your hands and throw it down with pieces of delicious bits of pork belly, all served up atop a layer of banana leaves. 


Located just a five minute walk from Greenwood station is where you'll discover one of the best Ethiopian restaurant in the city. Meals here are meant to be eaten with your hands so don't be shocked when your lap is filled with some goodies.

Morals Village

You can get your hot pot on at this Chinatown restaurant. Be wary of back splash from the bubbling broths (especially the spicy ones) and drips from the array of dipping sauces provided—a white shirt is definitely not recommended. 

California Sandwiches

The sandwiches at this chain are not for the faint of heart. Each one is loaded with sauce, cheese and copious amounts of toppings that hardly ever make it all in your mouth. 

Lead photo by

Libby Roach at Captain's Boil. With files from Tanya Mok and Jaclyn Skrobacky.

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