The top 5 restaurants near Jane and Finch
Jane and Finch has, like any other neighbourhood observed from the outside, a reputation that poorly represents the community that lives within it.
With plazas on nearly all four of its corners, independent businesses and grocery stores run the show here, trumping trendy food chains (or lack thereof) as the main supplier of eats and wares.
From mall food courts to plaza stops, eating at Jane and Finch is diasporic dining, mostly by way of the Antilles and Vietnam. As such, many of the places here come through with the 'back home' recipes that are as good as you can find anywhere else in the city.
Aside from grocery store buys that are worth a visit of their own (Jian Hing for Asian snacks, Cactus for rare fruit), those who can't put aside their cynical qualms are bound to pass up a chance to support some local businesses, and maybe worse, miss out on some tasty food.
Here are some of my favourite places to eat near Jane and Finch.
Sitting in the small strip that is Yorkwoods Plaza, this itty bitty takeout joint just south of the main drag has arguably some of the most underrated doubles and roti around.
This classic Trini shop has awesome service and their deliciously messy doubles are always fresh, plus they keep serving them throughout the day, unlike most other Caribbean spots which run out quick.
Tuesdays are the best here, with sizeable roti specials for just $4.99. If you can't wait to eat it at home, they've got a slim counter on the side to make your meal a sit-in thing.
It doesn't look like much from the outside (or at all from the inside for that matter) but this Chinese barbecue house has a name that precedes it.
Nestled discreetly in Norfinch Plaza, a largely Vietnamese hub on Jane and Finch's southwestern corner, Yummy Wok is known in the Asian community for having some stellar BBQ duck and pork.
Walk past the quintessential racks of hanging meat to the cashier, where you can order styrofoam boxes of full or half ducks.
Holidays like Lunar New Year are especially busy here: it's so good, people pre-order their celebratory meat in advance.
Another Norfinch Plaza goodie, this bubble tea shop is a Waterloo-transplant with an impressive interior and comfy seating that's perfect for studying and chilling with friends.
There's a pretty extensive assortment of milk teas, slushies and sherbert drinks here, with the option to customize your drink too.
Choose your levels of sweetness and the amount of ice you want for your ideal boba. The signature Noon Moment milk tea is a favourite; they also have Hokkaido milk tea with pudding.
There's a huge list of toppings ranging from tapioca to aloe and coffee jelly that you can choose to deck out your tea with. There's also an option to upgrade your drink with whey protein (you know, for the bubble tea-drinkers who want to get deezed).
Offering that strange but oddly common menu of Caribbean food and Italian faves like pizza, meatball spaghetti and oxtail all in one go, this Yorkwoods Plaza is a one-stop shop for the ever-changing palate.
For something to hold you over, get the poutine. Combining some good ol' fries with a chicken gravy that can't help but taste Caribbean, a small portion for $3.50 will get you a box of crispy fries covered in light cheese shreds (because curds are gross) and chilli flakes á la pizzeria.
Just down the strip, Viet Hoa is the main reason why Yorkwoods Plaza's generous parking lot ever looks remotely full.
This Vietnamese restaurant is small but its clean, and more importantly its portions are huge for the price. You'll get massive portions of pho, bún, and rice with pork — and quickly on top of that.
As if that's not enough for a local restaurant, Viet Hoa also has free WiFi. There really isn't much more you can ask for.
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