Annex Food Hall
Annex Food Hall brings a handful of local eats under one roof for a diverse and surprisingly affordable experience.
Taking over the digs of beloved 24-hour Annex staple Bloor Superfresh, this addition to Toronto's growing list of elevated food courts feels much more communal than its high-end counterparts.
With bench seating and old-timey photos of the Annex from the 70s to the 90s, the food hall is simple, spacious, and down-to-earth.
It took just over six months for owners to gut and transform this old supermarket into a student- and family-friendly destination with capacity for over 100 people.
Choosing the vendors took much longer than that, says Jae Pak, head of Annex Food Hall's marketing. After a year of sorting through eateries, the team finally opted for a mix of vendors that would best serve locals in one of the most high-traffic neighbourhoods in the city.
Here are the restaurants in the Annex Food Hall.
As with all their food court-friendly locations, Urban Herbivore provides convenient plant-based options, served up in biodegradable packaging.
A TLC ($9.96) sandwich with tomatoes, sunflower miso butter, and smoked coconut comes in a bowl made from sugar cane. So does a Moroccan stew ($9.96) with root veggies and chickpeas.
It has a leaner menu than the original location on Yonge St., but this Venice-born brand still offers some of the most popular versions of their pasta to-go.
It's all halal-certified and the pasta is egg-free; try the Pesto ($11) for a green and garlicky serving of spaghetti in a Chinese takeout-style box.
Montreal-style smoked meat that's been brined for five days, smoked for eight hours, and braised for three is what'll top your epic serving of crispy poutine ($9.73)—don't forget the cheese. The Southern-style pork back ribs with Texas dry rub ($11.50) are also finger licking good.
This is the sixth outpost of Mean Bao, and though it's certainly not the largest, the menu is still comprehensive. Find their staple menu of baos stuffed with jerk chicken ($5.40)—ask for their new burning hot mango chutney sauce— and fried tofu ($5.25).
They also offer dimsum like siu mai, and hefty boxes of purple rice with slow-cooked pork belly ($9.95).
This Keelesdale taco joint has founds its way downtown at last. Sturdy house-made corn tortillas make for tacos that cost $4.50 each. The black tiger shrimp option is an ever-green hit, but the avocado salsa is truly a revelation. It might even be better than some guac out there.
Classic Thai eats like khao soi, along with less common options like masaman curry beef ($9.95) are hearty, delicious options for dinner. Considering the portions, they're incredibly priced, and best of all they come in adorable mess-free containers with dividers for sauces.
At this point, PG's epic signature fried chicken sandwiches are legendary ($9). But if this hulking beast of a burger intimidates you, you're in luck, this popular spot in Little Italy now offers Juniors, which are basically the size of regular burgers but tiny in comparison the usual offering.