colombian street food toronto

Colombian Street Food

Colombian Street Food is a homey shop selling empanadas, arepas, and edible crickets—yes, the insect kind—by baker Cookie Martinez. 

The Bogota-born cook, whose claim to fame was a love affair with crickets (in brittle, covered in chocolate, stuffed in empanadas), now has a second outpost of her shipping container at Market 707.

colombian street food torontoNo longer solely confined to her tiny stall, Cookie's store can finally offer a few crucial things, seating being one of them.

A humble table and vintage school chairs unfold every now and then beneath a wall of bus stop signs from Colombia. On occasion, Cookie hosts a Colombian supper club, workshops, and bug dinners. 

colombian street food torontocolombian street food torontoAnother big plus is a kitchen large enough to handle Cookie's growing catering business (it's hard to make hundreds of empanadas in a hot and tiny shipping container). 

colombian street food torontoInsect grub is relegated to a corner of the shop beside packs of alfajores, where you'll find packs of roasted Colombian Big Ass Ants ($8.85), and gift-worthy ant and cricket brittle ($5.30). 

colombian street food torontoWhile insect-filled empanadas have yet to make it onto the menu, regular empanadas ($3.10) stuffed with good old beef, chicken, or veggies don't disappoint. 

colombian street food torontoCookie's corn flour empanadas are far more crispy than the more traditional versions made with dough.

colombian street food torontoThough she only started experimenting with them in 2014, her versions are delicious, especially the chorizo option served with a little serving of tomato, cilantro, and onion salsa. 

colombian street food torontoThe cheese empanada is served straight out of the fryer, and is crunchy on the outside with gooey, stretchy mozzarella on the inside. 

Arepas are the epitome of a Colombian staple: there are entire festivals dedicated to them in all the major cities of the country.

colombian street food torontoCookie's stuffed arepas ($7.08) come with beef, chicken, or veggie. They all come with a sprinkling of cabbage, carrots and onions, and more salsa on the side. 

colombian street food torontoOther traditional eats include a small portion of cassava fries ($6.65) served with a light guacamole. 

colombian street food torontoPork belly is just chicharron ($6.85), deep fried and served with two big rounds of fried plantain. 

colombian street food torontoThe meal's made all the better with the selection of rare Latin American sodas like the apple fizz drink Postobon ($2.20) or cups of lulo fruit juice, which has a light flavour somewhere between lime, orange, and rhubarb. 

colombian street food torontoIt's not all small fried eats at Colombian Street Food, though I'd be perfectly fine with that. On Wednesdays, she also offers a sizeable lunch special. If you 're lucky, it might even be a homey meal made by Cookie's mom. 

colombian street food toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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