frank ranallis

Frank Ranalli's

Frank Ranalli's is the place to go for Italian Beef sandwiches, loaded crispy fries, and massive pizza slices topped with cheesy goodness.

Though small in size, this Kensington spot serves up an abundance of classic Italian flavours.

The shop began as a side project for owner Stephen Payne's first food concept, Woof Dawg, when it was located on Dundas West.

italian beef sandwich TorontoHe created Frank Ranalli's in honour of his great-grandfather Frank, a first-generation Italian Canadian. Stephen says he grew up watching Frank cook things like homemade sausage and roasted red peppers.

Watching Frank make food by hand that was so full of flavour was a huge influence on Stephen.

frank ranallisFollowing a devastating fire to the original store in January 2023, the community quickly rallied to help Stephen rebuild. He ultimately chose Kensington as the new location.

Stephen describes Kensington as an "epicenter of food in Toronto," and the perfect new home for his food concepts. With Woof Dawg and Frank Ranalli's co-existing in the space, he's able to do as much as possible for both.

italian beef sandwich torontoStephen works the counter, helping customers with a smile between his cooking duties. He's joined by long-time friend Ryan Phillips, who has come on board as the shop's pizza chef.

Their massive slices of pizza ($5 - $6.50 per slice) measure a whopping 22 inches. All the orders are quickly toasted in the oven before serving, guaranteeing a fresh, hot slice for everyone.

italian beef sandwich Toronto

A Mushroom pizza with white sauce.

Customers can also order full pizzas in two sizes, 14 inches ($20 - $25) and 18 inches ($26 - $32).

The pizzas are made fresh in-house every day. The menu is divided into two categories, Red Sauce and White Sauce. 

The red sauce category has classics like Marinara, Margherita, and Pepperoni. But if you're looking for an adventure, try some new tastes like Giardiniera Pie, Hotdog Honey (featuring chunks of WoofDawg's signature housemade hotdogs), Eggplant Chili Crisp, and Frank's Deluxe.

Each red sauce pie is dressed with basil, oregano, and pepperoncini, to bring the flavour to the next level.

Italian Beef Sandwich TorontoOn the other hand, the white sauce pizzas begin with a layer of garlic confit sauce.

Topping options include the Mushroom Ricotta, Smoked Pork and Pineapple, and the Sausage & Carm Onion.

frank ranallisThe Sausage & Carm Onion features their housemade sausage and flavourful caramelized onions. The overall flavour is complex, with a bit of sweetness and a bit of spice from the chili crisp.

Each pie then goes in the oven, coming out with a nice toast on the bottom and some colour on the side. The crust is thin and crispy.

If you're more of a sandwich person, don't worry — Frank Ranalli's has you covered. In fact, it's what they were originally known for.

Their most well-known sandwich type is their Italian Beef sandwiches, featuring "Classic Chicago Italian Beef."

Italian Beef Sandwich TorontoEach sandwich is soaked in beef jus. The Hot Italian Beef ($15) comes with the House Giardiniera, while the Sweet Italian Beef ($15) comes with stewed green peppers.

Inspired by Frank, the giardiniera is made in-house, and featured heavily across the entire menu. It's made of cauliflower, celery, serrano peppers, olives, and carrots. It gives the sandwich an extra kick of garlicky flavour.

Both are served hot on a French roll.

frank ranallisAnother option for sandwiches is the Italian Sausage ($13), which comes with a choice of sweet peppers or Giardiniera. If you can't make up your mind, there's also a combo sandwich ($19), mixing Italian beef and sausage.

The last sandwich on the menu is the Meatball Sub ($16). 3 pork and beef meatballs are smothered in tomato sauce, and topped with basil, mozzarella, pecorino, and marinated long hot peppers. It's all served up on a toasted bun.

Other menu options include Italian Beef and Cheese Fries ($14), a Classic Caesar salad ($11), and small sides like marinated olives ($5). 

frank ranallisMost recently Stephen has added Pally's chips to the menu, a third (yes, you heard that right, third!) food concept he's rolling out.

The sweet and salty kettle chips have an addicting flavour, and are perfectly crisp. They make the perfect side to a slice of pizza or sandwich.

italian beef sandwich pizza sliceI'll be keeping an eye out for more of Stephen Payne's food innovations but for now... enjoy these tasty giant pizzas and loaded sandwiches.
Italian Beef Sandiwch TorontoFrank Ranalli's is located at 185 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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