Rose and Sons Toronto

Rose and Sons

Rose and Sons has always been a Jewish deli at its heart in many ways.

Having enjoyed many years as Rose and Sons Restaurant with a more diner-style menu including incredible breakfasts (which, don’t worry, haven’t changed much), sticker lettering now spells out DELICATESSEN over the word RESTAURANT in the front window.
Rose Sons Toronto

Inside, the place is a huddle of old-school wooden booths, flash art hanging on the walls above a miniscule open kitchen and bar area, the hood and pass plastered with stickers.

Rose Sons TorontoMenus are written out in stickers on mirrors and a long blackboard on the back wall.

Rose Sons TorontoSteamies are $11 for two all-beef dogs in the snappiest veal casings dressed with straight up French’s yellow mustard and crunch, acidic cabbage relish on good old Wonderbread. An ode to a late night Montreal classic, lovers of Toronto street meat need this in their lives.

Rose Sons Toronto

In true deli style you can get smoked turkey ($12) and griddled salami ($11) sandwiches as well as obligatory Reubens ($17).

Rose Sons Toronto

Potato knishes ($5) wrap a simple, relatively bland filling of potatoes, dill, caramelized onion and parsley in flaky pastry. You’d probably never realize just from eating it that Rose and Wilder have actually been perfecting this basic delight for years. There’s also a pastrami version for $8.

Rose Sons Toronto

Chopped liver ($12) definitely does not live up to the saying “What am I, chopped liver?” because this dish is tough to ignore. A creamy scoop of savoury chopped meat that’s more like a slightly spicy, rich pate is accompanied by crispy onions that lend crunch and sweetness as well as boiled egg slices for creaminess and an extra retro touch.

Rose Sons Toronto

A half-pound hot pastrami plate will set you back $23 but it’s worth it. Someone has been pickling their meat to their specifications for a long while (who also makes the long, dry Karnatzel sausages).

Rose Sons Toronto

The crust contains pastrami spices, chili and brown sugar that gives it bite and sweetness. They let the pastrami sit for thirty-six hours before smoking it themselves over at Big Crow for four or five hours, mostly using fruit wood.

Rose Sons Toronto

It goes great on a slice of rye smeared with one of a variety of hot mustards.

Rose Sons Toronto

I like the provided Colman’s: similar to a Keen’s, it’s spicy, a little darker and grittier.

Rose Sons Toronto

Tymek’s pickles from Etobicoke are also a must on the side with this, sour ones that are more classic and new pickles that are closer to cucumbers.

Rose Sons Toronto

Recognizable retro signage reading HAMBURGER and FOOD leftover from People’s Food looms over this teeny neighbourhood spot owned by the nominal Anthony Rose and Robert Wilder.

Rose Sons TorontoOther restaurants in their humble Toronto mini-empire include Schmaltz Appetizing, Big Crow and Fat Pasha.

Rose Sons Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Rose and Sons

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Rose and Sons

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