Toronto is a foodie’s paradise. With six Chinatowns, a food market named number one in the world by National Geographic, and almost half its population originating from outside of Canada, this city is a smorgasbord of diverse cuisine. So it’s no wonder that bizarre food pops up on menus here — with so many culinary traditions colliding in one spot, it’s practically inevitable. The real question is: Have you experienced Toronto’s best bizarre food creations? The next time you and your friends are trying to pick a restaurant, aim for one of these five mindblowing multicultural mashups. They really take the cake (or the sushi pizza–see below) as the most deliciously different recipes in town.
Want a fun way to enjoy sushi, sans chopsticks? Usually made with a rice-based “crust” topped with layers of avocado, fish, spicy mayo, and a touch of wasabi, sushi pizza combines the tasty flavours of sushi with a satisfying crispy-chewy texture that sort of resembles Italian-style pizza if you don’t think about it too deeply. It’s a popular menu item throughout the city, but you and your friends will want to aim for Ni Ji Sushi, where they serve a sushi pizza appetizer with a crispy rice base topped with salmon, avocado, tobiko, and crabmeat.
Just when you thought you’d seen every type of poutine in Canada, Ramen Isshin has found a way throw in a surprising twist with Japanese flare. The Japatine starts fairly traditionally, with hot fries topped with mozzarella. But then things get a richly spicy twist, as the fries are smothered in Japanese curry gravy with seaweed and scallions sprinkled on top.
Pizza for breakfast? And not that soggy slice in the fridge leftover from last night? In this city, anything’s possible. The O&B Café Grill in Bayview Village has a weekend brunch item to start your day off right: a hot, thin-crust pizza topped with maple-roasted ham, smoked bacon, Yukon gold potatoes, spinach, and poached eggs. The hearty, salty, savoury combo combines everything you love about both breakfast and pizza. Seeing it arrive at your table may bring a joyful tear to your eye.
Bacon-Covered Mars Bar
They don’t call it Hogtown for nothing. Toronto has long had a love for bacon, and the appropriately named Bacon Nation restaurant has found a way to marry that savoury treat with something sweet: a Mars bar. As you bite into the gooey, deep-fried chocolate bar, the drizzled caramel and fudge melts in your mouth and the crunchy bacon bits add a hint of saltiness. You’ll wonder why you’d never thought of this dream combination before.
For those who have suffered the dilemma of having to choose between a cookie or a brownie – rejoice! Now you can have both at the same time. At Toronto-based Queen B Pastry, they sell the crownie: a round little cakelike cookie, decadently rich and chewy — and, amazingly, flourless, butterless, and gluten-free. It’s made with 70 percent Callebaut chocolate and premium cocoa power to provide an intense chocolate flavor, and it’s filled with whole California almonds to give it a nice crunch.
With so many eccentric culinary creations to try, you might have to dedicate an entire week to sampling Toronto’s gastronomic delights. Why not explore all of the bizarre food offerings in this list? Your taste buds will thank you.