How to eat your way through Kensington Market

When you’re on vacation, the daily agenda usually goes something like this: Eat. Drink. Explore. So on one particular Saturday, me and 3 friends spent 6.5 hours roaming Kensington Market and eating everything in sight.

While I’ve been to Kensington before, I never delved too deep into what it has to offer – until now. It kind of felt like that part in The Lion King when Timon and Pumba peel back a big green leaf to reveal a bustling world of bright, shiny insects wriggling about. (Right? Kinda? Please stay with me.) Look, look how bright and shiny!


We walked around taking in the colourful houses and shops, gorgeous graffiti, and the outdoor markets selling clothes and trinkets.



We made our way to Emporium Latino. At first glance, it’s an unlikely contender for best El Salvadorian food in the city. In fact, when you first walk in you sort of feel like you’ve gone back in time and landed in Biway.

Emporium Latino

But have faith, friends. Walk up the steps and you’ll meet smiling, warm women who will make delicious pupusas for you (a thick corn tortilla filled with cheese, beans and meat). They come with a side of pickled cabbage and hot sauce for an extra kick. This place is truly a hidden gem!


Next up: dessert. We headed to Pancho’s Bakery for warm, fresh churros. You can opt for the classic, or add some extra flavor with strawberry, chocolate or dulce de leche sauce. (Mine got a little excited.)


Then we strolled down Augusta Avenue. It was a place of perusal where friendly, curious faces devoured their surroundings – whether it was a man barbecuing jerk chicken on the sidewalk, or a band walking in a row, banging on drums and smiling.

During our walk we stumbled upon the must-see Blue Banana Market. It has everything from loose leaf tea and pancake-scented candles, to handmade gourmet lollipops and bacon-flavoured lip gloss. It’s also where I got these babies:


Next we went to Sneaky Dee’s because we heard they have great sangria. Of course, after our 2 food stops we were “not really hungry.” 15 minutes later we were tossing their famous Kings Crown Nachos down our gullets. Check out this monster:

Kings Crown nachos

Honestly, we barely skimmed the surface of Kensington. I want The Grilled Cheese, I want Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, I want to go to whatever the hell this place is:

But for our first exploration it was fantastic. There’s nothing quite like spending your entire Saturday avoiding life responsibilities and getting to know your city better. Besides, who needs groceries when Kensington has so much delicious food?

5 replies

  1. Hmm if you’re looking for food-related markets, you could do Toronto Underground Market. They have lots of food vendors that set up booths and you can sample many tasty things (but beware long lines, and it gets pricey). There are farmers’ markets and stuff like that in the spring/summer, so not at that time of year. BUT you should check out the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. It’s a really nice area and there will be food 🙂

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