One of the best ways to experience a city is through its culinary scene.
And, as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is home to restaurants of all kinds—ready for you to enjoy all they have to offer and feel right at home with your favourite meal.
Whether you’re new to the city and are looking for a taste of home, or just want to check out some new eateries, your peers at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber have you covered! Five students shared with us their favourite meal and the best local restaurant serving it up (and I threw my recommendation into the mix, too).
Here’s what we had to say:
Ben Gundrum (he/him)
UofGH | 4th year | Media Studies | @benny_gundrum1701
Favourite meal: sushi
Where to get it: Kinka Izakaya
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Izakaya is a type of Japanese pub serving up drinks and (typically inexpensive) snacks. And, with multiple locations throughout the city, Kinka Izakaya is one of Toronto’s best izakaya-style spots.
Known for its “bustling atmosphere, energetic staff and unique menu of Japanese tapas,” you’ll get to enjoy traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi that mixes classic favourites with contemporary flavours and elegance.
The original Kinka Izakaya location is right in the heart of Toronto’s Church and Wellesley Village, where young professionals and students love to hang out, at 398 Church Street. But if that’s too far, don’t worry—it also has locations in North York, the Annex and by the Harbourfront.
Melody Gorospe (she/her)
Humber College | Digital Communications | @_mpgx
Favourite meal: tacos
Where to get it: La Chilaca Taqueria
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A balanced diet includes a taco in each hand!
If you’re looking to experience a little piece of Mexico in Toronto, La Chilaca Taqueria is your place to go.
Located in Kensington Market, La Chilaca Taqueria serves fresh, authentic Mexican and Ricos tacos. It’s open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is known for offering great portions, quality and taste—all on a student-friendly budget.
Head over to 214 Augusta Avenue to try it for yourself!
Anas Raheem (he/him)
Humber College | Sports Management | @anasraheem13
Favourite meal: chicken paprikash
Where to get it: DROM Taberna
DROM Taberna is “a heartfelt homage to…the lands that stretch from the Baltic to the Balkans to the Black Sea.”
This eastern European joint, located on the edge of the Fashion district, offers a vibrant hub with a patio serving Eastern European plates, a global drink list and live music.
At DROM Taberna, you can try Eastern European favourites like cevapi, borscht, perogies, goulash, cabbage rolls, kebabs, burek and much more! Priding itself on an environment full of “community amongst strangers, joy in the face of adversity, immigrant souls eating, drinking and playing music together,” this eatery regularly hosts events so you can enjoy music from local artists in addition to the delicious food and drinks.
Snag your table at 458 Queen Street West!
Alex Martin (she/her)
UofGH | Justice Studies | @gawdzellie
Favourite meal: anything italian
Where to get it: Terroni
While this spot might be a little pricier than others, it’s so worth it!
Treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal at this “casual-chic eatery” serving “traditional southern Italian foods and thin-crust pizzas.”
Terroni has three locations within the city of Toronto—but for Martin, the one at 57 Adelaide Street is the place to be! Located inside the York County Court House, which served as the city court from 1852-1900, it’s the most delicious way to learn Toronto’s history.
And, with two floors, a patio, a grand interior, inviting decor and delicious food, Terroni will have you feeling like a million bucks!
Conor Brown (he/him)
Humber College | Creative Advertising | @conorbrowncreations
Favourite meal: comfort foods
Where to get it: Fran’s Restaurant
Sometimes all you need is a hearty meal to feel at home—and, for Brown, Fran’s Restaurant offers just that!
As a Toronto staple established in 1940, this family-owned old-style diner is your place for home-style cooking in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. At Fran’s, you’ll find fantastic comfort foods served in generous portions at modest prices—ideal for students!
This local chain is famous for several dishes, serving everything from brunch favourites to dinner staples. However, Fran’s Banquet Burger, which Fran Deck invented in 1940, and comfort food classics—like Fran’s award-winning rice pudding and homemade apple pie—are its specialties.
Fran’s is open 24 hours a day for your food cravings. And, while both locations in Toronto are fantastic, for Brown, the location at 20 College Street is the one to visit—with a cinema-reminiscent retro exterior and recently added upper deck bar eatery.
Olivia Iaboni (she/her)
Humber College | Digital Communications | @olivia.media
Favourite meal: dumplings
Where to get it: Dumpling House Restaurant
This cozy Chinese eatery will become your new go-to spot for dumplings galore!
The Dumpling House Restaurant, located in the heart of Chinatown, serves up authentic pan-fried or steamed pork, shrimp and veggie dumplings. And they’re so good, you’ll find yourself dreaming about them and counting down the days to your next visit! But if dumplings aren’t your thing, the restaurant offers a great selection of over 80 dishes—from hot and sour soup, to General Tso’s chicken, to Shanghai noodles.
The best part? You can dine like a royal on a student budget at the Dumpling House Restaurant—get a dozen delicious dumplings for under $15! Be sure to make a stop the next time you’re near 328 Spadina Avenue.
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling a little hungry after learning about all these great local favourite food spots from our fellow students. We can’t wait to give all these restaurants a try!
But the list of fantastic restaurants within the city of Toronto doesn’t stop here—there are so many more to explore! Let us know where to get your favourite meal by tagging @shareignite on Instagram or Twitter.
If it’s your fourth time buying dinner this week, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. Here’s our list of things students do that *literally* no one else does.
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