No one does Caribbean food like Parkdale does Caribbean food.
Parkdale is home to a lot of interesting people and places, but did you know that it’s also known as the little Caribbean? Ok that’s not exactly true, but right now it could be. Here’s a list of Jerk heavyweights in the neighbourhood and we’ll let you be the judge.
Chef in Residence at the Gladstone Hotel with Chef Suzanne Barr
1214 Queen St W. (Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 to 11:00pm)
From July 11 to Sept 28 at the Gladstone Hotel you can experience a retro Jamaican inspired menu by the Chef in Residence, Susan Barr of Leslieville’s Saturday Dinette. Barr developed her exclusive menu based on her mother’s commonwealth journey from Jamaica to the UK, to Canada. Savour a selection of gourmet Jamaican dishes including grilled jerk chicken ramen, banana leaf steamed fish, red lentil stuffed plantains, pickled pigs feet, ackee terrine, and so much more! See the full menu here.
1376 Queen St W.
This long-time provider of Caribbean goodness is a vegetarian’s mainstay. Bacchus is a roti shop that serves up tasty and cheap Guyanese and Bajan cuisine. Their specialty is definitely vegetarian rotis. In fact, they might deserve the credit for being the first to incorporate more vegetables than potato in a roti. And their shtick is pretty awesome because you choose to fill that soft whole-wheat shell with any combo of chickpeas, spinach, mushroom, eggplant, sweet squash you want. And if you’re feeling risky, you can add cheese. Lest we forget, they have dessert—and it’s actually amazing.
1182 King St W.
Island Foods is the unwavering constant in the Toronto roti scene. It has been around for almost 40 years and is still always busy. The Trinidadian food style means it’s really saucy and the gravy is slightly milder in spice (unless you request the hot stuff which you should). It’s definitely worth trying the dinner options too, big ups to the oxtail stew! Flavour-wise, for a West Indian style joint, Island Foods is unbeatable. Though some have expressed deep concerns that the rotis simply aren’t big enough. To them we say simmer down and have a patty.
Ali’s West Indian Roti Shop
1446 Queen St W.
There are really only two types of West Queen West roti evangelists – those who love the veteran Bacchus and those who swear by Ali’s down the street. Size doesn’t always matter, except when you’re talking about roti. So it’s worth noting that Ali’s rotis are HUGE and are sure to fully satisfy. We would say that you could share one with a friend, but you would definitely fight over the last bite. Ali’s also has a rep for its Trini-style exotic fare like roast duck and conch, but it’s the basics that keep regulars coming back for more.
T Dot Jerk
26 Roncesvalles Ave.
While this little Jerk tucked away at Queen and Roncesvalles is less famous than its comrades, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s less busy or less delicious! In fact, we might have to apologize to Ronces locals for revealing their little secret Caribbean oasis. Or maybe, they should be apologizing to us! Hopefully as it gains popularity it continues to dish out single servings that will feed your entire family.