Travel the World Without Leaving your Toronto Home

Well, we’re not headed anywhere exotic these days. As Torontonians, though, we’re in luck. Here’s how to have dinner in a different country – from France to Ethiopia – every night of the week (and then some).

We live in one of the most international cities in the world. That is especially apparent in the breadth and depth of our city’s culinary scene. As epic restaurants across Toronto have closed their doors to help flatten the curve, many have remained open, serving takeout and delivery.

Now is a particularly important time to support our local community if you can. And what better way to do that than through your palate? As we’re all practicing social distancing and spending a lot of time indoors, take advantage of our incredible diversity and begin your #quarantravels.

Here is some worldly, mouth-watering inspiration to get you started.

1. Travel to France with Le Phénix.

Dim the lights, uncork a bottle of red (or white) and cue a Parisian-inspired playlist à la Édith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg. Le Phénix, Chanteclerc’s pop-up French bistro, created a special #Phénix2go takeout menu for these socially distanced times. They specialize in bistro classics like tartare, French onion soup and bavette steak. Bon appétit!

Must Try

The duck confit with braised cabbage, pickled apple and hazelnut juice. *chef’s kiss*


2. Travel to Japan with Guu Izakaya.

Do you have a low coffee table in your living room? Perfect. Set up some pillows, take a seat on the floor Japanese-style and dig into one of Toronto’s best Izakaya offerings. With an eclectic menu that serves favourites such as chicken karaage and shoyu ramen, you can now conveniently pick up your order at their Parkdale location.

Must Try

The kakimayo, a baked oyster with cheese, mushroom and spinach garlic mayo.


3. Travel to Korea with Uncle Mikey’s.

Create a playlist of K-Pop music videos and you fill your home with Korean aromas. To be fair, it’s not easy to replicate Korea’s electric atmosphere but you’ll come close with Uncle Mikey’s. Toronto’s go-to for authentic Korean dishes (think: assorted kimchi and banchan), they offer takeout and delivery with their app Dylan-To-Go that specializes in health-conscious K-food.

Must Try

The Starving Artist Noodles are a peanut-sauce lover’s dream.


4. Travel to Mexico with Aztec’s Mine.

Turn up the heat, stream some scenic photos of Riviera Maya and crack open a cerveza. Aztec’s Mine handles the rest, serving an extensive menu of Mexican eats, including their famous margaritas, all available for takeout from their High Park location. And if you’re running low on those cervezas, don’t worry, they have that too.

Must Try

The spicy tinga tacos paired with the margarita. ¡Salud!


5. Travel to Ethiopia with Lalibela.

Sharing is caring in Ethiopian food culture; the portions are big and dishes are meant to be enjoyed communally. Most importantly, you eat with your (very clean) hands. That’s how it’s done at Lalibela (and Ethiopia)! This popular Toronto spot is family-owned – it doesn’t get more authentic than that – and uses only the freshest ingredients.

Must Try

The Lalibela platter with a little bit of everything, including the homemade Injera bread.

Hot Tip

Here’s how to eat Ethiopian Injera.


6. Travel to Jamaica with The Real Jerk.

Ditch the sweats and sport your beachwear, this time setting the mood with some Bob Marley tunes. Spend a chill evening enjoying The Real Jerk’s Jamaican home-style eats, such as roti, patties and jerk chicken. This Toronto favourite (just ask Drake) offers takeout at their two east-end locations.

Must Try

The jerk chicken is some of the best in the city. Just sayin’.

Photo: Krystle Ng-A-Mann

7. Travel to China with Pearl Harbourfront.

Craft up some DIY Chinese lanterns – they’re surprisingly easy to make – and hang them around your dining space to set up for your trip to China. Pearl Harbourfront has been serving Toronto its delicious dim sum for almost 30 years, and they’re not stopping any time soon. Head to their Queens Quay location for delicious takeout.

Must Try

The peking duck is one of the most popular items on their menu.


8. Travel to Italy with Buca.

Light candles, put out fresh flowers and stream Felini’s La Dolce Vita for romantic, Italian ambiance. Complement the experience with one of Toronto’s most renowned Italian restaurants, Buca. Pick up ready-to-eat favourites like pizza or opt for the pre-packaged meals that you assemble and cook yourself at home.

Must Try

The pasta pomodoro is a simple, yet unbeatable classic.

Let’s stay connected!

#SeeTorontoNow from home, and we hope you’ll #SeeTorontoSoon IRL

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