Island Vibes in the GTA: Toronto’s Caribbean Markets & Restaurants
- April 20, 2023
Canada’s first Caribbean settlers arrived on the East Coast in 1796, 71 years before confederation, the founding of the nation, bringing with them skills, cuisines, and traditions that have enriched the land and people ever since!
Today, the influence of Caribbean cultures can be felt throughout Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, and many other nations are represented in Toronto’s many Caribbean events and festivals. And for Canadian newcomers from the Caribbean, the city provides many options for restaurants and markets that offer Caribbean essentials and a little taste of home.
Caribbean Restaurants in Toronto
Near the Toronto Reference Library, Randy’s Roti focuses on Trinidadian cuisine, including curry goat doubles, a famous street food from Trinidad. They also have a great lunch special. Students can spend the afternoon studying in the library then have roti for dinner!
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/yCvuHLf2DxtHQ5Tf7
Smoke rises from a grill on the sidewalk as you approach this renowned eatery, spreading the delicious smell of jerked meats throughout the neighbourhood. This is the place to go if you want fresh, authentic jerk chicken.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/vfu2gbHEtx4r5r2R9
Allwyn’s is known for budget-friendly Jamaican dishes that do not skip on flavour or quality. Try the Jerk Chicken sandwiches or Ox Tail with rice and peas!
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Pha7sMdjs2CmkvR19
Albert’s Real Jamaican
Established in 1986, this restaurant offers some of Jamaica’s most famous foods, including ackee and salt fish, the country’s national dish.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/wC8M7kKCDGvY5NSD9
Caribbean Grocery Stores in Toronto
Located in the famed Kensington Market, Toronto’s most famous Caribbean grocery store boasts rare ingredients and Caribbean classics, such as crushed pepper sauce and casava.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/icprkQTkKuVEMrT36
The scent of bulla cake and spiced buns hit you as you enter this delectable market. They have it all: groceries, baked goods, Caribbean beauty products, and hard-to-find items like Irie Fish Seasoning.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/2mvXg84aPmQtfWsz7
Danforth Food Market
With multiple locations across the GTA, this market is known for great prices and a large range of groceries from the Caribbean. They also sell some of the freshest fish in the GTA! Visit their website for weekly specials.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ApJNyaf2T2Yr5fJMA
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Caribbean Culture in Toronto
Q: Which Caribbean Festivals are Celebrated in Toronto?
A: Caribana Toronto is the most popular Caribbean festival in the city and the largest in North America! Click here for more information.
Q: Where is the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto?
A: The Carnival parade takes place on Lakeshore Boulevard, but there are many more events to enjoy during the celebration, such as concerts and a launch party. Learn more here.
Q: What is Caribana Toronto?
A: Caribana Toronto is the former name of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.
Q: Are Caribbean Groceries Expensive?
A: That depends where you shop. Sunny Supermarket, which imports foods from across the globe, is known to have excellent prices on Caribbean products. Click here to visit their home page.
Q: Are Caribbean Grocery stores only for Caribbean people?
A: No! One of the benefits of living in a multicultural metropolis like Toronto is the chance to shop for ingredients from other countries and add new flavours to your kitchen!
Q: Does Toronto have a Caribbean nightlife?
A length blog post could be written about the many Caribbean clubs and bars in Toronto! El Convento Rico plays Caribbean and Latin music. Rhum Corner has a chill vibe modeled on Haitian restaurants.