It’s that time of year again where feathers line the streets, the festive sounds of the steel pan are in the air and the aroma of delicious corn soup and jerk chicken can be found outside all of the best parties. Toronto Caribbean Carnival is just days away and tens of thousands of tourists are already making their way into the city to experience & celebrate the best of carnival culture, Caribbean music and nightlife. If you’re one of those lucky folks traveling into the city, ready to bus a wine and get bacchanal- a stop through Toronto’s Little Jamaica is a must!
This historic neighbourhood is located on Eglinton west and has been a cornerstone of the Caribbean diaspora here in Toronto since the 1970’s. In addition to being home to a large Jamaican expat community, it was also once the second largest hub for reggae music outside of Kingston, JA. Although the demographics have changed, it’s still a neighbourhood where you can get a fresh line up at the barbershops or your edges laid at the hair salons, pick up some Caribbean snacks and sodas and get a taste of the heart of little Jamaica. It’s also definitely a must for every foodie looking for an authentic taste of Caribbean cuisine. Whether you’re a vegan ready for some ital bites or a party goer looking for some late night jerk, Eglinton west has the food you need to fuel your carnival experience.
Any real Torontonian foodie will tell you, you can find some of the best patties in the world here on Eglinton West. Randy’s has been dishing out their hot and delicious patties for years and you can’t leave Little Jamaica without trying one for yourself. Pro Tip: Get the Patty and Coco bread to soak up all the delicious filling.
Here are a few more spots to check out while making your way down Eglinton West:
Entertainment Kitchen (formerly known as Mainsha’s): Great for cheap delicious Jamaican eats! Get some tasty ackee and saltfish with rice & peas or fill up on porridge.
HotPot &/ or Rap’s: Both are great for late night Jerk. Skip the typical breakfast food and end your night with some jerk chicken straight from the oil drum.
Khal’s Juice: Try their assortment of nutritious island inspired drinks. You can even get your hands on a soursop drink here!