All Articles
All Articles
FOOD + DRINK

Word of Mouth: Toronto Soul Food

FOOD + DRINK

Word of Mouth: Toronto Soul Food

Five local spots to taste the American South in the Great White North

by CH Contributor
on 30 November 2012

by Ryan B. Patrick

Befitting Toronto's large size and multicultural makeup, the types of cuisine one might find in the energetic northern metropolis are as diverse as they are flavorful. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the city is home to an impressive range of soul food options—as far as it is from the American South. Here, five picks from a local to satisfy the Southern vibe north of the border.

harlem-wom.jpg
Harlem

Harlem Restaurant bills its fare as "American soul food meets Caribbean contemporary;" the restaurant's menus include excellent versions of such mainstays as braised short ribs, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, candied yams and the always-appreciated cornbread loaf. Those expecting a heavy or greasy Southern-style meal will be surprised—dishes such as the fried chicken or the spiced tofu steak with seasonal vegetables keep things light yet flavorful. If you're in the mood for a more Caribbean-inspired dish, the roasted jerk chicken with sweet fried plantains will hit the spot.

southernaccent-wom1.jpg
Southern Accent

With Creole design and character to spare, Southern Accent is a cozy space inside a remodeled old house that comes complete with an in-house tarot reader. The classic jambalaya dish is done to Cajun perfection on the spicy scale, while the tenderness of the blackened chicken livers appetizer will convert even the most hardened liver skeptic. With a side of garlic mashed potato and sautéed spinach combo, the Bourbon Street chicken (with fresh lemon beurre) is one of the strongest standouts on the reasonably priced menu.

nawlins-wom.jpg
N'Awlins

Possibly the world's only Cajun Italian Blues Bar, N'Awlins Jazz Bar & Grill is always packed. Set in the ever-changing Entertainment District, N'Awlins is known for its unique, narrow (some might say cramped) space serving up Southern fare with an unexpected but harmonious Italian infusion. Start off with the crab cakes, believed by many to be the best in the city.

bigdaddy-wom.jpg
Big Daddy's

Big Daddy's Crab Shack & Oyster Bar does seafood right. What the place lacks in decor it more than makes up for in quality and selection at a fair price. Make sure you hit them up during their "Voodoo Hours" (their take on Happy Hour) for shrimp, crab and chorizo fritters.

joemama-wom.jpg
Joe Mama's

Joe Mama's lives up to the cleverly punned name—dishes have a distinct down home, Southern-made authenticity, almost as if someone's mother was actually in the back whipping them up with love. The Southern Fried corn meal calamari plate is a celebration of diverse taste and texture, while the Cajun Mixed Grill is a welcome sight for the choosy meat lover with its blackened sirloin, ribs and barbecue chicken choices loaded on a single plate. It's a locale that has some of the best live entertainment in the evenings so be sure to stay after you've gotten your fill.

Images by Ryan B. Patrick

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye
Loading More...