British and Irish food in [Toronto] and the Greater Toronto Area, 2024

Post your tips, comments, experiences and questions re: British stuff in the Greater Toronto Area here.

2023 threads for reference:

The Caledonian on College near Ossington has a Sunday roast.

The George Street Diner in the vicinity of Jarvis and Richmond does a “Massive Irish Breakfast” that includes sausage, two types of bacon (Irish rashers and streaky), soda bread, and the most quintessential of Irish breakfast meats, white and black pudding.

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If your friend is on Facebook, they may benefit from joining this group.

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And this one.

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Lastly, The Vault in Whitby gets a lot of love out here. I can’t say how it is because I don’t need to travel to a pub in the land of pubs that Durham still is. Our local, The Fox Goes Free, serves up a mighty fine version with housemade tartar sauce whenever James is cooking in the kitchen.

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Phoenikia, thanks for making your posts more expansive. I appreciate that you’re posing more GTA questions.

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I would stretch it to London, if I wasn’t the only London poster :joy:

You’re welcome, Googs. I hope you’re enjoying the new findings in your new ish environs. :slightly_smiling_face:

It also seems Durham County and Peel Region, as well as Etobicoke and Scarborough, have some British and Irish offerings, due to longtime mom and pop businesses run by ExPats or immigrants, that are becoming harder to find closer to downtown, apart from a few spots like Man of Kent, The Oxley, George St Diner, The Caledonian, The Queen and Beaver, Ceili Cottage, etc.

So far I haven’t been to any British places other than Man of Kent, Elephant & Castle (not recently) or the like. They don’t really satisfy me that much but then I’m a bit uncompromising at times. I wasn’t any less so in Britain! There are plenty of old-school British offerings around, but what I don’t see is Modern British. I heard Seawitch was good but the prices were alarming. Would kill for a sticky toffee pudding that’s comparable to the packaged Cartmel one in the UK. I need the dates and the sauce in drowning quantities.

Think Canada, think Canada. My mantra. I love a good tourtiere so why lust after a good steak and kidney pie? :wink::maple_leaf:

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For expats, immigrants and others who crave it, and for armchair travellers who can’t travel!!

But a good mantra, nevertheless!

I try many types of meat pies because I like the variety. Tourtière is good, but I don’t eat it more than 3 or 4 times a year.

I don’t like kidneys, though :joy: I order steak and ale pie, steak and mushrooms, chicken pot pie, or I make English fish pie.

Could you give me some examples of Modern British? Like experimental Fat Duck style or something else?

O&B has Rabbit Hole. We were there 2022 and it was not bad. Clientele when we went were mixed Bay St types and guests at the hotel next door. Yes, people in suits, and families in shorts. I found that amusing.


The Oxley sometimes has some modernish British stuff for mains.

I prefer the food from Man of Kent although it’s a more basic menu.

I will keep my eyes peeled.

Examples for me might be:


St John bread and wine makes many lists.

Not truly British I suppose, but where is our Ottolenghi?

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Parallel , Fat Pasha and Fet Zun are the Ottolenghi Jerusalem knock-offs. I met him at Fat Pasha when he launched Simple. Maybe also Sara to some degree.

The man who runs The Queen and Beaver used to run a wine bar on King W that was a gastropub and more modern. I think he has had more financial success with The Queen and Beaver.

Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar was our Toronto equivalent of a Gastropub 15-20 years ago!


We DO have chefs who are capable here with ‘Modern British’ - the issue is that category of food just hasn’t found a market (or demographic) so the menu has to attract ‘bums-in-seats’ for a restaurant to survive.
An example - Noah Goldberg - chef-owner at Peter Pan Bistro and alumnus of St. John, London.
BEFORE Peter Pan, Noah ran a pop-up for 6 months that featured a ‘nose to tail’ of a specified animal each week. I went 23 times in that period!
When he opened Peter Pan, he changed the menu every two weeks and was creative - his Peameal Bacon was ‘actually’ peameal (unlike the cornmeal that is used everywhere else, despite the name). Whiteboard specials were frequently available (I still recall his Worcestershire Sauce ‘pearls’ used to provide flavour pops on brunch dishes). And I think he was one of the first to offer Shakshuka as a brunch option (certainly a very early supplier in Toronto).
But, with a young family, and in the aftermath of Covid, Peter Pan is now more of a ‘favourite local’ place - safety is now important and the creative gems are fewer and farther apart - but still do appear. Last year his ‘Foie Brulee’ was a standout (a savoury riff on creme brulee) and one of my favourite dishes of the year. And his chicken d’Alsace is perfectly cooked (although no restaurant in Toronto attracts me solely for their chicken).
And there may be others …


Not British per se, but a newish gastropub/ tavern in Bloordale
The Fall Bright Tavern.
They have a lamb Shepherd’s Pie on the menu , so that’s a start, in a country where most people think Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef, and don’t know about Cottage Pie. I haven’t tried it Fall Bright Tavern yet.

Seems our gastropubs are often called Taverns in 2024. I’m thinking of Century Park Tavern which I have not tried but a friend has recommended, as well as Maple Leaf Tavern .

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Or rather, we’ve gone back in time to the proper and unassuming ‘tavern’ designation. If you go to Maple Leaf Tavern for British food, you’ll be disappointed. If you go to dine, you won’t.


I wouldn’t expect British food there, or at any modern Tavern/ gastropub, but these new Taverns seem to be in the same family as Gastropub, more Gastropub than they are Toronto tavern, which would be what I considered the Jolly Miller or the Eton House.

Maple Leaf Tavern has a puff pastry-topped beef pie on the menu, so that seems at least partly derived from the Anglo Irish culinary tradition in Toronto.

I’d say the same about Arcadian Court or Summerhill Market Chicken Pot Pie. As Toronto as it is, it has an Anglo Irish Ontarian / Upper Canada culinary precedent.

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We stumbled upon this absolute treasure trove of British goods quite by chance one day. Having been disappointed by two or 3 other expat stores in Durham, we were delighted by Simply British Foods on Dundas east of Brock in Whitby. Fairly spacious, clean, well-organized and brimming with enough to make anyone sniff and feel a little nostalgic. My favourite find is the frozen breakfast packs in Irish, Scottish, and English varieties AND even a create-your-own-breakfast as you would pizza. I kid you not!!!


I have to let my British friend on the Ajax Whitby border know!

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