Kensington Market report [Toronto]

On a recent Saturday morning, we decided to re-explore Kensington Market and try places we hadn’t been to previously. We have had longstanding favourites: Jumbo Empanadas (have been going since she just had a cart near the egg store), Wanda’s (still remember the cranberry, pear, ginger pie that she never makes anymore), Blackbird, Seven Lives, El Trompo, Egg Bae, and Perola’s. We skipped all of these to have room for new experiences.

We started at Fika, which we had heard about for awhile and never had the chance to try.

  • cardamom latte was lovely and perfumey. Plus they will let you use your own cup from home.
  • cardamom cinnamon bun was also nicely accented with cardamom, though we were also tempted by the new cardamom custard bun.

Next was Nubugel:

  • smoked trout whole wheat bagel with arugula, horseradish jelly and pommery mustard. Though there was little smoke flavour in the trout, the overall combo was a nice mix: fish, bitter, sweet, sour. The bagel was good, though the better one was the rosemary sea salt, which we got for free as we declined the salad that came with the sandwich (too hard to eat while walking).

Then we went to Segovia:

  • choripan: chorizo sausage, crispy bun, mozzarella, tomato salsa, chimichurri and chipotle mayo - supple sausage with a great combo of garnishes.

Next up was Chung Chun, which prima covered in another location:

  • beef hot dog, wrapped with squid ink sticky rice dough, with cheese, teriyaki sauce and spicy mayo - delicious and fun.

We heard Crumbs had good patties. We got one and upped the starch quotient by getting it wrapped in a coco bun:

  • coco bun around croissant-like pastry, beef, with scotch bonnet and mango hot sauces mixed - very tasty, with a pillowy soft coco bun.

Lastly (we were getting full), we had dessert at Dipped:

  • Earl Grey creme brûlée - interesting gray brown custard, nice bergamot flavour, nice dough though not as fluffy as some (e.g., Von).

We will head back for another Saturday morning as we skipped the entire Latin food court at 214 Augusta.

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Very nice!

The choripan looks great!

My friend likes Fresco’s fish and chips which I haven’t tried.

https://frescosfishandchips.com/

Latin Taste has good Peruvian empanadas.

I like Little Pebbles’ chiffon cakes.

I visited the Good Egg shop (cookbooks, other books, kitchenware, gifts) yesterday, which has a new location.

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Second Fresco and the Egg shop. I also would like to add Lekker for Liege waffles as probably one if few if not the only spot that has waffles of that style. Blue Banana also has a good selection whimsical items.
Takoyaki Six looks good though I have yet to try.

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I stopped by Kensington today.

I bought marinated pork souvlaki (to cook at home), some salads and Better than Yia Yia’s tzatziki, lemony hummus and tirokefteri from Sanagan’s. The tirokefteri was too spicy for me. Better than Yia Yia’s makes a better skordalia and tarama but they aren’t stocked at Sanagan’s afaik. Serano on Pape sometimes sells it.

The salads I bought were a mustardy potato salad with egg ( I have an aversion to mustard :slightly_smiling_face:- I only like it on hot dogs and cheeseburgers), lentil-pear salad with almonds and tarragon, beet-orange salad with feta, and a carrot remoulade.

Seeded bread including nigella from Blackbird, and 2 slices of strawberry shortcake and a slice of Basque cheesecake from Little Pebbles.

All good.

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Little Pebbles now has some waffles. Not Liège, but interesting looking.

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OK I tried Little Pebbles via UberEats and once via Yelp event. Hmm didn’t enjoy both tries. First time was the Square Croissant which more of an Instagram gimmick IMO and the side of desserts being very small portions as well not to mention mainstream grocery store level!

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I’ve enjoyed their chiffon cakes.

The Basque cheesecake slice was small today. The strawberry shortcake was a regular-sized slice.

I haven’t tried their croissants. ( I don’t eat any croissants- I buy almond croissants for my relatives)

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I had the basque cake which is serviceable. Strawberry shortcake was quite bad.

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I guess our mileages vary :slight_smile:

Let me know if you find a Strawberry Shortcake or Fraisier you like a lot.

I had a nice strawberry cream cake slice at Bonne Nouvelle patisserie on College St last year. https://www.bonne-nouvelle.ca/

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Haven’t tried Fresco’s, though thought about it watching people go in and out while we dined at Grey Gardens last summer. Also haven’t tried Little Pebbles. Latin Taste was on our to-try list, but we got full. Takoyaki Six was also a consideration.

Noticed that the Suya Spot has opened a location on Baldwin - we liked their food from the Scarborough location. Pow Wow Cafe is closed until mid-fall as they are out on the road. Also haven’t tried Dirty Bird and Rasta Pasta.

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I had some of the strawberry shortcake this morning, and it wasn’t as good as chiffon cakes I purchased in 2018 and 2019. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it wasn’t worth a detour. The sponge was a heavier denser sponge- which is more similar to some American shortcakes, which can be dense.

Maybe Neo is the better place for Japanese bakery- coffee shops with strawberry cream cakes right now.

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Went back for another Saturday morning exploration:

Started again at Fika:

  • another cardamom latte and tried the Swedish Sunrise, basically a cardamom-dough bun with a vanilla custard - very nice, very cardamomy.

Next on to Patty King:

  • callaloo patty (taro greens) - light traditional pastry, lovely stewed greens, good kick.

Then took out a chicken tamale from Latin Taste (no pic), a Peruvian place. It was moist and richly flavourful. A really good tamale.

Then sat on the patio of the Film Cafe:

  • Tokyo omelette - comes in 8 pieces (mushroom, sun dried tomato, onion) with two red bean onigiri and a miso soup. The omelet was underflavoured. Also tried the smoked marshmallow mocha latte - OK but not actually smoky and too sweet.

Then we entered the Latin American food court at 214 Augusta:

  • Pico de Gallo - suadero taco (no pic) - wonderful moist and flavourful beef with lime and raw onion.

  • Ko’ox Hana - cochinita pibil taco - very nice pork, with avocado and pickled onion, not quite as flavourful as the beef though.

  • La Chilaca - yellow pepper stuffed with cheese and slathered in pork - amazing! Slightly hot pepper, lovely packet of cheese, incredible moist pork.

  • Birria Catrina - had the birria bowl: tasty stewed beef with broth, cilantro, onion, lime, and a feisty hot sauce. It came with some nice corn tortillas.

Lastly we took out from Rasta Pasta:

  • took home a jerk chicken lasagna and heated it up the next day - very good standard lasagna with also very good jerk chicken nestled inside. The aroma was particularly interesting, part red sauce and part jerk spices.

Still have other places to try…

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Stopped by Kensington yesterday, for a cardamom latte & Sunshine bun at Fika, and groceries from Sanagan’s, including this Scotch Egg.


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Stopped by Kensington Market today for an iced cardamom latte and Kannelbullar (for later) from Fika, Lev & Parallel’s chocolate sesame babka. https://www.levbakery.com/products
(Available at Sanagan’s)

, and a choripan at Segovia.

Segovia’s choripan ($8 plus tax- cash or debit) was delicious. It looked like this, with more tomatoes on top. I ordered mine medium-spicy.

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Glad you liked the choripan. We loved it also.

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