Recently we had the opportunity to join Tasty Tours, a Toronto based tour that provides “food crawls” aka tours through different neighbourhoods in Toronto while sampling the food that each neighbourhood has to offer. Tasty Tours has been running tours for over 5 years and boasts an impressive 5* Tripadvisor rating, so we were excited to join them on their Kensington Market Sweet & Savoury Tour! Keep reading to find out how you can get a 20% discount on your next tour!
We met Audrey, our tour guide, at Ding Dong Pastries in Chinatown for our first stop. Our group consisted of about 10 people, some local and some out of town. Ding Ding Pastries has been operating for 9 years through multiple generations and specializes in dim sum fare and baked goods. We sampled some vegetarian spring rolls which were perfectly crispy and a moderate amount of filling. Audrey provided a thorough history of the dish and its origins, as well as some trivia and facts about the Chinatown area.
We took a 5 min walk to our next stop, Ten Ren’s Tea. The friendly hosts at Ten Ren’s provided a background of their company and presented a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for us. It was very educational as they explained the meaning of each step of the ceremony. Our stop concluded with a sample of bubble tea and an almond tea snack. The red bean lotus seed milk black tea could have had a stronger red bean taste, and we didn’t have an opportunity to try the tapioca. The almond tea snack was buttery with a nice crunch.
On the way to Kensington Market to our next stop, Audrey provided some historical background on the Kensington area. Even though it was drizzly that day, it was quite enjoyable to learn more about this Toronto community as we walked to our next location. We met Ambrose, the owner of Moo Frites at his store in Kensington and had a chance to sample a substantial portion of their poutine with maple mayonnaise – exclusively available only on Tasty Tours. The Belgian frites at Moo Frites are double fried, first at a low temperature and frozen overnight, and then fried again to order. They are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the maple mayo was to die for! This was definitely the best stop on the tour.
Next we headed down the street to Toronto’s Popcorn Company – Toronto’s only local gourmet popcorn store. They had countless jars of popcorn flavours that we were able to sample, and some individuals in our group opted to purchase some for home. We had a bite of the pizza popcorn which tasted subtly like pizza but not overwhelmingly seasoned. The popcorn in general was not soggy at all.
We had our next stop at El Arepazo which specializes in arepas – a Venezuela/Columbia cornbread patty with a variety of stuffings. We sampled the La Reina which was a cornbread shell stuffed with chunky chicken and avocado. The avocado and chicken combination was so good! The chicken mixture was creamy with huge chicken portions and the avocado added a refreshing bite to the sandwich. The cornbread was super light and fluffy. At this point we were pretty stuffed and ready for our last dessert stops.
For our first dessert stop, we had the famous churros from Pancho’s Bakery. Pancho’s Bakery is the first Mexican bakery in Toronto! The churros are served steaming hot with your choice of filling. We chose the condensed milk filling and caramel filling. The churros are so crispy; the sugar cinnamon coating gave it an extra crunchy texture and an extra hint of sweetness, but we just wished there was a bit more filling.
Next we stopped at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, known for their pies and desserts. We had a sample of their mint chocolate cupcakes; the chocolate cupcake base was on the bland side and not as moist as we liked, and the mint frosting was light and the flavour was lacking. We hope to try their pies next time!
Our last stop was the chocolate cart in Blue Banana, which is a very quirky store full of knick knacks and gifts. We sampled from two bars of chocolate from two local chocolatiers – Stubbe and Chocosol. Both had it’s own subtle flavours but both rich and earthy!
All in all, the Kensington Market Sweet & Savoury Tour was a great experience; we had an opportunity to try so many different types of food from so many cultures, and Audrey was such a sweet host who had a plethora of knowledge about the food and history of the Kensington and Chinatown area. We didn’t think we would be but we were extremely full even all the walking!
We’re excited to partner with Tasty Tours to offer our readers a 20% discount on their next booking with Tasty Tours! Simply use the promo code “bluntfoodreview” when booking on http://tastytourstoronto.com/. The code is valid on any tickets purchased before Sept 30, 2016 (the tour date can be after Sept 30).
Thank you Tasty Tours for a great tour and we hope to join you again in the future!
Note: Our Tasty Tour was sponsored however opinions are our own.