There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in Parkdale. The neighbourhood has become an highly attractive eating zone with new restaurants, bars, and indie coffee shops. There’s been so much substantial change there was even a moratorium legislated back in 2012 but was eventually repealed a few years later. While Parkdale still lacks the critical mass of some of the other dining neighbourhood’s in the downtown core, don’t let that deter you from making a trip to this tasty corner of the city.
Here are a few our favourite places to indulge.
Harry’s Char Broil and Dining Lounge
Harry’s is a Parkdale institution. For the past 48 years the Petropolis brothers have been serving up affordable eats to local residents with a no-muss no-fuss attitude. Recently Grant Van Gameren of Bar Raval and Bar Isabel bought Harry’s and it seems like he’ll be continuing the tradition with a few delicious tweaks of his own.
Having been a guest at Harry’s for years before he bought Van Gameren has kept the cozy diner decor, and while he has made menu adjustments they’re in line with the same feel and price point that made this spot a favourite of many neighbourhood locals. We suggest the corned beef hash, it has everything you want to start off a lazy Sunday morning. A bed of potato hash with sweet stewed peppers provides the base for the slab of fried corned beef and a sunnyside up egg. Mixed throughout are tangy pickled onions that help cut through the decadence of the other ingredients.
Harry’s serves food from 10am to 2am everyday, so whether you’re an early riser or a night owl they’ll have something delicious for you.
Glory Hole Doughnuts
HD has been creating sweet magic in the neighbourhood since 2012. Each day the bakers here whip up doughnuts using three different doughs; cake, yeast or vegan. Most flavours rotate seasonally and are based on either a glaze, frosting or filling often using products sourced locally. One of their most unique flavours, Toast and Butter, is luckily a flagship doughnut and is offered year round. This breakfast inspired treat features a yeast doughnut with brown butter frosting, sweet bread crumbs and cinnamon. It’s what six year old us wishes we had for breakfast every morning.
Be sure to get there early, especially on weekends, as these doughnuts have made quite a name for themselves in Parkdale and tend to go pretty quickly.
The Tempered Room
This neighbourhood cafe is the second venture of parisian born and trained chef Bertrand Alepee. The culmination of knowledge gained by training under culinary heavy hitters like Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy is expertly shown in glass cases filled with dainty cakes, flaky pastries and classic french sandwiches.
You can’t go wrong with anything offered at The Tempered Room but the french onion roll is a unique and comforting treat. This perfect start to any day is almost like a cinnamon roll, but instead of cinnamon and butter hidden in its folds you’ll find caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. Heated up it becomes hand-held soup…but better.
Parkdale is home to Canada’s largest Tibetan community with over half of the city’s Tibetan residents residing here. So you would be remiss to visit the neighbourhood without grabbing some momos, specifically the momos from Loga’s Corner.
Momos are a type of tibetan dumpling that can be made boiled or fried with a multitude of fillings, however minced meat or vegetables are the most common. While you can’t go wrong with anything on Loga’s menu the steamed beef momos are a classic. Take care not to spill any of the delicious juices from these tasty traditional dumplings on your first bite. And be careful with the house-made hot sauce, it isn’t for the faint of heart.
You can eat in at the cozy cafe or grab some takeout from this small business run by a family who moved here from Northern India where they were Tibetan refugees. And yes, there actually is a Loga.
Mata Bar is the South American creation of Felipe Faccioli, Patrick Fraser, Tulio Lessa, Steve Fernandes, and Sharath Dwarkanathan who all met while working together in the industry. The restaurant opened in 2014 and pulls strong influence from chef Facciolis Brazilian background with some nods to Canadian dishes.
The best way to take on this menu is with a group of people so you can share several of their small plates. Don’t miss out on the cassava poutine. This dish is a delicious mix of South American and Canadian cuisine featuring jus, chorizo, cheese curds and crunchy-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside cassava fries. A pisco sour makes the perfect partner to this dish.