You can travel the world by eating through Scarborough — Filipino, Malaysian, Caribbean, Vietnamese — its all represented here and in spades compared to downtown Toronto.
Here are our top picks for best restaurants in Scarborough. These are the places where you can sit down and enjoy a meal with friends and family.
“But you didn’t include my favourite patty shop!”. When we created this list, we specifically left out take-out joints and snack shops for future installments.
Here’s our roundup of Scarborough's best restaurants.
Spicy crab dish at dayali's
Technically a stone’s throw outside of Scarborough borders but this list must start with Dayali. Known for its signature Beijing Roast duck, The Toronto branch of the popular Beijing chain, is packed daily with eaters enjoying everything from stuffed meat pancakes to sweet and sour pork and spicy soups.
Dayali, 20 Gibson Dr., 905-604-8680
2. Gourmet Malaysia
The city’s best Malaysian offerings can only be found in Scarborough. For takeout and a quick bite, visit One2Snacks, for a sit down meal and entertainment for small to large groups nothing beats Gourmet Malaysia. Locals visit this shop regularly for hot bowls of laksa and rice dishes. Weekend nights, tables can be hard to come by as karaoke is a massive draw.
Gourmet Malaysia, 4466 Sheppard Ave. E. Suite #1101., 647-764-1188
3. Diana's Oyster Bar and Grill
Diana’s oyster bar and grill
Diana’s is one of the best seafood stores in the city, with a rotating selection of seasonal fare from local and international waters. Located next to the shop is the sister restaurant, known for its oyster selection and grilled fish. The seafood platter for two and the seafood mixed grill are the two most popular items at the bar.
Diana's Oyster Bar and Grill, 2105 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-288-1588
jatujak's menu riffs on thai street food
Named after Thailand’s biggest and busiest crafts market, Jatujak riffs on Thai street food with an assortment of snacks, noodle and curry dishes. Nearly everything on the menu has some level of heat (the pad kee stir-fried rice noodles with egg and basil is arguably the hottest and a personal favourite).
Jatujak, 1744 Victoria Park Ave., 647-352-1744
5. Congee Queen
The debate on which Congee Queen is better continues. Congee Wong (Leslie/Finch) or Congee Queen (Don Mills Plaza). From my personal experiences, dishes like the spicy soft shell crab fried rice, curry beef brisket, and bbq pork keep me going back for me. Portions are large and the flavors are consistent. As for the congee, order the seafood super bowl congee if you’re with a group.
Congee Queen, 895 Lawrence Ave. E., Suite #8., 416-916-0338
vegetarian dosa platter at nilgris
6. The Nilgris
Touted as one of the best places in the GTA to get South Indian food, the dosas and thali platters alone are worth the journey. Start with soft fluffy pooris (deep fried pillows of dough) and potato masala and move on to stuffed Mysore masala dosa (lentil batter crepe stuffed with a peppery paste). Weekend lunch buffets are also a standout.
The Nilgris, 3021 Markham Road. Unit 50., 416-412-0024
7. Pho Metro
Vietnamese noodle shops are scattered throughout Scarborough, but lovers of umami-rich pho flock to the Pho Metro plaza at Warden and Lawrence for beef and egg noodle soups, bowls of mi xao (chow mein) and their com (steamed rice) selection. Hot or cold, dry or wet, Pho Metro reigns supreme with its noodle offerings.
Pho Metro, 2057 Lawrence Ave. E., 647-951-2567
8. Chris Jerk
Fairly new to Scarborough, Chris Jerk mixes Middle Easteran and Caribbean flavours. Think moist, spicy jerk chicken on a plate with veggies, or stuffed into a shawarma. There’s also a jerk chicken poutine on the menu which is an outstanding take on the Quebecois staple.
Chris Jerk, 2570 Birchmount Rd., 416-297-5375
9. Hopper Hut
Scarbrough’s original Sri Lankan restaurant is nearing 25 years old but hasn’t shown any signs of aging. There are two different ways to experience Hopper Hut: visit the snack counter at the front for all your short eats (stuffed meat pastries) cravings, or sit in the dining room and enjoy some spicy crab curry with rice. Also a popular item on the menu is the kothu (chopped) roti, served with mutton curry and veggies.
Hopper Hut, 880 Ellesmere Rd., 416-299-4311
10. Super Hakka Restaurant
Some of the best hakka food in Scarborough can be found in Wexford Heights at Super Hakka. The food is a mash of Indian, Chinese, Muslim and Caribbean flavours all on one plate. The menu is peppered with a variety of chicken-in-sauce dishes usually served with rice or noodles. Chili tiger prawns and fish are crowd favourites.
Super Hakka Restaurant, 1801 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-755-0855
11. Smith Bros
A popular carnivore hangout on Warden, Smith Bros mixes wet-aged steaks with local craft beers. Regulars go for prime rib and strip loin, the house burger – topped with smoked bacon, emmental cheese – is one of the best in town.
Smith Bros, 880 Warden Ave., 416-751-3100
12. Chef George Breakfast and Lunch
Part breakfast diner, part Filipino restaurant, Chef George remains a hidden gem after being open for two years. The big draw here is the Manileneos breakfast platters, a variety of meat-on-rice dishes served with eggs sunny side up. Favourites are the Longanisa (sweet cured pork) and Beef tapa (sliced beef marinated in garlic vinegar.)
Chef George Breakfast and Lunch, 1519 Birchmound Rd., 416-383-0552