These were some of Anthony Bourdain's favourite Toronto restaurants

Aug 31 2021, 9:00 pm

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, by world traveller and the late distinguished chef Anthony Bourdain, was published this past April. In it, Bourdain provided the ultimate guide for anyone looking for adventure and great food.

In his book, Bourdain’s time in Toronto is shared, and though he explored the city and all it had to offer. And of course, he was brutally honest.

The concrete jungle full of endless condos and architecture didn’t seem to impress Bourdain, but that wasn’t what he was there for. It was all about the food.

Though the book was co-written by his longtime assistant Laurie Woolever, no one better than his “lieutenant” to continue to share his legacy.

Here are a few restaurants and bars the beloved chef, author, and avid traveler visited in Toronto:

Cocktail Bar

“Cocktail Bar in Little Italy [is] a perfect place for a predinner Negroni,” said Bourdain.

Notable restauranteur Jen Agg owns Cocktail bar, and also happens to be the name behind Grey Gardens, Rhum Corner, Le Swan French Diner, Bar Vendetta and the shuttered The Black Hoof.

Bourdain gave a little shout-out to what he called “thoughtful conceived and executed drinks” like the Whiskey Business and Absinthe Whip.

Address: 923 Dundas Street West
Hours: Every day from 5 pm to 11 pm

Cold Tea


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Though no longer standing, Cold Tea was a local bar hidden within Kensington Market at 60 Kensington Avenue. Bourdain described the spot as “an excellent example of a refined and wonderful bar,” one of which was discreet and hidden from the naked eye.

Bourdain also lets his readers in on a little fun fact. Cold Tea takes its name from a practice of serving beer in a teapot to late-night guests after the last call.

Cold Tea stands tall at its 1186 Queen Street West location.

Address: 1186 Queen Street West
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm to 2 am

Carousel Bakery

Bourdain checked out Carousel Bakery at St Lawrence Market and had one thing on his mind: “the original old school Torontonian sandwich – the classic peameal bacon sandwich.”

It was griddled and served on a kaiser bun, along with horseradish and maple mustard.

He also made sure to try the classic Canadian treat – the butter tart.

Address: 93 Front Street East
Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 5 am to 4 pm.

Porchetta & Co.


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At Porchetta & Co., Bourdain described their signature sandwich as “juicy and delicious.”

To help give a visualization, the restaurant’s owner, Nick Auf Der Mauer, said it is made with mandated pork shoulder butt wrapped in prosciutto, something that Bourdain called “kinda genius.”

Address: 545 King Street West
Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 12 pm to 8 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 12 pm to 9 pm

Karen DoradeaKaren Doradea

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