Toronto is home to some of the best local Indigenous-owned restaurants. Apart from cultural significance and history, their food is also well known for the use of sustainable ingredients. What is more interesting is that indigenous food preparation is typically done through traditional methods like smoking, roasting, and drying. This contributes to the rich and complex flavours in their diverse array of dishes. They have contributed tremendously to the culinary landscape.
Indigenous food and culture are an integral part of Canada. It’s impeccable to see these locally owned restaurants boast some of the most unique and traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations. Indigenous cuisine has contributed to the growing Canadian culinary scene and is being widely recognized and appreciated. The use of wild berries, plants like cattail, and animals like moose, caribou, and bison are a part of their typical menu. Some of these restaurants also feature smoked and dried foods, such as salmon, whitefish, and venison.
If you are a foodie like us, set out on a tour to savor and sample food from these top ten Indigenous restaurants in Toronto. Support their efforts to decolonize indigenous food and culture.
Top 5 restaurants in Toronto that serve the best of Indigenous food
Pow Wow Cafe
Indigenous cuisine is a reflection of the rich heritage, traditions, and flavours of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. It is a celebration of cultural influences that fuses flavours utilizing local and sustainable ingredients and traditional cooking methods. These top five restaurants are spicing up the Canadian culinary scene with their bold flavours
Located right at the heart of Kensington Market, this tiny restaurant serves traditional indigenous cuisine at its best. Ojibwe and Indian tacos are an absolute must-try at this cafe. You can also pair this meal with house-brewed cedar soda to get the best eat-out experience ever.
Located at: 213 Augusta Avenue
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Tea N Bannock
Tea N Bannock was the first indigenous restaurant in Toronto, and being a trendsetter, this restaurant boasts a rustic and cozy setting. We recommend you try the ‘Three Sisters Soup’ and butternut squash pie. After a flavourful meal, relish a good cup of Mohawk Tea.
Located at: 1294 Gerrard Street East
This local eat-out is based on traditional Anishnawbe cuisine and culture. Carrot ginger soup, bison sausage, and cedar tea are some of the must-try menu items at NishDish. Their menu is frequently updated based on demand and seasonality. All of their meals are prepared with healthy ingredients that are sourced from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis producers.
Located at: Crawford Lake Conservation Area
A little further away from Toronto, this restaurant is one of the best places to have indigenous cuisine. Inspired by traditional Aboriginal dishes, Chummy’s grill has revitalized 18th and 19th centuries recipes of early settlers and immigrants. Besides its spectacular ambience and dining experience, this restaurant has an exclusive tasting menu for food lovers. Scone Burger and their tomato macaroni soup are finger-licking good!
Located at: 262 Frontenac St, Batchewana First Nation, ON
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Yawékon by Chef Tawnya Brant
Chef Tawnya Brant, who is of Mohawk descent, has created a unique and flavorful menu that draws inspiration from her heritage. Using local ingredients, Yawékon often features dishes like bannock, wild game, and foraged berries, and highlights the traditional cooking methods of Indigenous cuisine. You’ll also notice that all the dishes in their menu promote healthy and nutritious options.
Located at: 1721 Chiefswood Rd, Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
Indigenous food has a huge emphasis on seasonality. All of these indigenous restaurants have an ever-changing menu that showcases the best seasonal dishes that are fresh and flavourful.