A Latke a Day for Hanukkah: eight of the best Toronto takes on the Jewish staple

A Latke a Day for Hanukkah: eight of the best Toronto takes on the Jewish staple

The refined latke platter with trout and crème fraiche at The Westerly on Roncesvalles (Image: Ryan Szulc) The refined latke platter with trout and crème fraiche at The Westerly on Roncesvalles (Image: Ryan Szulc)
 

Hanukkah starts today, which means Jews worldwide are gearing up for eight straight days of fried-carb heaven (and dignified religious observance, of course). If you aren’t fortunate enough to be in cahoots with a latke-flipping aficionado, we’ve got you covered. Here, eight delicious Toronto takes on the pan-fried potato cakes—one for each day of the holiday.

1. The Westerly
The Roncesvalles bistro’s latkes are smaller and less greasy than the everyday deli variety, and come topped with dill crème fraîche and flaky morsels of smoked trout. Not for purists, perhaps, but definitely delicious.
413 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-551-6660

2. Yitz’s Deli
The traditional midtown deli is serious about its pan-fried spuds. The weighty cakes accompany platters of fried liver and boiled chicken, or come two to a plate as a side.
346 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-487-4506

3. The Cardinal Rule
Traditional latkes are mixed with flour and sometimes cooked in schmaltz—i.e. rendered chicken fat—making them a no-go for people with certain dietary restrictions. The cakes at this Roncy diner are vegan, gluten-free and loaded with leek and roasted garlic.
5 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-352-0202

4. Caplansky’s
The creators of Latkepalooza, the city’s only dedicated latke festival, offer one of the best deals in the city: five crispy cakes for just five bucks.
356 College St., 416-500-3852

5. Ben and Izzy’s
The new kosher deli may be hipper than its counterparts, but its latkes don’t stray too far from tradition: each order includes a trio of palm-sized cakes with the usual dollops of sour cream and applesauce.
3513 Bathurst St., 416-787-3354

6. One
The Swiss-style rosti on this Yorkville brunch menu isn’t quite kosher, but it’s the same basic idea. In a play on bagels and lox, the loose potato cake comes with whipped cream cheese, pickled onions and slices of smoked salmon.
116 Yorkville Ave., 416-961-9600

7. Free Times Café
Devotees swear by the $20 “Bella! Did ya eat?” Sunday brunch buffet at this College Street diner. The spread includes unlimited lox, blintzes and, of course, potato latkes. The latter are hot, crisp and addictively greasy—just like bubbie used to make.
320 College St., 416-967-1078

8. United Bakers
According to discerning Chowhounders, the latkes at this Lawrence Avenue deli are some of the best in the city. Eleven bucks buys a plate of six with your choice of sour cream, applesauce or blueberry topping.
506 Lawrence Ave. W., 416-789-0519