12 The east end’s 24-hour smokehouse, gas station and convenience store piles its double-blanched, seasoned fries with gooey orange and white curds and a mound of applewood-smoked pulled pork, drenched in barbecue sauce and a gravy made with smoked beef jus. $11.50. 929 Queen St. E., 416-465-1313, leslievillepumps.com
11 The Distillery District’s modern French bistro takes an haute approach to this humble dish with its coq au vin poutine. The fries are dressed with red wine–braised chicken, St-Albert curds and sautéed bacon and mushrooms—served en cocotte, of course, for two people. $18.95. 35 Tank House Ln., 416-203-2632, clunybistro.com
Porchetta & Co.
10 Hefty chip-truck-style fries form the backbone of this porky poutine, where grated mozzarella leaves the spotlight to the real stars of the dish: a gravy made from roasted porchetta drippings and a sprinkling of addictively crunchy pork crackling. $6.45. Multiple locations, porchettaco.com
9 Why settle for chips with your fish when you can have poutine? That’s the hook at this St. Clair West fish fry, where old-school chunky chips are fried in beef drippings, topped with curds and beef gravy, and unexpectedly great as a side for a hunk or two of gorgeously golden halibut, haddock, pickerel, cod or trout. $9. 636 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-349-4824, seawitchfc.com
8 Poutine isn’t just for the wee hours at this perennially packed east-end brunch spot but also for the resulting hangover. The A.M. Poutine is a hot mess of home fries, curds and miso gravy, with two free-run poached eggs. $12. 265 Broadview Ave., 647-351-7645, ladymarmalade.ca
7 This Assembly Chef’s Hall stand goes big on bird with its fried butter-chicken poutine. Crispy fries are topped with boneless buttermilk-fried chicken in butter-chicken gravy, along with ranch, chilies and cilantro. $13. 111 Richmond St. W., 647-557-5993, lovechix.ca
6 This Scarborough outpost serves up a delightfully unique Caribbean-Mediterranean mash-up: kicky jerk-spiced gravy, deeply flavoured from slow-roasted chicken bones, is ladled atop fries, shredded mozzarella cheese and moist jerk chicken shawarma. $8.45. 2570 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough, 416-297-5375, @chrisjerkbistro
5 The squash poutine at this OG Ossington snack bar is a Korean-Canadian flavour explosion of deep-fried squash cubes with Kewpie mayo, kimchi and green onion, drowning in curried chicken gravy and sprinkled with black sesame and pickled ginger. $8. 90 Ossington Ave., no phone, @to_oddseouls
Nom Nom Nom Poutine
4 This stall at Dundas West’s Market 707 offers an indulgent Montreal-inspired option, where traditional fries, massive curds and onion-based gravy are augmented with smoked meat from the city’s beloved Schwartz’s deli. All that’s missing is the mustard. $9.74. 707 Dundas St. W., 647-636-0707, nomnomnom.ca
3 Twice-fried, amber-coloured frites—be they Belgian, Dutch or even Japanese—are the primary focus at this tiny Kensington spot, where the spuds make an excellent foundation for a mound of Ontario curds and peppery, slow-simmered beef-and-chicken gravy. $6.45. 178 Baldwin St., no phone, moofrites.com
2 Outlandish options abound at this late-night mecca, but we love The Works, a traditional tray of skin-on fries and local curds and a hefty ladling of beef-bone gravy. It’s heaped with sour cream, chives and tons of bacon. $12.70. 1112 Queen St. W., 617 King St. W., no phone, poutini.com
1 The best poutine in town right now doesn’t need over-the-top add-ons. The classic at this burger joint stands out thanks to a transcendent triad of thick-cut fries, giant squeaky curds and a velvety soy-onion-beet gravy that tastes so beefy, you won’t believe it’s meat-free. $7.49. 619 College St.,647-748-7839; 69 Duncan St., 416-351-0739, rudyresto.com
This story originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $24 a year, click here.